News

Trump Immigration Proposal Puts Focus on Worker Skills

President Donald Trump today outlined his administration’s new immigration proposal that would bolster funding for infrastructure at the border and tie the allocation of visas more explicitly to job skills, The Wall Street Journal reports, and less on family ties, refugee admissions or the existing diversity lottery. The plan would favor immigrants from three skills-based categories: workers with extraordinary talent, workers in sought-after specialized vocations and exceptional students.

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Memphis Judge Under Fire for Facebook Post

Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Jim Lammey is facing criticism for a Facebook post, in which he shared an article by a Holocaust denier calling Muslim immigrants “foreign mud,” the Commercial Appeal reports. Lammey faces immigrant felons in court and is the only Criminal Court judge in the county to regularly order some immigrants seeking probation to register with federal immigration authorities or stay in jail. When asked about the post, Lammey said, “I see where I said, ‘Interesting read. Some four-letter words, though.' I don’t know if that meant that I agreed with it all or if it was just a reason to have a good conversation."
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TBA Recap: Immigration Law Forum 2019

The TBA Immigration Law Section held its annual forum last Thursday in Nashville. Over 50 attendees participated in thought-provoking sessions on a variety of immigration law issues. The TBA would like to thank Section Chair-Elect and program producer Terry Olsen as well as the entire executive council for their efforts in planning and executing a superb program. 

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ABA President Urges Attorney General to Reconsider Asylum-Seeker Detention

ABA President Bob Carlson wrote in a letter sent to Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday that his recent decision to remove the right of certain asylum-seekers to receive a bond hearing before an immigration judge will not only harm asylum-seekers, but the entire immigration court system, the ABA Journal reports. Carlson urged Barr to reconsider his decision which ordered the detention of some asylum-seekers pending resolution of their cases, even though they were able to show a credible fear of persecution or torture in their home countries. Carlson points out that Barr’s decision overturns long-standing precedent.
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SCOTUS Appears Ready to Allow Citizenship Question on Census Form

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments today on whether a citizenship question can be included on forms for the upcoming 2020 census, and appeared split along ideological lines, NPR reports. Based on their questions during today's oral arguments at the high court, the justices appear ready to vote 5-4 to allow the Trump administration to add the questions for next year's head count. Conservative justices say there is historical precedent for inclusion of the question, while liberal justices argue that the question will result in fewer people filling out the form. The decision matters because population counts will determine how many congressional seats and Electoral College votes each state gets for the next decade. The data also guides the distribution of $880 billion a year in federal funding for schools, roads and other public services.
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No-Match Letters Are Back

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has resumed issuance of Employer Correction Request notices, commonly referred to as “Social Security No-Match Letter” or “No-Match Letter”. These notifications are going to businesses whom submitted wage and tax statements (Form W-2) that contain name and Social Security number (SSN) combinations that do not match SSA’s records.

I.          Why Employers Receive “No-Match Letters?

There are a number of reasons, legitimate and illegitimate, why reported names and SSNs may not agree with SSA’s records, including a misspelled name or SSN with a transposed number; a change in the worker’s name due to marriage or divorce; incomplete information on a W-4 or W-2; or use of compound names which are not perfectly aligned in the government databases. Of course, mismatches could also be due to the use of false SSNs.

Although one should not assume a no-match letter equals an unauthorized or undocumented worker, the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and its successor, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), have told employers that receipt of one of these notifications creates an affirmative duty to investigate the discrepancy. And an employer’s failure to follow-up with an employee could lead to a finding of constructive knowledge of unauthorized employment.

II.         History of No-Match Letters

Let’s try to put some background to no-match letters. In 1993, the SSA began sending no-match letters to employers who submitted SSNs that did not match its records.

In 2006, President George W. Bush’s administration decided these discrepancies could be evidence of unauthorized employment. Thus, it issued a regulation setting forth procedures for employers to follow upon receipt of an SSA no-match letter. Employers who followed those procedures were provided a safe harbor from allegations of having "constructive knowledge" of unauthorized employment. Employers who did not may be found to have constructive knowledge of employees’ unauthorized work status.

