This Week in Immigration - American Immigration Council

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Biden Will Admit Asylum Seekers Ordered Deported Under Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols

June 23, 2021 - 18:46

Asylum seekers who were ordered deported for missing their U.S. court hearings under the Trump administration’s so-called Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP)—informally known as the “Remain in Mexico” program—will be allowed to restart their proceedings in the United States. Thousands of others whose cases were terminated because of procedural errors before they had a chance to […]

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Congress Proposes Legislation to Expedite and Expand Special Immigrant Visas for Afghan Allies

June 22, 2021 - 17:39

As military troops withdraw from Afghanistan, Afghan nationals that supported the operations of the U.S. government—as translators and other vital roles—are in danger of violent retribution from Taliban forces. The Department of State offers resettlement to eligible Afghans through the special immigrant visa program, but slow processing and significant backlogs have failed to address the […]

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On World Refugee Day, A Call to Rebuild U.S. Refugee Resettlement

June 18, 2021 - 10:05

World Refugee Day is celebrated internationally on June 20 every year. It honors the struggle of refugees around the world who are fleeing violence and persecution and are unable to safely return to their home countries. Over this past year, in the middle of a devastating global pandemic, the number of refugees worldwide hit an […]

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Biden Will Use Border Wall Funding for Safety and Environmental Protections

June 17, 2021 - 18:26

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on June 11 its plan for funds the Trump administration had planned to use to construct a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Unspent funds will address safety and environmental issues, while funds diverted from the Department of Defense will be returned for their original purposes. President Trump centered […]

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Attorney General Rescinds Two Trump Decisions, Restoring Protection to Many Asylum Seekers

June 17, 2021 - 18:19

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on June 16 that he is restoring a vital lifeline to survivors of gender-based violence, gang violence, and violence on account of family relationships. Garland issued two decisions overruling Trump-era Attorneys General Jeff Sessions and William Barr’s rulings disqualify many such individuals from asylum in the United States. Garland’s rulings […]

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Biden Signals Big Changes to Legal Immigration and Asylum Law with Spring Regulatory Agenda

June 16, 2021 - 17:57

Twice each year, the federal government publishes a “regulatory agenda,” a preview of all the proposals that are in the pipeline to become federal regulations. Last week, the Biden administration used the 2021 Spring Regulatory Agenda to indicate the many ways that it intends to move away from the Trump era, in everything from legal […]

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DACA Has Allowed Me to Pursue Education, But We Need A Permanent Solution Now

June 15, 2021 - 17:54

My name is Hali Calzadillas-Andujo and I’m originally from Chihuahua, Mexico. I first came to the United States with my mother and siblings when I was eight years old. I didn’t even know what it meant, really, except that I was rejoining my father. I came to Santa Fe, New Mexico and have been here […]

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The Supreme Court Limits the Crimes That Can Lead to Near-Automatic Deportation

June 14, 2021 - 07:00

The Supreme Court issued a decision last Thursday in a criminal case that will have an immediate impact on immigration law. The new decision set a limit on the types of crime that can be considered an “aggravated felony” ground for deportation. In Borden v. United States, a divided Supreme Court held that only crimes […]

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Collecting DNA From Asylum Seekers at the Border Raises Privacy Concerns

June 10, 2021 - 17:50

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is collecting DNA from asylum seekers at the border, recent media reports confirm. This is the latest expansion of DNA collection as part of a program initiated under the Trump administration that targets nearly all immigrants in government custody. A growing number of noncitizens are being subjected to this invasive […]

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DHS Issues New Guidance for Government Attorneys in Immigration Court Proceedings

June 9, 2021 - 18:37

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) issued a new memorandum on May 27 that provides guidance on how its attorneys can and should exercise prosecutorial discretion. In the memo, which was made public on Friday, the lead government attorney for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in immigration […]

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Supreme Court Denies TPS Holders a Chance at Permanent Status

June 8, 2021 - 18:17

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled this week in Sanchez v. Mayorkas that people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) who entered the United States unlawfully are ineligible to obtain a green card in most cases. The decision has a devastating effect on thousands of long-time TPS holders who are now left without the […]

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New ‘Dedicated Docket’ Could Rush Asylum-Seeking Families Through Court

June 3, 2021 - 18:03

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on May 28 the creation of a new “Dedicated Docket” in immigration court for the claims of asylum-seeking families. The goal of this new “rocket docket” is to complete most new cases within 300 days. A previous rocket docket implemented by the […]

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Supreme Court Rejects Two Ninth Circuit Decisions That Protected Immigrants

June 2, 2021 - 17:22

In two unanimous decisions, the Supreme Court has rejected rules that provided protections for immigrants. The rejected rules came from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, a court with a reputation as a liberal stronghold. It is the largest of all the federal courts of appeals. In United States v. Palomar-Santiago, the […]

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Biden’s First Budget Is A Missed Opportunity to Overhaul Immigration Enforcement

June 1, 2021 - 17:42

President Biden released the first budget proposal of his presidency on May 29, a landmark for any new president. A presidential budget generally reflects the goals of the administration and can provide an important roadmap for the future. Unfortunately, despite calls for a serious rethinking of the role of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) […]

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Government Watchdog Finds Hundreds of Parents Separated by Trump Never Given Opportunity to Reunify

May 27, 2021 - 15:43

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) recently found that the Trump administration deported as many as 348 parents that had been separated from their children without ever giving them an opportunity to reunify with their children. The blistering new report tracks deportations throughout 2017 and 2018 during the prior administration’s […]

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Lawsuits Challenge Change to H-1B Lottery Selection That Would Hurt Small Businesses, Start-ups

May 26, 2021 - 19:42

Businesses and industry organizations are among those pushing back against a rule that would change eligibility for filing an H-1B petition. The new rule would require the H-1B lottery selection to be conducted by salary level. A range of industries—from health care to higher education—that employ U.S. and H-1B workers are concerned about the radical […]

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Haitian Nationals Win a Reprieve in the Form of TPS

May 26, 2021 - 15:58

The Biden administration announced that eligible Haitians currently living in the United States can once again apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Those individuals who qualify for TPS can live and work in the United States for a period of 18 months. The Trump administration tried to end TPS for Haitians in 2017 but multiple […]

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ICE Spread COVID-19 Across the Country, Not Just in Immigration Detention Centers

May 26, 2021 - 10:52

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) mishandled the coronavirus outbreak in detention centers so badly that it not only lead to horrific conditions and deaths among people in its custody, it is also responsible for the spread of COVID-19 in surrounding areas. A recent New York Times investigation emphasized that ICE’s practice of transferring thousands […]

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Biden’s Actions on Immigration Enforcement Have Been Inconsistent Since Taking Office

May 20, 2021 - 14:19

The Biden administration inherited an immigration enforcement system devoted to detaining and deporting as many people as possible. During the Trump years, every undocumented immigrant in the country became a target of deportation. Even longtime residents who had minor brushes with the criminal justice system were subject to enforcement actions. A new report from the […]

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It’s Time to End Title 42

May 19, 2021 - 19:19

One policy first created by the Trump administration is responsible for the greatest restriction on access to our immigration system for asylum seekers than any other. It provides no meaningful opportunity for people caught in the policy to request humanitarian protection. Yet four months into the Biden administration, this policy is still in effect. The […]

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