Analysis & advisories  

CHRCL has prepared the materials and training manuals below to train advocates, community stakeholders, and legal services providers about the complex and ever-evolving landscape of law and policy impacting the communities they represent or serve.
2019

Representing Unaccompanied Minors, October 2019

There are many considerations when representing unaccompanied minors, from trauma-informed interview techniques, to awareness of multiple avenues of representation. This Practice Advisory provides practitioners with an overview and resources for representing unaccompanied minors. Available through this link.

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, October 2019

This practice advisory provides an overview of the statutory framework of obtaining Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and describe various state laws on SIJS. Available through this link.

Board of Immigration Appeals Roundup, September 2019

This practice advisory reviews recent Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and Attorney General decisions affecting various areas of immigration law. Available through this link.

Nielsen v. Preap, July 2019

This practice advisory reviews Nielsen v. Preap, a recent Supreme Court case that challenges the government’s sweeping interpretation of a 1996 mandatory detention law, which requires that certain people are detained for the duration of their deportation proceedings — without a hearing — because they have past criminal records. Available through this link.  

East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump, March 2019

This practice advisory reviews East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump, a 2018 nationwide preliminary injunction currently on appeal before the Ninth Circuit. Historically, eligibility for asylum regardless of where a person entered the United States is well-established in law, based on international human rights. Nonetheless, on November 19, 2018, a Presidential "Proclamation" issued in conjunction with a DHS “Rule” attempted to circumvent the clear language of this statute, seeking to limit asylum claims only to those who entered at a "port of entry," in direct contradiction to the plain language of the law. On that same day, advocates for asylum seekers filed a class action lawsuit challenging the Proclamation and Rule as contrary to statute, treaty, and exceeding the Executive’s authority. The District Court agreed, issuing a TRO, then a Preliminary Injunction, both of which are currently on appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Available through this link.  

DACA Litigation Update, March 2019

This practice advisory provides a summary of the current pending DACA litigation. It will provide the court where the litigation is filed and give an update on the cases current status. Available through this link.  

Pending TPS Litigation, March 2019

This practice advisory provides a summary of the current pending Temporary Protected Status litigation. It will provide the court where the litigation is filed, the parties, and give an overview of the arguments presented in each case. Available through this link.   

2018

TPS Legal Services Toolkit, December 2018

Part 1: Statutory Overview

This practice advisory reviews the legal framework of Temporary Protection Status (TPS), including relevant statutes, regulations, policy, and legislative history. It is part of a seven-part series focused on various aspects of TPS. Given the catastrophic situation several hundred thousand TPS recipients face with President Trump’s TPS terminations, it is important for lawyers, representatives and advocates to be familiar with the legal framework of the program. There will be individual and class claims in many forums about the legality of President Trump’s TPS terminations, and alternative remedies sought that may in some ways dovetail with TPS, including individual applications for deferred action status, suppression of TPS data in removal hearings, applications for asylum with the changed circumstance being the termination of TPS, etc. Making effective claims or new applications will require an understanding of the TPS law itself. Available through this link.

Part 2: Haiti: TPS Designation, Extension and Termination

This practice advisory reviews Haiti’s designation of TPS, each extension of Haiti’s TPS, the termination of Haiti’s TPS, and the current country conditions justifying extension of TPS. Available through this link.

Part 3 El Salvador: TPS Designation, Extension and Termination

This practice advisory reviews El Salvador’s designation of TPS, each extension of El Salvador’s TPS, the termination of El Salvador’s TPS, and the current country conditions justifying extension of TPS. Available through this link.

Part 4: Nicaragua: TPS Designation, Extension and Termination

This practice advisory reviews Nicaragua’s designation of TPS, each extension of Nicaragua’s TPS, the termination of Nicaragua’s TPS, and the current country conditions justifying extension of TPS. Available through this link.

Part 5: Honduras: TPS Designation, Extension and Termination

This practice advisory reviews Honduras’ designation of TPS, each extension of Honduras’ TPS, the termination of Honduras’ TPS, and the current country conditions justifying extension of TPS. Available through this link.

Part 6: Pending TPS Litigation

This practice advisory provides a summary of the current pending Temporary Protected Status litigation. It will provide the court where the litigation is filed, the parties, and give an overview of the arguments presented in each case. Available through this link.

Part 7: Looking Forward: Remedies for TPS Recipients

This practice advisory examines remedied and steps that Temporary Protected Status recipients may seek following the Administration’s termination of TPS. There will be an analysis of applying for adjustment of status, applying for individual deferred action, and applying for asylum. Available through this link.

