Press Releases

It's Time to Unleash the DREAM

September 5, 2017
The decision today to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) sets a new low for an Administration bent on harming and dehumanizing our fellow immigrants. 
In 2012, when Obama provided a temporary reprieve from deportation for our country's DREAMers - immigrants brought here by their parents as young children - it was life-changing. 800,000 of our country's DREAMers have been able to work legally, get a social security number, pay taxes, pay in-state college tuition, and in Florida get a much coveted driver's license.  All of this is now at stake. 
DREAMers have been forced to weather many a storm over the years, as Congressional efforts to provide them a path to legalization failed.  The first DREAM Act was introduced in 2001, and DREAMers have been on an emotional rollercoaster ever since.  In 2010, the bipartisan DREAM Act fell just five votes short of passage.  In 2013, the bipartisan Senate Immigration Reform bill, which included the DREAM Act, was never brought to the House floor for a vote despite significant support.
When Trump was running for the Presidency, he vowed to end DACA on day one of taking office.  After the election, he promised to keep DACA alive for "these amazing kids," kids who were counting on him to keep his word.  But Trump caved after 10 state Attorney Generals threatened to file suit by September 5th unless DACA ends.  His Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who doesn't even support most legal immigration, said he can't defend DACA if these states sue.  Rounding up DREAMers won't be much of a challenge.  Every DACA applicant had to provide immigration officials their current contact information.

AI Justice had the privilege of representing the four Miami-Dade College students who walked 1500 miles, from Miami to Washington, D.C. in 2010, to garner support for the DREAM Act and make the case for comprehensive immigration reform.  One of the DREAMers, Felipe Matos, said they decided to undertake this journey despite the potential dangers, telling us, "We are aware of the risks.  We are risking our future because our present is unbearable." Today countless DREAMers across the country are feeling like Felipe - the present seems unbearable.

Passage of a DREAM bill would stop the immense brain drain that occurs when ambitious young people are deported or blocked from achieving their full potential. In 2010 the Congressional Budget Office estimated passage of the DREAM Act would reduce our deficit by $1.4 Billion over ten years.  A recent study by the Center for American Progress found that ending DACA would reduce the U.S. GDP by at least $433.4 billion over 10 years.
It's far past time for Congress to stop the colossal waste of talent that our country can't afford by enacting legislation that offers immigrant youth a path to permanent legal status. Currently, there are two pending bi-partisan bills, the Recognizing America's Children Act and the DREAM Act of 2017, which would provide DREAMers a path to citizenship. We urge Democrats and Republicans to step up to the plate and work tirelessly to ensure that these deserving kids can finally pursue their dreams. Countless DREAMers and millions of U.S. citizens are hoping and praying that they will.
Destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of our country's young residents who have done nothing wrong and everything right is morally reprehensible and just plain stupid.



AI Justice Continues to Advocate for Justice for Haitians

Miami, FL - May 22, 2017 - Department of Homeland Security sources have indicated that Temporary Protected Status for Haiti will be renewed for 6 months.  Following the January 12, 2010 earthquake that shook Haiti to its core, taking 300,000 Haitian lives and injuring 1.5 million, the United States granted Haitians Temporary Protected status (TPS), allowing them to live and work here legally.  Since then, Haiti suffered additional calamities.  In 2016, a category 5 storm slammed Haiti, destroying entire towns and affecting an estimated 2.1 million Haitians.  An ongoing cholera epidemic - reportedly the world's largest- has killed 9,500 Haitians and sickened 900,000 others.  Until today, TPS status has been renewed every 18 months since 2010. 

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AI Justice Condemns President Trump's Anti-Immigrant Executive Orders

Miami, FL - January 25, 2017 - Today, President Trump signed two Executive Orders that have devastating effects on immigrants in our communities and asylum-seekers seeking protection at our borders. Trump's Orders call for the immediate construction of a wall along the Southwest border; mandatory detention for asylum-seekers; massive expansion of immigration detention centers; the tripling of enforcement officers; the reinstatement of harmful 287(g) partnerships with local law enforcement; and the cancellation of federal grants to cities and counties that refuse to engage in immigration enforcement activities, including Miami.

