This Week in Immigration - American Immigration Council

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Court Allows ICE to Use Enforcement Priorities Set by the Biden Administration

September 16, 2021 - 19:16

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday stayed a significant part of an earlier decision by the Northern District of Texas that would have blocked the implementation of the Biden administration’s immigration enforcement priorities. In doing so, the Fifth Circuit emphasized that decisions regarding whom to detain and prosecute remain the purview of the […]

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Fear of Another 9/11 Continues to Drive US Immigration Policy 20 Years Later

September 14, 2021 - 17:01

The September 11th terrorist attacks not only led to the tragic deaths of 2,977 people, they fundamentally changed the nature of immigration law and policy in the United States. Since 9/11, the U.S. government has viewed every non-U.S. citizen seeking to enter the country as a potential threat. Foreign tourists and students, temporary workers, permanent […]

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The House Offers First Glimpse at Legalization for Millions of Immigrants Through Reconciliation

September 13, 2021 - 16:29

House Democrats began to mark up a budget reconciliation bill on September 10 that would provide a path to legal status for millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States. Although the bill will likely go through multiple changes before a final vote, the text provides an important marker for understanding who might benefit from […]

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California Law Would Prevent Transfers From Local Law Enforcement to ICE Custody

September 9, 2021 - 16:50

Proposed legislation in California that would further limit the state’s involvement in immigration detention has made progress toward becoming law. The VISION Act would prevent transfers to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody of people who are released from state or local custody. The bill passed the state assembly in June and is now […]

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Turning back asylum seekers is against the law, court finds

September 7, 2021 - 17:57

A federal court concluded Thursday that the U.S. government’s turning back of asylum seekers at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border—primarily through a practice called metering—not only violates U.S. law, but also is unconstitutional. Before the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) and Title 42, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers began the practice of […]

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New Illinois Law Allows Public Defenders to Represent Immigrants Facing Deportation

September 2, 2021 - 18:56

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a law in August that would allow the Cook County Public Defender to represent immigrants in the Chicago immigration court. The law is part of a movement to expand access to legal representation for people facing deportation. It comes on the heels of another pro-immigrant Illinois law that disallows immigration […]

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Unaccompanied Minors Among Thousands Evacuated from Afghanistan

September 2, 2021 - 09:51

Officials from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have confirmed that 34 unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan currently in the United States were among the approximately 123,000 Afghan nationals evacuated from Afghanistan last month. With more Afghan children expected to arrive in the United States, their future and what awaits them is unclear. An […]

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President Biden is Overseeing a Historic Decline in Legal Immigration

August 31, 2021 - 18:06

The Biden administration predicts that it will fail to issue many of the legal permanent resident visas—also known as green cards—allotted this year for immigrants who have been sponsored by a U.S. employer or family member. The State Department estimates that roughly 100,000 visas for employment-based immigrants and 150,000 visas for family-based immigrants will go […]

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Felony Reentry Immigration Law Is Unconstitutional Due to Racist Origins, Judge Rules

August 27, 2021 - 13:33

A federal judge ruled for the first time in U.S. history that a provision of U.S. immigration law which makes it a felony for someone to reenter the United States after having been deported is unconstitutional because of its racist origins. Since 1929, U.S. immigration law has made it a misdemeanor to “unlawfully enter” the […]

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Supreme Court Refuses to Stop the Migrant Protection Protocols From Going Back Into Effect

August 25, 2021 - 17:47

The Supreme Court refused to block an order to reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. The decision comes after a Texas judge halted the government’s recission of the controversial and illegal program. The Supreme Court’s ruling means that the government must make “best efforts” to reinstate the program […]

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Diversity Visa Lottery Winners Might Lose Chance to Come to the U.S. Due to Delays, Trump Policies

August 25, 2021 - 17:30

For the second year in a row, many winners of the diversity visa lottery face the prospect of losing their chance to come to the United States because the federal government can’t—or won’t—issue their visas in time. The 2020 lottery winners are still suffering the effects of restrictive Trump-era policies. Winners of the 2021 lottery […]

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TX Court Issues Stunning Order: US Government Can’t Set Priorities for Immigration Enforcement

August 20, 2021 - 16:53

Judge Drew Tipton of the Southern District of Texas on August 19 blocked a set of enforcement priorities the Biden administration had issued in January and February 2021 in an attempt to focus limited enforcement resources. This preliminary injunction will be in effect beginning September 3 unless it is overturned. It can remain in effect […]

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Biden Administration Plans Big Changes for Asylum Seekers at the Border

August 19, 2021 - 18:55

The Biden administration announced this week that it will propose a new rule to speed up the fair and humane processing of asylum claims of people arriving at the U.S. border. The issue has been the recent subject of fierce public and political debate. Tellingly, this is the new administration’s first proposed immigration rule. Among […]

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People of Color Made Up All of the United States’ Population Growth in the Last 10 Years

August 18, 2021 - 18:13

Demographers have known for decades that the United States is well on its way to becoming a predominantly multi-racial and multi-ethnic society. New data from the 2020 Census reveals how rapidly that transformation is taking place. Increasing numbers of people identify racially as either Asian or multi-racial. Growing numbers of people identify ethnically as Latino […]

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America’s Ending in Afghanistan Must Ensure Safe Passage for Our Afghan Allies

August 18, 2021 - 17:33

Across centuries, Afghanistan has been a nation unconquerable. From the conquest of Alexander the Great to the United States military, insurgent forces have beat back the offensive from some of the world’s most powerful armies. Though the context may have been different across each of these historical periods, the most recent fall is both stunning […]

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Federal Court Orders Biden to Restore the ‘Remain in Mexico’ Program

August 16, 2021 - 18:08

The Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program, inflicted extreme harm on vulnerable people seeking asylum at the border beginning in January 2019. Thankfully, President Biden suspended the program on the day he took office. However, a new decision from a federal judge in Texas threatens to force […]

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ICE Announces New Victim-Centered Policy, Showing a Favorable Shift Toward Vulnerable Immigrants

August 13, 2021 - 17:51

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced this week a new policy designed to honor and protect vulnerable immigrants. The new policy addresses protections for survivors of violence, trafficking, and domestic abuse. Issued on August 11, the policy states that ICE will exercise prosecutorial discretion “to facilitate access to justice and victim-based immigration benefits by […]

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USCIS Has Been Busy Expanding Access to Legal Immigration and Restoring Some Humanitarian Protections

August 11, 2021 - 18:07

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has begun implementing policies in recent weeks which expand access to lawful immigration status, employment, and humanitarian protections for people who were previously under assault by the Trump administration. ‘ These latest developments include a redesignation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians, a new policy on U.S. citizenship […]

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New Illinois Law Expected to Go Furthest Toward Ending Immigration Detention in the US

August 10, 2021 - 18:14

A new Illinois law limiting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention is expected to effectively end detention in the state by next year. The law goes further than those that have limited detention in other states. On August 2, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed SB 667, known as the Illinois Way Forward Act. The […]

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Texas’ Order to Pull Over Vehicles Carrying Migrants Likely Violates the Constitution, Judge Rules

August 6, 2021 - 17:13

A federal judge on Tuesday dealt an important blow to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s flawed plan to stop migrants from entering and traveling through Texas. Governor Abbott issued an executive order on July 28 that prohibited anyone other than law enforcement officials from transporting people who had been detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection […]

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