A Guide on Organizing as Defense Against Federal Investigations and Prosecutions

report cover mijenteJune 5, 2017 – NIPNLG and Mijente released a guide that outlines how community-based organizations can develop a security and defense plan in the event that federal law enforcement targets leaders or staff for federal investigation and prosecution, such as smuggling, harboring, and transporting charges and related federal crimes.

Download the report in English »
Download the report in Spanish »
Read the press report »

New Report Details How Increasing Funding for “Zero-Tolerance” Immigration Laws “Will Destroy Lives and Waste Billions”

report coverMay 26, 2017 - "Dismantle, Don’t Expand: The 1996 Immigration Laws" offers policy-makers, advocates, and reporters an accessible study of the 1996 laws, the devastating human and fiscal impact their implementation has had on millions of Americans, and the argument for doing away with them.
Download the report »
Read the press release »

NIPNLG Proudly Announces its 2017 Member Honoree: Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia

Shoba Sivaprasad WadhiaMay 4, 2017 - “Shoba is a principled leader, a staunch advocate for immigrants, and mentor to scores of students. We are proud to recognize her contributions to our struggle and to our movement.” Please honor Shoba by placing a congratulatory message in the Commemorative Program Book being produced in her honor for the occasion. Deadline to be included is June 2, 2017. Learn more »

Family Sues ICE, City of Chicago, after Gang Database Information Led to Violent Immigration Raid that Left Immigrant Severely Injured

Celene Adame and familyMay 1, 2017 - “I saw the immigration agents slam my husband to the floor while we told them he was injured, but they still hurt him and took him to detention…There needs to be consequences for everyone responsible for hurting our family, for my husband, and so that it doesn’t happen to others. That’s why today we are here marching and why we are filing the lawsuit.”

Paromita Shah to Speak at The Color of Surveillance: Government Monitoring of American Immigrants

color of surveillanceApril 27, 2017 - Paromita Shah and sixteen other distinguished panelists will speak on June 22, 2017 at the Georgetown Law, Center on Privacy & Technology. Since the Snowden disclosures of 2013, it's been a truism in Washington that "everyone is watched." But history shows that not everyone is watched equally: Instead, people of color, immigrants, religious minorities, and LGBT persons have disproportionately been the targets of government tracking.

A Letter from Pamela Goldstein, Director of Development

pamela goldsteinApril 6, 2017 - Information is power. Together, we are providing critical information to fight the new war on immigrants. Here's how. Yesterday, the NIP published a community advisory on Social Media, Criminalization, and Immigration with our allies at Research Action Design. The advisory warns noncitizens how immigration agents may use social media accounts for deportation proceedings and other actions. It also includes ways to reduce risk. The advisory got 900 hits its first day. We are now translating it into Spanish.
Read the full letter »

NIPNLG Partners with #WeBelongTogether Kids Caravan

we belong together logoWhen elected officials in Miami-Dade county turned their backs on immigrant families, local children and youth refused to back down. This April, they’ll caravan from Miami to Washington, DC to demand that our elected leaders stand up to Trump’s bullying and defend their families, their friends and their future.

ICE Uses a Cannabis Misdemeanor To Arrest, Deport

sejalIn a recent Leafly article, Sejal Zota estimates that in 2013 alone, roughly 6,000 people were deported for personal possession of marijuana. According to the article, "A big part of the new, bolder tactics on the border is the stepped-up investigation of an immigrant or traveler’s mobile phone, email, and social networking data."

Community Advisory: Social Media, Criminalization, and Immigration

mobile biometricsApril 3, 2017 - DHS uses social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, in immigration enforcement. Information shared on social media could be used against a person to arrest you, detain you, put you in fast-track deportation or regular deportation proceedings, or to stop you from getting immigration benefits, such as a green card, DACA or TPS.

Unchecked DHS Fingerprinting Practice Moves Groups to Press for Transparency

mobile biometricsMarch 28, 2017 - Groups file request for information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security requesting information about current protocols and constitutional safeguards for the use of biometric machines.

A Letter from the National Immigration Project

letter from nip March 27, 2017 - They say back down, we say double-down. Donald Trump is adding cruelty to an already deeply flawed U.S. immigration and detention system. His contempt for immigrants includes a vicious smear campaign that tars both noncitizens and sanctuary cities. NIPNLG is fighting him every step of the way.

Rights Groups Amend Class Action Suit, Seek Temporary Restraining Order to Newest Version of Trump Administration’s “Muslim Ban”

ali v trump March 10, 2017 - This latest executive order is just the same as the last one but with a bit of artful legal drafting to try to withstand judicial scrutiny,” said Trina Realmuto, Litigation Director of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.

Cambodian Deportation Halted Due to Groundswell of Community Support

ched nin released March 8, 2017 - Following months of sustained community advocacy, long-time Minnesota resident Ched Nin was released to his wife and their five children in late February after being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for over six months.

Supplemental Community Advisory on DHS Implementation Memoranda and Factsheets

key ice facility March 7, 2017 - This community advisory seeks to provide legal and policy analysis on key changes in immigration enforcement resulting from the major shift in DHS policies. Covered are those topic areas that we believe will most impact community defense strategies.

