Mary Kenney

Mary Kenney is the senior staff attorney with the Legal Action Center. Ms. Kenney was counsel in Ngwanyia v. Ashcroft, a national asylee adjustment class action. She has litigated cases at the Board of Immigration Appeals and in various federal courts around the country. Prior to joining the American Immigration Council, she spent seven years as the Executive Director for the Texas Lawyers' Committee, a statewide immigrant and refugee rights project. She also was a legal services attorney for eleven years. Ms. Kenney received her J.D. degree from Antioch School of Law.

Third Federal Court Rejects Government Interpretation of ‘Admission’ into U.S.

Written by on November 6, 2014 in Courts, Immigration Law with 1 Comment
Third Federal Court Rejects Government Interpretation of ‘Admission’ into U.S.

This week, the federal district court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that when U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted Melvin Medina—a Honduran citizen who entered the United States without inspection on October 9, 1992—Temporary Protected Status (TPS), it “inspected and admitted” him for purposes of adjustment of status. This is now the […]

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SCOTUS Decides Immigrants Can “Age-Out” of Visa Petitions

Written by on June 9, 2014 in Children, Courts, Family, Supreme Court with 7 Comments
SCOTUS Decides Immigrants Can “Age-Out” of Visa Petitions

In Scialabba v. Cuellar de Osorio, a heavily-divided Supreme Court ruled against thousands of aspiring young immigrants who were included on their parents’ visa petitions as minors, but who turned 21—known as “aging-out”—before visas became available. Aging-out is tantamount to someone losing his place in the visa line with his parents; the majority ruled that […]

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Justice Department’s Losing Battle Over Deportation Waivers for Permanent Residents

Written by on February 14, 2014 in Department of Justice, Deportation, Family with 0 Comments
Justice Department’s Losing Battle Over Deportation Waivers for Permanent Residents

For more than five years, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has defended a policy that deprives long-term lawful permanent residents (LPRs) of the opportunity to apply for a waiver that would allow them to remain in the United States. The waiver—known as the 212(h) waiver (referring to section 212(h) of the immigration statute)—permits permanent residents […]

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Supreme Court Considers Restrictive Interpretation of Child Status Protection Act

Written by on December 11, 2013 in Administration, Family, Supreme Court, Visas with 2 Comments
Supreme Court Considers Restrictive Interpretation of Child Status Protection Act

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Mayorkas v. Cuellar de Osorio, a case challenging the government’s restrictive interpretation of the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). The CSPA provides relief for the longstanding problem of children included on a parent’s visa application who “age out” – that is, turn 21 and lose their status […]

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Supreme Court to Interpret Child Status Protection Act

Written by on November 14, 2013 in Children, Courts, Family, Immigration Law, Supreme Court, USCIS, Visas with 7 Comments
Supreme Court to Interpret Child Status Protection Act

Last week, several groups, including the American Immigration Council, submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court describing the heartrending stories of young people who have been separated from their families due to government processing delays and the shortage of visas.  The case, Mayorkas v. Cuellar de Osorio, concerns the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), […]

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The BIA Has the Chance to Prevent the Wrongful Deportation of Immigrant Children

The BIA Has the Chance to Prevent the Wrongful Deportation of Immigrant Children

While there is no question that Congress needs to step up to the plate and repair our broken immigration system through legislative reform, there are some fixes that can be made now without waiting for Congressional action. If the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) would stop narrowly interpreting […]

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