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Immigrants Held for Days in Freezing, Unsanitary Cells

Immigrant rights groups file class-action lawsuit challenging short-term detention conditions in Customs and Border Protection facilities. 

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Practice Advisories

These advisories provide in depth analysis on a variety of immigration law issues.

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Appointed Counsel for Children

For children facing deportation, appointed counsel helps ensure a fair and just immigration process.

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Artesia: Family Detention and Deportation

We sued the government to challenge its policies denying a fair deportation process to mothers and children who have fled violence and persecution.

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CBP Abuse of Authority

The Council litigates to expose CBP’s unlawful practices and promote policies that safeguard the civil liberties of all persons who cross our borders.

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What's New

In June 2015, after more than two years of litigation, the U.S. government hasagreed to settle a lawsuit filed by Leonel Ruiz on behalf of his minor daughter, E.R. The suit alleged that in 2011, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), unlawfully detained Mr. Ruiz’s then 4-year-old daughter—a U.S. citizen—when she arrived at Dulles Airport in Virginia, deprived her of any contact with her parents, and sent her back to Guatemala rather than allowing her to join her parents, who awaited her arrival in New York.

On June 8, 2015, the American Immigration Council filed a class action lawsuit against DHS officials challenging conditions in Border Patrol holding cells. The complaint alleges that the detention conditions violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The challenged conditions include overcrowding, extreme cold, unsanitary conditions, denial of sleep, lack of medical screening and care, and deprivation of food and water.

On May 26, 2015, the American Immigration Council filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for unlawfully delaying the adjudication of their applications for employment authorization.

On March 19, 2015, the American Immigration Council released a new practice advisory entitled Prosecutorial Discretion Requests Under the Johnson Enforcement Priorities MemorandumIn addition, an updated practice advisory entitled Prosecutorial Discretion: How to Advocate for Your Client was released, which provides an overview of prosecutorial discretion in the immigration context. 

On Feburary 2, 2015, the American Immigration Council released a new issue of its docket, highlighting the Council’s availability to co-counsel federal court actions challenging USCIS denials of H-1B, L-1A and L-1B petitions. The issue also describes our ongoing work to preserve federal court jurisdiction over visa petition revocation procedures, establish the right to appointed counsel for children in removal proceedings, defend against legal challenges to deferred action, and establish that a grant of TPS benefits constitutes an admission for adjustment of status purposes.

On January 26, 2015, the American Immigration Council released an update to the Motions to Suppress in Removal Proceedings: A General Overview Practice Advisory. This document provides a general overview of motions to suppress, a tool used to prevent the introduction of evidence obtained by federal immigration officers in violation of the Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, and related provisions of federal law.

On January 21, 2015, The Council and the National Immigration Project filed an amicus brief arguing that the district court had jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s tort claims in Rivas Martinez v. United States, No. 14-56041.

On January 8, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a precedent decision that will allow a greater number of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to avoid deportation if they can demonstrate to an immigration judge that their removal will result in extreme hardship to close family members in the United States. The American Immigration Council (Immigration Council) filed an amicus brief in the case with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). 

On December 29, 2014, the American Immigration Council joined the legal effort to defend President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration by filing an amicus “friend of the court” brief in the case State of Texas vs. United States.

On November 25, 2014, A Guide to the Immigration Accountability Executive Action was released by the American Immigraiton Council. This report provides a comprehensive overview of key parts of President Obama's executive action on immigration.

On November 20, 2014, the American Immigration Council joined a coalition of immigrant rights groups to develop the Administrative Relief Resource Center website. This resource prepares individuals for administrative relief, provides information on finding legal assistance and community education resource, and ways you can help immigrants and immigrant-serving organizations.

On November 4, 2014, the American Immigration Council released a new issue of its docket, highlighting our ongoing litigation to establish a right to appointed counsel for children in immigration proceedings, as well as fair procedures for Central American families detained in Artesia, New Mexico. This issue also discusses our work to promote fundamental fairness in PERM adjudications, hold immigration agencies accountable for misconduct, and ensure paths to legal status for eligible immigrants.

On October 21, 2014, the American Immigration Council, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and co-counsel, the National Immigration Law Center and Jenner & Block, LLP., filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act to compel the release of government documents regarding the expedited removal process against families with children, including those detained by DHS in Artesia, New Mexico. 

On September 19, 2014, the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) filed an amicus curiae brief in Simply Soup Ltd. d/b/a NY Soup Exchange, ETA Case No. A-08322-06241, 2012-PER-00940, urging the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals to reaffirm that due process and fundamental fairness are essential components of the PERM adjudication process.

On August 27, 2014, with hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients preparing to seek DACA renewal, and with many more potentially eligible individuals who have yet to step forward, American Immigration Council announced the release of one new and one updated Practice Advisory designed to benefit lawyers representing undocumented youth. 

