NIPNLG Files Public Records Request to Expose Civil Rights Violations in ICE Program, "Operation Border Guardian"
April 26, 2016 - NIPNLG filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on Operation Border Guardian, an Immigration and Customs (ICE) enforcement and detention program targeting Central American teenagers for deportation since January 2016. Since January, there has been widespread public attention and Congressional concern regarding the devastating impact of "Operation Border Guardian" on communities, families and schools particularly in North Carolina and Georgia. Read the press release »
NIPNLG Honors Debbie Smith at Annual Member Reception
April 21, 2016 - Each year at the annual AILA convention (American Immigration Lawyers Association) NIPNLG recognizes a member of our community who has made outstanding contributions to the cause of immigrant justice. We are proud to announce our 2016 honoree on the occasion of NIPNLG's 45th Anniverary Year, Debbie Smith. More »
Nearly 100 South Asians Deported
April 6, 2016 - NIPNLG is helping detainees file pro se prosecutorial discretion requests with some limited success. We’re pushing for others to be released as well. As Fahd Ahmed of DRUM says in this article (which also quotes Assoc Dir Paromita Shah): “The Obama administration just deported nearly 100 South Asian detainees who crossed three continents seeking safety in the US.” Read the full article on alternet »
As NC Teen Wildin Acosta Awaits Imminent Deportation, Community Announces Week of Actions Demanding Immediate Release
For months, North Carolina families, teachers, students, and civil, labor and faith organizations have been fighting the detention and deportation of NC teenagers such as the imminent deportation of Wildin Acosta. While ICE Director Sarah Saldaña granted Wildin a stay of one more day to file his appeal, Wildin remains detained in Georgia and could be deported as early as tomorrow. Read the press release »
Administrative Complaint – Extreme Temperatures in CBP Short Term Detention Facilities
February 2, 2016 - NIPNLG, in collaboration with Programa de Defensa e Incidencia Binacional and the ACLU of New Mexico, filed an administrative complaint on behalf of persons held by CBP in short-term detention facilities where they are exposed to extreme temperatures. The administrative complaint also challenges the agency standards addressing temperature controls in short-term facilities, but asserts that the agency fails to abide even by these standards. Download the complaint » [PDF]
Ongoing Litigation against CBP
Check out some of the ongoing litigation efforts against CBP and get inspired to bring your own challenge at www.HoldCBPAccountable.org, a joint project of NIPNLG, the American Civil Liberties Union, American Immigration Council, and the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project.
Creative Strategies in Immigration Court Defense and Litigation
NIPNLG and the Immigration Clinic at University of Miami School of Law present Creative Strategies in Immigration Court Defense and Litigation, a one-day Continuing Legal Education skill-building seminar on April 29, 2016. Please join us and learn from national experts at this day-long seminar.
Assoc. Dir. Paromita Shah Speaks out against Raids in the Washington Post
January 18, 2016 – “When President Obama stood up for the [Syrian] refugee program and stood up against the blanket racism directed at anyone who appeared to be Middle Eastern or Muslim, I think people were happy,” said Paromita Shah, associate director of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild. “But they can’t square it with what he is doing now....”
Law Students! Magio Fellowship Deadline is Approaching
You have Rights! Know Your Rights!
Barbara Hines on Democracy Now!
January 8, 2015 - Check out NIPNLG board member Barbara Hines on Democracy Now! speaking out against raids in Dilley, Texas, as well as flawed immigration policy overall. Speak!
Report Suspicious ICE Activity: NIPNLG Joins United We Dream Hotline
We urge you to call (844) 363-1423 or text WATCHICE to 877877. Share the information to protect your community from detention and deportation!
Every year at this time I try to savor the hard-won victories and learn from the setbacks, in order to make the National Immigration Project/NLG better able to respond to the enormous challenges facing our communities in the year ahead.
Gang or No Gang, Many Immigrants Legally Stymied by Injunctions
"A lot of different people can be in an area covered by a gang injunction,” said Paromita Shah, associate director of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild in Washington, D.C. “A gang injunction is meant to bar conduct in an area so that people suspected of being gang members do not talk to one another. It could be based on age or whether they’re driving in the same car.”
October 27, 2015 – In response to the victory we had a couple of weeks ago in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, many are wondering what the future of this decision will hold for us. Read the article to see what Sejal and others had to say »
October 19, 2015 – In a victory in the fight for due process and fair notice, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that 18 U.S.C. 16(b)—used to deport immigrants for an aggravated felony crime of violence and crime of domestic violence—is unconstitutionally vague. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had found that a similar crime of violence definition used to enhance federal criminal sentences is unconstitutionally vague.
United States v. Johnson, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015). In Johnson, the Court interpreted the so-called “residual clause” of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), and it reasoned that the statute did not give people fair notice of the conduct prohibited and invited arbitrary enforcement.
In a 2-1 opinion, the Ninth Circuit held that § 16(b) suffers from the same indeterminacy. Because 16(b) employs the same unpredictable mode of analysis as the ACCA, the Court found that it too violates due process. This means the government will no longer be able to use this immigration ground against noncitizens for any purpose in the Ninth Circuit. The decision will help countless immigrants.
The case was argued by Andrew Knapp for petitioner and Sejal Zota of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild for amicus.
September 17, 2015 - In a victory in the fight for government transparency and accountability, District Court Judge Donato denied CBP’s motion to dismiss in a strongly worded decision. The Court recognized that “CBP’s records are critical to noncitizens and their attorneys in evaluating immigration options and the possibility of remaining legally in the United States.”
