In The News

For unaccompanied minors, countdown to 18th birthday is filled with fear and dread - CNN

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New Report Claims 'Needless, Ongoing Trauma' From Trump's Family Separation Policy - WLRN


MAR 18, 2019

One of the more disturbing sounds to hit the media airwaves last summer was a recording obtained by ProPublica of Central American children crying at an immigration detention center in Texas. They’d been separated from their parents, who had come to seek U.S. asylum.

At that same place the summer before, in 2017, a Guatemalan girl named Ana was taken from her father. She was three. Ana was sent to a relative in Immokalee, Florida, who took her to immigration lawyer Jennifer Anzardo Valdes in Miami.

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Somalian Refugees File Lawsuit Against Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Citing 1st Amendment Violations - Rogue Media Labs

By Brian Dunn

February 28, 2019

Along with the help of Americans for Immigrant Justice and Muslim Advocates, two national civil rights organizations fighting for equality, a group of 20 Somalian refugees are suing the State of Florida and national Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for what they deem to be violations of the 1st Amendment of the Constitution while being detained by Donald Trumps Government over the course of the last 15 months.

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Muslim Immigrants Sue ICE for Getting in the Way Of Religious Observance - The Intercept

February 27, 2019

MUSLIM IMMIGRANTS DETAINED at a Florida jail made more than 20 requests — orally and in writing — for religious accommodation throughout last year. Their asks were simple: They wanted their meals to be religiously compliant, to be able to make their five daily prayers without obstruction, and to have access to basic items like prayer rugs and copies of the Quran.

The officials at the Glades County Detention Center, which doubles as an immigration detention center, ignored or denied those requests, according to five Muslim men at the facility.


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Migrant Youth Go From A Children's Shelter To Adult Detention On Their 18th Birthday - NPR

February 22, 2019
Heard on Morning Edition

When migrant children cross the border without their parents, they're sent to federal shelters until caseworkers can find them a good home. But everything changes when they turn 18. That's when, in many cases, they're handcuffed and locked up in an adult detention facility. The practice is sparking lawsuits and outrage from immigrant advocates.

Last spring, a 17-year-old girl named Lisseth made the treacherous journey from El Salvador to the Texas border and asked for asylum. She says she fled sexual predators in her hometown. As an unaccompanied minor, she was sent to the United States' largest federal youth shelter, called Homestead, near Miami. She described life there as regimented and dehumanizing.

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DSU’s Indira Islas receives Holly Skolnick Human Rights Award - Dover Post

February 19, 2019

Americans for Immigrant Justice presented Delaware State University junior Indira Islas with its Holly Skolnick Human Rights Award for her story as a “Dreamer” and her advocacy for immigrants.

The organization flew her to Miami, where it held its 23rd annual AIJ Awards Dinner. In a letter to the honoree, AIJ Executive Director Cheryl Little said Islas is an “ideal recipient for this award,” noting that she has “given voice to immigrants at this critical time, when they are being driven even further into the shadows and your family’s powerful story is an inspiration to us all. It has shined a light on the plight of ‘Dreamers’ and other hardworking immigrants whose value to this country is immeasurable.”

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Bloomberg scorches Trump's ‘un-American’ immigration policies - POLITICO

February 9, 2019 

Michael Bloomberg assailed President Donald Trump as “xenophobic” and called his family separation policy “un-American” during a Friday night Miami speech that sounded like a warmup for a 2020 presidential bid.

“The American story and the American dream are under attack by our own American president,” the former New York mayor said at an Americans for Immigrant Justice fundraiser. “Hard as it is to believe, the most xenophobic president of our lifetime is from the immigrant capital of the United States: New York City.”

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‘Their lives are on hold’: Miami’s immigration court grinds to a halt because of shutdown - Miami Herald

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Leadership Development Institute - Miami's Next Leaders

December 19, 2018

Each year, Miami’s Next Leaders hosts a selective, six-month leadership development institute which seeks to support and train the next generation of Miami’s progressive leadership.

Carson is an Immigration Attorney at Americans for Immigrant Justice. She has worked in AI Justice’s Lucha Program for five years, providing representation to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking in their immigration matters in and out of court. She also provides ‘Know Your Rights’ presentations and other information to immigrant communities.

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Immigrants To Defend H-1B Spouse Work Permit At DC Circuit - Law360

By Nicole Narea

December 18, 2018

The D.C. Circuit on Monday allowed immigrants to intervene as defendants in a case challenging the Obama-era rule allowing spouses of H-1B skilled worker visa holders to apply for work authorization, taking the place of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which has proposed scrapping the rule.

In a one-page order, a three-judge panel allowed Immigration Voice, a group that represents highly skilled immigrants, and two individual immigrants to intervene in the case and set a new briefing schedule, removing the case from abeyance.

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AI Justice is an award-winning non-profit law and advocacy firm that protects and promotes the basic human rights of immigrants. In Florida and on a national level, we champion the rights of unaccompanied immigrant children; advocate for survivors of trafficking and domestic violence; serve as a watchdog on immigration detention practices and policies; and speak for immigrant groups who have particular and compelling claims to justice.