On August 22, 2014, the American Immigration Council, American Civil Liberties Union National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and National Immigration Law Center sued the federal government to challenge its policies denying a fair deportation process to mothers and children who have fled extreme violence, death threats, rape, and persecution in Central America and come to the United States seeking safety.

On July 21, 2014, the District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a final approval of the settlement agreement in Duran Gonzalez, a Ninth Circuit-wide class action lawsuit regarding eligibility for adjustment of status under INA § 245(i).  Read the Settlement Agreement and our Q&A for a full explanation of who qualifies as a class member and what steps class members must take in order to seek relief.

On July 9, 2014, the American Immigration Council and co-counsel, the American Civil Liberties Union, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Public Counsel, and K&L Gates LLP, filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit on behalf of thousands of children who are challenging the federal government's failure to provide legal representation as it carries out deportation hearings against them.

On June 30, 2014, the American Immigration Council, in collaboration with the ABA Commission on Immigration and Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights, issued Notices to Appear: Legal Challenges and Strategies, a practice advisory that provides strategies for attorneys to cancel, mitigate, or challenge the contents of an NTA.

On June 17, 2014, the American Immigration Council released a new issue of its docket. Among other topics, this issue discusses our litigation involving eligibility for 212(h) waivers; adjustment of status for individuals granted TPS, but who entered without admission; and whether Border Patrol Agents can be liable for damages for Fourth Amendment violations.

On May 19, 2014, the American Immigration Council, in collaboration with AILA, filed an amicus brief in the Eighth Circuit urging the court to grant a petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc and join the six other courts of appeals which interpret the hardship waiver in INA § 212(h) broadly.  Read more about the Council’s work on this issue here.

On March 26, 2014, the American Immigration Council, in collaboration with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties launched HoldCBPAccountable.org, a website that catalogues lawsuits and administrative complaints brought against U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Read More...

On March 14, 2014, the plaintiffs and the government submitted a proposed settlement agreement to the court in the Duran Gonzalez class action. Read our announcement about the case, the proposed settlement and next steps.

On March 6, 2014, the American Immigration Council and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project filed an amicus curiae brief urging the court to find that noncitizens granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence, even if they originally entered the United States without being admitted or paroled.

On March 5, 2014, the court issued an opinion in our FOIA suit against ICE, finding that ICE has not demonstrated that it conducted an adequate search for records regarding its policies on access to counsel. Read more about this litigation and other related access to counsel FOIA requests here.

On February 18, 2014, the American Immigration Council, AILA, and other stakeholders submitted comments in response to DHS’s proposed new DACA application form and instructions.

On February 5, 2014, the LAC released an updated practice advisory, Employment Authorization and Asylum: Strategies to Avoid Stopping the Asylum Clock, to reflect extensive changes to EOIR and USCIS policies pursuant to the settlement agreement of the nationwide class action, ABT. v. USCIS, which challenged policies related to employment authorization for asylum applicants.

Along with co-counsel, the LAC also issued an update of Frequently Asked Questions About the Asylum Clock Class Action Lawsuit to answer questions about the benefits provided under the settlement agreement.

Practice Advisories

Prosecutorial Discretion: How to Advocate for Your Client

Prosecutorial Discretion Requests Under the Johnson Enforcement Priorities Memorandum

Motions to Suppress in Removal Proceedings: A General Overview

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Screening Potential DACA Requestors for Other Forms of Relief

Notices to Appear

Requesting Attorneys' Fees Under the Equal Access to Justice Act

Employment Authorization and Asylum: Strategies to Avoid Stopping the Asylum Clock

Seeking a Judicial Stay of Removal in the Court of Appeals

Motions to Suppress in Removal Proceedings:  Fighting Back Against Unlawful Conduct by U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Advance Parole for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Recipients

Motions to Suppress in Removal Proceedings: Cracking Down on Fourth Amendment Violations by State and Local Law Enforcement Officers

Immigration Benefits and Pitfalls for LGBT Families in a Post-DOMA World

The Child Status Protection Act

Immigration Lawsuits and the APA: The Basics of a District Court Action

Moncrieffe v. Holder: Implications for Drug Charges and Other Issues Involving the Categorical Approach

Reinstatement of Removal

The Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine: FOIA and Petitions for Review

Motions to Suppress in Removal Proceedings: A General Overview

“Brief, Casual and Innocent” Absences from the United States

Inspection and Entry at a Port of Entry: Where is There an Admission?

Return to the United States After Prevailing on a Petition for Review or Motion to Reopen or Reconsider

Challenging Matter of E-R-M-F- & A-S-M-: Warrantless Arrests and the Timing of Right to Counsel Advisals

Dent v. Holder and Obtaining Documents from the Government While in Removal Proceedings