Muslim Ban Unlawfully Targets U.S. Residents Seeking Citizenship and Immigration Status, Civil Rights Groups Sue

xenophobiaFebruary 1, 2017 - Civil and immigrant rights groups asked a federal court to lift the unconstitutional ban that blocks Muslim immigrants lawfully living in the United States from becoming U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and asylees, among other things.
Read the press release »

Letter from Paromita Shah, Associate Director

paromita shah January 31, 2017 - Our collective fight against President Trump is just beginning. Together, a horrendous situation is being met with great force, creativity, litigation, and resistance. We've been working around the clock to support organizing, agitating, and impact litigation from coast to coast. From airport actions across the US this weekend, to Trump counter-inauguration actions and the historic Women’s March, to a lawsuit filed suing the President – it’s been a busy January!
Read Paromita's full letter »

NIPNLG and Partners File Class Action Suit Challenging Trump Administration’s “Muslim Ban”

January 30, 2017 - NIPNLG along with the American Immigration Council, and Northwest Immigrant Rights Project filed a nationwide, class action lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” on grounds that it violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law and statutory prohibition against discrimination.

Read the press release »
Download Complaint: Class Action, Declaratory & Injunctive Relief »
Download Complaint: Exhibit A »

NIPNLG Secures Release of 9 Detainees in Dallas, TX Over Weekend

muslim banJanuary 30, 2017 - Legal Director Sejal Zota, Board member Javier N. Maldonado, and Vinesh Patel took the case of Shahin Hassanpour, a 70-year old Iranian woman who received her U.S. immigrant visa in September, 2016; and who upon entry to the U.S., would have been granted lawful permanent residence.

Download the press release »

Statement: NIPNLG Denounces President Trump’s Discriminatory Executive Order

refugees welcome

January 28, 2017 - We denounce this Executive Order in the strongest of terms. History demonstrates that such policies and laws as the Chinese Exclusion Act, the so-called Japanese internment, the Palmer Raids, Operation W**back , and others, are in retrospect viewed as irreconcilable with the tenets of democracy.

Download the press release »

FAQ for Community Groups Immigration Enforcement Executive Actions: Interior Enforcement

January 26, 2017 - This advisory is intended to provide community groups with a preliminary summary and analysis regarding these changes in interior immigration enforcement, which we will revise as we learn more about enforcement practices under the New Administration.

Download the FAQ »

Press Release: We Must End the Normalization of Mass Criminalization

January 26, 2017 - President Trump’s executive orders on immigration exemplify contempt for the human rights and safety of millions of Americans of color – and if enacted by Congress, will have far-reaching societal consequences beyond their stated scope. Read the full press release, put out in conjunction with Immigrant Justice Network »

Call to Action: Help Stop the Deportation of 18-Year-Old Yosselin Herrera

herrera asylum portraitJanuary 23, 2017 - “In 2014, I fled El Salvador because of gender violence and threats from the MS 13 gang. I came to Siler City to reunite with my family. If I’m sent back to El Salvador, it could mean my death sentence.”
Download the flyer in English »   Descargar en español »

Travel Advisory for Noncitizens Traveling to Washington, DC for Rallies, Protests, or Actions: 8 Things Immigrants Can Do

8 waysJanuary 11, 2017 - We anticipate that more and more noncitizens may want to engage in political protest in Washington, DC. The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) supports the political rights of noncitizens, and believes it is critical to prepare appropriately if you plan to visit Washington, DC by plane, car, bus or train. Knowing the risks and preparing for them should be part of the planning process for every group or delegation traveling to Washington, DC.

Read the Advisory and download the infographic »

Advisory: Trump Considers Targeting Muslims for Special Registration: Q&A

special registration separates familiesNovember 23, 2016 - Trump Has Not Yet Revived NSEERS. While there are rumors that the Trump Administration may revitalize NSEERS (National Security Entry/Exit Registration System), there is no Special Requirement currently in place. Preliminary Q&A below.

Read the Advisory »

Report: Abuse, Neglect Common at Immigrant Detention Centers in South

report cover shadow prison southNovember 21, 2016 - Trump Deportation Plan Would Worsen Detention Center Failures. Investigation finds detainees are routinely denied due process, and frequently endure inhumane conditions in isolated facilities that have little oversight from the federal government.

Read the press release »
Download the report »
View report infographics »

NIPLNG Stands in Solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives

Read our statement » Take the pledge »

Harsh Treatment of Immigrant Youth Exposes an Unjust System

paromita shahNovember 3, 2016 - Paromita Shah writes in the Huffington Post, "Imagine how terrified you would be if your loved one went missing with no trace. Such tactics are not only degrading and dehumanizing. They are cruel. And now they are a way of life in North Carolina and Georgia." Read the blog »

Settle Lawsuit Challenging Failure of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to Timely Respond to FOIA Requests

trinaOctober 5, 2016 - In accordance with a settlement reached by the parties, a federal district court dismissed a class action lawsuit which challenged U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) nationwide practice of failing to timely respond to requests for case information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The suit was filed in 2015 by five immigration attorneys and 13 noncitizens, all of whom had filed FOIA requests that had been pending between 7 and 24 months—significantly longer than the 20-business day period set by law for an agency to respond to a FOIA request.

