By Lena Graber, Senior Staff Attorney, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

President-elect Biden has promised to undo the Trump administration’s egregious immigration policies, which will not be easy to do on the federal level. For starters, Trump’s anti-immigration views have been embraced by many, including those who will remain in power when Biden takes the oath of office.

Also, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has built its entire immigration enforcement machine on the backs of local and state criminal legal systems, and that will not change overnight. …

Photo by SA Stands

By Carolina Canizales, Senior Texas Campaign Strategist & Anita Gupta, Staff Attorney, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Sometimes advocates like ourselves working in the immigrant rights and criminal (in)justice space disagree over whether we think a policy or law benefits the communities we serve. That is good; it means we are thinking critically about what impactful policy is. That discussion is happening right now over cite and release policies in Texas.

Texas state law has allowed for law enforcement agencies to issue citations or tickets instead of making arrests for certain low-level offenses for more than 13 years! However, this practice has been severely underutilized throughout our state. So when San Marcos became the first Texas city…

By Nithya Nathan‑Pineau​, Policy Attorney & Strategist at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was created to adjudicate humanitarian, employment, and family-based immigration applications. According to recent reports, without a $1.2 billion infusion of cash from Congress, USCIS will face a budget shortfall and will need to furlough 70% of the employees starting August. 3rd. Furlough notices have already been issued. Such drastic reductions in staff will bring the vital work of the agency to a grinding halt. …

By Nithya Nathan‑Pineau​, Policy Attorney & Strategist at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center

While the COVID-19 pandemic shut down daily life for many Americans sheltering at home, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents continued their daily work of incarcerating and deporting immigrants and shamefully furthered the spread of COVID-19 around the world. ICE has spread COVID-19 across detention centers in the United States by regularly transferring immigrants from the criminal legal system to the immigration system, and then continuing to transfer immigrants in their custody around their web of detention centers. These transfers endanger the health of all people as…

By Nithya Nathan‑Pineau​, Policy Attorney & Strategist at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center

As the country and world unite to stand in solidarity with Black lives and rise up against police brutality and racism — the Trump administration’s attacks on our communities have been persistent and unabating. Trump’s attack on immigrants was dealt a major defeat on Monday, June 15th, when the Supreme Court announced that it would not take up the Trump administration’s lawsuit challenging certain provisions of the California Values Act, also known as the California’s “sanctuary law” or SB 54. …

Paul A. McBride
Acting ICE Houston Field Office Director
126 Northpoint Drive
Houston, TX 77060


April 13, 2020

Dear Acting Field Office Director McBride:

People in immigration detention are particularly vulnerable to the spread of disease, especially those who are living with disabilities, illnesses, or are immunocompromised. They do not have access to adequate healthcare or living conditions. The 4,000 people held in four Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers in the Houston region are at serious risk of infection if COVID-19 enters a facility. …

By Anita Gupta, Staff Attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center

(Jassiel Perez-Silvas/United We Dream)

Maria, a Texas resident and loving wife, mother, and grandmother, has resided in the United States for almost 30 years. She has been a green card holder for over 20 years. Her ties to this country are extensive: Her husband, children, grandchildren, parents, and siblings are all US citizens and permanent residents. Put simply, her entire life is here, in Texas.

In 2007, Maria was confronted with a troubling family matter. Struggling to cope, she took some small items from a department store. Despite having no prior criminal history…

By the Immigrant Legal Resource Center

A naturalization ceremony in Washington state. (DSC_1565" by City of Bellevue, WA is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

For almost three years now, Trump’s demand for a border wall has been a major recurring theme in the news cycle. Time and time again, we’ve heard the chilling and offensive chant: Build that wall! Build that wall! And yet, while his chants and tantrums have captured our attention, his administration has been backstage, working hard to erect less tangible, but just as real and catastrophic barriers for immigrants.

One of the Trump administration’s recent underhanded attacks on immigrant communities is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) efforts to restrict access to fee…

By Carolina Canizales, Texas campaigns strategist at the ILRC, Andrea Guttin legal director at HILSC and Julieta Garibay, Texas director at UWD

The time for Harris County to enact impactful immigration policies is now. Harris County is home to more than 1.2 million immigrants, including at least 412,000 undocumented immigrants. Yet, our county has the highest number of ICE arrests in the nation. The overwhelming majority of these ICE arrests are a result of noncitizens coming into contact with local law enforcement and the criminal legal system, in what is essentially an arrest-to-deportation pipeline.

Harris County is experiencing a mass…

Census Day 2020 is only one year away, which means time is running out to ensure a fair and accurate count. This practice, enshrined in the United States Constitution, occurs just once every ten years, but serves the essential purpose of dividing congressional representation by population — and the results also inform the allocation of billions of dollars in federal funds.

Despite the grave importance of the Census, a last-minute decision to add an unnecessary question threatens its integrity.

In March 2018, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross approved plans to include a citizenship question on the upcoming Census, claiming that…


The Immigrant Legal Resource Center works nationally to shape immigration law/policy and advance the rights of immigrants.

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