VBN Immigration News Update

Van Der Hout, Brigagliano, Nightingale's Immigration News Update is our e-newsletter, mailed out approximately six times a year, with recent immigration-related news and information. You can subscribe to the newsletter or view past issues below.

Latest News

  • PRESS RELEASE - Seattle Judge's Order Means 12-year-old Yemeni Girl Eman Ali Finally En Route to Los Banos, California to Reunite with Her Family

    Read the full Press Release HERE
  • The Immigrant Legal Resource Center has created flyers in English, Spanish, and Chinese with important for everyone to know about their rights if approached by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent and how families can best prepare for such situations. The flyer provides practical tips about what immigrant families can do now to prepare and information about the rights of all people in the United States, regardless of their immigration status. View Flyers Here.
  • Statement from Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP Regarding the 2016 Election

    The results of the November 8, 2016 U.S. presidential election gave us news that most of us did not expect and many of our clients feared: after one of the most divisive campaigns in modern history that included anti-immigrant, racist, and extremely restrictionist policy proposals, Donald Trump has won the election and will become the 45th president of the United States.

    Many of us have questions about what may come next. We are concerned about our clients, and are actively tracking all legal developments and updating the legal strategy for our clients' cases. These of course include: DACA recipients whose hopes for a life with legal status for themselves and their families in the United States may be in question; relatives who fear their family members may be removed or forever barred from coming to the U.S.; business leaders who are less confident that America's immigration system will support economic growth; and employees on work visas who fear losing all they have built in the United States.

    Van Der Hout, Brigagliano and Nightingale has stood alongside our clients for over 35 years, helping them realize the American dream. We are their advocates and their voice, helping them through the tough times. We have been here before: in 1996 and the years that followed, when the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act wreaked havoc on our nation with severe penalties that had retroactive effect, and jurisdiction stripping provisions that severely curtailed federal court review; and in the dark days after September 11, when we found ourselves up against unexplained adjudication delays, detention without due process, and trials based on secret evidence. Through it all, our dedicated staff of attorneys, paralegals and case workers has worked tirelessly to secure fairness and justice for those in immigration proceedings of every kind. And this time is no different. We will continue to fight for a just and fair system using every tool at our disposal.

    It is important to remember, as we look forward to an uncertain future, that we have invaluable and unlimited resources at our disposal: the talents, ingenuity, passion, legal acumen, and persistence of our staff and professional colleagues. Looking forward, we will continue to support our clients, friends, and one another as we always have, by coming together for inspiration, and to take every opportunity that we can find to advocate for fair and just treatment for immigrants. Together we will carry this message of unity and perseverance to the immigration agencies, to Congress, and to the courts.

    We welcome the opportunity to discuss and strategize about an individual case, for existing clients and any new potential clients. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our staff to request an appointment. Meanwhile, we continue our fight for justice for immigrants.
  • Check out VBN's own Valerie Anne Zukin talking about the recent ICE raids (and dispelling misinformation). Great discussion! It starts around 19:20 on the recording HERE.
  • Van Der Hout, Brigagliano, & Nightingale victory at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for client seeking protection under the Convention Against Torture

    Iyabo Williams sought to reopen her deportation case because she faced deportation to Nigeria, where she is in grave danger, particularly due to recent threats. The Board of Immigration Appeals denied her motion to reopen and, in doing so, ignored evidence that she presented and did not apply controlling law. Van Der Hout, Brigagliano, & Nightingale appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit. On November 10, 2015, the Ninth Circuit reversed the Board of Immigration Appeals for acting contrary to the law and abusing its discretion in denying her motion to reopen. Williams v. Lynch, No. 12-71571, 2015 WL 6912684 (9th Cir. Nov. 10, 2015), available at link to decision. Immigration attorney Valerie Anne Zukin's Oral Argument before Ninth Circuit Judges Richard A. Paez, Mary H. Murguia and Andrew D. Hurwitz on 10/22/2015 is available for viewing: video.

  • Immigration Attorney Offers Answers to Deportation Policies

    Immigration attorney Marc Van Der Hout came to San Quentin to talk about immigration policy. For once he wasn't venturing into prison on behalf of a client. Since 1996 there are groups trying to 'fix '96,' the immigration reform that (President Bill) Clinton would not veto," Van Der Hout told inmates at San Quentin in May. "Before 1996, you could usually get discretionary relief." See pages 1 & 4 to read more.

  • Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP co-counsels in class action lawsuit against USCIS seeking redress for delays in issuing employment authorization documents

    Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP is serving as co-counsel in a class action lawsuit challenging USCIS's failure to issue interim employment authorization when the agency does not adjudicate applications for employment authorization documents (EADs) within the regulatory timetable. VBN joined the American Immigration Council, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), and Gibbs Houston Pauw, Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. in filing the lawsuit on May 22, 2015. The American Immigration Council's press release and the complaint can be accessed HERE.

  • Supreme Court issues decision in Mellouli v. Holder, holds that drug paraphernalia offense does not render petitioner removable

    The Supreme court preserves the rule that drug offenses including possession of paraphernalia must have a match to a federal controlled substance in order to constitute a removable offense under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 237(a)(2)(B)(i). For opinion analysis and the text of the opinion, visit the SCOTUSBlog page

    Texas judge enjoins President Obama's Executive Actions

    In a political maneuver, a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas, ordered a halt to President Obama's executive actions on immigration, siding with Texas and 25 other states that filed a lawsuit opposing initiatives that would offer protection from deportation (and work permits) to as many as five million undocumented immigrants. Judge Andrew Hansen has been a harsh critic of the Obama administration and its immigration policies. The judge did not rule on the legality of the immigration plans but said there was sufficient merit to the challenge to warrant issuing an injunction while the case moves forward.

    The injunction immediately delays the expansion of the DACA program, which was slated to begin on February 18. The U.S. Justice Department filed an emergency stay to block the decision and allow immigrants to apply for benefits granted under President Obama's executive actions. Presently, the injunction remains in effect and USCIS will not accept applications for the expanded DACA program.

  • Federal Court stops mass detention of asylum seekers as tactic to deter future migration

    Federal Judge James Boasburg issued a preliminary injunction against the Obama administration's policy of incarcerating women and children asylum-seekers to deter future migrants from coming to the United States. The named plaintiffs and other members of the class are mothers and their minor children who fled violence and persecution in Central America. Each plaintiff was referred to expedited removal proceedings, where they demonstrated a "credible fear" of persecution. Despite the plaintiffs' lack of criminal history and their family connections in the United States, each plaintiff was denied bond after an ICE custody hearing. Plaintiffs assert that DHS has been denying release of these families to prevent a "mass influx" that would harm national security.

    Judge Boasburg found that the Government's "general deterrence" justification for detention of asylum-seekers was likely impermissible and that the strategy itself was likely ineffective. On the impact of the ruling, Judgy Rabinovitz of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project said: "This ruling means that the government cannot continue to lock up families without an individualized determination that they pose a danger or flight risk that requires their detention."

  • Texas Judge Delays Implementation of Obama's Immigration Action

    In a political maneuver, a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas, ordered a halt to President Obama's executive actions on immigration, siding with Texas and 25 other states that filed a lawsuit opposing initiatives that would offer protection from deportation (and work permits) to as many as five million undocumented immigrants. Judge Andrew Hansen has been a harsh critic of the Obama administration and its immigration policies. The judge did not rule on the legality of the immigration plans but said there was sufficient merit to the challenge to warrant issuing an injunction while the case moves forward.

    The injunction immediately delays the expansion of the DACA program, which was slated to begin on February 18. The U.S. Justice Department will seek an emergency stay to block the decision and allow immigrants to apply for benefits granted under President Obama's executive actions.
  • How the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Mandate affects Non-Citizens

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) generally requires people living in the United States to obtain health insurance or face a tax penalty. This fact sheet from the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) describes how the new requirements affect non-citizens who may not be eligible for health insurance coverage under the ACA. With tax season around the corner, this guide helps non-citizens accurately fill out information on their tax forms related to health insurance. If you have any questions about your individual case, we recommend that you speak with an attorney.
  • Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP founding partner Marc Van Der Hout on KQED's Forum

    On November 21, 2014, VBN founding partner Marc Van De Hout appeared on KQED's Forum to discuss President Obama's executive action on immigration. Tune in to hear him discuss how the plan will provide protection from deportation for up to 5 million immigrants, reduce family separation for those waiting to obtain residency, and ensure that individuals who receive protection are able to travel to their countries of origin.