Before the regulation could be enforced, it was enjoined by a federal court. This litigation continued between 2007 and 2009. The Obama administration rescinded the regulation and suspended all communication to employers regarding data mismatches in 2012.

Despite no regulation, ICE still regards an employer's failure to act upon discovering a Social Security discrepancy as evidence of constructive knowledge of unauthorized employment. During I-9 form audits, Notices of Inspection usually subpoena employers’ records concerning no-match letters.

III.        IER’s Position

Another potential problem is that the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) of the Department of Justice, who is responsible for ensuring that employers don’t go too far in their employment verification duties. With regards to no-match letters, IER has stated mere receipt of such a letter, without any other evidence, does not give rise to constructive knowledge that an employee is unauthorized to work. Doing so may be considered an unfair documentary practice or evidence of discrimination based on citizenship, national original, or immigration status.

IV.       Guidance from IER

In 2011, the predecessor to the IER, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), provided guidance on “do’s and don’ts” related to No-Match Letters. Here are some of these tips:

DO:

1. Check the reported no-match information against your personnel records.

2. Inform the employee of the no-match notice and ask the employee to confirm his name/SSN reflected in your personnel records.

3. Advise the employee to contact the SSA to correct and/or update his SSA records.

4. Give the employee a reasonable period of time (no specific time period is listed) to address a reported no-match with the local SSA office.

5. Periodically meet with or otherwise contact the employee to learn and document the status of the employee’s efforts to address and resolve the no-match.

6. Submit any employer or employee corrections to the SSA.

DON’T:

1. Use the receipt of a no-match notice alone as a basis to terminate, suspend or take other adverse action against the employee.

2. Attempt to immediately reverify the employee’s employment eligibility by requesting the completion of a new I-9 form based solely on the no-match notice.

3. Follow different procedures for different classes of employees based on national origin or citizenship status.

4. Require the employee to produce specific documents to address the no-match.

V.        Conclusion

What happens if your employee does not respond to the letter or otherwise act to resolve the issue? Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer. But HR should not bury their head in the sand. Rather, it should proactively work to resolve the problem.

As you see, this will continue to be a difficult issue for employers. Remember if one gets a no-match letter, follow the above guidance and consult with your immigration/employment attorney before taking any action against an employee.


Bruce E. Buchanan is the founding partner of Sebelist Buchanan Law PLLC located in Nashville and Atlanta. He is also “Of Counsel” to Siskind Susser, P.C. on employer immigration compliance matters. Bruce is a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Law. Bruce is the co-author of I-9 and E-Verify Handbook and a blogger on immigration compliance issues at www.employerimmigration.com. He may be reached at bbuchanan@sblimmigration.com or (615) 345-0266.

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Tennessee’s New Anti-Immigration Law

In 2018, the Tennessee state legislature passed a controversial law concerning the extent to which local governments may control how local law enforcement agencies interact with the federal government on immigration enforcement.  In April 2018, the Tennessee state legislature passed House Bill 2315 and presented it to then-Governor Bill Haslam.  In statement the next month explaining his refusal to sign the law, he said that it was a “solution looking for a problem and has primarily served to stir up fear on both sides of the issue ….”  (See https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/acts/110/pub/pc0973.pdf).

HB 2315, which took effect on January 1 of this year, prohibits any local or state governmental entity or official from adopting a “sanctuary policy.”  It defines such a policy a sweeping manner to include any informal or formal “directive, order, ordinance, resolution, practice, or policy” that does any of the following:

(1) restricts or forbids local governments/officials from communicating or cooperating with federal agencies or officials to verify or report the citizenship or immigration status of any individual, or bar law enforcement agencies from asking about the citizenship or immigration status of any person; (2) grants a right to “lawful presence” within Tennessee to any foreign national who is not lawfully present here under federal law; (3) restricts or imposes conditions on a state or local governmental entity's cooperation or compliance with U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) detainers to keep a foreign national detained or to transfer him or her to DHS custody; (4) requires DHS to get a warrant or show probable cause for the entity to comply with a detainer.

