Policy Advocacy

Local

Letter to ICE and Local Sheriffs (3/20/2020)
HIRC co-signed this letter urging ICE and local county sheriffs/wardens of the jails that contract with ICE to release immigrants in ICE custody in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Failed Accountability: The Unknown Cost of Immigration Detention in Massachusetts(1/20)
This Crimmigration Clinic report analyzes immigration detention trends in Massachusetts over the last few years, including: the number of individuals detained in Massachusetts facilities; the revenue Massachusetts facilities receive from the federal government for housing ICE detainees; the costs associated with immigration detention at these facilities; and whether those costs and revenues represent a net loss or gain to the Commonwealth.

Letter to City of Cambridge on Municipal VotingCambridge City Council (5/5/17).

Letter to the City of Cambridge on Legal Defense FundCambridge City Council (5/5/17).
HIRC attorneys and staff members and Immigration Response Initiative (IRI) students submitted two letters to the City of Cambridge: one in support of an initiative to allow for noncitizens to vote in municipal elections, and the other in support of a legal defense fund for immigration representation.

National

Letter to EOIR (3/20)
HIRC’s Director and Managing Attorney signed on to this letter to EOIR, which calls on EOIR to develop and enact policies that address the COVID-19 crisis.

Comments on Fee Increases (3/20)
HIRC submitted comments on EOIR’s proposed fee increases.

Comment on Bars to Asylum (1/20)
HIRC submitted comments on the proposed new bars to asylum.

Comments on Expedited Removal (9/19)
HIRC submitted comments on the DHS proposal to expand expedited removal.

Solitary Voices (5/19)
This investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists focuses on the misuse of solitary confinement in detention centers in the U.S. A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) obtained by HIRC helped release records from ICE on the solitary detainment of immigrants.

Comments on “Inadmissibility on Public Charge” (12/18)
HIRC submitted comments on the proposed change to the public charge regulation.

Comments on Family Detention, Flores v. Reno and “Request for Fee Waiver” (11/18)
HIRC, in collaboration with Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) and the HLS Immigration Project (HIP), submitted comments on proposals regarding the detention of immigrant children, the end of the Flores v. Reno settlement, and changes to the USCIS I-912 form.

United States Failure to Comply with the Refugee Convention: Misapplication of the Particularly Serious Crime Bar to Deny Refugees Protection from Removal to Countries Where Their Life or Freedom is Threatened (9/18)
This report examines how U.S. implementation and interpretation of the “particularly serious crime” bar to withholding of removal and asylum in the U.S. fails to comply with the Refugee Convention. It also looks at how the U.S. diverges from the standards and practice of the international community and other countries.

“Particularly Serious Crime” Bars on Asylum and Withholding of Removal: Legal Standards and Sample Case Determinations (9/18)
This is a resource that will aid in the legal representation of immigrants in criminal and removal proceedings. Specifically, this chart will help attorneys evaluate whether a criminal conviction constitutes a “particularly serious crime” barring asylum or withholding of removal.

Syrian Refugee Resettlement Report (5/17)
This report, made possible by a grant from the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation and catalyzed by the situation facing Syrian refugees, contains extensive recommendations regarding the United States’ role in protecting vulnerable refugees, safeguarding foreign policy interests, advancing American job creation, and complying with humanitarian and legal obligations. The report is accompanied by an Executive Summary and Recommendations, as well as a corresponding compendium laws.

The Impact of President Trump’s Executive Orders on Asylum Seekers
(2/8/17)
This report investigates the various ways in which the Executive Orders from President Trump have affected asylum seekers. Issues highlighted include delays in adjudication, discrimination against asylum seekers, and denial of family reunification

Sanctuary Campus Toolkit (2/2/17)
This report was created for Cosecha by the Immigration Response Initiative, a student-led organization at Harvard Law School. These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) aim to equip student organizers and their faculty and administrator allies with the tools to successfully engage in dialogue with campus administrations and communities to develop the strongest policies for protecting those who study, work, and live on a college or university campus.

International

Hearing request, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (7/11/19)
HIRC filed a hearing request with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to discuss the human rights abuses of asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Hearing requestInter-American Commission on Human Rights (10/4/17).
HIRC filed a hearing request with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to discuss the human rights situation of refugee claimants under the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States.

Emergency Hearing on Executive OrdersInter-American Commission on Human Rights (2/28/17).
This request, granted by the Commission, raised concerns about the Safe Third Country Agreement, and made the case that the U.S. is no longer a “safe” place for asylum seekers.