He then roundly rejected the government’s claim that CBP’s failure to meet the statutory deadlines is not actionable, finding this argument “wholly at odds with the statute and cases” and that CBP’s reading of the relevant cases “could not be less persuasive.”
The Court concluded that Plaintiffs adequately alleged a FOIA violation and ordered CBP to file an answer within ten days. Oral arguments on the Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification took place on October 7, 2015.
The Court ordered a six-month discovery period to permit the collection of evidence regarding CBP’s pattern and practice of delays in responding to FOIA requests. Co-counsel are the Law Offices of Stacy Tolchin, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the American Immigration Council and Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.
Defending the Rights of Immigrants - Remarks by Kathy Moccio, NIPNLG 2015 Member Honoree
June 19, 2015 - National Harbor, MD - NIPNLG 2015 Member Honoree, Kathy Moccio, presented remarks during the reception in her honor, as she was presented with her recognition at our annual Member Reception at the annual AILA convention. Moccio noted that the full potential of the Padilla decision is inextricably tied to the strength of the nation's public defense:
A crisis in criminal law that isn’t often talked about is the state of public defense. While we must advocate against the melding of the criminal and immigration systems, we must also realize that as long as crim-imm is in place, public defenders will be the front line of defense against a non-citizen’s removal from the U.S. The power of Padilla is inherently tied to the strength of public defense.
Trina Realmuto to be Honored with Jack Wasserman Award
May 27, 2015 - Boston, MA - NIPNLG's Litigation Director Trina Realmuto has been named this year's recipient of the prestigious Jack Wasserman memorial award for excellence in litigation in the field of immigration law, by the American Immigration Lawyers Association/AILA (aka "Litigator of the Year"). The award ceremony was held on Sat. June 20, 2015 at the annual AILA convention at the Gaylord Convention Center in National Harbor, MD.
NIPNLG Represents Man Held Illegally on Immigration Detainer
May 8, 2015 - Springfield, MA - A man held illegally on an immigration detainer is seeking monetary damages over his detention. After an argument at a New Year’s Eve party, a federal immigration dragnet landed Jorge Sanchez in jail for weeks, on a direct path to deportation. NIPNLG and the ACLU are representing Mr. Sanchez.
Kathy Moccio Honored on June 19, 2015 at Annual NIPNLG Member Reception during Annual AILA Convention
May 4 , 2015 - The National Immigration Project announces that it will honor Kathy Moccio at its annual member reception during the annual AILA convention (American Immigration Lawyers Association) in National Harbor, MD.
NIPNLG Annual Member Reception & Recognition Honoring Kathy Moccio
Friday, June 19, 2015
Room Chesapeake E-F
Gaylord Convention Center
National Harbor, MD
Kathy Moccio is a Minnesota-based public defender working with noncitizen clients on the immigration issues inherent to their case. She teaches immigration law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, and has served as a consultant to the Urban Institute in its publication of Facing Our Future–Children in the Aftermath of Immigration Enforcement. Board member Maria Baldini-Potermin offered this statement: "Kathy is a great and giving person who devotes countless hours and energy to unaccompanied minors, refugees, and asylum applicants in Minnesota. Deeply caring and dedicated, Kathy also gives of her time and effort to teach and mentor law students and attorneys from all walks of life about immigration law, particularly the immigration consequences of criminal dispositions."
Please Help Us Recognize this Tireless Member
Place a Congratulatory Message in the Commemorative Program Book
Rates are as follows:
- Full-page ad (5 x 8): $1,200
- Half page ad (5 x 3 ¾ ): $600
- 1/4 - page ad (3 ¾ x 2 ½ or 5 x 2): $400
- 1/8 - page ad (2 ½ x 2): $250
- Simple listing (no message): $150
Ads must be placed by June 3, 2015. There is no charge to attend the reception.
Please contact Pamela@nipnlg.org for further information.
Hold DHS Accountable for Fair Implementation of New Policies - New Report from NIPNLG and United We Dream
April 17, 2015 - Today, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and United We Dream released a scathing new report detailing instances in which ICE field offices ignored key provisions in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)'s Enforcement Memo released in November, 2014. The Memo explicitly created 3 priority categories for deportation, and provides detailed guidance on how DHS agencies and its employees should exercise discretion for individuals facing deportation or detention.
Prosecutorial Discretion Denied paints a harrowing picture of the ways in which local ICE field offices over the past 4 months have routinely ignored, denied, overlooked, or mishandled legitimate requests and evidence from immigrants seeking prosecutorial discretion in the review of their cases. The result has been the continued shredding of the social fabric of immigrant and mixed-status communities and families throughout the United States.
The report is a call to DHS to change course immediately. "Without an unconditional commitment to [making] improvements, it is difficult to see how the new prosecutorial discretion policies differ from the old failed ones."
NIPNLG Co-files Lawsuit Challenging Failure of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to Release Agency Files
March 13, 2015 - Yesterday, a class action lawsuit was filed by three immigration attorneys and eleven noncitizens challenging U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) nationwide practice of failing to timely respond to requests for case information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). FOIA gives an individual the right to access information that the federal government possesses about him or her within 20 business days of making the request. CBP routinely fails to provide requested documents within 20 days, but instead takes months—and in many cases more than a year—to provide documents.
Plaintiffs and others like them are forced to delay filing applications for lawful permanent residence while they wait for necessary documents from their own case files. By bringing this case as a class action, the plaintiffs seek to remedy CBP’s system-wide failures in its management of FOIA requests. The case was filed by the Law Offices of Stacy Tolchin (NIPNLG Board chair), Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, NIPNLG, and the American Immigration Council.