Read the full press release »
Read the article, "CBP Settles FOIA Fight with Immigration Attorneys, Noncitizens" by Kelly Knaub

The National Immigration Project applauds the Tenth Circuit’s decision in Golicov v. Lynch

sejalSeptember 19, 2016 - It is the fourth federal appellate court that has ruled in favor of due process and fair notice for immigrants, joining the Ninth, Sixth, and Seventh Circuit courts. The National Immigration Project has been working to challenge this particular statutory provision for many years because of its vague language and inconsistent application. We have witnessed the confusion and uncertainty caused by 16(b) both for noncitizen defendants as they try to determine the immigration consequences of their pleas, and for fact-finders who try to apply its nebulous provision. Today's decision reinforces the principal that every noncitizen facing removal should be guaranteed a consistent application of the laws and a judicially fair process. The case was argued by Skyler Anderson, with the National Immigration Project as amicus.
Download the decision »

Community Members Urge Dept. of Homeland Security to Release Crucial Document on Systemic Civil Rights Violations at Etowah County Immigrant Detention Center

shut down etowah signage September 8, 2016 - NIPNLG and civic, faith, immigrants’ rights activists gathered to announce the filing of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for a key document issued by the Department of Homeland Security/DHS’s civil rights watchdog office calling for the closure of the infamous Etowah immigrant detention center in Gadsden, Alabama.

Download the press release »
Read the FOIA Request »

North Carolina Youth Wildin Acosta and Alexander Soriano Released From Detention

north carolinaAugust 18, 2016 - NIPNLG celebrates the release of two North Carolina teens and calls for ICE to release other incarcerated youth.

Download the press release »

Lugo-Resendez v. Lynch: Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

July 29, 2016 - The American Immigration Council and NIPNLG applaud the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision yesterday in Lugo-Resendez v. Lynch. The decision strongly reaffirms the importance of immigrants’ statutory right to file a motion to reopen, a procedural protection meant to ensure a proper and lawful outcome in an immigration proceeding. Download the press release »

DHS Supplementary Guidance on Sensitive Locations Fails to Address Aggressive Raids

July 26, 2016 - NIPNLG Calls on DHS Secretary Johnson to Release Wildin Acosta and Other Raid Victims. Download the press release »

Victory in Fifth Circuit, Gomez-Perez v. Lynch

July 11, 2016 - Fifth Circuit Agrees with NIPNLG Amicus Brief in Hermenegildo Gomez-Perez v. Loretta Lynch. Congrats to NIPNLG Legal Director Sejal Zota. Download the decision »

Victory in Sixth Circuit Opinion, Shuti v. Lynch

July 7, 2016 - The side supported by an NIPNLG amicus brief won in the Sixth Circuit in a published opinion, Shuti v. Lynch. 16(b) Crime of Violence was found unconstitutional. NIPNLG was amicus in this case. As the government presently tries to get the Supreme Court to review the decision in Dimaya, now there is no longer a circuit split. Read the decision here: http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov »

Honoring Debbie Smith on the Occasion of NIPNLG's 45th Anniversary Year

June 24, 2016 - Debbie is a much-loved attorney, advocate, and former NIPNLG board chair. She has been a principled advocate, mentor, and litigator for decades. Download the book honoring her »

Bond Set at $30,000 for Charlotte High School Student Arrested in ICE Raid

Stewart Detention Center

June 27, 2016 - Family and Community Call on Release of North Carolina Youth Now Entering 6 Months of Incarceration. The Immigration Judge at Stewart Detention Center set the bond amount for Yefri at $30,000, a highly disproportionate and unnecessary amount to place on a high school student and his family. Unfortunately, this high bond amount comes at no surprise given that the Immigration Court in Georgia is one of the most anti-immigrant in the country. Download the press release »

Family and Community Supporters Travel to Stewart Detention Center to Attend Bond Hearing for Yefri Sorto Hernandez, Visit Wildin Acosta and Youth Detainees

(June 24, 2016) A bond hearing for Yefri Sorto Hernandez will be held on Monday, June 27th at Stewart Detention Center at 8:00AM. A judge will decide to either grant a bond to the 19-year old West Mecklenburg High School senior and allow him to return to his family, school and community in Charlotte or to deny his request for bond and sentence him to remain in jail indefinitely. Download the press release »

A Message from NIPNLG: SCOTUS Ruling U.S. v. Texas

June 24, 2016 - This week the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in U.S. v. Texas. While many of us anticipated this outcome, it still comes as a blow. But we know that the NIPNLG community is if anything resilient, and that now, as we always have done, we stand in solidarity with the nation's immigrants and immigrant famlies. Read the full letter »

Top Immigration, Education and Criminal Justice Experts to Hold Congressional Briefing on ICE Raids

