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.

Supreme Court Sends a ‘Dangerous Message’ by Not Finding Bush Officials Liable in Post-9/11 Abuse Case

Written by on June 21, 2017 in Abuses, Detention, Federal Courts/Jurisdiction with 0 Comments
Supreme Court Sends a ‘Dangerous Message’ by Not Finding Bush Officials Liable in Post-9/11 Abuse Case

A bare majority of the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that six former immigrants of Arab or South Asian descent—all but one of whom are Muslim—cannot sue high-level U.S. officials over policies that authorized punitive detention conditions in the wake of September 11, 2001. The six plaintiffs in Zigler v. Abbasi were swept up in […]

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Appeals Court Upholds Block on Trump’s Travel Ban

Written by on May 25, 2017 in Federal Courts/Jurisdiction, News Flash with 0 Comments
Appeals Court Upholds Block on Trump’s Travel Ban

In a sweeping decision issued Thursday, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a nationwide preliminary injunction against President Trump’s second Executive Order, which restricts nationals of six Muslim-majority countries from being issued visas and entering the United States. In the case International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) v. Trump, an overwhelming majority of […]

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Second “Muslim Ban” Meets Renewed Litigation

Written by on March 13, 2017 in Enforcement, Executive Action, Refugee Status with 0 Comments
Second “Muslim Ban” Meets Renewed Litigation

In the week following President Trump’s issuance of a second travel ban targeting six Muslim-majority countries, several states and a number of immigrant rights groups immediately returned to federal courts throughout the country to urge that this ban, like the first, be enjoined. Trump’s initial Muslim travel ban, an Executive Order issued on January 27, […]

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Meet the Plaintiffs Challenging the Discriminatory Nature of President Trump’s Muslim Ban

Written by on January 31, 2017 in Executive Action, Immigration Courts with 0 Comments
Meet the Plaintiffs Challenging the Discriminatory Nature of President Trump’s Muslim Ban

The fallout continues from last week’s immigration executive order, which has been coined the “Muslim Ban.” Several lawsuits have been filed to challenge the executive order, including Ali v. Trump, on the grounds that it violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law and a statutory prohibition against discrimination. The American Immigration Council, […]

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DHS and Immigration Courts Sued Over One-Year Asylum Deadline

Written by on July 6, 2016 in Asylum, Immigration Courts with 0 Comments
DHS and Immigration Courts Sued Over One-Year Asylum Deadline

Immigration law imposes a one-year deadline, beginning upon arrival in the United States, within which an asylum seeker must apply for asylum. With very limited exceptions, an individual who misses this deadline becomes ineligible for asylum. Even though the clock is ticking for these asylum seekers, DHS agents and officers do not notify them of […]

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Court Finds Federal Officers Can be Sued for Mistreatment of Immigrants in Detention

Written by on July 29, 2015 in Due Process & the Courts, Immigration Courts with 0 Comments
Court Finds Federal Officers Can be Sued for Mistreatment of Immigrants in Detention

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled last month that eight immigrant men who were detained under extremely punitive conditions in maximum security facilities following 9/11, could proceed with their lawsuit against the individual federal officials responsible for their mistreatment. All of the plaintiffs in Turkmen v. Ashcroft were caught up in the […]

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

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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Supreme Court Decides Immigrants Can “Age-Out” of Visa Petitions

Supreme Court 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

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

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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