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Notes from The Field 8-21-10

August 21, 2010

ABA Report on Immigration Adjudication

Earlier this year, the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration released the results of its comprehensive review of system by which the U.S. immigration adjudication system determines whether non-citizens are allowed to stay in the United States or will be deported or removed. In its report, “Reforming the Immigration System: Proposals to Promote Independence, Fairness, Efficiency and Professionalism in the Adjudication of Removal Cases,” the ABA recommends the creation of an independent immigration court, as well as a number of legal changes necessary to improve the fairness and efficiency of immigration processes. The 78-page Executive Summary of the report is available online. 

Confronting Anti-Immigrant Myths

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services has produced a brief factsheet, Immigration Myths and Facts, confronting some of the myths and misconceptions currently being spread about immigrants and immigration. 
            For more ideas about what you can do to support immigrants and counter anti-immigrant prejudice, visit the LIRS Action Center. (Photo at left from LIRS.)

Vermont Refugee Assistance 

…announces that it is changing its name to Vermont Immigration and Asylum Advocates. Founded in 1987 to support refugees fleeing civil wars in Central America, “this grassroots volunteer nonprofit organization has helped thousands of refugees from all over the world.  VRA assists those seeking asylum, who are often detained in Vermont jails, and helps immigrants with legal and other assistance. VRA also seeks to educate U.S. citizens and to increase their participation in regional, national, and international refugee and immigration issues.”
            See Ken Picard’s article on the organization, “Out of the Darkness,” in Seven Days: Vermont’s Independent Voice.

Hike to Help Refugees

Recognizing that shelter is often the primary need of refugees, Margaret Hahn and the members of Omaha, Nebraska’s Omaha Yoga School, created the Hike to Help Refugees to support the United Nations Refugee Agency. In its first hike, in May 2003, fourteen supporters hiked the 63-mile Wabash Trace Nature Trail, and raised $4,352 to provide all-season tents for refugees in places like Afghanistan and Darfur. Since its inception the group has raised over $65,000, and this year it held hikes, in Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska. (Photo from Hike to Help Refugees.)

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