This Week in Immigration - American Immigration Council

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Updated: 2 hours 33 min ago

With Congress Gridlocked on Immigration, State Lawmakers Step in to Support Their Residents

April 29, 2020 - 18:35

In recent years, states have increasingly embraced their role in immigration by exploring and enacting policies and positions to address the needs of their communities. States are doing what they can, given that Congress has been unable to pass meaningful policies to update the immigration system for decades. 2019 was no exception to this trend. […]

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The US Government Can Now Collect DNA From Thousands of People Who Have Never Committed a Crime

April 28, 2020 - 17:19

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) proposed rule mandating the collection of DNA from nearly all immigrants in government custody became final on April 8, 2020. For the first time in U.S. history, the federal government will be able to collect DNA from people–without consent–who have never been accused of a crime. This represents a massive […]

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Fearing Coronavirus, People in ICE Custody Ask the Courts to Order Their Release

April 27, 2020 - 18:39

Medical experts and government officials urge people to social distance to avoid contracting the coronavirus. Yet, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to hold tens of thousands of people in cramped detention facilities. Fearing for their safety, immigrants and their advocates have turned to the courts to seek release from these unsafe conditions. The conditions […]

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Supreme Court Makes It Harder for Green Card Holders to Get Relief From Deportation

April 24, 2020 - 17:19

In a 5-4 decision on April 23, the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the types of criminal offenses that bar green card holders from seeking a form of relief from deportation. The case, Barton v. Barr, is about who is eligible to apply for a form of relief from deportation called cancellation of removal. Cancellation allows […]

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What You Need to Know About President Trump’s Latest Ban on Immigration

April 23, 2020 - 18:05

At a time when our country is united in the fight against the coronavirus, President Trump is seeking to divide us by turning to a familiar target—immigrants. The president first threatened a full ban on immigration via a tweet Monday night. On Wednesday, he issued a somewhat narrower ban aimed at those seeking to permanently […]

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US Endangers Other Countries by Deporting People With the Coronavirus

April 22, 2020 - 20:37

Countries around the world that still have few coronavirus cases are bracing themselves for the spread of the pandemic. Many have restricted international arrivals to prevent a surge in cases like the one in the United States, which they would not have the resources to fight. Meanwhile, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to […]

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Trump’s Immigration Tweet Is a Harbinger of Things to Come

April 21, 2020 - 20:34

There will be many key stories that emerge out of the coronavirus pandemic. One will be of an America where people banded together to help one another battle this crisis. And another will be of a president who used a dangerous public health crisis to advance his own political agenda. Since the outbreak began, we […]

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USCIS Consistently Denies H-1B Petitions. This Lawsuit Argues It’s Misinterpreting the Law.

April 17, 2020 - 18:48

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been denying many H-1B petitions by misinterpreting the law. On April 16, 2020, the American Immigration Council and partners filed a nationwide class action lawsuit challenging the agency’s pattern of unlawfully denying H-1B petitions for market research analysts. The plaintiffs—who are suing on behalf of themselves and other […]

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Coronavirus Travel Restrictions Leave Some J-1 Exchange Visitors Stranded

April 16, 2020 - 18:11

Individuals participating in the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program were faced with a difficult choice in the hours after President Trump issued travel restrictions to Europe: leave their program in the United States or risk getting stuck until the coronavirus was contained. From then on, the clock was ticking for thousands of people—the United States […]

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Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence Face Unique Risks During Coronavirus

April 14, 2020 - 18:30

The spread of the coronavirus has led state and local governments to issue “stay at home orders” to limit contact outside of the household. But these mandates have caused unexpected consequences for survivors of domestic violence—or “intimate terrorism.” Many of these survivors may no longer be able to find safety in the workplace. And some […]

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The Disproportionate Impact of Deportations in Rural Communities

April 13, 2020 - 18:15

Deportation proceedings are having a disproportionately large impact on the residents of rural counties throughout the United States. Compared to urban areas, the proportion of people going through deportation proceedings tends to be higher in rural America. And the potential impact of losing a community member in a small town may be far greater, too. […]

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1 in 10 Eligible Voters Is Now an Immigrant. Here’s Why That Matters for America.

April 9, 2020 - 18:44

Immigrants are participating in the U.S. political process in record numbers, which is a clear sign of successful integration into American society. In fact, nearly one out of every 10 eligible voters in the United States is now an immigrant. That means at least 10 percent of the electorate has a personal connection to the […]

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Holding on to Collective Solidarity After the Coronavirus

April 8, 2020 - 17:53

We are facing an existential challenge unlike any we have experienced in our lifetimes. We’ve spent the past few weeks adjusting to a new normal. We’re acquiring a new vocabulary and adapting to new norms. We’re learning about epidemiology, hand hygiene, personal protective gear, and ventilators. We’ve also gained a growing respect and admiration for […]

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Shortage of Farmworkers Threatens Americans’ Food Supply During the Coronavirus

April 7, 2020 - 18:35

The U.S. agricultural industry depends on seasonal guest workers to produce the food Americans eat. Since 1986, the H-2A visa program has allowed employers to fill labor shortages with temporary and seasonal workers from other countries. The Trump administration recently classified agricultural employees as “essential critical infrastructure workers” during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). At the […]

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What You Need to Know About Public Charge and the Coronavirus

April 6, 2020 - 18:33

Immigrants living in the United States are eligible for unemployment benefits. But as the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus spread across the country, many are reportedly afraid to file for unemployment and other government benefits. Much of this fear stems from the Trump administration’s public charge rule. The public charge rule makes it […]

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What Social Justice Movements Can Learn from the Medical Response to the Coronavirus

April 3, 2020 - 18:04

Across the country, communities are responding to the coronavirus pandemic by working to protect our poor, elderly, and compromised. Critical to the response are the efforts of the medical and scientific community. Thousands of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals from diverse backgrounds–including reenlisting retirees–are serving on the frontline to treat those who fall ill. […]

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Two Years After Zero Tolerance, More Revelations About the Failures of Family Separation

April 2, 2020 - 17:52

Nearly two years after the “zero tolerance” policy was announced, evidence condemning the practice and implementation of family separation continues to mount. A recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) further criticizes the way officials handled the separations. The height of family separations occurred in the spring and summer of 2018 but the […]

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It’s Time to Close the Immigration Courts

April 1, 2020 - 17:30

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads and entire states go into quarantine, immigrants and their attorneys are still being forced to gather in cramped immigration courtrooms inside detention centers around the country. These hearings pose an obvious public health risk and run contrary to the government’s own recommendations regarding social distancing during the outbreak. This […]

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ICE Must Release People From Detention to Slow the Spread of the Coronavirus

March 31, 2020 - 18:56

Social distancing has been mandated in many places throughout the United States to slow the spread of COVID-19, the new coronavirus. Meanwhile, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to detain approximately 38,000 people in close quarters. This conflicts with medical experts’ repeated advice to decrease the detention population. Earlier this month, over 3,000 medical […]

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How Storytelling During the COVID-19 Crisis Can Help Defeat Nativism

March 30, 2020 - 15:55

We are in the midst of a crisis unlike any we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. We are scared and scrambling to protect ourselves and the ones that we love. This is normal and understandable. However, if we’re not mindful, the spread of the coronavirus and the accompanying fear could create a shift in American culture […]

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