Sessions v. Dimaya: Supreme Court Decision on Violent Crimes and Deportation, December 2018

This practice advisory reviews Sessions v. Dimaya, a recent Supreme Court case that held 18 U.S.C. §16(b), which defines a “crime of violence” in the Immigration and Nationality Act, is unconstitutionally vague. This has profound consequences for immigration law since previously an immigrant could be deported based on being convicted of a crime of violence. Now that the clause has been held as vague and unconstitutional, an immigrant can no longer be deported under this provision. This practice advisory will discuss the briefs and legal arguments leading up to the Supreme Court decision, as well as key parts of the SCOTUS decision. Available through this link.  

Flores v. Sessions: Allegations that the Government is Mediating Immigrant Children and Causing Unnecessary Delay in Their Release, August 2018

This practice advisory reviews Plaintiff’s 2018 Motion to Enforce in Flores v. Sessions, a motion alleging that the government is using medications to pacify detained immigrant children without any parental authorization. Available through this link.  

DACA Litigation Update, August 2018

This advisory reviews the current status of all the DACA litigation happening around the United States as of August 2018. Available through this link.  

Ms. L v. ICE, July 2018

This practice advisory reviews Ms. L v. U.S. Immigration and Enforcement, a federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking to reunite an asylum-seeking mother and her 7-year-old daughter fleeing violence in their home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This practice advisory will discuss the briefs, legal arguments, and Court Orders handed down by the Honorable Judge Sabraw. Available through this link.  

Flores v. Sessions: A Litigation Update, July 2018

This advisory reviews Flores v. Sessions, a nationwide class-action lawsuit the Center has been litigating since 1985. In 1997, the case was settled by what has become known as the Flores Settlement. In accordance with the Court’s June 2017 Order, Defendants filed their third Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Juvenile Coordinator reports. Plaintiffs submitted their reply brief analyzing these reports and offering evidence of non-compliance with the Flores Settlement. This practice advisory will discuss Defendants Third Juvenile Coordinator Reports and Plaintiffs Reply Brief. Available through this link.  

Representing Clients in Naturalization Proceedings Under the Trump Administration, Part One, March 2018

This advisory discusses the general requirements for naturalization in order to understand and prepare for the application process. Since 2017 the Trump administration has increased the vetting process for naturalization applications, resulting in longer wait times and a growing backlog in applications. This backlog has been called a “second wall” that immigrants must face in order to become U.S. citizens, and thus be able to vote in our elections. Available through this link.  


Representing Clients in Naturalization Proceedings Under the Trump Administration, Part Two, March 2018

 This practice advisory discusses how to prepare for extreme vetting, how to appeal a denial, including how and when to appeal to the district court if there is no response to the application after 120 days. This advisory builds off of Part 1 of the naturalization series, which provides the general overview and statutory requirements for naturalization. Available through this link.  


Maximizing Assistance to Immigrants in the Trump Era: Capacity Building and Planning for Non-Profit Immigration Services Providers, March 2018

 This practice advisory reviews strategies immigration advocates and service providers can implement to maximize their assistance in today’s anti-immigrant political climate. General best practice strategies are discussed, as well as recommendations specific to immigration challenges today. Available through this link.  

 

States’ Rights and Federal Immigration Law: Why California’s Sanctuary Laws are Constitutional, March 2018

 This practice advisory discusses the Trump Administration’s current attack on immigrant communities through the United States v. California case. In United States v. California, the Trump administration is alleging that three California state sanctuary laws, AB 450, AB 103, and SB 54, are invalid due to federal preemption under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Available through this link.  

2017

DACA Legal Services Toolkit, December 2017

Part 1: DACA, Deferred Action Status, and Public Benefits: Who is Eligible and How to Apply This practice advisory reviews which public benefits and programs Deferred Action Status recipients may qualify for. We cover a range of education and public benefits potentially important to DACA recipients. Keep in mind that the information provided may also be relevant to other immigrant groups including those with individual deferred action status or without status. Available through this link.

Part 2: DACA, Family-Based Petitions, U-Visa, VAWA, K-Visa, etc. 

This practice advisory provides an overview of various methods legal services providers may pursue to legalize the status of DACA recipient clients, including family-based petitions; K-Visas (fiance visas); U-Visas (crime victims); VAWA visas (victims of spousal or parental abuse); Special Juvenile Immigrant status; and asylum. Available through this link.

Part 3: An Alternative to DACA: Applying for SIJS Status 

This practice advisory reviews how many young, undocumented residents who can no longer apply for DACA status may apply instead for a program that affords greater protections than DACA: Special Immigration Juvenile Status (SIJS). Keep in mind that the information provided may also be relevant to other immigrant groups including those with individual deferred action status or without status. Available through this link.