    Listen here: http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201411210900

  • CA Driver licenses available to all resident regardless of immigration status starting January 1st

    The Department of Motor Vehicles has now issued emergency regulations to implement AB60, the new California law requiring the Department to issue driver's licenses to undocumented residents. Starting January 1, 2015, all California residents will be able to apply for a driver license regardless of immigration status. Under the regulations, those who are unable to provide proof of legal presence during the application process will be given an AB60 driver license. The AB60 licenses will be marked "federal limits apply" to make clear that they may not be used as proof of identify for any federal purpose (such as boarding a plane). Applicants will still need to present proof of identity and California residency to qualify.

    If you believe you may qualify for an AB60 driver license, we encourage you to speak with an attorney before applying to discuss the possible risks and benefits.

    More information on the application process and the regulations are available at the DMV website: http://apps.dmv.ca.gov/ab60/index.html

  • Children at the Gates: Federal circuits follow the Ninth in granting asylum to unaccompanied minors

    In 2013 U.S. government agents at the Mexico border apprehended 35,000 unaccompanied children - the vast majority from Central America. (Previously, the majority of unaccompanied children came from Mexico.) That number has nearly doubled so far this year. Zachary M. Nightingale, an immigration attorney with Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP in San Francisco, says the government is prejudging or misjudging children at the border, routinely denying claims they are targeted by gangs. "I've had an expert testify that in El Salvador, gangs are now running people for political office," he adds. Read more...

  • San Francisco Sheriff's Department Issues New Enforcement Procedures for No ICE Holds Policy

    On September 8, 2014, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi issued Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Procedures prohibiting all Sheriff's Department personnel from honoring ICE detainer requests. The directive implements San Francisco's Due Process For All Ordinance, passed by the Board of Supervisors on October 1, 2013. That ordinance prohibited law enforcement from honoring ICE detainer requests unless an individual has a prior conviction for murder, sexual assault, trafficking, or assault with a deadly weapon. Read more...

  • San Francisco to Provide $2.1 million to Fund Legal Aid for Immigrant Families and Children

    On September 16, 2014 the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved $2.1 million to fund legal services for immigrant families and children who fled Central America and face deportation in the United States. The money will be given to non-profit organizations to provide additional attorneys to represent these individuals before the immigration court. Read more...

  • Groups Sue U.S. Government over Life-Threatening Deportation Process Against Mothers and Children Escaping Extreme Violence in Central America

      August 22, 2014


      Inga Sarda-Sorensen, American Civil Liberties Union, 212-549-2666, [email protected]

      Wendy Feliz, American Immigration Council, 202-507-7524, [email protected]

      Adela de la Torre, National Immigration Law Center, 213-400-7822, [email protected]

      Paromita Shah, National Immigration Project/NLG, 202-271-2286, [email protected]

      WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union, American Immigration Council, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and National Immigration Law Center today 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.

      The groups filed the case on behalf of mothers and children locked up at an isolated detention center in Artesia, New Mexico — hours from the nearest major metropolitan area. The complaint charges the Obama administration with enacting a new strong-arm policy to ensure rapid deportations by holding these mothers and their children to a nearly insurmountable and erroneous standard to prove their asylum claims, and by placing countless hurdles in front of them.

      "These mothers and their children have sought refuge in the United States after fleeing for their lives from threats of death and violence in their home countries," said Cecillia Wang, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project. "U.S. law guarantees them a fair opportunity to seek asylum. Yet, the government's policy violates that basic law and core American values — we do not send people who are seeking asylum back into harm's way. We should not sacrifice fairness for speed in life-or-death situations."

      According to the complaint, the Obama administration is violating long-established constitutional and statutory law by enacting policies that have:

      • Categorically prejudged asylum cases with a "detain-and-deport" policy, regardless of individual circumstances.

      • Drastically restricted communication with the outside world for the women and children held at the remote detention center, including communication with attorneys. If women got to make phone calls at all, they were cut off after three minutes when consulting with their attorneys. This makes it impossible to prepare for a hearing or get legal help.