May 23, 2016 - A Congressional briefing entitled, "ICE Raids on Immigrant Youth: The Harm to Youth Education and a Driver of Youth Incarceration," will be held Wednesday, May 25th at 3:00 in the Rayburn House Building, Room 2226. Download the press pelease »

NIPNLG Files Public Records Request to Expose Civil Rights Violations in ICE Program, "Operation Border Guardian"

paromita shah

April 26, 2016 - NIPNLG filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on Operation Border Guardian, an Immigration and Customs (ICE) enforcement and detention program targeting Central American teenagers for deportation since January 2016. Since January, there has been widespread public attention and Congressional concern regarding the devastating impact of "Operation Border Guardian" on communities, families and schools particularly in North Carolina and Georgia. Read the press release »

NIPNLG Honors Debbie Smith at Annual Member Reception

deported to death south assians protest

April 21, 2016 - Each year at the annual AILA convention (American Immigration Lawyers Association) NIPNLG recognizes a member of our community who has made outstanding contributions to the cause of immigrant justice. We are proud to announce our 2016 honoree on the occasion of NIPNLG's 45th Anniverary Year, Debbie Smith. More »

Nearly 100 South Asians Deported

deported to death south assians protest

April 6, 2016 - NIPNLG is helping detainees file pro se prosecutorial discretion requests with some limited success. We’re pushing for others to be released as well. As Fahd Ahmed of DRUM says in this article (which also quotes Assoc Dir Paromita Shah): “The Obama administration just deported nearly 100 South Asian detainees who crossed three continents seeking safety in the US.” Read the full article on alternet »

As NC Teen Wildin Acosta Awaits Imminent Deportation, Community Announces Week of Actions Demanding Immediate Release

logo of alerta migratoria NC

For months, North Carolina families, teachers, students, and civil, labor and faith organizations have been fighting the detention and deportation of NC teenagers such as the imminent deportation of Wildin Acosta. While ICE Director Sarah Saldaña granted Wildin a stay of one more day to file his appeal, Wildin remains detained in Georgia and could be deported as early as tomorrow. Read the press release »

Administrative Complaint – Extreme Temperatures in CBP Short Term Detention Facilities

trina realmuto picture

February 2, 2016 - NIPNLG, in collaboration with Programa de Defensa e Incidencia Binacional and the ACLU of New Mexico, filed an administrative complaint on behalf of persons held by CBP in short-term detention facilities where they are exposed to extreme temperatures. The administrative complaint also challenges the agency standards addressing temperature controls in short-term facilities, but asserts that the agency fails to abide even by these standards. Download the complaint » [PDF]

Ongoing Litigation against CBP

hold cbp accountable logo

Check out some of the ongoing litigation efforts against CBP and get inspired to bring your own challenge at www.HoldCBPAccountable.org, a joint project of NIPNLG, the American Civil Liberties Union, American Immigration Council, and the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project.


  • Final judgment and settlement in Rios-Diaz, et al. v. Colonel Tom Butler, Montana Highway Patrol, et al. The settlement requires adherence to a new policy clarifying that Montana State’s Highway Patrol will not stop or prolong detention for purposes of verifying immigration status, even if requested to do so by CBP or ICE. In addition, the judgment also requires, among other things, training for MHP officials as to the new policy, requires MHA to collect data on all traffic stops anytime MHP contacts DHS and requires MHP to submit annual reports regarding racial profiling;
  • FTCA Administrative Complaint filed by Justice for Our Neighbors in Nebraska on behalf of U.S. citizen child who was arrested by CBP (even though she presented her valid U.S. birth certificate at the airport). She was first held in an “hielera” or icebox by CBP, before being transferred to ORR, which continued to hold her in custody for 44 days, before finally being released to family in Nebraska;
  • Administrative complaint to Office of Inspector General and the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of DHS filed against CBP on behalf of persons held by CBP in short-term detention facilities where they are exposed to extreme temperatures. The administrative complaint also challenges the agency standards addressing temperature controls in short-term facilities, but asserts that the agency fails to abide even by these standards. The complaint was filed by NIPNLG, in collaboration with Programa de Defensa e Incidencia Binacional and the ACLU of NM;
  • On February 4, 2016, after Plaintiffs accepted the settlement offer of $80,000.00, the parties stipulated to the dismissal of the FTCA action against CBP in Quinonez Flores v. USA, in the Eastern District of New York; the plaintiff in this case was held for three days in deplorable conditions in CBP detention (a “hielera”) in south Texas;
  • On January 4, 2016, Plaintiffs filed their opposition to the government’s motion to dismiss or in the alternative for summary judgment in Jacobson et al. v. DHS et al., a First Amendment case involving the right to photograph and monitor Border Patrol checkpoints;
  • On February 1, 2016, Plaintiffs filed their opposition to the government’s motion to dismiss their amended complaint in Askins et al. v. DHS et al., a First Amendment case involving the right to photograph at Ports of Entry;
  • Exciting developments in Doe v. CBP, the class action challenging overnight detention in “hieleras” within Border Patrol facilities throughout much of Arizona. The Court certified a class and denied Defendant’s motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ constitutional claims, although it did dismiss the APA claims. Pending before the court are Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Preliminary Injunction; Defendants’ Motion to Seal much of the evidence filed (currently under seal) in support of preliminary injunction; and a motion by the newspaper, the Arizona Republic, to intervene for the purpose of opposing the sealing of this evidence.