Part 4: DACA and Deferred Action Status 

As the Trump administration threatens to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, immigration advocates must figure out how to protect the estimated 800,000 DACA recipients from removal. This practice advisory will discuss one possible strategy – applying for deferred action status. Available through this link.

Part 5: DACA and Employment-Based Relief 

This practice advisory is an overview of how DACA recipients may be granted legal status through employment-based petitions. The discussion is divided between those who may be eligible for Permanent Resident Status or those who may be eligible for employment-based non-immigrant visas which, following a lawful entry as a nonimmigrant, may then lead to an approvable application for Permanent Resident Status. Available through this link.

Part 6: Defenses for DACA Recipients Facing Enforcement or Removal (Deportation) Proceedings 

The purpose of this Advisory is to advise legal services and pro bono lawyers, paralegals, accredited representatives, advocates, and DACA recipients about legal options DACA recipients may possess when facing removal proceedings before the Immigration Courts of DOJ. Available through this link.

Part 7: Proposed Federal Legislation to Legalize the Immigration Status of DACA Recipients 

This practice advisory concerns President Trump’s recent decision to rescind DACA. The end of DACA means that approximately 800,000 individuals who grew up in the United States will now lose access to work authorization over the next two years, becoming vulnerable to deportation by federal immigration authorities. In light of the President’s termination of the DACA program, it has become vitally important to introduce legislation likely to be approved by Congress and the President. This Practice Advisory advocates for a clean bill along the lines of the LIFE Act of 2000, introduced and supported by the Republican leadership, which granted a quick, cost-effective and fair path to Permanent Resident Status for immigrants who, like DACA recipients, only possessed work permits but no permanent status. The best hope for a clean bill is to model it after the Republican-sponsored LIFE Act of 2000. Available through this link.

Immigrant Minors Toolkit, December 2017

Part 1: Apprehended Minors’ Right to Government Funded Lawyers 

This advisory discusses recent developments regarding the representation of minors in immigration proceedings. Although there remains no right to counsel for immigrant children, there have been litigation and advocacy developments. The Flores v. Sessions certified class action, not discussed in this practice advisory, also remains pending and active in the US District Court for the Central District of California. The Flores case sets out the standards for the detention of accompanied and unaccompanied minors and includes a presumption of release to available parents, relatives, friends of parents, and non-secure licensed shelters. Available through this link.

Part 2: Bond Hearings for Detained Unaccompanied Minors 

This advisory discusses developments and strategies in hearings seeking the release of minors. This includes a discussion of a recent ruling in the United States District Court for the Central District of California that was unanimously upheld by the 9thCircuit Court of Appeals holding that the Flores Settlement still guarantees unaccompanied juveniles in ORR custody a bond redetermination hearing before an immigration judge. Available through this link.  

The Past, Present, and Future of Expedited Removal, September 2017

 This practice advisory gives an overview of the history, current landscape, and potential changes by the Trump Administration to expedited removal, a procedure that allows an official from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to remove a noncitizen without a hearing before an immigration judge or review by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Available through this link. 

Securing Release of Immigrant Clients in ICE Custody, August 2017

 Being arrested and detained by immigration authorities, even if briefly, can have drastic consequences for immigrant clients. These consequences multiply the longer they languish in custody. In the event your client is arrested by ICE or CBP, their release must be secured as quickly as possible. This practice advisory discusses several methods that legal services providers may use to secure the prompt release of their clients. Available through this link. 


Identifying Immigrants Eligible to Legalize their Status: A Guide for non-attorney advocates, July 2017

 This practice briefing is intended as a tool for non-legal advocates to use to identify immigrant clients who may be eligible to legalize their status. Available through this link. 

Immigration-Related Legislation Currently Pending in the 2017-2018 Session of the California Legislature, June 2017

 This manual covers legislation currently pending with the California Legislature in its’ 2017-2018 regular session. All legislation mentioned in this manual would have a profound impact on immigrant communities in California if enacted. Available through this link. 


Motion to Suppress Principles in the Immigration Context, June 2017

 A motion to suppress seeks to prohibit the use of evidence unlawfully obtained by the government, a remedy available under a principle known as the “exclusionary rule.” Motions to suppress attack the methods the government uses to obtain evidence. While not typically available in civil proceedings, this practice advisory discusses their application in the immigration context. Available through this link. 

Legal Principles Governing Arrest and the Collection of Evidence by Immigration Officers: The Fourth Amendment, Immigration and Nationality Act, and Other Provisions, May 2017

 This manual covers the Fourth Amendment, INA, and federal regulation limits on immigration officers’ ability to search for individuals suspected of being unlawfully present, interrogate individuals about their immigration status and arrest individuals for placement in removal proceedings. Overstepping these limits can make the resultant evidence suppressible in a removal proceeding. Available through this link.

