News & Updates

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New ASISTA COVID-19 Practice Pointer (Current as of April 10, 2020)

By Maria Lazzarino | Apr 2, 2020 |

While we continue to advocate and await further guidance, we have prepared this Practice Pointer, Filing Deadlines for RFEs, NOIDs, NOIRs and I-290Bs, to assist you in meeting deadlines during this national emergency. We encourage you to also visit ASISTA’s COVID-19 Resource Page and that of our partners, CLINIC and CAST.

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ASISTA calls on USCIS to Ensure Survivors have Continued Access to Immigration Benefits.

By Maria Lazzarino | Mar 24, 2020 |

On behalf of ASISTA organizational and individual members nationwide, ASISTA expressed our concerns regarding the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on USCIS’ survivor-based benefits operations. ASISTA called on USCIS to adopt measures that address the additional limitations faced by immigrant survivors’ of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and other serious crimes.  Read…

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Current Job Opportunity: Executive Director

By Maria Lazzarino | Mar 16, 2020 |

ASISTA ( is looking for a new Executive Director following the retirement of its co-founder and Executive Director, Gail Pendleton, in the fall of 2020.  ASISTA’s mission is to advance the dignity, rights, and liberty of immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual violence. The Executive Director will report to ASISTA’s 7-member Board of Directors. ASISTA…

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One Training, 2 locations – From RFE to Federal Court: Latest Strategies in Defending Survivors – May 14, 2020 in Detroit, MI and June 16, 2020 in San Diego, CA

By Ahlam Moussa | Mar 6, 2020 |

May 14th, 2020 in Detroit, MI (before the FBA conference)  REGISTER NOW for Detroit! & June 16th, 2020 in San Diego, CA (before the AILA conference)  REGISTER NOW for San Diego! __________________________________________________________________________ Join ASISTA for a one-day training where we will discuss administrative, judicial, and collaborative strategies for protecting immigrant survivors of violence in light of the current…

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ASISTA Practice Pointer: What If You Do Not Received an RFE or Denial Notice? (March 2020)

By Maria Lazzarino | Mar 5, 2020 |

In this practice pointer, ASISTA addresses what to do if your case was denied as abandoned because you did not respond to an RFE that was never received. In the Appendix, we include a sample keystroke FOIA request and redacted keystroke FOIA response.  Click here to download the document in Word version. 

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Hernandez v. Mesa Ruling

By Ahlam Moussa | Feb 28, 2020 |

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Hernandez v. Mesa this week is inhumane and unjust. The decision insulates a border guard who shot and killed a child on Mexican soil. With numerous other groups advancing the rights of survivors, ASISTA filed an amicus brief highlighting the problem of sexual assaults committed by federal officers and…

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Updated Advisory: Blank Spaces on Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status

By Admin | Feb 27, 2020 | Comments Off on Updated Advisory: Blank Spaces on Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status

ASISTA has updated its practice advisory regarding U visa application rejections due to blank spaces on the Form I-918 and I-918A. This updated advisory has filing practice pointers, as well as suggestions for re-filing rejected forms.  As this is an emerging issue, please keep ASISTA informed of any new trends not addressed in this advisory.…

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Safe Horizon and ASISTA File FOIA Request Seeking Immigration Policy Data Related to U-Visa Adjudications

By Maria Lazzarino | Feb 25, 2020 |

(New York, February 25, 2020) – Safe Horizon and ASISTA have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for immigration policy data on the adjudication of U-visa petitions and adjustment of status (permanent residence) applications for those granted U visa status.   U visas were created…

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USCIS’ New Policy on Application Forms Harms Survivors

By Admin | Feb 14, 2020 |

On February 6, 2020, ASISTA sent a letter to USCIS and to the CIS Ombudsman’s office regarding the December 30, 2019 announcement that USCIS may reject Form I-918 U visa forms if there is a blank field. This significant shift in policy and practice creates enormous hardship for survivors and their families, and strains valuable…

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ASISTA Press Release: ASISTA Files Lawsuit Challenging Harmful ICE Policies Which Put Victims of Crime at Higher Risk of Removal

By Ahlam Moussa | Feb 13, 2020 |

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 13, 2020 Contact: Ahlam Moussa, Changes to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy were announced August 2, 2019 that create significant additional barriers for victims of crime who cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of their crimes. ASISTA, represented by Protect Democracy and the Constitutional Accountability Center, filed suit today…

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