      • Given virtually no notice to detainees of critically important interviews used to determine the outcome of asylum requests. Mothers have no time to prepare, are rushed through their interviews, are cut off by officials throughout the process, and are forced to answer traumatic questions, including detailing instances of rape, while their children are listening.

      • Led to the intimidation and coercion of the women and children by immigration officers, including being screamed at for wanting to see a lawyer.

      "Fast-tracking the deportations of women and children from immigration detention is an assault on due process. There is no way that justice can be served when so many people are being rushed through the system without any real opportunity to assert claims for relief. What we are seeing in Artesia is nothing less than a sham process that values expediency over justice," said Melissa Crow, legal director of the American Immigration Council.

      The plaintiffs include:

      • A Honduran mother who fled repeated death threats in her home country to seek asylum in the United States with her two young children. The children's father was killed by a violent gang that then sent the mother and her children continuous death threats. When she went to the police they told her that they could not do anything to help her. It is common knowledge where she lived that the police are afraid of the gang and will do nothing to stop it.

      • A mother who fled El Salvador with her two children because of threats by the gang that controls the area where they lived. The gang stalked her 12-year-old child every time he left the house and threatened kidnapping. She fears that if the family returns to El Salvador, the gang will kill her son. Some police officers are known to be corrupt and influenced by gangs. The mother says she knows of people who have been killed by gang members after reporting them to police.

      • A mother who fled El Salvador with her 10-month old son after rival gangs threatened to kill her and her baby. One gang tried to force the mother to become an informant on the activities of another gang, and when she refused, told her she had 48 hours to leave or be killed.

      "The women and children detained in Artesia have endured brutal murders of loved ones, rapes, death threats, and similar atrocities that no mother or child ever should have to endure, and our government is herding them through the asylum process like cattle," said Trina Realmuto, an attorney at the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild. "The deportation-mill in Artesia lacks even the most basic protections, like notice and the opportunity to be heard, that form the cornerstone of due process in this country."

      The lawsuit, M.S.P.C. v. Johnson, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Co-counsel in this case includes the law firms of Jenner & Block, and Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP; and the ACLU of New Mexico, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, and ACLU of the Nation's Capital.

      "Any mother will do whatever it takes to make sure her children are safe from harm's way," said Karen Tumlin, managing attorney for the National Immigration Law Center. "Our plaintiffs are no different: they have fled their homes to protect their children, only to find that the U.S. deportation system is intent upon placing them back in the dangerous situations they left. We are filing this lawsuit today to ensure that each mother is able to have her fair day in court, and that we are not sending children and their mothers back to violence or their deaths."

      The complaint is available HERE.

      More information about this case is available at: https://www.aclu.org/immigrants-rights/mspc-v-johnson

    • Alameda and Contra Costa County sheriffs announced today they won't honor any ICE detainer requests

      Joining a national trend of resisting the Obama administration's deportation dragnet, the sheriffs of Alameda and Contra Costa counties said they are immediately releasing all inmates whose sole reason for being held is their immigration status.

      Read More

    • New California law will allow undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses

      On October 3, 2013, Governor Brown signed into law a bill authorizing the state to provide drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2015 unless the state determines it can begin issuing the licenses sooner. The licenses will allow immigrants to legally operate a vehicle and obtain insurance regardless of immigration status. To comply with federal law, the licenses will contain a notice that the cards are not valid for official federal purposes, which has raised concerns they will lead to profiling or targeting of immigrants.

      Governor Brown also signed several other immigration bills into law, including a bill that will prohibit California law enforcement from detaining most individuals on the basis of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold. A full list of the immigration-related legislation signed into law is available here: http://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=18253

    • California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights Passes Legislature

      On September 12, the California Assembly passed the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, AB241, which would make California the first state in the nation to mandate that home-based workers receive overtime pay after working more than 9 hours in a day or 45 hours in a week. The bill was previously approved by the Senate, and now awaits Governor Browns signature. The bill will have a huge impact on female immigrant workers: over two-thirds of Californias domestic workers are Latina. The bills passage was the result of a statewide organizing and advocacy efforts by groups including Mujeres Unidas y Activa, a grassroots organization of Latina Immigrant women which VBN is proud to support.


