NILA in Action
The CILA-NILA Partnership Offers Helpful Resources & Trainings for Representing Immigrant Youth in Federal Court
CILA, a project of the ABA’s Commission on Immigration, has partnered with the National Immigration Litigation Alliance (NILA) since 2020 to create many trainings and resources for advocates working with immigrant youth in federal courts. Covering a wide variety of topics and claims, these materials support practitioners by providing detailed trainings, sample pleadings, practice advisories, and other helpful tools. All materials are available for free on CILA’s website, and below is a helpful summary of some key resources. Attorneys and legal staff are encouraged to use these resources and to reach out to CILA if you have any questions or feedback. Read more.
In LaParra-DeLeon v. Garland, NILA submitted an amicus brief and reply brief in support of the petitioner, on behalf of itself and three other immigrants’ rights organizations. The case, a petition for review of published BIA decision Matter of LaParra, involved a notice to rescind an in absentia removal order based on lack of notice. The petitioner and amici argued that, where an individual does not receive an NTA that complies with 8 U.S.C. 1229(a)(1) under Pereira v. Sessions and Niz-Chavez v. Garland, because the NTA does not contain time or place information for their hearing, they have not received the notice required to issue an in absentia order. The First Circuit agreed, holding that, under the plain language of 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(b)(5)(C)(ii), the petitioner “’demonstrate[d]’ that he did not receive ‘notice in accordance with paragraph (1) or (2) of section 1229(a),’” and therefore warranted rescission based on lack of notice.
In DeCarvalho v. Garland, as part of NILA’s co-counseling program, we teamed up with Jen Klein of the Committee for Public Counsel Services on a petition for review. On November 17, 2021, the First Circuit held that an IJ erred by treating a drug distribution conviction as if it were a per se bar to withholding of removal. Although the court did not go so far as vacate former AG Ashcroft’s decision in Matter of Y-L-, which established a presumption that all drug distribution offenses are particularly serious crimes, the court indicated concern about the validity of the presumption and whether it can actually be overcome. As we said in our briefing, Matter of Y-L- is predicated on false assumptions about drug convictions from the 1980s and early 1999s. The fact that particularly serious crime analysis holds onto this outdated idea of drug crimes as a singular scourge on our country is remnant of the racialized political efforts to stall the progress of the Black community.