News & Commentary

IDP on Passage of Dream & Promise Act and Farm Workforce Modernization Act

Today the House passed the American Dream and Promise Act and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, bringing millions of immigrants who came to the US as kids, who are eligible for Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Enforced Departure, or who worked in agriculture, one step closer to permanent protection and access to life-sustaining resources, opportunities, and care. Yet this step … Read more »

We Must End the Normalization of Mass Criminalization

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kemi Bello ([email protected]) | Michael Velarde ([email protected]) We Must End the Normalization of Mass Criminalization Immigrant Justice Network responds to President Trump’s regressive immigration executive orders Statement by Alisa Wellek (Immigrant Defense Project),Angie Junck (Immigrant Legal Resource Center), and Paromita Shah (National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild) on behalf of the Immigrant Justice Network … Read more »

Media Roundup: ICE Raids & Blowback

News dropped last week that the Obama administration was planning a month-long “surge” of immigration raids targeting Central American mothers and children. The blowback was swift. Immigrant advocates and Democrats – including the presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders – came out against the raids, with Clinton saying she is “against large scale raids that tear families apart and sow fear … Read more »

Mizue Aizeki: No Matter the Target, Immigration Raids Are Inhumane (Huffington Post)

No Matter the Target, Immigration Raids Are Inhumane By Mizue Aizeki Deputy Director, Immigrant Defense Project Critics of the federal government’s latest wave of deportations—which started with predawn raids in early January and saw 121 Central American asylum seekers, many of them children and parents, grabbed from their homes by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents—correctly argue that such tactics are … Read more »

Mizue Aizeki: U.S. Immigrant-Detention Policy Is Not Justified (CQ Researcher)

This article was first published on October 23, 2015 at CQ Researcher. Is U.S. Immigrant-Detention Policy Justified? By Mizue Aizeki Deputy Director, Immigrant Defense Project Is it justifiable to imprison more than 400,000 people each year — including longtime green card holders, children and families, trafficking survivors and asylum seekers — for civil violations of immigration law? To lock them … Read more »

Andrew Wachtenheim: Judges Call for Curb on Immigration Detention, Administration Should Listen — and Act (Huffington Post)

This article was originally published at the Huffington Post, on November 13, 2015. Judges Call for Curb on Immigration Detention, Administration Should Listen — and Act By Andrew Wachtenheim, IDP Staff Attorney The federal court decision blocking the president’s executive actions on immigration wasn’t the only significant judicial intervention in immigration policy in recent days. In late October, another court found against … Read more »

Manny Vargas: New York Leads the Way on Immigrant Defense (Huffington Post)

This article was originally published at Huffington Post. New York Leads the Way on Immigrant Defense By Manny Vargas Immigrants in criminal proceedings in the U.S. face the very real threat of deportation depending on how their cases come out, so it’s imperative that they get effective legal representation. Last week, New York became the first state in the nation … Read more »

Alisa Wellek: Supreme Court Reins in Some Drug Deportations, But Deeper Reforms Needed (The Hill)

Supreme Court reins in some drug deportations, but deeper reforms needed June 05, 2015, 08:00 am By Alisa Wellek The United States Supreme Court ruled this week that the federal government went too far in seeking to deport immigrants for certain low-level drug-related offenses. Moones Mellouli, a legal permanent resident and math teacher originally from Tunisia, was deported after pleading guilty … Read more »

Attorney General Holder Vacates Matter of Silva-Trevino!

IDP applauds the April 10th Order of Attorney General Eric Holder vacating Matter of Silva-Trevino, 24 I&N Dec. 287 (AG 2008), a highly problematic decision that has led to the unjust deportation of many immigrants from the United States. This action by the sitting Attorney General is a tremendous step in the restoration of justice and due process to immigrants facing possible … Read more »

This Valentine’s Day, Celebrate Best Breakup Ever: ICE out of Rikers

For decades, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) used its office trailer on Rikers Island, one of the world’s largest jails, as a base for funneling thousands of New Yorkers into a mass detention and deportation machine that tears apart families and violates human rights. On Valentine’s Day, 2015, the Immigrant Defense Project celebrated the #bestbreakupever. February 14, 2015 was the first day that … Read more »

Alisa Wellek: Deportation for Possessing a Sock (Huffington Post)

The Supreme Court yesterday heard a case that reflects the tragic absurdity of both the War on Drugs and the mass deportation machine that relies on it: Moones Mellouli, a math teacher and lawful permanent resident has been forever separated from his family and home in the U.S. for possessing a sock. In Mellouli v. Holder, at issue is the … Read more »

New Bill Announced to End NYC Collaboration with ICE

For Immediate Release: Immigrants Rights Advocates, Legal Service Providers and Faith Leaders Applaud the Introduction of Bill to End NYC’s Collaboration with Unjust Deportation Machinery Bill would protect immigrant families, draw clear line between local and immigration law enforcement, and make the city safer New York – Leading immigrants rights organizations from across the city who have worked for years … Read more »

Summary of IDP 2014 Accomplishments

This year, we experienced the landmark of 2 million deportations in the past six years and the flat lining of Congressional efforts to enact comprehensive immigration reform. While these two facts are well known, the reality that an unprecedented number of families have been permanently separated as a result, depriving hundreds of thousands of American children the opportunity to be … Read more »

New York State Court of Appeals finds Padilla Not Retroactive

On June 30, 2014, in People v. Baret, the New York State Court of Appeals held that Padilla does not apply retroactively in N.Y. State, thereby elevating “sterile legal doctrine” over humanity and justice, according to Chief Judge Lippman. IDP has responded with an advisory detailing strategies to achieve post-conviction relief after Baret. Although this decision may insulate many unjust pre-Padilla convictions … Read more »

Court of Appeals to Hear Arguments on Padilla Retroactivity on May 1st

IDP filed an amici brief in People v. Baret, asserting that the New York criminal defense bar’s diligent response to the draconian immigration laws passed in 1996 supports Padilla retroactivity as a matter of state law. 440 litigants may find the brief useful for its compilation of resources – trainings, publications, hotline support – available to support defense attorneys in … Read more »

IDP’s Manny Vargas Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar

(left to right: Rick Jones, Manny Vargas, Jerry Cox, and Norman Reimer) On March 6, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) presented Manuel D. Vargas, senior counsel at the Immigrant Defense Project, with its Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented by NACDL President Jerry J. Cox at the opening of NACDL’s 2014 Midwinter Seminar & Meeting, which is devoted entirely to the … Read more »

IDP helps educate Supreme Court of risk to immigrant domestic violence survivors of overbroad reading of a federal criminal law provision

On December 23, 2013, the Immigrant Defense Project joined with other immigrant rights’ organizations in filing an amici curiae brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in U.S. v. Castleman. In that criminal case, the federal government is asking the Court to adopt a broad reading of the “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” predicate crime provision at issue that would include … Read more »

Groundbreaking Due Process Decision from the NY Court of Appeals

On November 19th, in People v. Peque, the highest court in NY held that due process requires that judges warn defendants of possible deportation as a result of felony guilty pleas. The due process analysis is wonderful, and worth a read. The problem with the decision is the Court’s articulation of a remedy, or lack thereof. The Court ordered a … Read more »

Litigation Updates

On the removal defense litigation front, IDP is using the momentum from recent Supreme Court victories in Moncrieffe and Descamps to support efforts to roll back overreaching court interpretations of the deportation laws. Together with the Stanford Law School Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and other allies, last month IDP filed an amici brief in Carrasco-Chavez v. Holder, urging the Fourth Circuit to abandon its misguided rule that prevents some immigrants … Read more »