This Week in Immigration - American Immigration Council

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Updated: 1 hour 34 min ago

Farmworkers Need Better Support to Survive COVID-19

August 5, 2020 - 20:45

The dangers to America’s farmworkers—primarily immigrant men from Mexico with temporary H-2A visas—have long persisted under a system that is ripe for abuse. But those risks have only grown since the coronavirus pandemic erupted in the United States this March. A lack of workplace protections, crowded housing, and no social safety net put farmworkers at […]

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COVID-19 Wreaks Havoc on Immigration Courts With No Clear Plan to Stop Spread

August 4, 2020 - 18:10

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout the United States, immigration courts around the country remain in turmoil. The Executive Office for Immigration Review (“EOIR”) initially postponed all non-detained hearings when lockdowns began in March. However, EOIR refused to close all courts. Hearings for detained immigrants and unaccompanied children continued, despite the risks. Now, […]

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Border Patrol Raids Camp in Retaliation Against Humanitarian Aid Workers

August 3, 2020 - 18:14

The United States Border Patrol raided a humanitarian aid camp in Arizona on July 31, detaining volunteers and over 30 people receiving care. The camp—known as Byrd Camp—is run by No More Deaths (NMD), an organization that works to end the death and suffering of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The raid follows a pattern […]

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USCIS Fee Hikes Will Go Into Effect for These Applications

July 31, 2020 - 17:28

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released an advance copy of a final rule on July 31 that will impose significant fee increases across many facets of the legal immigration system. These changes include an astronomical 80% increase to the cost of becoming a U.S. citizen and a first-time fee for asylum applicants. The rule […]

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Trump’s Public Charge Rule Is Blocked Again Over Impact of COVID-19

July 30, 2020 - 18:11

A federal judge in New York has once again put the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule on hold, but only for the duration of the COVID-19 national emergency. This rule, which went into effect in February after the Supreme Court stepped in, has restricted the ability of low-income immigrants to obtain green cards. But it’s […]

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Government Secretly Held Asylum-Seeking Children in Hotels

July 29, 2020 - 18:21

The Trump administration has been detaining immigrant children in hotels along the Texas-Mexico border and in Arizona. Some of the children are as young as 1 year old and are held in the hotels for weeks before being expelled from the United States. A group of immigrant children who were held in one of these […]

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What You Need to Know About the Partial DACA Rescission Memo

July 28, 2020 - 19:12

After nearly six weeks of inaction following its stinging defeat before the Supreme Court on June 18, the Department of Homeland Security released a memo gutting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. This will set the stage for a full rescission of the initiative in the months ahead. The Supreme Court had ruled […]

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Trump Deployed a Federal Agency With a History of Excessive Force to Police Racial Justice Protests

July 27, 2020 - 19:46

The May 25 killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police officers rightly sparked public outrage and protests throughout the United States. In response, the Trump administration deployed federal forces from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—which houses federal immigration enforcement agencies including U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—to different cities and engaged in aerial surveillance […]

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Canadian Court Rules US Is No Longer a ‘Safe Third Country’ for Asylum Applicants

July 23, 2020 - 18:23

A Canadian court has ruled that the United States is no longer a country to which the Canadian government could safely return asylum seekers who crossed the U.S-Canada land border.  This upends more than 15 years of bilateral cooperation between the two countries. On July 22, the Federal Court of Canada ruled that sending asylum […]

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3 Things You Need to Know About Trump’s Unconstitutional Census Executive Order

July 22, 2020 - 18:48

President Trump issued an executive order on June 21 that laid out a plan to violate the U.S. Constitution by excluding undocumented immigrants from the 2020 Census. An accurate census count is vital to ensuring that each state receives their fair share of seats in the U.S House of Representatives. It also directs hundreds of […]

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USCIS Wastes Time and Money With Increased Vetting in Citizenship Processing

July 21, 2020 - 18:02

The Trump administration has justified major changes to citizenship processing to “safeguard” the U.S. immigration system from application fraud. Yet the increased vetting has not lowered the number of approvals over the last few years, indicating an absence of fraud. The time it takes to approve those applications, however, has grown. A new report from […]

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ICE’s ‘Citizens Academy’ Has No Place in Communities That Welcome Immigrants

July 20, 2020 - 18:15

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced last week that it was launching a “Citizens Academy” in Chicago. The move justifiably generated everything from confusion to anger and fear from elected officials and community members. The program is already the subject of recently introduced bills to ban funding for it. ICE describes the program as […]

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The Jail-to-Deportation Pipeline Turns Deadly for Immigrants in the Pandemic

July 16, 2020 - 19:37

Another man has died in immigration detention from COVID-19. His tragic and avoidable death marks the deadly end to a jail-to-deportation pipeline that disproportionately targets Black and Brown people. On July 13, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a press release announcing that Onoval Perez-Montufa had died from COVID-19. The release says nothing about who […]

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USCIS Upends the Lives of Immigrants by Refusing to Print Their Work Permits and Green Cards

July 15, 2020 - 18:13

The Trump administration’s full-on assault on the U.S. immigration system has continued despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The president has not only pursued his agenda during the outbreak—he has, in several instances, used the pandemic as a pretext to reduce the number of noncitizens who can come to the United States lawfully. Many recent policy changes […]

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ICE Has Been Granted the Same Level of Secrecy as the FBI

July 14, 2020 - 15:40

In a blow to government transparency, the Trump administration has decided to designate Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) a “security/sensitive agency.” The move further shields ICE from public accountability, allowing them to withhold even more information. According to a leaked government memo, the Trump administration granted ICE’s request to be designated a “security/sensitive” agency when […]

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USCIS Holds Drive-Thru Naturalization Ceremonies to Work Through COVID-19 Backlog

July 13, 2020 - 16:09

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) expects, by the end of July, to have worked through nearly the entire backlog of naturalization oath ceremonies put on hold in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency is now providing new ways to take the oath, including drive-thru naturalization ceremonies. The cancellation of oath ceremonies had prevented […]

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Trump Labels Asylum Seekers as National Security Threat in Expanded Asylum Bar

July 9, 2020 - 18:57

Even as President Trump downplays the threat of COVID-19, the Trump administration is using the pandemic as a pretext to bar more people from asylum in the United States. While the proposal is being tied to the coronavirus right now, this asylum bar could remain in place long after the current national crisis subsides. Who […]

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Congress Calls to Decrease ICE Detention as COVID-19 Continues to Spread

July 8, 2020 - 18:54

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security introduced their proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2021 (beginning October 1, 2020) this week. The budget would have significant implications for U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities—current hotspots of the coronavirus pandemic. In a reversal of previous budget requests, this budget proposes a major decrease in […]

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ICE Says International Students Must Take Classes in Person or Leave the Country

July 7, 2020 - 18:26

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge across the United States, many universities have chosen to temporarily move to online-only classes to protect public health. However, new guidance from the Trump administration will not allow international students to stay in the United States if their classes move online this fall. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement […]

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Court Orders ICE to End Its Practice of Unlawfully Detaining Immigrant Youth

July 6, 2020 - 18:08

Immigrant children who arrive in the United States without a parent are placed in shelters or foster care while their guardianship and immigration process play out. But all too often, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) takes them away as soon as they turn 18 and locks them in an adult detention facility. However, a […]

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