To enforce these provisions, HB2315 provides that any “local government entity that adopts or enacts a sanctuary policy is ineligible to enter into any grant contract with the department of economic and community development until the sanctuary policy is repealed, rescinded or otherwise no longer in effect.”  Further, if a court finds that such an entity or official has violated the prohibition against “sanctuary policies,” the new law provides that the court “shall” issue a writ of mandamus to require compliance or enjoin the non-compliance.

HB2315 also does not merely bar “sanctuary policies,” but also authorizes (and arguably encourages) law enforcement agencies to ratchet up their involvement with immigration enforcement.  The bill affirmatively authorizes “all law enforcement agencies and officials … to communicate with the appropriate federal official regarding the immigration status of any individual, including reporting knowledge that a particular alien is not lawfully present in the United States or otherwise to cooperate with the appropriate federal official in the identification, apprehension, detention, or removal of aliens not lawfully present in the United States.”  The new law also authorizes law enforcement agencies to move beyond cooperation to direct enforcement of federal immigration via a memorandum of agreement (“MOA”) between the agency and federal government.  Such agreements may “[a]llow for the enforcement of federal immigration laws to the full extent permitted under federal law” but also requires officers to be trained in accordance with the MOA.

As might be expected with a law of this nature, its passage was controversial.  One commentator wrote that “[i]n effect, the new state law requires local police officers to become federal ICE agents. It's sort of like requiring the local property tax collector to arrest someone for filing a fraudulent federal income tax form.”  See https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/columnists/david-waters/2019/01/07/tennessee-immigration-law-shelby-county-asks-local-officials-break/2501410002/.  The Shelby County attorney concluded the new law was “void” and does not apply to the county or the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.  Nevertheless, that sheriff continues to honor requests from ICE to notify it about inmate releases.  See https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2019/01/02/county-attorney-says-new-immigration-law-doesnt-apply-shelby-county-hb-2315-sanctuary-city-policy/2467989002/.  There are indications that Governor Bill Lee has initiated an investigation into Shelby County for non-compliance with HB2315.  See https://www.courthousenews.com/new-immigration-law-sows-fear-in-tennessee/.

Many commentators have pointed to how this new law could undermine local law enforcement due to contributing to a climate of fear among foreign nationals and their families, friends, co-workers and employers.  The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) has characterized HB2315 as “one of the most extreme, anti-immigrant laws in the country.”  Fear is a common theme articulated by foreign nationals in the state, with one immigration attorney in Chattanooga noting a growing tendency by local police to more proactively check the immigration status of those who are subjected to law enforcement action.  See https://www.courthousenews.com/new-immigration-law-sows-fear-in-tennessee/.

The fears associated with how HB2315 could be implemented in local communities are consistent with the findings of a study about how Davidson County implemented a prior agreement with the federal government over immigration enforcement from 2007 to 2012.  See https://www.aclu-tn.org/consequences-costs-lessons-learned-tennessees-jail-model-287g-program/.  These agreements, then and now, are authorized by section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The ACLU report concluded the 287(g) program led to deportations for relatively minor, often traffic-related offenses and “encouraged racial profiling and disparate treatment from stop to detention, based on characteristics such as appearance, ethnicity or language skills.”  Given those outcomes, the report found that the 287(g) program in Davidson County “led to immigrants living in fear and distrust of law enforcement,” including a reluctance to report “crimes they experienced or witnessed, ultimately undermining public safety as a whole.”

Within Tennessee, only the Knox County Sheriff’s Office has adopted  a MOA with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). See https://www.ice.gov/287g.  But at least for now, the Knox County MOA (available at https://www.ice.gov/doclib/287gMOA/KnoxCounty.pdf) appears to be more limited in scope that the breadth of enforcement activity that could have been implemented under HB2315.  That MOA authorizes local officials to perform “certain functions of an immigration officer within the KCSO’s jail/correctional facilities” and not outside those premises.  Of course, should that sheriff desire to modify the MOA in the future to allow his deputies to venture outside the local jails to engage in immigration enforcement, under HB2315, he would be free to negotiate an amendment to the MOA to enable his deputies to do so.

