This Week in Immigration - American Immigration Council

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Updated: 2 hours 47 min ago

Cities with ‘Sanctuary’ Policies Save Lives from Domestic Violence

June 5, 2020 - 17:25

Many communities across the U.S. have adopted so-called “sanctuary policies” that are intended to ensure that we all live in safe neighborhoods. When these policies are in place, local police don’t take part in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. These policies allow immigrants to work with local law enforcement in reporting and investigating crimes […]

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Supreme Court Safeguards Federal Court Review of Torture Protections

June 4, 2020 - 13:21

The U.S. Supreme Court found on Monday that federal courts have the authority to review certain claims from people who are seeking protection from torture. The case, Nasrallah v. Barr, is about what happens when certain people seeking protection under the Convention Against Torture are denied protection by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The […]

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Presidential Proclamation Bars Certain Students and Researchers From China

June 1, 2020 - 19:13

President Trump issued a proclamation to prevent certain Chinese nationals from entering the United States using academic student (F) or exchange visitor researcher (J) visas. The proclamation applies to graduate-level or post-graduate students and researchers who have ties to certain entities in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The proclamation bans students and researchers who […]

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Asian Americans Play Key Role in Fighting Coronavirus, Even as They Suffer Racism Spurred by It

May 29, 2020 - 17:44

May 31 closes out Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time dedicated to recognizing the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The term AAPI encompasses all people from the Asian continent and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. This year’s recognition of AAPI Heritage Month […]

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Board of Immigration Appeals’ Restructuring and Hiring Plan Reveals Anti-Immigrant Bias

May 28, 2020 - 16:43

The Board of Immigration Appeals’ (BIA) hiring process for immigration appellate judges was recently revealed. Now, the integrity of the immigration court system has never been more in question. These procedures reflect how the agency has altered the hiring process to promote judges with a track record of anti-immigrant bias. The information was obtained through […]

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5 Ways Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Agenda Gets in the Way of an Effective Coronavirus Response

May 27, 2020 - 17:40

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government has implemented sweeping revisions to U.S. immigration policy. Many of the changes fail to prioritize the health of immigrants or the general public. Some functions—like processing visas abroad and asylum claims at the border—have come to a virtual standstill. Yet many people applying for immigration benefits […]

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Trump Is Using the Coronavirus Pandemic as an Excuse to Permanently Close the Borders

May 26, 2020 - 17:56

The Trump administration has indefinitely extended its ban on immigration at U.S. land borders.  The order was also expanded to include immigrants arriving at coastal ports. The ban is based on an order from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), allowing Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to immediately remove migrants from the […]

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USCIS Claims It’s Strapped for Cash, Requests Emergency Funding From Congress

May 21, 2020 - 18:25

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says it’s running out of money, fast. In a letter to Congress, USCIS declared that the coronavirus pandemic had caused unavoidable budget shortfalls. The agency—normally funded by fees from visa petitions and immigration benefit applications—says it will run out of money by June. It’s asking Congress for an emergency […]

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Exchange Visitor Program Faces Uncertainty as US Opens but Embassies Remain Closed

May 20, 2020 - 18:54

The coronavirus pandemic has affected day-to-day life for everyone, including foreign nationals who planned to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program. These programs use on-the-job training and are often planned months in advanced. Many large organizations and companies that sponsor and host exchange visitors—who come to the United States on J-1 […]

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ICE Tells Parents to Separate From Their Children or Risk Indefinite Detention Together

May 19, 2020 - 19:01

When the Trump administration implemented mass family separation in 2018, the American public was outraged. Two years later, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is using a different strategy with the risk of a similar result. The agency is now forcing parents at its family detention centers to choose between separation from their children or […]

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The HEROES Act Would Provide Aid to Millions of Immigrants Left Out of Other Coronavirus Relief Packages

May 18, 2020 - 16:06

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act on Friday, May 15. The bill directs $3 trillion in stimulus spending and is the latest in a series of bills that Congress has considered in response to the coronavirus. The HEROES Act seeks to relieve some of the […]

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Essential Workers Are at the Heart of a Diversifying Working-Class America

May 15, 2020 - 13:26

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of essential workers in keeping America up and running. First-responders, medical staff, meat packers, and domestic, hospitality, and transportation workers have been feeding, caring for, and moving us forward for years. It’s time for the working class in America to be recognized and rewarded for their labor. Yet, […]

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If the Supreme Court Terminates DACA, President Trump Can Still Fix It

May 14, 2020 - 17:57

The coronavirus has disrupted all our lives. Native-born Americans and noncitizens across the United States are experiencing many of the same challenges—the disruptions to day-to-day life, the struggle to find work to provide for their families, and the difficulties in obtaining adequate medical care. But many noncitizens are navigating these challenges while also coping with […]

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Government Takes Surprising Position to Preserve H-4 Work Permits – For Now

May 13, 2020 - 18:59

A long-running lawsuit over a rule allowing certain spouses of highly educated H-1B workers to work in the United States took an interesting twist. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which has threatened to take away work authorization for this group of people since the start of the Trump administration, opposed the latest attempt […]

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Board of Immigration Appeals Green Lights Major Errors on Notice to Appear Forms

May 12, 2020 - 18:09

The U.S. government rejects an immigrant’s entire application for a visa or immigration benefit over a single blank field on a form. Applications can be rejected if a box is left unchecked or has a missing line—say, for an apartment number when the applicant lives in a house, or even when a question does not […]

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What ICE Must Do Following the First Coronavirus Death in Its Custody

May 7, 2020 - 17:53

The prognosis for people in immigration detention facilities during this global pandemic is grim. On Wednesday, news broke of the first person to die while in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody after testing positive for the coronavirus. Carlos Ernesto Escobar Mejia was a long-time member of the Los Angeles community. He died in […]

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New Data Shows Border Patrol Agents Reject More Asylum Seekers

May 6, 2020 - 18:10

The Trump administration has used the coronavirus pandemic to justify shutting down the southern border—and much of our asylum system along with it. But long before the pandemic, the administration set up obstacles to asylum. Newly released data shows that one of those obstacles, which made U.S. Border Patrol agents the gatekeepers to the asylum […]

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USCIS’ Proposed Changes to the Affidavit of Support are Unnecessary and Unlawful

May 5, 2020 - 16:05

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is currently proposing significant changes to the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), and related forms I-864A and I-864EZ. One of the major changes would be to require that U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents sponsoring a foreign spouse or relative for a green card must disclose detailed bank […]

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ICE Faces Lawsuit Over Blocking Phone Access to Detainees

May 4, 2020 - 20:13

A free phone call can mean the difference between a fair day in court and being deported to harm—or worse—for individuals held in immigration detention centers. Immigrants may not be able to meet with their attorneys in person, leaving phone calls as the only way to communicate about their cases. Being able to communicate with […]

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As Coronavirus Fatalities Rise, Trump Sends Immigrant Meatpackers Back to Work

May 1, 2020 - 17:21

The coronavirus presents a clear and immediate danger to America’s food supply. Meatpacking plants in particular have taken a huge hit. To mitigate the loss of production, President Trump signed an executive order on April 28 to ensure that meatpacking plants “continue operations uninterrupted to the maximum extent possible.” The order may help put food […]

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