This Week in Immigration - American Immigration Council

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Updated: 1 hour 23 min ago

Greyhound Has a Long History of Racially Profiling Latino Passengers

February 25, 2020 - 18:48

The Greyhound bus company announced it will no longer allow Border Patrol agents to conduct warrantless checks for people in the country without authorization. This reverses the company’s policy of allowing agents to board its buses in search of undocumented passengers. The practice has been long been criticized as racial profiling. The announcement comes after […]

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With Public Charge Rule Now in Effect, Trump Achieves One of the Largest Cuts to Legal Immigration

February 24, 2020 - 18:09

After months in the courts, the Trump administration declared victory and began enforcing its new “public charge” rule. The rule goes into effect on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, inside the United States and at consular posts across the world. Under the rule, immigration officials have far greater power to deny visas and green cards to […]

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Judge Stops DHS From Arresting US Citizens’ Foreign Spouses During Marriage Interviews in Maryland

February 21, 2020 - 15:47

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been targeting U.S. citizens’ foreign spouses when they apply for legal immigration status. Earlier this month, a federal judge in Maryland put a halt to this practice. For the past few years, couples attending interviews about their marriages sometimes faced a terrible surprise: DHS officers were waiting […]

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How Will Conditions in Border Patrol Facilities Change Now That a Judge Has Ruled Them Unconstitutional?

February 20, 2020 - 18:13

A federal court found on Wednesday that U.S. Border Patrol may not detain migrants held in its facilities in Arizona’s Tucson Sector longer than 48 hours without providing for their “basic human needs.” This includes providing beds, blankets, food, water, personal hygiene, and medical care. Federal Judge Bury determined the current conditions in these Border […]

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The Fight to Stop ICE From Destroying Records About Deaths and Abuse in Its Custody

February 19, 2020 - 17:51

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plans to destroy thousands of records documenting horrific treatment of immigrants in the agency’s custody. The records contain vital details about people’s experience in immigration detention. They include information about deaths in detention, investigations into sexual and physical abuse, and medical and civil rights complaints. In response to ICE’s […]

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The Trump Administration Is Sending SWAT Teams Into So-Called Sanctuary Jurisdictions

February 18, 2020 - 17:12

The Trump administration is continuing to wage an escalating war on so-called sanctuary jurisdictions across the country. This is part of an ongoing campaign to coerce state and local governments into enforcing federal immigration law. Many states, counties, and cities have adopted a variety of policies intended to serve and protect all of their residents, […]

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Customs and Border Protection Officials Are Allowed Full Anonymity Under FOIA—and That’s a Blow to Government Transparency

February 14, 2020 - 16:33

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—the largest law enforcement agency within the Department of Homeland Security, with tens of thousands of officers charged with policing our borders—is becoming more secretive. In fact, according to recent reporting, the agency is skittish when it comes to revealing the names of its officers through the Freedom of Information […]

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These Humanitarian Aid Workers’ Convictions Were Overturned. Here’s How It Sets Precedent for Future Protection.

February 13, 2020 - 09:00

A federal judge in Arizona reversed convictions of four volunteers of the humanitarian aid group No More Deaths last week. No More Deaths is an Arizona-based group that works to end death and suffering for people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. In the summer of 2017, the four women drove on a restricted access road in […]

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USCIS’ Change to How ‘Unlawful Presence’ Is Calculated Is Defeated in Court

February 12, 2020 - 16:26

A federal district court stopped U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from drastically changing how the agency determines when a foreign student or exchange visitor is “unlawfully present” in the United States. “Unlawful presence” is defined by law as any time a foreign national spends in the United States after their authorized stay has ended. […]

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Trump Bars New Yorkers From Traveler Programs Over State’s Refusal to Cooperate With ICE

February 10, 2020 - 16:16

The Trump administration is cracking down on New York over its refusal to share residents’ driver’s license records with immigration authorities. Now, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has barred all New Yorkers from four of its five “trusted traveler” programs. New York residents can no longer enroll or re-enroll in the Global Entry, NEXUS, […]

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USCIS Is Hiding Damaging Changes Behind Its Motions and Appeals Form Proposal

February 6, 2020 - 19:32

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently proposed changes to how the agency will review certain denials of immigration benefits. The changes will apply to its Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, and instructions. But USCIS’ proposed changes are more than procedural—they will substantially alter USCIS’ longstanding motions and appeal processes. As part of […]

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Trump’s Immigration Restrictions Extend to Nearly 7% of the Entire World

February 5, 2020 - 18:26

President Trump issued the fourth travel ban of his presidency on Friday. This ban comes almost three years to the day after the first one brought thousands of protesters to airports around the country. People from Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan are now barred from immigrating to the United States. Those from Sudan and Tanzania […]

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Conditions in Border Facilities Deny Asylum Seekers Meaningful Screening Interviews

February 4, 2020 - 18:19

In U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody, asylum seekers are detained in horribly cold and overcrowded facilities, unable to sleep, without access to food, water, or adequate medical care, and without access to an attorney. Under two new government processes—the Prompt Asylum Claim Review (PACR) and the Humanitarian Asylum Review Process (HARP)—people seeking asylum […]

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The State of Immigration in Our Union

February 3, 2020 - 14:57

Three years into the Trump administration, it’s become clear that we have lost our rudder. For a nation that long-provided a welcome mat to the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, our immigration policies are not welcoming. They are punitive and isolationist. We have seen a decrease in legal immigration alongside an historic increase in […]

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Calls for Independent Immigration Court Grow Louder at Congressional Hearing

January 30, 2020 - 17:41

A congressional oversight committee held a hearing this week on the need for immigration court reform and the systemic due process challenges within the immigration court system. The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship heard from several experts on the issue. Most experts made the case that the immigration court should transfer from […]

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Demographic Change Is Hard, Especially When Our Leaders Stoke Our Worst Fears

January 29, 2020 - 11:43

After more than 20 years in the immigrant justice movement, I confess that I missed the mark. In my drive to improve the lives of immigrants and refugees, I was blind to some key realities taking root in America. I failed to see the surge of cultural anxiety driven by demographic, economic, and social change […]

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A Humanitarian Catastrophe at the Border: One Year of the ‘Migrant Protection Protocols’

January 28, 2020 - 17:30

One year ago today, a confused Honduran man seeking asylum in the United States became the first person to be turned away from the border and sent back to Mexico to await a U.S. court hearing. He would become the first of nearly 60,000 people subjected to the so-called “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP). Under MPP—also […]

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What’s Happening to Trump’s Travel Ban?

January 27, 2020 - 18:04
Monday marks the third anniversary of the Trump administration’s travel ban—a presidential proclamation that needlessly divides families on the basis of their religion and nationality. The proclamation restricts travel to the United States by nationals of five majority-Muslim nations (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen). Venezuela and North Korea are also included in the ban. […]

Lawmakers Call for Release of All Transgender Migrants From ICE Custody

January 24, 2020 - 17:43
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill sent a letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) this month demanding the release of all transgender people in ICE’s custody. At least two transgender women have died in the last two years. Both died following multiple, ignored requests for medical attention in ICE custody. Advocates and lawmakers fear more […]

Privacy Concerns Over Trump’s Demand to Collect the DNA of Hundreds of Thousands of People

January 23, 2020 - 15:19

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began collecting DNA from people held at the border earlier this month. This is part of a pilot program that DHS plans to expand nationwide. The program is currently operating at the port of entry in Eagle Pass, Texas and within the Border Patrol’s Detroit Sector. When fully implemented, […]

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