HB2315 appears to have contributed to a perception among foreign nationals that they are at increased risk during any interaction with law enforcement—whether as a defendant, victim or witness.  The new law eliminates the ability of local government entities and law enforcement to give absolute assurances to foreign nationals concerning their personal security vis a vis immigration enforcement.  As a result, the new law could undermine local government efforts to investigate and prosecute crime because individuals without legal immigration status may feel that it is too unsafe for them to participate.  The increasing presence of ICE officers at local courthouses and the practices of many jurisdictions to notify ICE for defendants who lack social security numbers merely reinforces such perceptions.

While the new law does not augment the legal right of a local law enforcement officer to stop a foreign national, HB2315 authorizes police to “ask for papers” incident to a lawful stop.  Moreover, an officer presumably may ask an individual about his or her immigration status if there is not a seizure of that individual.  Most foreign nationals, who are unaware of their constitutional rights during such interactions, may well volunteer information that need not have been disclosed.  Many who are acculturated to defer to authority figures will end up doing just that. 

Unfortunately, many foreign nationals who are subject to HB2315 and the vast array of other immigration laws remain uninformed.  Given the increased focus on immigration-related enforcement, it is now more important than ever for such individuals to be referred to a competent immigration law practitioner for advice and counsel.


Steven J. Simerlein is the founder of Immigration Law Offices of Steven J. Simerlein. He is a graduate of Loyola Law School at Loyola Marymount University in 1991. He may be reached at sjsimerlein@gmail.com or (615) 750-3142.

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Beyond Walls and Policies

Let’s say you are a single mother living in Central America and one day a man approaches you demanding you pay him 20% of your hard-earned salary. You have three children to feed, a household to run and simply cannot afford to give up any part of your paycheck.

Let’s say one week later your youngest son brings you a handwritten note. This notes states that if you do not comply with the request for payment, your son will not be coming home anymore. You are afraid and go to the police station to file a report. At the police station you see the same man that first approached you and he is dressed in a police uniform.

Let’s say you pack as much as you can from your life into a suitcase, grab your children and decide to flee. Your children are furious because you are leaving behind friends, toys, memories, everything they have ever known.

Let’s say your journey north includes riding a train with cartel members, sleeping in shelters whenever you are lucky, and when you are not, sleeping in the streets. You begin praying that you will be able to feed your children and are horrified by this drastic turn in their happy upbringing.

Let’s say you finally make it to the border of the country where your sister is waiting with hopes of a better future for you and your children. Upon arrival then learn that the border is closed and that you will wait days before making your case. You end up in a shelter with 60 other women with children. You see your children play and laugh, but you hate yourself because these are childhood memories no one should have.

In December 2018, I traveled to Tijuana, Mexico, with a group of volunteer attorneys, law school professors and students to assist migrants from Central and South America who arrived at the San Ysidro border via the second caravan[1] to traverse the Americas. We had flown and driven from across the United States in response to the Trump administration’s latest announcement calling for a partial shutdown of the asylum process along the southern border. This was not, however, an isolated announcement and just another change in immigration policy that has been implemented since Donald Trump took office in January 2017.

At the very beginning of Trump’s presidential campaign, he threatened to build a wall at the United States/Mexico border with the intent of preventing illegal immigration. Despite expert opinions regarding this proposal’s inability to curb illegal immigration, Trump’s rhetoric has remained strong. At the very time of our visit to Tijuana, the fight over this campaign promise to build a border wall began the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

Although a physical border wall has not yet been erected, for the immigrant community the promise of this wall represents one small brick in what has been a massive and rapid change in United States immigration policy. These changes represent not only a change in policy but a change in rhetoric and how we talk about immigration in this country. Two examples of these drastic changes include the removal of “nation of immigrants” from the USCIS new mission statement[2] and a change in the “catch and release” policy enforced by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). With this new policy, asylum seekers waiting for a court hearing date are facing indefinite incarceration.

