This Week in Immigration - American Immigration Council

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Updated: 2 hours 46 min ago

Student’s Deportation Shows a Pattern of US Government Targeting Iranians

January 22, 2020 - 17:57

Iranian students coming to the United States are being stopped at airports, having their visas revoked, and are being deported. Advocates warn this trend is emerging less than a month after hundreds of Iranian Americans were stopped and interrogated at a port of entry between Washington State and Vancouver, Canada. Shahab Dehghani, an Iranian student […]

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Judge Allows Certain Family Separations at the Border to Continue

January 21, 2020 - 17:56

The Trump administration received an unfortunate victory in the case against their family separation policy. On January 13, 2020, Federal Judge Dana Sabraw sided with the government in a lawsuit challenging continued separations at the border. Although the judge ordered an end to most family separations in 2018, he has allowed families to be separated […]

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Tent Immigration Courts Are Still Not Fully Open to the Public

January 17, 2020 - 15:31

Asylum seekers subject to the Migrant Protection Protocols—or the “Remain in Mexico” program—in Laredo and Brownsville, Texas attend their court hearings in tents known as “port courts.” The government announced these secretive courts would finally be opened last week, but the public still does not have full access. For the past year, this program has […]

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What We Know About USCIS’ New H-1B Cap Registration System

January 16, 2020 - 17:28

The new process for petitioning for highly educated H-1B workers will officially begin on March 1, 2020. For the first time, a U.S. employer who wants to file a petition that is subject to the annual limits must first register with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The agency then must select the registration before […]

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On Trial: Inhumane Conditions in Customs and Border Protection Facilities in Arizona

January 15, 2020 - 12:20

After more than four years of gathering evidence of the substandard conditions in the government’s short-term detention facilities in Arizona’s Tucson Sector, a case challenging these conditions called Doe v. Wolf went to trial on Monday. Over the course of the trial, plaintiffs will show how individuals held in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) short-term […]

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Changes to Work Permit Eligibility Leave Asylum Seekers Without a Job

January 13, 2020 - 16:58

People who come to the United States in search of protection must be allowed to work during the often-lengthy asylum application process. They need to be able to support themselves and their families. Yet the Trump administration wants to make it harder for asylum seekers to get a work permit. The Department of Homeland Security […]

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The Decade Ends with Another Death in Immigration Detention

January 9, 2020 - 20:33

The government closed out the decade with yet another person’s death in immigration detention. Fiscal year 2019 was one of the most fatal years on the books for immigrants held in the custody of both Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Eight people died while in ICE custody in fiscal […]

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What Are the Proposed New Bars to Asylum?

January 8, 2020 - 16:26

In yet another move to gut asylum protections in the United States, the Trump administration proposed a rule last month that would add severe new restrictions on asylum access. The restrictions would apply to people convicted of—and in some cases, merely accused of—a wide range of criminal offenses. If enacted, the rule would create seven […]

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Republican and Democratic Officials Continue to Accept Refugees, Rejecting Trump’s Executive Order

January 7, 2020 - 17:19

A growing number of governors and mayors—both Democrats and Republicans—are notifying the U.S. State Department that they will continue to resettle refugees who have fled to the United States to escape persecution and violence in their home countries. The pledges of support are a response to an executive order President Trump signed in September 2019. […]

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4 Ways USCIS’ Proposed Fee Increase Fails to Solve the Agency’s Problems

January 6, 2020 - 17:42

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) recent proposal to increase most of their fees has been met with strong opposition. The proposal drew widespread attention, garnering nearly 10,000 comments. The agency claims the new fees will help reduce the growing application backlog. Yet the agency offers no solution as to how that will be achieved. […]

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New Jersey Caps Off A Tremendous Year for Expanding Access to Driver’s Licenses

January 3, 2020 - 15:35

Many New Yorkers had a reason to celebrate on December 16, as they were permitted to apply for a driver’s license for the first time, even if they lacked permanent immigration status. Now, thanks to a new law passed on December 19, their neighbors in New Jersey will be able to benefit as well. The […]

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Defense Spending Act Allows Thousands of Liberians to Apply for Permanent Residency

January 2, 2020 - 18:31

The defense spending package for the fiscal year 2020 will allow thousands of Liberians living in the United States to gain green cards. The $738-billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was signed into law by President Trump in December. About 4,000 Liberians may now have a path to citizenship under this new law. Many Liberians […]

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3 Ways Our Immigration System Can Eliminate Barriers to Becoming a US Citizen

December 19, 2019 - 13:48

When people who immigrate to the United States are enabled to become U.S. citizens, everyone benefits. Citizenship allows people to have more stable lives by granting access to better work, housing, health care, and education. This leads to a stronger, safer, and more prosperous country for foreign- and native-born Americans alike. Yet the Trump administration […]

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Federal Court Orders Government to Recognize American Samoans as US Citizens

December 18, 2019 - 14:02

In a landmark decision last week, a federal court in Utah ordered the U.S. government to extend birthright citizenship to people born in the U.S. territory of American Samoa. In a lengthy decision, Judge Clark Waddoups declared that his decision was “required by the mandate of the Fourteenth Amendment as construed and applied by Supreme […]

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Trump Implemented Family Separation After Government Officials Raised Red Flags

December 17, 2019 - 13:01

Government officials were aware of the harm family separation would cause and were critical of the practice years before the Trump administration established it as an official policy. Advocates unearthed this and other details about the “zero tolerance” policy in response to a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed in April 2018. […]

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Thousands in ICE Detention Sue Private Prison Company for Forced Labor

December 16, 2019 - 17:54

A recent federal court ruling in California could allow hundreds of thousands of immigrants currently and previously detained by private prison companies to demand compensation and damages for work completed behind bars under threat of retaliation. The decision follows a series of lawsuits filed against GEO Group, the largest private prison corporation in the United […]

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USCIS Announces Major Change to H-1B ‘Cap’ Filing With Electronic Registration

December 12, 2019 - 16:14

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that U.S. employers will have to pay a $10 fee and register to have a chance at filing an H-1B petition subject to the statutory “cap” of 65,000 workers per fiscal year (FY). The annual “cap” filing also includes 20,000 additional visa numbers for foreign workers with […]

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The Number of People in ICE Detention with Criminal Records Continues to Drop

December 11, 2019 - 17:08

As U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has expanded immigration capacity across the country in recent years, the number of people held in its facilities with actual criminal records dropped, according to a new report from Syracuse University’s TRAC Center. Since October 2017, the number of individuals in ICE detention with serious criminal convictions dropped […]

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Detention of Pregnant Women Increases 52% Under the Trump Administration

December 10, 2019 - 17:42

The rate at which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained pregnant women increased 52% during the first two years of the Trump administration, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released last week. 2,098 pregnant women were detained by ICE in 2018, compared to 1,380 in 2016. The increase aligns with a December […]

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USCIS Plans Massive Fee Hike for Access to Genealogical Records

December 9, 2019 - 17:21

If you have ever wanted to trace your family’s immigration history, you should do it now—accessing genealogical records from the 1800s and 1900s may soon become far more expensive than ever before. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is planning to increase its fees to access millions of historical records held under the agency’s Genealogy […]

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