Creative Strategies in Immigration Court Defense and Litigation

NIPNLG and the Immigration Clinic at University of Miami School of Law present Creative Strategies in Immigration Court Defense and Litigation, a one-day Continuing Legal Education skill-building seminar on April 29, 2016. Please join us and learn from national experts at this day-long seminar.

View the full agenda, details, directions, and more »
Register today! »

Assoc. Dir. Paromita Shah Speaks out against Raids in the Washington Post

paromita shahJanuary 18, 2016 – “When President Obama stood up for the [Syrian] refu­gee program and stood up against the blanket racism directed at anyone who appeared to be Middle Eastern or Muslim, I think people were happy,” said Paromita Shah, associate director of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild. “But they can’t square it with what he is doing now....”

Read the full article at wapo.st/1nfXTZ5 »

Law Students! Magio Fellowship Deadline is Approaching

maggio logoThe Michael Maggio Immigrants' Rights Summer Fellowship Program application deadline for our 2016 Summer Fellowship is Friday, February 1, 2016!

Find out more at maggiofellowship.org »

You have Rights! Know Your Rights!

listings of how to protect yourselfJanuary 9, 2016 - Share these cards by printing them out, and/or sharing on social media. Help protect immigrant families from an abuse of their legal rights.

Cards are available in multiple languages here »

Barbara Hines on Democracy Now!

January 8, 2015 - Check out NIPNLG board member Barbara Hines on Democracy Now! speaking out against raids in Dilley, Texas, as well as flawed immigration policy overall. Speak!

Read the article at http://bit.ly/1ZaM55Y »

Report Suspicious ICE Activity: NIPNLG Joins United We Dream Hotline

report suspicious ICE activityJanuary 5, 2016 – Report any suspicious ICE activity in your area.

We urge you to call (844) 363-1423 or text WATCHICE to 877877. Share the information to protect your community from detention and deportation!

View materials in English and Spanish »

A Message from Executive Director, Dan Kesselbrenner

dan kesselbrennerEvery year at this time I try to savor the hard-won victories and learn from the setbacks, in order to make the National Immigration Project/NLG better able to respond to the enormous challenges facing our communities in the year ahead.

Read the full letter »

Paromita Shah in al Jazeera America Article

paromita shah

Gang or No Gang, Many Immigrants Legally Stymied by Injunctions

"A lot of different people can be in an area covered by a gang injunction,” said Paromita Shah, associate director of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild in Washington, D.C. “A gang injunction is meant to bar conduct in an area so that people suspected of being gang members do not talk to one another. It could be based on age or whether they’re driving in the same car.”

Read the full article »

Sejal Zota Quoted in US Law Week Article on Dimaya and its Future

sejal zotaOctober 27, 2015 – In response to the victory we had a couple of weeks ago in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, many are wondering what the future of this decision will hold for us. Read the article to see what Sejal and others had to say »

Crimes of Violence No Longer Grounds for Deportation in 9th Circuit

October 19, 2015 – In a victory in the fight for due process and fair notice, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that 18 U.S.C. 16(b)—used to deport immigrants for an aggravated felony crime of violence and crime of domestic violence—is unconstitutionally vague. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had found that a similar crime of violence definition used to enhance federal criminal sentences is unconstitutionally vague.

United States v. Johnson, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015). In Johnson, the Court interpreted the so-called “residual clause” of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), and it reasoned that the statute did not give people fair notice of the conduct prohibited and invited arbitrary enforcement.

In a 2-1 opinion, the Ninth Circuit held that § 16(b) suffers from the same indeterminacy. Because 16(b) employs the same unpredictable mode of analysis as the ACCA, the Court found that it too violates due process. This means the government will no longer be able to use this immigration ground against noncitizens for any purpose in the Ninth Circuit. The decision will help countless immigrants.

The case was argued by Andrew Knapp for petitioner and Sejal Zota of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild for amicus.

Read the decision »

Read our Practice Advisory "How Johnson v. United States May Help Your Crime of Violence Case" »

NIPNLG Succcesfully Challenges CBP's Extensive FOIA Delays

September 17, 2015 - In a victory in the fight for government transparency and accountability, District Court Judge Donato denied CBP’s motion to dismiss in a strongly worded decision. The Court recognized that “CBP’s records are critical to noncitizens and their attorneys in evaluating immigration options and the possibility of remaining legally in the United States.”

He then roundly rejected the government’s claim that CBP’s failure to meet the statutory deadlines is not actionable, finding this argument “wholly at odds with the statute and cases” and that CBP’s reading of the relevant cases “could not be less persuasive.”

The Court concluded that Plaintiffs adequately alleged a FOIA violation and ordered CBP to file an answer within ten days. Oral arguments on the Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification took place on October 7, 2015.