In Tijuana, we met volunteers and staff members of Al Otro Lado, a small non-profit organization providing services to immigrants waiting to make their way through the U.S. border. On our first day in the city, staff members divided the volunteers into groups and assigned each group to a local relief site. While at our individual sites, we met with asylum seekers to provide know your rights presentations and thorough information regarding the asylum process.

Every morning in Tijuana begins the same way, with an unofficial ceremony taking place at the small plaza located next to the San Ysidro port of entry. Each morning at 7 a.m., the crowds gather to listen to a person call out “la lista[3] (the list). This list is a large notebook containing the handwritten names of immigrant families waiting to present themselves to immigration authorities. Every family written in the book is waiting to make their claim for asylum. If your name is called, then you will have the opportunity to present your case in front of U.S. authorities. If your name is not called, you must wait another day until the unknown time when your name is called.

During this ceremony, we walked around the crowd, providing information about their rights as asylum seekers, answering questions, and making referrals to our main office where individuals could meet with volunteer pro-bono immigration attorneys to get an assessment of their situation. From what I could tell, there was little organization or structure to the notebook’s format or order of priority. The notebook is managed by asylum seekers who themselves are waiting their turn to go to the port of entry. Once the notebook manager is called for their turn, the notebook is passed on to another asylum seeker believed to be responsible enough to manage its import. Even now, months after my visit to Tijuana, I find it shocking that the fate of thousands of individuals and families are dependent on a mysterious, handwritten notebook and those who manage it.

Across the United States, immigrant communities have felt a severe change in policy since day one of the Trump administration. In just over two years, we have witnessed an attempt to cancel programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protective Status (TPS), an increase in immigration enforcement and divisive rhetoric that no doubt will have a long-lasting effect on United States’ public opinion regarding immigration.  

This rhetoric and sweeping policy change mean immigrant families are now living in a constant state of fear. In a system that does not provide detained immigrants with the right to court-appointed attorneys, many detainees are struggling to navigate the immigration process and fighting to remain in the country. As a result, detained immigrants are more dependent on nonprofit organizations and pro bono attorneys to represent them before the authorities. It is in times like these, that the work of organizations like Al Otro Lado and attorneys working in a pro-bono capacity are vital to defend the most vulnerable among us.


The author of this article is Alvaro Manrique Barrenechea, a 2019 LLM Candidate at Vanderbilt University School of Law. Alvaro is a 2013 graduate of Universidad de Lima (Peru) Law School. He may be reached at alvaro.a.manrique.barrenechea@vanderbilt.edu.


[1]A second migrant caravan of 2,000 is moving through southern Mexico, USA Today (last visited April 15, 2019).

[2]U.S. immigration agency updates statement to no longer say “nation of immigrants”, CNN, (last visited April 15, 2019).

[3]For many waiting in Tijuana, a mysterious notebook is the key to seeking asylum, LA Times,  (last visited April 15, 2019).

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Letter from Editor:

Here’s our latest issue of the Immigration Law Section’s newsletter. I would like to thank  Alvaro Manrique Barrenechea and Steve Simerlein for writing these insightful articles. It pleases me to have Alvaro, a Vanderbilt LLM law student contributing to our newsletter. I’m always looking for writers and articles on a variety of topics, including family-based immigration issues, employer-based immigration issues, crimimigration, and immigration court. There’s so much happening these days in immigration law that hopefully you will be inspired to write an article. Please feel free to contact me at bbuchanan@sblimmigration.com or 615-345-0266 concerning writing an article.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Immigration Law Forum this Thursday, April 25. 

— Bruce Buchanan

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5 New Job Postings on TBA’s Joblink

See who is hiring in Tennessee. Recent job postings this month offer opportunities in litigation, real estate, health law and more. See full listings or post positions in your firm on TBA’s Joblink.
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Convention Hotel Deadline THIS FRIDAY

The cut off to reserve your hotel room at the discounted rate is 5 p.m. on Friday, May 17. 

