News & Updates

New Amicus Brief: Addressing Sanchez Sosa and Continuances for U applicants

By neonadmin | Feb 21, 2019 | Comments Off on New Amicus Brief: Addressing Sanchez Sosa and Continuances for U applicants

Read new amicus brief on importance of continuances in Immigration Court, submitted in the Seventh Circuit.

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ASISTA Joins Over 150 Organization in Opposition to Harmful Asylum Ban

By Admin | Jan 10, 2019 |

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…

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Press Statement: ASISTA Response to National Address

By Admin | Jan 10, 2019 |

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…

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Judge strikes down efforts to diminish protections for asylum seekers.

By Admin | Dec 20, 2018 |

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…

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Challenging USCIS harmful changes to fee waiver policy

By Admin | Dec 20, 2018 |

In November 2018,  ASISTA fought back on harmful USCIS changes to fee waiver practices and forms.  USCIS is creating barriers to equal access to survivor protections, especially for survivors who have few financial resources of their own. ASISTA created a template comment for advocates to share how these damaging changes affect survivors, and you can…

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ASISTA opposes DHS Proposed Rule on Public Charge

By Admin | Dec 11, 2018 |

On December 10, 2018, ASISTA filed a Comment on DHS’ Proposed Rule on Public Charge. DHS’ proposed rule will harm immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual violence as well as survivors of human trafficking.  Access and use of public benefit programs may make the difference in whether survivors and their children can escape abuse. ASISTA opposes the…

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Guardian: How zero tolerance forces undocumented victims into the shadows

By Admin | Dec 6, 2018 |

ASISTA weighs in on how harmful changes to immigration policy impacts immigrant survivors of violence. Read more here.

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ASISTA Statement on NTA Policy Implementation

By Admin | Dec 6, 2018 |

ASISTA strongly condemns USCIS’ decision to implement the updated Notice To Appear (NTA) policy for survivor-based protections on November 19th. This means that domestic and sexual assault survivors, survivors of human trafficking, children eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and other victims whom Congress intended to help could now face deportation hearings if their cases…

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PBS Frontline: Undocumented Crime Victims Face Heightened Risk of Deportation

By Admin | Dec 6, 2018 |

ASISTA’s own Cecelia Friedman Levin, commenting on USCIS’s recent drastic departure from prior practice and policy, and how it will discourage survivors from coming forward.  Read more here.

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Annotated Notes: USCIS Q&A on NTA Guidance Implementation

By Admin | Dec 6, 2018 |

Annotated Notes on NTA Memo Implementation  On November 15, 2018, USCIS held a stakeholder engagement call on the implementation of the NTA memo on survivor-based protections. ASISTA, AILA and ILRC compiled these annotated notes and practice pointers based on USCIS’ responses during that stakeholder call.    

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ASISTA Statement on Updated USCIS Guidance

By neonadmin | Jul 6, 2018 | Comments Off on ASISTA Statement on Updated USCIS Guidance

New USCIS Guidance will create a chilling effect on survivors coming forward to access protection.  Yesterday, USCIS released Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens (Updated NTA memo) which vastly expands the circumstances in which USCIS will issue NTAs or refer cases to ICE. …

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Amicus Brief on Direct Victim Definition (April 23, 2018)  

By Maria Lazzarino | Apr 24, 2018 |

Here is the amicus brief we filed to the AAO with Her Justice and ICWC, Debevoise & Plympton doing the heavy lifting (and excellent crafting) for us. Thanks to all involved, great job! Click here to download the amicus brief in word version. We suggest you use this framework when making your “not-obvious” victim arguments.…

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Do you have the right email addresses for the Hotline?

By Admin | Feb 21, 2018 |

We have heard from the VAWA Unit at the Vermont Service Center (VSC) that some stakeholders may be reaching out to the VAWA Unit Hotlines using an incorrect email address, (e.g. sending an email to hotlinefollowupi918i914.vsc@dhs.gov, which is the wrong domain). Even when you reach out to the dhs.gov email, you may still receive an auto-response that your message…

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Joint Statement on Recent DOJ/DHS Report

By Admin | Jan 29, 2018 |

ASISTA, Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-based Violence, Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network, and Tahirih Justice Center issued a joint statement to the divisive and inaccurate White House statement and DOJ and DHS report issued this week, which among other things, requires the agencies to report on acts of gender-based violence committed by foreign nationals. The administration’s…

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National Taskforce to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Statement on Ending Salvadoran TPS

By Admin | Jan 10, 2018 |

On January 9, 2018, the National Taskforce to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (of which ASISTA is a co-chair of the immigration sub committee) issued a statement denouncing the Administration’s termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for El Salvador. If expelled from the United States, many of the 200,000 individuals now protected by Salvadoran…

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7th Circuit holds IJs have review of I-192 for U visa applicants

By Admin | Dec 28, 2017 |

Many thanks, again, to Chuck Roth for NIJC for leading this effort. Baez-Sanchez reiterates the 7th Circuits findings in L.D.G. v. Holder, 744 F.3d 1022 (7th Cir. 2014), where it found that the BIA and IJs had (d)(3) waiver authority as to U visas.  The BIA later disagreed in Matter of Khan, 26 I&N Dec. 797…

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ASISTA joins amicus effort for work authorization for pending U visa applicants

By Admin | Dec 28, 2017 |

ASISTA is proud to share the Amicus Brief related to bona fide work authorization while U visas are pending. The brief was filed in October in the Eastern District of New York.  Many thanks to  Celso Perez and Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzeli & Pratt for crafting the brief for us, to Julie Carpenter of Tahirih…

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Buzzfeed Article: Survivors Not Reaching Out for Help for Fear of Deportation

By Admin | Mar 20, 2017 |

“President Trump’s policies are forcing undocumented immigrants who suffer domestic abuse to decide which is riskier: staying with their abusers, or going to court and possibly being detained by immigration agents.” Read full article here.

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Post-Election Q & A for Advocates and Attorneys Serving Immigrant Survivors of Gender-based Violence

By Admin | Dec 13, 2016 |

It is important for attorneys and advocates working with immigrant domestic violence/sexual assault survivors to understand what the anticipated changes in immigration policy might mean for the individuals and families they serve.  For this reason, this post-election Q &A was prepared to explain how the anticipated changes may effect immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual…

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Advisory Committee Report on Family Detention

By Admin | Oct 31, 2016 |

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers (ACFRC) was established on July 24, 2015, and is comprised of experts in the fields of primary education, detention management, detention reform, immigration law, family and youth services, trauma-informed services, and physical and mental health. ASISTA’s Sonia Parras Konrad was appointed as a…

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