The Court ordered a six-month discovery period to permit the collection of evidence regarding CBP’s pattern and practice of delays in responding to FOIA requests. Co-counsel are the Law Offices of Stacy Tolchin, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the American Immigration Council and Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

Read the full decision »

Defending the Rights of Immigrants - Remarks by Kathy Moccio, NIPNLG 2015 Member Honoree

June 19, 2015 - National Harbor, MD - NIPNLG 2015 Member Honoree, Kathy Moccio, presented remarks during the reception in her honor, as she was presented with her recognition at our annual Member Reception at the annual AILA convention. Moccio noted that the full potential of the Padilla decision is inextricably tied to the strength of the nation's public defense:

A crisis in criminal law that isn’t often talked about is the state of public defense. While we must advocate against the melding of the criminal and immigration systems, we must also realize that as long as crim-imm is in place, public defenders will be the front line of defense against a non-citizen’s removal from the U.S. The power of Padilla is inherently tied to the strength of public defense.


Download Kathy's full remarks »

Trina Realmuto to be Honored with Jack Wasserman Award

trina realmuto picture

May 27, 2015 - Boston, MA - NIPNLG's Litigation Director Trina Realmuto has been named this year's recipient of the prestigious Jack Wasserman memorial award for excellence in litigation in the field of immigration law, by the American Immigration Lawyers Association/AILA (aka "Litigator of the Year"). The award ceremony was held on Sat. June 20, 2015 at the annual AILA convention at the Gaylord Convention Center in National Harbor, MD.

Download more info about Trina Realmuto »

NIPNLG Represents Man Held Illegally on Immigration Detainer

May 8, 2015 - Springfield, MA - A man held illegally on an immigration detainer is seeking monetary damages over his detention. After an argument at a New Year’s Eve party, a federal immigration dragnet landed Jorge Sanchez in jail for weeks, on a direct path to deportation. NIPNLG and the ACLU are representing Mr. Sanchez.

Download the Press Release »

Kathy Moccio Honored on June 19, 2015 at Annual NIPNLG Member Reception during Annual AILA Convention

May 4 , 2015 - The National Immigration Project announces that it will honor Kathy Moccio at its annual member reception during the annual AILA convention (American Immigration Lawyers Association) in National Harbor, MD.

NIPNLG Annual Member Reception & Recognition Honoring Kathy Moccio

Friday, June 19, 2015
5:30-7:00pm
Room Chesapeake E-F
Gaylord Convention Center
National Harbor, MD

Kathy Moccio is a Minnesota-based public defender working with noncitizen clients on the immigration issues inherent to their case. She teaches immigration law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, and has served as a consultant to the Urban Institute in its publication of Facing Our Future–Children in the Aftermath of Immigration Enforcement. Board member Maria Baldini-Potermin offered this statement: "Kathy is a great and giving person who devotes countless hours and energy to unaccompanied minors, refugees, and asylum applicants in Minnesota. Deeply caring and dedicated, Kathy also gives of her time and effort to teach and mentor law students and attorneys from all walks of life about immigration law, particularly the immigration consequences of criminal dispositions."

Please Help Us Recognize this Tireless Member

Place a Congratulatory Message in the Commemorative Program Book

Rates are as follows:

  • Full-page ad (5 x 8):  $1,200
  • Half page ad (5 x 3 ¾ ): $600
  • 1/4 - page ad (3 ¾ x 2 ½ or 5 x 2):  $400
  • 1/8 - page ad (2 ½ x 2):  $250
  • Simple listing (no message): $150

You may place your ad by returning this form to Pamela Goldstein.

Ads must be placed by June 3, 2015. There is no charge to attend the reception.

Please contact pgoldstein@nipnlg.org for further information.

Hold DHS Accountable for Fair Implementation of New Policies - New Report from NIPNLG and United We Dream

April 17, 2015 - Today, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and United We Dream released a scathing new report detailing instances in which ICE field offices ignored key provisions in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)'s Enforcement Memo released in November, 2014. The Memo explicitly created 3 priority categories for deportation, and provides detailed guidance on how DHS agencies and its employees should exercise discretion for individuals facing deportation or detention.

Prosecutorial Discretion Denied paints a harrowing picture of the ways in which local ICE field offices over the past 4 months have routinely ignored, denied, overlooked, or mishandled legitimate requests and evidence from immigrants seeking prosecutorial discretion in the review of their cases. The result has been the continued shredding of the social fabric of immigrant and mixed-status communities and families throughout the United States.

The report is a call to DHS to change course immediately. "Without an unconditional commitment to [making] improvements, it is difficult to see how the new prosecutorial discretion policies differ from the old failed ones."

Download the Full Report »
Download the Press Release »

NIPNLG Co-files Lawsuit Challenging Failure of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to Release Agency Files

March 13, 2015 - Yesterday, a class action lawsuit was filed by three immigration attorneys and eleven noncitizens challenging U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) nationwide practice of failing to timely respond to requests for case information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). FOIA gives an individual the right to access information that the federal government possesses about him or her within 20 business days of making the request. CBP routinely fails to provide requested documents within 20 days, but instead takes months—and in many cases more than a year—to provide documents.