The Tennessee Bar Association returns to Downtown Nashville's Renaissance Hotel for its Annual Convention June 12-15, with even better programming, exhibits and fun! Register NOW and receive:

  • Free Access to ALL 9 Hours of CLE, including the Bench Bar Program, co-sponsored by the Tennessee Judicial Conference
  • Opening welcome reception
  • Bench Bar Luncheon (featuring keynote speaker, Ken Starr)
  • Law School and General Breakfasts
  • Lawyers Luncheon (featuring special honor for Sen. Lamar Alexander)
  • Thursday night joint reception sponsored with TLAW and TABL
  • Thursday night Dinner/Dance Party featuring My So-Called Band
  • Friday night TBALL/YLD Party
  • Access to activities and programming designed for well-being including massages, contemplative space and more.
  • Access to TBA's sponsorship hall to meet with exhibitors, participate in our special TBA Wellness Corner and win prizes.
• QUESTIONS: Just email convention@tnbar.org to get help.
 
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Lawmaker Asks for AG Opinion on Residency Stipulation for School Vouchers

Memphis State Rep. G. A. Hardaway has asked the state attorney general to weigh in on whether Tennessee could legally block students who entered the country illegally from using a proposed education savings account program, the Tennessean reports. The Democratic lawmaker requested on April 8 that Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III issue an opinion on whether the ban on undocumented students in the bill is constitutional. The bill cites a section of law that applies to employment eligibility and would require parents or 18-year-old students to provide proof of legal residency.
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Memphis Law to Host Event About Executive Power and Immigration

The Federal Society will host an event with Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute and Professor Steve Mulroy to discuss executive powers and immigration. The discussion will take place tomorrow at noon in the Wade Auditorium on the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphries School of Law. 
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Immigration Law Forum Set for April 25

Join your colleagues for a program packed with a variety of issues facing immigration, family, criminal, corporate counsel, employment and business law attorneys. The morning sessions at the Tennessee Bar Center will address family immigration and court issues while the afternoon sessions address labor and employment immigration issues. Finish the day with an ethics CLE dual representation employment immigration hour. 
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Bill Requiring Smaller Businesses to Use E-Verify for Employees Passes House

A bill that would require Tennessee companies with 25 or more employees to use the federal E-Verify immigration and employment status check passed in the state House yesterday, the Nashville Scene reports. Currently, only businesses with 50 or more employees must use the program. The sponsor, Rep. Bruce Griffey, R-Paris, originally proposed reducing the employee ceiling for E-Verify to six, but pushback from business and other interests resulted in the 25-employee compromise. Griffey, a freshman representative, has introduced a number of immigration-related bills during his first term in office, but they faced opposition from members of his own party and failed to pass.
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Federal Judge Blocks Policy Requiring Asylum-Seekers to Stay in Mexico

A U.S. District judge in San Francisco today blocked the Trump administration's policy requiring Central American asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases are decided, USA Today reports. Judge Richard Seeborg ordered 11 migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras be allowed to enter the U.S within two days and issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that prevents any future asylum-seekers be forced back into Mexico. Previously, those seeking asylum were released into the U.S. and given a notice to appear in immigration court to pursue their case.
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1 Year Later: Many in Bean Station Immigration Raid Still Await Court Date

One year after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided a Bean Station slaughterhouse, more than 70 men and women still are waiting to learn whether they'll face deportation as undocumented immigrants, Knox News reports. Slaughterhouse owner James Brantley pleaded guilty last year to federal charges of tax evasion, wire fraud and employing unauthorized immigrants. He remains free on bond, with sentencing delayed until this summer.

