Beth Werlin

Beth Werlin is the Deputy Director and Litigation Clearinghouse Attorney at the Legal Action Center. The Litigation Clearinghouse serves as a national point of contact for lawyers conducting or contemplating immigration litigation. Ms. Werlin joined the American Immigration Council as a NAPIL Fellow in 2001 and was a staff attorney from 2003 until 2005. She has represented plaintiffs and amicus curiae in immigration litigation in the federal courts and before the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Petition Challenges DHS on Enforcement Priorities

Petition Challenges DHS on Enforcement Priorities

Last week, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) along with six individuals, submitted a formal request to the Department of Homeland Security asking the agency to temporarily suspend the deportation of low-priority undocumented workers and their families and grant them “deferred action.” Deferred action is a discretionary decision by the government not to pursue [...]

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The Washington Post Exposes Sorry State of Immigration Courts

The Washington Post Exposes Sorry State of Immigration Courts

This week, the Washington Post ran a front page article drawing attention to the fact that our nation’s immigration courts are operating in crisis mode.  The immigration courts are so overcrowded that judges are forced to make split-second decisions regarding complex legal issues, calling into question whether the court system is fairly administering justice.  The [...]

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USCIS to Offer Stay of Deportation to Certain Military Family Members

Written by on November 15, 2013 in Children, Family, Military, USCIS with 2 Comments
USCIS to Offer Stay of Deportation to Certain Military Family Members

Today, USCIS issued guidance that is intended to prevent current and former members of the U.S. armed forces from being separated from their noncitizen family members.  The memo indicates that the noncitizen family members may be afforded “parole in place.”  “Parole in place” is a discretionary tool that allows a noncitizen who is in the [...]

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How the Supreme Court Decision on DOMA Will Impact Immigration Law

Written by on March 26, 2013 in Constitution, Courts, DOMA, Immigration Law, Supreme Court with 0 Comments
How the Supreme Court Decision on DOMA Will Impact Immigration Law

Family unity is one of the driving forces in our immigration system.  United States citizens and lawful permanent residents can obtain immigrant visas for their spouses.  Many foreign nationals who come to the United States on employment-based visas bring their spouses and children with them.  And some waivers and forms of relief from removal are [...]

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Hearing and Report Highlight Lack of Due Process in Immigration System

Hearing and Report Highlight Lack of Due Process in Immigration System

This week, Senator Christopher Coons of Delaware presided over a public hearing to discuss what so many of us know:  the immigration courts are failing to provide a fair, efficient, and effective system of justice.  Many of the concerns raised by Senator Coons, as well as some of the witnesses, during Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee [...]

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SCOTUS Narrows Protections For Noncitizens Who Received Poor Legal Advice

SCOTUS Narrows Protections For Noncitizens Who Received Poor Legal Advice

Almost three years ago, in the landmark decision Padilla v. Kentucky, the Supreme Court acknowledged the severity of deportation and that our current immigration laws make “removal nearly an automatic result” for many noncitizens convicted of crimes.  Consequently, the Court held that a criminal defense attorney must advise noncitizen clients about the risks of deportation [...]

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Shoddy Court Process Behind the Record Number of Deportations

Shoddy Court Process Behind the Record Number of Deportations

The Obama Administration is on record for pursuing the toughest immigration enforcement policies in U.S. history, mostly evidenced by its record numbers of deportations.  These numbers speak volumes:  last year, nearly 400,000 people were deported from the United States.  While these numbers are shockingly high and there has been much discussion about how these actions [...]

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Using Administrative Tools to Improve Immigration Court

Using Administrative Tools to Improve Immigration Court

Even as the push for legislative reform to our immigration system begins anew, it’s important that every tool to fix our outdated immigration system be employed, including administrative reform. While rarely discussed, attention must be paid to immigration court reform.  Immigration courts lack many of the hallmarks of due process that Americans have come to expect, [...]

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Appellate Court Hears Arguments in Case Challenging DOMA, Bi-National Married Couples File New Suit

Written by on April 10, 2012 in Courts, DOMA, Family, Immigration Law with 1 Comment
Appellate Court Hears Arguments in Case Challenging DOMA, Bi-National Married Couples File New Suit

Same sex couples face often insurmountable hurdles when it comes to immigration status.  Under the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), lesbian and gay U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are barred from obtaining immigrant visas for their spouses.  When Congress enacted DOMA in 1996, no state celebrated marriages between gay and lesbian couples.  But, the [...]

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Pending a Resolution of DOMA, Immigration Judges Should Exercise Discretion to Stay Removal Cases

Written by on June 13, 2011 in Courts, DOMA, Family, Reform with 1 Comment
Pending a Resolution of DOMA, Immigration Judges Should Exercise Discretion to Stay Removal Cases

BY BETH WERLIN AND VICTORIA NEILSON To date, five states plus the District of Columbia celebrate marriages of gay and lesbian couples and several other states honor such marriages.  In addition, five countries, including Canada, permit marriages of gay and lesbian couples and at least fourteen additional countries recognize same-sex relationships for immigration purposes.  Yet, [...]

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