Plaintiffs and others like them are forced to delay filing applications for lawful permanent residence while they wait for necessary documents from their own case files. By bringing this case as a class action, the plaintiffs seek to remedy CBP’s system-wide failures in its management of FOIA requests. The case was filed by the Law Offices of Stacy Tolchin (NIPNLG Board chair), Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, NIPNLG, and the American Immigration Council.

Download the Press Release »
Download the Complaint »
Download the Declaration »

NIPNLG Statement on Texas v. United States

February 18, 2015 - NIPNLG views the preliminary injunction in Texas v. United States -- that temporarily blocks the implementation of the new deferred action initiatives announced last November -- as a momentary setback. We remain confident that the courts will ultimately uphold the new deferred action initiatives, which will bring relief to millions of noncitizens who have worked and waited tirelessly for years to contribute more fully to U.S. society. In the meantime, we will continue to fight back against draconian measures that erode noncitizen rights; and work to ensure that individuals eligible for these new programs are not deported while awaiting a final court decision.

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New Practice Advisory Published - for Practitioners Assisting Individuals Seeking Relief under New Federal Program

November 25, 2014 - The National Immigration Project (NIPNLG) and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) have published a new Practice Advisory for Criminal Defenders entitled, New "Deferred Action for Parental Accountability" (DAPA) Immigration Program Announced by President Obama. The nine-page Advisory seeks to provide sound technical assistance to criminal defense practitioners regarding the new federal program.

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New Advisory for Individuals Seeking Relief under New Federal Program

November 22, 2014 - NIPNLG has published a one-page Alert for individuals with criminal convictions or arrests considering applying for the recently announced Deferred Action Programs.

Download the Alerts: English » Spanish »

Groups Launch AdminRelief.org for New Federal Program

November 20, 2014 - In the wake of President Obama’s announcement of executive action on immigration, NIPNLG as part of a coalition of national immigrant rights groups has launched a new website of free resources related to the new federal program.

The Administrative Relief Resource Center (www.adminrelief.org) seeks to be maximally helpful to legal service providers, allies in the faith, labor, and other social movements, and all practitioners and advocates working with the noncitizen population.

Contents include:

Summary of Administrative Relief »
Overview of Administrative Relief for Community Members »
Overview of Administrative Relief for Community Members (Spanish) » Community Education Presentation » Community Education Presentation (Spanish) »

The CIRI coalition (Committee for Immigration Reform Implementation) includes: the American Bar Association (ABA), AFL-CIO, American Immigration Council (AIC), American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ), Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), Center for Migration Studies (CMS), Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), Immigration Advocates Network (IAN), NALEO Educational Fund, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), National Immigration Law Center (NILC), National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG), The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), PICO National Network, UFW Foundation, UNITE HERE, United We Dream, and World Relief.

CIRI has been meeting to plan implementation strategies since its inception during the National Legalization Planning Conference held in June 2013 in St. Louis, MO.

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

August 22, 2014 - Today NIPNLG and allies sued the federal government to challenge its new and unlawful “fast-track” expedited removal policies that are being used against mothers and children detained in Artesia, New Mexico. Artesia is a remote detention center stationed hundreds of miles from the nearest city. The groups include: NIPNLG, the American Civil Liberties Union, American Immigration Council, National Immigration Law Center, Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP, ACLU of New Mexico, ACLU of the Nation’s Capital, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, and Jenner & Block.

"These women and children sought refuge in the United States after enduring the brutal murders of their loved ones, rapes, death threats, and other atrocities,” said Staff Attorney Trina Realmuto. “Over the last several weeks we have collected evidence that shows the government is disregarding our laws, and pushing mothers and children through a deportation mill.”

Dozens of declarations by attorneys stationed at Artesia describe conditions that make it virtually impossible for mothers and their children to consult with their attorneys, access legal help, obtain notice of their hearings, and meaningfully prepare their claims for asylum or any defenses to deportation. Moreover, a significant percentage of women are victims of rape and domestic violence, and are forced to answer traumatic questions, including detailed descriptions of rape, while their children are present.

In a bizarre twist, mothers and children present their cases to immigration judges stationed in Arlington, Virginia - nearly 2,000 miles away - by televideo. Attorneys near Arlington, Virginia, attempting to observe hearings for due process violations, often face locked courtroom doors.

“This process is forcing women and children to forfeit valid asylum claims,” said Paromita Shah, Associate Director of the National Immigration Project. “We cannot allow the government to hide a fatally flawed process behind locked courtroom doors.”

The lawsuit, M.S.P.C. v. Johnson, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Read the Complaint »
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For press or related inquiries, please contact Associate Director, Paromita Shah: pshah@nipnlg.org.

U.S. District Court Issues Final Order Approving Settlement in Duran Gonzalez v. Holder

July 21, 2014 - The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a final order approving the settlement in the case of Duran Gonzalez, et al. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, et al.  The settlement will allow a group of nearly 1,500 people the opportunity to remain in the United States with their families.