Resistance to Anti-Immigrant Initiatives: The Way Forward for Immigrants, Their Advocates, Faith-Based and Labor Leaders, and State and Local Governments, February 2017

Part 1: Assessing the new landscape 

This memorandum provides an overview of the significant changes in policy brought about by the Trump Executive Orders. Available through this link.

Part 2: Next Steps for Communities and Service Providers 

This memorandum suggests six components of a strategic resistance that will protect the human and civil rights of the vast majority of immigrants targeted by the Trump executive decrees. Available through this link. 

The Trump Administration's Executive Orders on Immigration: What to expect and how to prepare for changes in federal enforcement policies, February 2017

 This practice advisory summarizes the main points of the January 2017 Executive Orders on Immigration signed by President Trump and provides background information on incoming DHS Secretary, John Kelly. Available through this link.

Advanced Seminar on Gaining Access to Public Records under the Freedom of Information Act and California Public Records Act, February 2017

 This advisory will cover strategies in preparing lawsuits to gain access to public records, preparing motions, understanding privileges, and exemptions that may apply, seeking attorney fees in successful cases. It is meant to be a follow-up to CHRCL’s previous practice advisory, which provided an introduction to FOIA and the CPRA. This advisory serves as a more in-depth analysis of potential issues that could arise in attempting to obtain public records. Available through this link.

President Trump's Travel Ban (Executive Order 13769) Hits Judicial Road Blocks, February 2017

 This practice advisory provides an overview of the facts and an analysis of the arguments made by the parties in Washington v. Trump, a legal challenge to the President’s “travel ban.”  Available through this link. 

Practitioners’ Guide to the Convention Against Torture, January 2017

 This guide to the Convention Against Torture is intended as a tool for immigration attorneys, BIA-accredited representatives, and other advocates interested or already engaged in the representation of non-citizens who fear return to their home countries. Available through this link.

2016

Constitutional Law for Legal Services Clients, December 2016

This manual is intended to convey to legal services and pro bono attorneys the basic information necessary to present constitutional claims on behalf of low-income clients and to encourage attorneys to explore whether constitutional claims may exist in a case, and, if so, how best to present them before administrative agencies or the courts.  Available through this link.

Representing Minors in Removal Proceedings, November 2016

This training manual is intended as a tool for immigration attorneys, BIA-accredited representatives, and other advocates interested or already engaged in the representation of minors in removal proceedings. This, like all other training materials prepared by the CHRCL, are non-exhaustive and subject to continuous updates to reflect the rapidly changing context of immigration law and policy in which we work and live. Available through this link.

Immigrant Children's Rights, November 2016

This practice briefing is intended as a tool for immigration attorneys, BIA-accredited representatives, and other advocates for the rights of immigrant children to better understand the evolving landscape with regards to key legal issues. They cover recent developments in cutting-edge litigation initiated and led by the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CHRCL) as well as updates from the various adjudicatory bodies involved in defining the relevant legal standards.  Available through this link.

Essential Elements of Asylum Practice, November 2016

This manual details the essential elements and framework of building and defending a successful asylum claim in immigration court. Available through this link.

Practitioners Guide to Advance Parole, June 2016

The focus of this practice briefing is on how advance parole can be used by many immigrants who have approved visa petitions or pending visa petitions to briefly travel abroad and return “with inspection” and become eligible for adjustment of status in the future. Available through this link.

Nuts and Bolts of Seeking Deferred Action Status, June 2016

The focus of this practice briefing is on how many immigrants who lack lawful status in the United States can use deferred action status in order to secure a minimum level of protection from deportation, in that they are low priority for removal, and authorization to work lawfully in the country. Available through this link.

Updates in Immigrant Children's Rights: SIJS and Asylum, June 2016

This manual focuses on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) and refugee and asylum status. Available through this link.

2015 and Earlier
2013 LGBT Legal Services Providers Handbook

The purpose of this manual is to provide lawyers and paralegals with low-income LGBT clients with immigration-related issues a guide to the rights of their clients under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), and agency regulations and policies. Available through this link.
 

Children's Rights Manual

The purpose of this manual is to inform legal service advocates about the rights of children under immigration law, public benefits available to immigrant children, prosecutorial discretion, and what can happen if a child’s parents are removed. Available through this link.

Constitutional Law Manual (Updated 2014)

Due Process and Equal protection for Legal Services and Pro Bono Attorney. Available through this link.

International Human Rights Manual (Updated 2014)

The purpose of this manual is to inform legal service advocates about the fundamentals of international human rights. Available through this link.


Class Action Litigation Outline, November 2011

These materials outline the general principles of class action litigation including standing, justiciability, class certification, jurisdiction and venue. Available through this link.

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