This Week in Immigration - American Immigration Council

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New Report on Asian American and Pacific Islander Immigrants Highlights Education, Economic Opportunity Gaps

June 14, 2019 - 17:31

Over 12.3 million Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) immigrants live in the United States, placing them among the fastest-growing racial groups in the country. Between 2010 and 2017, the number of AAPI immigrants grew four times as fast as the total U.S. population. Yet, despite being an integral and expanding part of American communities, […]

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New Diversity Visa Requirements Impose Major Obstacles for Applicants

June 13, 2019 - 16:43

The U.S. State Department announced a new rule last week that changes the Diversity Visa Program, a lottery system that grants 50,000 foreign nationals the opportunity to apply for an immigrant visa number. Applicants must come from an underrepresented country that has low rates of immigration to the United States. The lucky ones, after applying […]

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ICE Deported Hundreds of Immigrant Veterans – And Has No Record of Them in Their Database

June 12, 2019 - 16:22

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is not following its own policies—and hundreds of men and women who have served in our military are getting deported for minor offenses due to the agency’s negligence. A report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released last week details how ICE ignores two of its long-standing policies that […]

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No Help “Unless We’re Dying.” Immigrants Present Evidence of Inadequate Medical Care in Detention

June 11, 2019 - 17:19

As the Trump administration ramps up efforts to expand immigration detention in the United States, many detained immigrants continue to suffer behind bars due to woefully inadequate medical and mental health care. In the past two years, 24 people died in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention alone as a result. In June 2018—almost […]

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Here’s What to Expect From Trump’s New Immigration Deal With Mexico

June 10, 2019 - 17:29

Only weeks after threatening to impose tariffs on Mexico, President Trump backed down on Friday after both countries announced that Mexico would step up immigration enforcement at its southern border. The Mexican government also said it would also expand its participation in the so-called “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP) by taking in more asylum seekers who […]

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USCIS Processing Delays to be Investigated by Government Accountability Office

June 7, 2019 - 14:52

Applications for permanent residence and other immigration benefits are taking longer than ever to process. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency responsible for adjudicating these applications, has a backlog at “crisis levels.” While USCIS processing delays have increasingly been a problem, the backlog is reaching new highs under the Trump administration. But for […]

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‘What’s Next? Drinking Water?’ Government Cuts English Classes, Recreation for Immigrant Children in Shelters

June 6, 2019 - 17:09

The Trump administration is cutting funds for educational programs, recreation, and legal services for unaccompanied children who are waiting to be placed with a sponsor in the United States. The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which contracts with shelters around the country to hold unaccompanied immigrant children, says that if it does not cut these […]

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The House Passes Historic Legislation to Provide Path to Citizenship for Dreamers and TPS Holders

June 5, 2019 - 15:55

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6—the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019—by a bipartisan vote of 237-187 on Tuesday evening. The bill would create permanent protections for Dreamers, participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, as well as beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). […]

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People Forced to Stand on Toilets, Wear Soiled Clothing for Days at Border Patrol Facility

June 4, 2019 - 17:36

The internal watchdog for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) found “dangerous overcrowding” and unsanitary conditions at a Border Patrol processing facility in El Paso, Texas during an unannounced inspection last month. The watchdog said conditions were so bad they posed an “immediate risk to the health and safety not just of the detainees, but […]

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Trump’s Tariffs Will Hurt US and Mexico Economies, Not Manage Central American Migration

June 3, 2019 - 16:31

The Trump administration’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexican goods unless the Mexican government somehow reduces undocumented migration from Central America is devoid of logic. Tariffs could backfire on the United States economically—as experts from the world-renowned Wilson Institute point out—and they won’t address the root causes of Central American migration. They will not provide […]

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ICE Uses Solitary Confinement on Immigrants Who Are Transgender, Suicidal

May 31, 2019 - 15:57

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials regularly place detained immigrants into prolonged solitary confinement, despite findings that such confinement is a form of torture. A new report from the International Consortium for Investigative Journalism reveals that over a four year period, individuals held in ICE custody were placed into solitary confinement over 8,400 times. Individuals […]

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The Trump Administration Continues to Attack Low-Income Immigrants

May 30, 2019 - 17:11

President Trump signed a memorandum last week that will place additional and unwarranted pressure on sponsors—usually family members—who accept financial responsibility for immigrants living in the United States. The Trump administration says the memo is meant to direct federal agencies to develop new “procedures and guidance” to ensure that ineligible immigrants do not receive certain […]

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USCIS’ New eProcessing System Will Test Whether the Agency Learned From Past Mistakes

May 29, 2019 - 16:14

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced a new strategy in its quest for a paperless system. USCIS envisions that the new system—called eProcessing—will eventually handle the agency’s immigration records. This will include applications for all immigration benefits, communication with USCIS, and receiving a decision on a case. For now, certain tourists, business visitors, […]

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Immigration Hardliner Kenneth Cuccinelli to Replace Cissna at USCIS

May 28, 2019 - 16:03

The shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues, as President Trump seeks to fill a revolving door of open positions with handpicked immigration hardliners. The latest change is at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where Lee Francis Cissna resigned from his director position on Friday at President Trump’s request. Kenneth Cuccinelli is […]

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U.S. Policies Make It Harder for Mexican Graduates to Participate Fully in the Workforce

May 24, 2019 - 09:00

A growing number of Mexican immigrants in the United States have college degrees, but many of them encounter obstacles to putting their education to productive use in this country. Problems involving legal status, credentialing, and English mastery often stand between these college graduates and professional jobs in their fields of study. A report from the […]

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Worsening Detention Conditions in Border Patrol Custody Highlighted in New Complaint

May 23, 2019 - 16:09

As rising numbers of families and children are arriving at the U.S. Mexico border and asking for asylum, the conditions they face while in the custody of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have gone from bad to worse. The conditions in so-called “iceboxes”—where migrants are held for days before being transferred elsewhere—have always been bad, […]

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Serving Our Country Is No Longer a Way for Immigrant Soldiers to Gain Citizenship

May 22, 2019 - 17:59

Immigrant soldiers in the U.S. military often use their service as a catalyst to apply for and gain citizenship. Traditionally, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) honored that service with a fast-tracked pathway to naturalization—granting soldiers citizenship to a country they already risked their lives for seemed beyond fair. But that has recently changed. New […]

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The Death Toll of Migrant Children in US Custody Continues to Rise

May 21, 2019 - 17:07

Another migrant child died after being in U.S. custody this week—the fifth child since December 2018. These tragic deaths raise serious concerns about conditions in border facilities and the lack of adequate medical care. 16-year-old Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, the most recent child to die in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody, was held […]

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DACA and TPS Beneficiaries Must Be Part of Any Conversation About Immigration Reform

May 20, 2019 - 17:08

President Trump unveiled an immigration proposal last week that would make drastic changes to our family-based immigration system and impose new security measures at our southern border. While the United States has not made major changes to its immigration system in over three decades, any meaningful immigration reform must address the needs of our current […]

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White House’s Misguided Immigration Reform Plan Is Set for Failure

May 17, 2019 - 16:18

President Trump announced his new plan for overhauling the legal immigration system on Thursday. The plan is short on details, but it rests on principles that the Trump administration has touted before. Specifically, the proposal emphasizes the desire to radically curtail family-based immigration while prioritizing certain attributes that are viewed as an expression of “merit.” […]

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