After 8 years of litigation that included three separate published opinions from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court approved a settlement that will allow hundreds of individuals the opportunity to reopen their previously denied applications for permanent residence so that they can remain in the United States with their families. The settlement will also allow individuals in the class who have already been removed from the United States the opportunity to submit applications through the U.S. consulates. 

The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild teamed with the American Immigration Council, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, the Law Offices of Van Der Hout, Brigagliano and Nightingale, and the Law Office of Stacy Tolchin in litigating this class action.

Related Class Action Materials »

Members of Congress Gain New Tool to Protect Constituents from Continuing Deportations

June 27, 2014 - Rep. Raul Grijalva hosted a briefing in Washington D.C. where United We Dream, PICO National Network, National Immigration Project and various other immigrant rights groups released a unique guide that aims to enable members of Congress to assist families facing imminent separation through deportation.

Read the Press Release »
Download the Comprehensive Guide by United We Dream »

DACA Renewal Process is Announced

June 24, 2014 - NIPNLG summarizes the DACA renewal process, including highlights related to Criminal, Public Safety, and Removal issues. Please click here to read the update and highlights.

On June 5, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the process for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal and released a revised Form I-821DConsideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. USCIS also updated its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) webpage on DACA.

To learn more about the DACA renewal process, please join us for our DACA Renewal Webinar on July 15, 2014. 

Congratulations, Zachary Nightingale! Annual NIPNLG Reception to Honor Work of Outstanding Member on June 20, 2014 in Boston

May 22 , 2014 - NIPNLG member Zach Nightingale will be honored at our annual member reception at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) annual convention. Zach is a passionate and talented champion of immigrant rights. His unrelenting defense of justice for noncitizens embodies the values and mission of the National Immigration Project. He is known for his unstinting work ethic, commitment to justice, and passion for doing what is right.

The reception takes place on June 20, 2014 in Boston's Marriott Copley Place. All are welcome. All proceeds benefit NIPNLG. Questions? Please contact Bethany [at] nipnlg [dot] org.

Upcoming Seminars & Events

April 23, 2014 - NIPNLG announces its spring 2014 Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar, Exploring Immigration Defense Strategies, to take place on May 30, 2104 in Seattle, WA, followed by a reception hosted by Rios & Cruz, P.S. For upcoming seminars and events please visit nipnlg.org/seminars.html.

Supreme Court Makes Exception for Immigration Cases in Criminal Case Decision

April 7, 2014 - On March 26, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in a criminal case that makes it easier to convict people with prior minor domestic violence offenses - but NOT in the immigration context, thanks to an amicus brief filed by ASISTA, NIPNLG, and others.

Read the Decision Read the Amicus Brief Read our Practice Advisory on "United States v. Castleman"

District Court Grants Preliminary Approval of Settlement Agreement and Amends Class Definition in Duran Gonzalez

March 28, 2014 - On March 21, 2014, the District Court granted preliminary approval of the settlement agreement, including amending the class definition, in Duran Gonzalez.  The court set a fairness hearing for July 11, 2014, at which the Court will consider whether to approve the settlement.

Read the Notice of Proposed Settlement/Hearing Read the Proposed Settlement Agreement Read the Full Announcement

Website Launches to Expose Border-Related Abuse and Litigation: holdcpbaccountable.org

March 26, 2014 - An alliance of immigration advocacy groups announces the launch of HoldCBPAccountable.org, a website that catalogues lawsuits and administrative complaints brought against U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The American Immigration Council (AIC), the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG), the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), and the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties have joined forces to document litigation that exposes CBP abuses, including unlawful searches and seizures, removals based on coercion and misinformation, and the use of excessive and sometimes deadly force by Border Patrol agents and CBP officers.

Read the Press Release

Victory for Immigrants' Rights: Detainers are Not Mandatory

March 5, 2014 - The Third Circuit ruled today that detainers are merely requests, and therefore it is not mandatory for jails to comply with them. This is the first Circuit Court to address the issue, and a significant victory in the struggle to reduce the overreach of the Department of Homeland Security into the affairs of local police departments.

Congratulations due especially to ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project Staff Attorney, Kate Desormeau, who represented the appellants and argued the case; and to former NIPNLG Criminal Justice Fellow, Lena Graber, who helped shape an amicus brief filed in the case on behalf of NIPNLG. NIPNLG applauds this major gain in the effort to protect the constitutional rights of noncitizens.

Read the Decision

New Resource on How Arrests and Convictions Separate Immigrant Families

February 14, 2014 - As part of the Immigrant Justice Network and CAMBIO, NIPNLG anounces a new resource in English and Spanish entitled, The Short Immigration Guide to How Arrest & Convictions Separate Families, designed for community-based organizations, immigrant communities, and all advocates of fair and just immigration policy. This illustrated guide explains how arrests and convictions affect immigrants, discusses the impact of current immigration reform proposals, and provides stories and tools for communities to fight back and keep families together. Download the Illustrated Short Guide below:

Short_Guide_ENG  Short_guide_ESP