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Help4TNDay Kicks Off Saturday

Tennessee lawyers are invited to participate in Help4TNDay activities throughout the month of April. Events will bring attention to the ongoing need for free and low-cost legal services and highlight the groups that provide these services to disadvantaged Tennesseans. Opportunities include volunteering to help clients in need through Tennessee Free Legal Answers (TFLA) or at a local legal clinic. The events kick-off this Saturday with a statewide virtual legal clinic, where attorneys across the state will answer questions on TFLA from noon to 2 p.m. Simultaneously, the TBA will host an on-site TFLA Clinic and Luncheon in Nashville. To participate in the TBA event, contact Liz Todaro. Help4TNDay is a joint effort by the Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, the Administrative Office of the Courts, Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services and the Tennessee Bar Association. 
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Registration Now Open for TBA Convention in Nashville, June 12-15

The TBA's annual Convention returns to downtown Nashville this summer! Mark your calendars for June 12-15 and prepare for four days of CLE, networking, entertainment and more at the Renaissance Hotel, 611 Commerce Street. Registration is officially open, with early bird rates available until April 30.
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Immigration Law Forum set for April 25

Join us on April 25 for a program packed with a variety of issues facing immigration, family, criminal, corporate counsel, employment and business law attorneys. The morning sessions will address family immigration and court issues, while the afternoon sessions will address labor and employment immigration issues. Finish the day with an ethics CLE dual representation employment immigration hour. In an effort to provide flexibility for attendees with specific learning interests, the TBA is offering the additional option for folks to attend either the morning or afternoon sessions. Check out the agenda, session descriptions, speakers and register to attend by clicking here. 
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Foreign Adoptions in U.S. Down 14 Percent

The number of foreign children adopted by U.S. families fell 14 percent last year, The Washington Post reports. The U.S. State Department this month issued a report showing that there were only 4,059 foreign adoptions in 2018, compared to 4,714 the previous year. Although there was an increase in adoption of children from India and Columbia, a decline in adoptions from China and Ethiopia negated the increase. The U.S. is responsible for about half of all foreign adoptions.

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Anti-Birthright Citizenship Resolution Dies in House Panel

A resolution to commend President Donald Trump for wanting to end the constitutional guarantee of birthright citizenship has died in the Tennessee General Assembly, The Tennessean reports. A state House panel voted 4-3 Wednesday to reject Rep. Bruce Griffey's resolution. Three Republicans and a Democrat voted against the resolution. One the of Republicans who voted against it, Rep. Michael Curcio, said that the discussion should happen at a federal level.
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SCOTUS Backs Trump Move to Detain Immigrants with Criminal Histories

The U.S. Supreme Court has backed the Trump administration’s ability to detain immigrants with criminal records at any time and hold them indefinitely while they await deportation, even if they served time for their offense years ago, The Hill reports. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court reversed the 9th Circuit’s finding that the mandatory detention requirement for certain immigrants with criminal records applies only if an immigrant is detained by officials as soon as he or she is released from jail.
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Sixth Circuit Hears Tennessee Refugee Case

Nearly three years after state lawmakers approved a resolution directing Tennessee to sue the federal government over refugee resettlement, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on March 19, The Tennessean reports. The case in front of the court of appeals comes after Tennessee's attorney general declined to initiate the state's lawsuit and one year after a federal judge in a lower court dismissed the matter. The case dates back to 2016, when the Tennessee legislature overwhelmingly approved a resolution ordering the lawsuit. When it was filed in March 2017, Tennessee became the first state in the nation to sue the federal government regarding refugee resettlement on the grounds of violating the 10th Amendment. It is unclear when a decision on the case will be made.
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Tomorrow: Family Law Forum 2019

Register now for the TBA Family Law Forum 2019. In this program, we will dig deep into recent changes affecting the practice area, including high-profile cases, legislative updates, changes in domestic violence law and best practices in Juvenile Court. We will also have a renowned psychiatrist discussing "The Scientific Basis for Parental Alienation." Don’t miss this opportunity to brush up on the intangibles, develop new tools and meet lawyers of a similar focus. Here are the key details:

When: Wednesday, May 15, Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.
Where: Tennessee Bar Center, 221 Fourth Ave. N., Nashville
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