This Week in Immigration - American Immigration Council

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Updated: 2 hours 16 min ago

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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‘Zero Tolerance’ Overwhelmed Courts and Diverted Resources From Criminal Investigations

December 5, 2019 - 15:42

Attorney General Sessions’ orders to prioritize prosecuting people for immigration-related offenses in 2017 and 2018 put a significant strain on law enforcement across the border, diverting resources away from drug and organized crime prosecutions. The increase in immigration prosecutions, which played a primary role in the family separation crisis, also led to overcrowded jails, backed […]

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The Government Knew It Didn’t Have the Technology to Track Separated Families. It Did So Anyway.

December 4, 2019 - 17:58

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—the agency responsible for systematically separating thousands of migrant families in the summer of 2018—lacked the technology or mechanisms to record and track the separations, a government watchdog group recently found. Family separations—done under the Trump administration’s “Zero Tolerance policy”—started before the policy was even announced. The policy was first […]

The post The Government Knew It Didn’t Have the Technology to Track Separated Families. It Did So Anyway. appeared first on Immigration Impact.

Immigration Courts Further Limit Legal Help Available to People Facing Deportation

December 3, 2019 - 15:41

Every year, thousands of people are forced to face the complex deportation system without an attorney representing them. Now, the immigration courts are seeking to limit the assistance that these individuals can receive from “friend of the court” attorneys. The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the agency which includes the nation’s immigration courts, released […]

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ICE Revises Its Standards for Some Detention Facilities

December 2, 2019 - 18:23

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently published an update to its National Detention Standards (NDS), which govern the treatment of people held in facilities that rent some of their beds to ICE, often city or county jails. The new standards may weaken some protections for up to 20% of ICE’s detained population. ICE does […]

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Talking Turkey About America’s Most Pressing Issues

November 26, 2019 - 10:56

Each year, we gather around dinner tables at Thanksgiving with people we love—but don’t necessarily agree with—when it comes to politics and the direction of the country. The political discourse of the past several years has left many people feeling that their values are under attack. They disagree with or have lost faith in our […]

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Volunteer Found Not Guilty After Providing Humanitarian Aid to Migrants

November 25, 2019 - 16:44

Over the last decade, the remains of more than 1,600 people have been found in the Arizona desert. Groups like No More Deaths, whose mission is “ending death and suffering in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands,” work to decrease that number. Their volunteer-based work is motivated by the slogan “Humanitarian aid is never a crime.” Last week, […]

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How Cities Are Building Inclusive Communities

November 22, 2019 - 16:55

What do you envision when you think of a community that is welcoming? Researchers have developed ways of defining and evaluating how welcoming cities are across the United States. The results are in—Midwestern cities are leading the pack. According to New American Economy, which produced an index of the 100 largest cities based on policies […]

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Stephen Miller‘s Racially Motivated Animus Toward Immigrants Is Revealed

November 21, 2019 - 17:31

White House Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller is no friend to immigrants—particularly those he views as racially “lesser than.” While this is evident from the anti-immigrant policies Miller has promoted over the past three years, it is also crystal clear in the private messages he sends to other anti-immigrant activists. In these unguarded moments, Miller […]

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Trump Administration Begins Sending Asylum Seekers to Guatemala

November 20, 2019 - 17:09

In yet another major blow to America’s asylum system, on Wednesday the Trump administration reportedly began sending some asylum seekers from Honduras and El Salvador to Guatemala rather than permit them to seek protection in the United States. Under the “Asylum Cooperative Agreement” deal signed with Guatemala in July, the Guatemalan government will process the […]

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Trump Moves Forward With Seizing Private Land for Border Wall, Offers Landowners $100 for ‘Irrevocable’ Access

November 19, 2019 - 17:10

The Trump administration is preparing to seize private land in Texas to continue construction of the president’s long-promised border wall. According to government officials familiar with the process, the administration plans to take over the private land before telling property owners how much it will pay them in return. Attorneys for the Department of Defense […]

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‘I Was Denied Access to the Tent Courts Where Asylum Seekers Are Rushed Through a Sham Process.’

November 18, 2019 - 18:22

Nearly 60,000 people seeking asylum in the United States have been returned to Mexico to wait for their U.S. court hearings under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the Remain in Mexico program. Last week, I traveled to South Texas to observe the effects of the Trump administration program firsthand. Those subjected to […]

The post ‘I Was Denied Access to the Tent Courts Where Asylum Seekers Are Rushed Through a Sham Process.’ appeared first on Immigration Impact.

Immigration Agencies’ Intrusive Searches of Cell Phones, Laptops Are Ruled Unconstitutional

November 15, 2019 - 13:01

A federal court ruled this week that sweeping policies permitting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to search personal cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices without responsible suspicion are unconstitutional. The policies that the court rejected authorized CBP and ICE officers to search the contents of electronic […]

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USCIS Proposes Increased Fees for All Immigration-Related Applications

November 14, 2019 - 15:02

In a new proposal officially put forward on Thursday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) called for major fee hikes for immigration-related applications. The cost for becoming a citizen would rise above $1,000 for the first time in history. In another first, USCIS proposed a new fee for asylum seekers, which would make the United […]

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The Supreme Court Heard a Major Case on DACA. Here’s What You Need to Know.

November 13, 2019 - 16:32

The Supreme Court heard arguments on November 12 in three cases challenging President Trump’s attempted rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. The Court’s decision could have far-reaching consequences for DACA recipients and the limits of executive authority when it comes to immigration law and policy. President Obama created the DACA initiative […]

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Poland Enters the US Visa Waiver Program, Signaling a Boost to the Countries’ Relationship

November 12, 2019 - 16:50

Poland officially began its participation in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) on November 11. Under the program, Polish nationals can now spend up to 90 days in the United States without first obtaining a visa. Overall, Poland’s entry into the program will benefit tourists and business travelers from Poland, as well as give a […]

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‘I Have DACA. No Matter What the Supreme Court Decides, I’ll Continue to Build American Communities.’

November 11, 2019 - 11:50

On November 12, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding the legality of President Trump’s 2017 rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. The court’s decision will impact the ability of nearly 700,000 DACA recipients across the country to continue to live and work in the United States without fear […]

The post ‘I Have DACA. No Matter What the Supreme Court Decides, I’ll Continue to Build American Communities.’ appeared first on Immigration Impact.

USCIS’ Denial Rates for H-1B Petitions Have Quadrupled

November 8, 2019 - 15:17

The Trump administration, acting through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), is disrupting the process by which U.S. employers obtain work authorization for highly skilled foreign professionals. According to a report from the National Foundation for American Policy, these changes are affecting how often H-1B petitions are denied and the length of time it takes […]

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Opposition Mounts to Trump’s Effort to Delay Work Permits for People Seeking Asylum

November 7, 2019 - 11:41

The Trump administration is proposing a new rule that would delay work authorization for people seeking asylum in the United States. The move is drawing opposition from advocates across the country. The proposed rule risks leaving people unable to support themselves and their families for months. The rule would eliminate a 30-day deadline by which […]

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What’s Happened to the People Returned to Mexico Under the Migrant Protection Protocols?

November 6, 2019 - 18:05

It’s been nearly a year since the Trump administration announced the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), or the “Remain in Mexico” program. This program forces vulnerable asylum seekers to return to Mexico to await their U.S. immigration court dates. It has since been expanded to six cities along the border. The U.S. Immigration Policy Center (USIPC) […]

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