Advocacy Updates

Comment Opportunity: Oppose USCIS Changes to Fee Waiver Forms and Policy

On June 5, 2019, USCIS published another notice and opportunity for comment on their proposed fee waiver changes. These changes were initially proposed in September 2018, and later addressed in a second opportunity for comment in April 2019. This third notice provides additional details regarding USCIS’ rationale for adjusting the fee waiver form and practices. …

Read More

Practice Update: Implementation of NTA memo on survivor-based cases

In May and June of 2019, some practitioners have reported that USCIS issued a number of NTAs in connection with denied U and T visa applications. Given these reports, ASISTA in conjunction with CAST, Freedom Network USA, American Association of Immigration Lawyers (AILA), Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles created…

Read More

Letter to USCIS: Extend grace period for new I-918 Forms

On May 29, 2019 AILA and ASISTA sent a letter to USCIS leadership as well as the CIS Ombudsman expressing concern that the two-month grace period to transition to the new Form I-918 is insufficient as it will cause hardship to survivors, advocates, as well as law enforcement agencies. Read the letter here.

Read More

ASISTA and NOW Submit Opposition to USCIS Tip Form

On April 16, 2019, ASISTA and the National Organization for Women (NOW) submitted a comment in opposition to the proposed USCIS Tip Form, as the form would be a tool for abusers and perpetrators of crime to weaponize the immigration system against survivors, with impunity. Read our comment here.

Read More

Comment Today! USCIS Fraud Tip Form

On February 15, 2019 the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a proposed form for notice and comment to collect information from the general public regarding purported immigration fraud. At ASISTA, we are particularly concerned about this Fraud Tip form as it represents another tool for abusers and perpetrators of crime to…

Read More

A week with Al Otro Lado

by Cecelia Friedman Levin, Senior Policy Counsel I just returned from volunteering with the Border Rights Project at Al Otro Lado in Tijuana, Mexico.  At the end of each day, volunteers often shared their “highs and lows” of what they experienced during the day.  In that spirit, I share my own. Lows: The inhumane, unlawful and shameful treatment…

Read More

Fee Waiver Case Collection

ASISTA is collecting stories where fee waivers for applications related to VAWA self-petitions, U visas, T visas, SIJS and other humanitarian protections have been denied, including motions to reopen/reconsider and appeals.  This is the first in a series of data collection tools ASISTA is releasing to strengthen our advocacy efforts and to demonstrate the numerous…

Read More

ASISTA Joins Over 150 Organization in Opposition to Harmful Asylum Ban

This week ASISTA Immigration Assistance is privileged to join National Immigrant Justice Center, Human Rights First and over 150 organizations in submitting a comment in response to the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security adoption of an interim final rule barring access to asylum for those who enter the United States outside…

Read More

Press Statement: ASISTA Response to National Address

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 9, 2019 Contact: Ahlam Moussa, ahlam@asistahelp.org   ASISTA Response to President Trump’s National Address Suffield, CT – The following is a statement from Cecelia Friedman Levin, Senior Policy Counsel at ASISTA Immigration Assistance, regarding President Trump’s National Address: President Trump’s remarks last night again demonstrate his misinformed, divisive, and anti-immigrant agenda and ignore the real…

Read More

Judge strikes down efforts to diminish protections for asylum seekers.

ASISTA applauds the federal court decision yesterday which restores critical protections for asylum seekers fleeing domestic violence and gang brutality.  The Center for Gender and Refugee Studies and ACLU challenged the Administration’s harmful expedited removal policies which instructed asylum officers to generally deny domestic violence and gang violence-related claims.  ASISTA is proud to have supported the…

Read More