    • Boxer, Feinstein: Immigration bill 'the right thing for California'

    • Illegal

      While the word "illegal" has been wrongfully used to hurt and target undocumented immigrants, eroding one group's humanity hurts us all. But by taking on this word, Romo sent us a message of pride - pride of place, San Francisco, and pride of person, Latino.

      - Ana Perez, SF Gate.

      Read more

    • The Department of Homeland Security Announces Guidance for Deferred Action Process for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

      On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") announced that certain young people who were brought to the United States as kids -- before their sixteenth birthday, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for employment authorization. The form to apply for this relief will be available on August 15, 2012. All persons who are not in immigration detention will submit their applications to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS"). Those persons in detention will submit their applications to Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"). Applications will be accepted starting on August 15, 2012, and the filing fee will be $465.

      Individuals seeking more information on the new policy and what is required to apply for this type of deferred action should visit USCIS's website :

    • USCIS Proposes Changes to I-601 Waiver Application Process

      In the April 2, 2012 Federal Register, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") published a proposed rule change that would streamline the application process for spouses and children of U.S. citizens who, under current law, must leave the U.S. in order to apply for permanent resident status (a "green card").

      In its current form, the proposed rule change would not benefit spouses and children of legal permanent residents. It would only affect spouses and children of U.S. citizens and would only be available to those immigrants whose sole need for a waiver is based on having been present in the U.S. without authorization. The current process requires that individuals depart the U.S. before applying for a waiver to return as a permanent resident. The proposed rule would allow qualifying individuals to apply for the necessary waiver before leaving the U.S. This "in-country processing" would permit USCIS to grant a provisional waiver, eliminating the often prolonged wait that many applicants currently face when they seek a waiver outside the U.S. Applicants would still be required to depart the U.S. before receiving final approval on their application, but pre-processing of the family unity waiver would significantly reduce time spent outside the U.S.

      The new proposal is not final yet. The may submit comments on the proposed rule change until June 1, 2012, after which it could take months or over a year for the final rule to be decided. Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP is considering the possible ramifications of these proposed changes for all of our current and potential clients who might be affected by the proposed revisions.

    • Obama Administration Files Suit Against Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio

      On May 10, 2012, the Department of Justice filed suit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff's Office alleging a pattern and practice of discriminatory behavior against Latinos. According to the complaint, officers under Arpaio's command targeted Latino drivers during traffic stops and neighborhood sweeps, and used ethnic slurs against Latino inmates with limited English proficiency in county jails. The suit, which was filed in federal court in Arizona, comes five months after the Department's Civil Rights Division issued a report based on an extensive investigation that contained similar findings.

    • Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Extended through September 9, 2013 for Salvadoran Nationals

    • First Half of California DREAM Act Passes

    • Supreme Court upholds Arizona law regarding unauthorized alien employment

    • Express Visa Process Comes with High Price Tag

    • Senators reaffirm support for the DREAM Act

      In a letter issued yesterday to President Obama, a diverse group of 22 Democratic Senators urged the Administration to grant relief to young people who are eligible for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The Senators stated that they "would support a grant of deferred action" and other measures to prevent the deportation of eligible DREAM students. The Senators also affirmed their support for the DREAM Act, which passed the House of Representatives last December. The bill received support from 55 Senators, yet failed to receive the 60 votes in the Senate necessary to overcome a Republican filibuster and become law.

      Copy of letter available here

    • On January 27, 2010, ICE- Enforcement and Removal Operations granted a 6 month stay of deportation to Mr. Edgar Roblero who is in the process of requesting that his case be reopened following the tragic death of his wife in Guatemala as his family made preparations to return. Information about the case can be found in the attached articles.
      Carrera contra el tiempo para detener deportación

      Man given six-month stay after asylum appeal denied

    • ICE Online Detainee Locator System

    • Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Salvadoran Nationals: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that the Department of Homeland Security will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of El Salvador. The TPS designation of El Salvador will now expire on March 9, 2012. The current TPS re-registration deadline for nationals of El Salvador is September 7, 2010. Employment authorization will be automatically extended for those who re-register through March 9, 2011.

