Beth Werlin

Beth Werlin is the Executive Director of the American Immigration Council. Beth most recently served as the Council’s Policy director and previously worked for over 13 years in the Council’s legal program and was involved in nearly every major legal issue the Council tackled over the last decade. She has worked to protect the rights of noncitizens and ensure that the immigration agencies are held accountable for violations of the law. She has represented plaintiffs and amicus curiae in immigration litigation in the federal courts and before the Board of Immigration Appeals and is the author of numerous practice advisories. Beth first joined the legal team in 2001 as a NAPIL fellow and before that was a judicial law clerk at the immigration court in Boston, Massachusetts. She earned her J.D. from Boston College Law School and her B.A. from Tufts University.

Court Rules that Individuals Seeking Protection Must Have Bond Hearing

Written by on August 8, 2016 in Federal Courts/Jurisdiction with 0 Comments
Court Rules that Individuals Seeking Protection Must Have Bond Hearing

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York issued an important decision in July recognizing certain noncitizens’ right to a bond hearing before an immigration judge. It was a victory not only for the petitioner, a Guatemalan man seeking protection in the United States, but also will likely have a far-reaching impact on thousands […]

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Department of Justice Seeks Rehearing in United States v. Texas

Department of Justice Seeks Rehearing in United States v. Texas

Today, the Department of Justice filed a petition for rehearing with the Supreme Court in United States v. Texas.  In June, the Court issued a 4-4 one sentence nondecision affirming the Fifth Circuit’s preliminary injunction of DAPA and expanded DACA. In this new petition, the federal government specifically asked that a full nine-Member Court hear […]

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Digesting the Argument in U.S. v. Texas: What Is Lawful Presence and Why Does It Not Mean What It Sounds Like?

Digesting the Argument in U.S. v. Texas: What Is Lawful Presence and Why Does It Not Mean What It Sounds Like?

The oral argument in United States v. Texas shined a light on the confusion between the term “lawful presence” and what it means to have a legal immigration status in the United States. Early in the argument, Chief Justice Roberts noted that in its brief, the United States asserted that individuals covered by DAPA are “lawfully […]

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What Does Justice Scalia’s Death Mean for United States v. Texas, the DAPA/DACA Case?

Written by on February 19, 2016 in Executive Action, Federal Courts/Jurisdiction with 1 Comment
What Does Justice Scalia’s Death Mean for United States v. Texas, the DAPA/DACA Case?

Earlier this week, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away at the age of 79. The unexpected death of the then longest serving member on the Court means there is a vacancy on the nine-member bench. But, it is unlikely that the Senate will confirm another Supreme Court Justice quickly, even if the President promptly […]

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Government Losing its License to Operate Family Detention Center in Pennsylvania

Written by on February 1, 2016 in Detention with 0 Comments
Government Losing its License to Operate Family Detention Center in Pennsylvania

On January 27, 2016, Pennsylvania state officials informed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that it would not renew and would revoke the operating license for the Berks County Residential Facility, the immigration detention center in Leesport, Pennsylvania, which jails mothers and children, often for extended periods of time. The current license will expire on […]

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Central American Violence Pushes More Children North in Search of Protection

Written by on December 21, 2015 in Enforcement, Humanitarian Protection with 0 Comments
Central American Violence Pushes More Children North in Search of Protection

Earlier this month, Customs and Border Protection released statistics showing an increase in the number of unaccompanied children arriving at the southwest border in October and November 2015. In those two months alone, over 10,000 unaccompanied children arrived, a 106 percent increase from the same time the prior year. Similarly, there was an increase in […]

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Efforts to Pass Anti-Refugee Legislation Slows

Written by on December 7, 2015 in Humanitarian Protection, Legislation, Refugee Status with 0 Comments
Efforts to Pass Anti-Refugee Legislation Slows

In the days after the Paris attacks, fear took hold of many across the United States, and some politicians proposed shutting our doors to refugees, particularly those from Syria and Iraq. This knee jerk reaction resulted in the House of Representatives hastily passing a misguided bill, which, if signed into law, would effectively halt the […]

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Talking Turkey on Immigration 2015

Talking Turkey on Immigration 2015

Today, I have the pleasure of following in the footsteps of Mary Giovagnoli, who, during her five years at the American Immigration Council, entertained and enlightened us with her annual blog about how to survive and thrive when the topic turns to immigration at the Thanksgiving Day table. With good humor, she reminded us that […]

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Understanding Where We’re at and What Comes Next in DACA/DAPA Case

Written by on November 10, 2015 in Executive Action with 1 Comment
Understanding Where We’re at and What Comes Next in DACA/DAPA Case

Last night, a divided panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the federal government’s appeal of the preliminary injunction that has halted implementation of President Obama’s 2014 deferred action initiatives. These initiatives—namely, the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and an expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals […]

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Setting the Record Straight on the Leaked Government Memo on Work Authorization

Setting the Record Straight on the Leaked Government Memo on Work Authorization

Recently, a leaked memo related to the Department of Homeland Security’s ongoing deliberations about reforming the employment-based immigrant visa system was published online. An “investigative associate” with the restrictionist organization Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) wrote an op-ed in The Hill making grossly inaccurate statements about the contents of the leaked memo—indicating that it applied […]

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