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Community Leaders to Hold Frank Discussion on Immigration

WHO: Khalid Mirza, Founding Member, Coalition of South Florida Muslim Organizations (COSMOS);
Jose Antonio Zabalgoitia, Consul General of Mexico in Miami;
Markenzy Lapointe, Partner, Boies, Schiller & Flexner; and
Monica Lazaro, Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice) DREAMer client.
WHAT:  The Immigrant Experience: Today's Realities
WHERE:  Coral Gables Congregational Church,  3010 De Soto Blvd, Coral Gables
WHEN:  Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, 7-8:30pm
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Obama Administration's Decision to Resume Haitian Deportations Must Be Reversed Now

Miami, FL - October 9, 2016 - On September 22, 2016, the Obama Administration announced it was resuming Haitian deportations and new arrivals would face expedited removal. Countless Haitians who made it to the border since the policy change are currently in ICE custody in the San Diego area. Meanwhile, roughly 7000 Haitians without TPS who were released before the policy change now face detention and deportation. Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice) represents a number of these Haitians, who currently have work permits and are terrified of return.

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Sad News for Haitians in Need of Refuge

Miami, FL - September 22, 2016 - For the past several months, our Miami office has been assisting Haitians who left Haiti following the earthquake in search of jobs and safety in Brazil. They are now seeking refuge in the United States, given Brazil's political and economic instability.
Earlier today the Obama Administration announced that it is resuming Haitian deportations and new arrivals at the Border will have their cases expedited. An estimated 2000 Haitians already here who have final removal orders are also at risk of removal. Deportations to Haiti were suspended following the 2010 earthquake.
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Americans for Immigrant Justice and Miami Dade College Present Award-Winning Documentary, DREAM: An American Story

Miami, FL - August 3, 2016 - Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice) presents Dream:  An American Story on Monday, Aug. 29 at 5:30 p.m., at Miami Dade College's (MDC) acclaimed Tower Theater. DREAM: An American Story explores the struggles of DREAMers through the story of Killian High School and MDC graduate and former top student, Juan Gomez, whose classmates rally to the cause when he is threatened with deportation.  Local DREAMers who undertook the 1400 mile Trail of Dreams walk from Miami to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness of the plight of undocumented immigrants are also featured in this stirring film. That journey began on the steps of the Freedom Tower at MDC and was completed by four MDC students. 

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Americans for Immigrant Justice and MDC Present DREAM: An American Story

Documentary Film Screening and Panel Discussion at MDC's Iconic Tower Theater 

Miami, FL - August 8, 2016 - Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice) presents Dream:  An American Story, an award-winning feature-length documentary film which chronicles the life of MDC graduate and former top student Juan Gomez on Monday, Aug. 29 at 5:30 p.m., at Miami Dade College's (MDC) acclaimed Tower Theater.
Academically gifted, Juan Gomez firmly believes in the philosophy and promise of the American Dream. Facing separation from his parents, and caught in the midst of a dysfunctional immigration system and a deadlocked Congress, this dedicated and hardworking student struggles to gain legal status in the United States, the country he entered at age two with his parents who fled Colombia seeking asylum.  The film will be preceded by a reception and a panel discussion will take place following the screening.
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Another Serious Setback for Hardworking Immigrant Families Following Today's U.S. Supreme Court Decision

Miami, FL - June 23, 2016 - In a split 4-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has left in place a nationwide injunction that leaves countless immigrants who have lived here for years, worked hard, paid taxes and have U.S. citizen children without hope for a better future. President Obama's directive on November 20, 2014, granting Deferred Action to Parents of U.S. citizen and legal resident children (DAPA) and expanding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), sadly remains on hold and once again immigrant families have been dealt a devastating blow. An estimated 230,000 eligible immigrants in Florida alone could benefit from DAPA/DACA; its implementation over the next 10 years could add over $9 billion to Florida's GDP. Every U.S. president since Eisenhower has used his executive authority to grant temporary immigration relief.

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AI Justice Wins Landmark Settlement for Asylum Seeker Detained by Customs and Border Protection

New York, NY - February 19, 2016 - Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice), in conjunction with the law firm of Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzeli and Pratt, P.A., announced the settlement of a landmark Federal Tort Claims Act case on behalf of Alba Quiñonez Flores that challenged the conditions of her detention in multiple holding stations operated by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) along the U.S./Mexico border in southern Texas.

These cells, called "hieleras" (ice-boxes) because they are deliberately kept at low temperatures, are maintained in deplorable conditions. Ms. Quiñonez, like thousands of other immigrants detained by CBP every year, was held for several days in frigid, dirty, overcrowded holding cells and denied access to proper medical care, adequate meals, clean drinking water, and basic hygiene products. CBP never provided her any form of bedding, forcing her to sleep on cold concrete floors for several nights with bright fluorescent lights on 24 hours a day. AI Justice attorney, Jennie Santos-Bourne, noted that "[T]he lawsuit was brought to challenge many of the inhumane practices and deplorable conditions existing at these federal detention centers and to seek compensation for Ms. Quiñonez's damages." 

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About Us:

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.