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September 2018

Sep 10
September 10
Sign On letter to USCIS on fee waivers

Fee Waiver Sign on Letter 


August 2018

Aug 14
August 14
Practice Advisory: Fee Waivers for VAWA self-petitions, U and T visa applications

ASISTA has been receiving reports from practitioners nationwide that they have seen a significant increase in the rates of fee-waiver denials from the Humanitarian Division of the Vermont Service Center. ASISTA has created a practice advisory to help advocates in their fee waiver preparation. 




July 2018


May 2018

May 22
May 22
New ASISTA Membership Mentor Consultant Position

ASISTA Immigration Assistance seeks to fill the following consultant position –  ASISTA Membership Mentor.  The position pays $50/hour and will start at 7.5 hours/week for the first six months, expanding to 17.5 hours/week after six months. After the first year we hope to further expand the hours and/or make this a staff position (with attendant benefits).  Applications due May 29, 2018

ASISTA Membership Mentor (consultant): The ASISTA Membership Mentor will help Executive Director Gail Pendleton & Senior Policy Counsel Cecelia Friedman Levin develop and provide individual technical assistance, government liaison, webinar and in-person trainings, advisories, amicus briefs to the AAO and EOIR, and other services targeted to our private membership.  We anticipate making this a full-time staff position as soon as fiscally possible. See detailed description HERE

Questions: please email

May 22
May 22
AAO adopts (and remands) for category approach to felonious assault?

The AAO seems to have paid attention to our amicus arguments on U visa crimes as “categories” in their decision in the case underlying our amicus, see attached redacted decision and the amicus.  We will need to keep pushing this framework, however, so please continue using the arguments in the amicus when arguing crime categories.  We do not, for instance, agree that the DV category contemplates only the facts involving relationships; many crimes are DV depending on the facts of the crimes, not just the relationships. One step at a time, though!

Note that the amicus strategy seems to work (gets their attention), so if you have a case that is likely to go up to the AAO on an issue that seems intractable at VSC, please let us know early in the process so we can round up a firm and organize the arguments we should all be using.

Congratulations and thanks to Yasmine Farhang (and Deisy) who worked on the brief in chief, to ICWC for joining and helping us craft the arguments, and to Jennifer Colyer & Daniel Fishbein at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson for their excellent work on the amicus brief!

To see the AAO Decision, Matter of M-R-B-C click HERE

To see the Amicus Brief, click HERE


May 22
May 22
New ASISTA Litigation Coordinator and Trainer Consultant Position

ASISTA Immigration Assistance seeks to fill the following consultant position –  ASISTA Litigation Coordinator/Trainer.  The position pays $50/hour and will start at 7.5 hours/week for the first six months, expanding to 17.5 hours/week after six months. After the first year we hope to further expand the hours and/or make this a staff position (with attendant benefits).  Applications due May 29, 2018.  

ASISTA Litigation Coordinator and Trainer: The ASISTA Litigation Coordinator and Trainer will work with Executive Director Gail Pendleton (and other staff, members, and allies) to identify, coordinate, and frame litigation issues affecting survivors of crimes seeking VAWA or U relief.  As part of this effort, the consultant will also train ASISTA members on litigation fundamentals, recruit and coordinate a litigation mentorship system for those new to federal litigation, and provide individual technical assistance to members as they navigate the immigration and federal courts.  As noted, we anticipate making this a staff position as soon as fiscally possible. See detailed description HERE

Questions: please email

May 4
May 4
Amicus Brief Matter of L-A-B-R-

ASISTA, along with Asian Pacific Institute On Gender-Based Violence, Casa De Esperanza, Freedom Network USA, Futures Without Violence, National Alliance To End Sexual Violence, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Sanctuary For Families, Tahirih Justice Center, and Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, submitted an amicus brief in the Attorney General certification of Matter of L-A-B-R- regarding the need for continuances in immigration court and that curtailing the ability of judges to grant continuances undermines the protections in VAWA.   We are grateful to and for the tremendous efforts of Jeanne Barenholtz and Kara Steger at Garvey Schubert and Barer, P.C. for their pro bono representation in this effort. 

To see the Amicus Brief, click HERE.



April 2018

Apr 3
April 3
Letter to Attorney General Sessions regarding latest certification in Matter of L-A-B-R-

Sign on letter to Attorney General Sessions regarding the latest certification in Matter of L-A-B-R-.

Link to Letter: /documents/filelibrary/Signon_Letter_Regarding_Matter_of_L_DBDAEA783A522.pdf


March 2018


January 2018

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