Aaron Reichlin-Melnick

Aaron Reichlin-Melnick is a Policy Analyst at the American Immigration Council, where he works primarily on immigration court issues and the intersection of immigration law and policy. He previously worked as a Staff Attorney at the Council, working on impact litigation, Freedom of Information Act litigations, and practice advisories. Prior to joining the Council, he was an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow placed as a Staff Attorney at the Immigration Law Unit of The Legal Aid Society in New York City, representing immigrants placed in removal proceedings because of a prior criminal conviction. Aaron holds a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. in Politics and East Asian Studies from Brandeis University.

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Immigration Judges and Advocates Criticize Immigration Court System for ‘Propaganda’

Immigration Judges and Advocates Criticize Immigration Court System for ‘Propaganda’

Amid growing calls for reforming the immigration court system, last week the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) sparked criticism when it put out a document “Myths vs. Facts About Immigration Proceedings.” The document, which claimed to bust 18 different “myths,” seemed intended to assuage concerns about the agency. Instead, it was met with widespread […]

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White House Demands Additional $4.5 Billion for Border

White House Demands Additional $4.5 Billion for Border

In a move designed to ratchet up pressure on Congress, last week the White House sent an emergency budget request to Congress asking for $4.5 billion of funding to deal with increased numbers of families arriving at the border. The money includes a request for funds that would permit Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to […]

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Acting DHS Secretary McAleenan Attempts to Reset Relationship with Congress

Written by on May 2, 2019 in Benefits & Relief, Enforcement with 0 Comments
Acting DHS Secretary McAleenan Attempts to Reset Relationship with Congress

Only weeks after being named the new Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Kevin McAleenan made his first appearance in front of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees this week. While it’s clear DHS will not change course on many of the policies implemented by former Secretary Nielsen, McAleenen seemed intent on […]

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Trump Wants to Make These 4 Disastrous Changes to the Asylum System

Trump Wants to Make These 4 Disastrous Changes to the Asylum System

President Trump is calling for new regulations that will target asylum seekers arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. These new rules would accelerate court hearings, limit options for relief, create new fees for an asylum application, and eliminate work permits for most asylum seekers. Taken together, the rules could prevent many from winning asylum and leave […]

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USCIS Says Immigrants Who Use Legal Marijuana Can Be Denied Citizenship for ‘Lacking Good Moral Character’

USCIS Says Immigrants Who Use Legal Marijuana Can Be Denied Citizenship for ‘Lacking Good Moral Character’

Under a new guidance issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), immigrants may find themselves barred from obtaining citizenship if they possess or use marijuana—even if doing so is legal where they live. The new policy also clarifies that even employment in the industry can prevent an immigrant from being a naturalized citizen. As […]

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Chaos Continues at DHS as Trump Purges More of His Senior Immigration Team

Chaos Continues at DHS as Trump Purges More of His Senior Immigration Team

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned from her position on Monday. She was reportedly forced from office after President Trump grew frustrated with the government’s inability to stop asylum seekers from arriving at the southern border. Her departure marked an extraordinary week in which most DHS leadership faced the chopping block. These […]

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Trump Threatens to Close the Border After Cutting Aid to Central American Countries

Trump Threatens to Close the Border After Cutting Aid to Central American Countries

President Trump has threatened to close the U.S.-Mexico border—again. As families continued to arrive at the border in March—typically the busiest month for border crossings—Trump declared he would close the border and cut off aid to three Central American countries for not stopping people from coming to the United States. This marks at least the […]

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Making Sense of the Rising Number of Families Arriving at the Border

Making Sense of the Rising Number of Families Arriving at the Border

Over the past few months, a new trend has emerged at the U.S.-Mexico border: more families are crossing and presenting themselves to U.S. officials to ask for asylum. But even though the number of people crossing the border are still at historically low levels, the Trump administration alleges it is overwhelmed by the arrival of […]

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Calls to Reform ‘Irredeemably Dysfunctional’ Immigration Court System Grow Louder

Written by on March 22, 2019 in Due Process & the Courts, Reform with 0 Comments
Calls to Reform ‘Irredeemably Dysfunctional’ Immigration Court System Grow Louder

In an exhaustive report  on the immigration court system, the American Bar Association (ABA) called on Congress to make sweeping changes in order to fix a system “on the brink of collapse.” According to the ABA, the immigration courts—which currently face backlogs of over 855,000 cases—are so “irredeemably dysfunctional” that the only solution is for […]

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After Shutdown Loss, Trump Doubles Down on Immigration in His New Budget

After Shutdown Loss, Trump Doubles Down on Immigration in His New Budget

After weeks of tense negotiations, Congress averted a second government shutdown last month by reaching a bipartisan agreement on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget—a budget which gave President Trump very little of his border demands. Undeterred, the president made a budget request for the next fiscal year on Monday. He called for $8.6 billion […]

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