    • Extension of Registration Period for Temporary Protected Status for Haitian Nationals: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that the Department of Homeland Security will extend the registration period for Temporary Protected Status for eligible nationals of Haiti. The registration period for nationals of Haiti that was initially from January 21, 2010 until July 20, 2010 is now extended through January 18, 2011. The TPS designation of Haiti will expire on July 22, 2011.

    • USCIS Reaches Milestone: 10,000 U Visas Approved in Fiscal Year: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on July 16, 2010 that it has approved 10,000 petitions for U nonimmigrant status (also referred to as the "U visa") in fiscal year 2010. The U visa affords immigration protection to victims of crime so that they are able to safely assist law enforcement in combating those crimes. This is the first time that USCIS has reached the statutory maximum of 10,000 U visas per fiscal year since it began issuing U visas in 2008. USCIS will resume issuing U visas on October 1, 2010. Until then, USCIS will continue to accept new petitions for U visas and will place conditionally approved petitioners on a waiting list. Conditionally approved petitioners and qualifying family members will be able to legally remain in the United States and request work authorization.

    • New Arizona Law, SB 1070, Targets Undocumented Immigrants

    • USCIS announced May 5, 2010, that DHS will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Nicaragua and Honduras. Under this extension, the current expiration date of Jul. 5, 2010 has been extended until Jan. 5, 2012. USCIS is also automatically extending the validity of existing employment authorization documents (EADs) held by both Honduran and Nicaraguan TPS beneficiaries for six months, through Jan. 5, 2011. Eligible TPS beneficiaries must timely re-register and apply for an EAD in order to be issued a new Employment Authorization Document.

    • Marc Van Der Hout speaks at Chapman University School of Law and University of California, Irvine, School of Law about his work on the infamous "LA 8" case. Please click here to see the flyer from the panel at Chapman.

    • New report shows that pending cases in Immigration Courts have reached an all time high of 228,421 matters in the first months of 2010. Thereport attributes the backlog to the failure of both the Bush and Obama administrations to fill the judge vacancies on the Immigration Courts.The report may be viewed at: http://trac.syr.edu/immigration/reports/225/. The website also provides an Immigration Court Caseload Tool, which provides information on case backlogs and waiting times in each state, court, and hearing location at http://trac.syr.edu/phptools/immigration/court_backlog/.

    • A House Divided (San Francisco Chronicle)

    • As deportation nears, Novato family draws national attention (marinij.com)

    • The Oakland City Council votes in favor of developing municipal identity cards for undocumented immigrants. Read more here.

    • Volunteer Immigration Program: Hope and Relief in a New Year

    • The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the validity (at least for now) of Arizona's employer sanctions law, which targets businesses that employ individuals without work authorization. Frustrated by Congress's failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform, states and cities across the country have enacted anti-immigrant laws and ordinances. While the power to regulate immigration is generally a federal power, this decision has opened the door for states and municipalities to address immigration issues on their own. These state and local laws often employ far harsher measures to address immigration and have far fewer protections against discrimination than Congress has enacted in federal law. In the Arizona case, the state law had not yet been enforced and the Ninth Circuit left open the possibility of revisiting the constitutionality of the law upon enforcement.
      Read the decision (PDF)

    • USCIS Announces 18-month Extension of TPS for Nationals of Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras

      U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to nationals of Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras. The extension will make those who have already been granted TPS eligible to reregister and maintain their status for an additional 18 months. For nationals of Nicaragua and Honduras, the extension is through July 5, 2010. TPS does not apply to Nicaraguan or Honduran nationals who entered the United States after Dec. 30, 1998.

      For nationals of El Salvador, the extension is through September 9, 2010. TPS does not apply to Salvadoran nationals who entered the United States after Feb. 13, 2001.

    • Northern California Super Lawyers 2008 magazine picks:
      Marc Van Der Hout named one of the top 100 lawyers and top immigration lawyers.
      Christine Brigagliano and Zachary Nightingale, both named top immigration lawyers.

    • Pair eager to leave their legal limbo
    • U.S. loses 20-year attempt to deport 2 immigrants
    • U.S. told to end effort to deport Palestinians

Other Publications:

Articles Published In the San Francisco Chronicle: