This Week in Immigration - American Immigration Council

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Updated: 2 hours 35 min ago

Trump’s Public Charge Rule Blocked Yet Again in Court

November 2, 2020 - 17:58

The Trump administration’s public charge rule has been blocked nationwide for a third time by a federal judge in Illinois who granted summary judgment against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on November 2. The rule, first proposed in 2018, imposed a wealth test on people seeking green cards in the United States. This latest […]

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‘We Had a Shortage Last Night of Beds for Babies.’ Congressional Report Reveals Cruelty, Chaos of Family Separation

October 30, 2020 - 18:24

Congress released the “first complete narrative” on the Trump administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy on October 30. This hallmark of President Trump’s immigration legacy led to the forcible separation of thousands of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2018. The House Judiciary Committee report provides an in-depth look into a policy marked by […]

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The Government Wants Immigrants to Show Up for Court—But Neglects to Tell Them How to Attend Their Hearings

October 29, 2020 - 18:29

Over 60,000 people at the southern border have been forced to return to Mexico under the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program. As they get sent back, U.S. government officials give them insufficient information about how to attend their immigration court hearings in the United States. Then […]

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The Value of Pro Bono Legal Services in Immigration Detention

October 28, 2020 - 18:11

Once a year, National Pro Bono Week celebrates the pro bono work of lawyers, paralegals, and law students. Pro bono legal services—which come at no cost—are integral for many people otherwise left with little to no resources in immigration detention. Access to counsel in immigration detention is paramount to successfully navigating the complex immigration system. […]

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ICE’s COVID-19 Death Toll Might Be Higher Than It Claims

October 26, 2020 - 18:10

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to mismanage the spread of the coronavirus in its facilities nationwide—and the consequences might be far more deadly than the agency wants to admit. As of October 22, ICE confirmed a total of 6,743 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed across 99 facilities since the pandemic began in March. 661 […]

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Three New Lawsuits Challenge Trump’s H-1B Worker Restrictions

October 23, 2020 - 21:16

Three new lawsuits have been filed challenging the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new rules impacting the H-1B visa category, with one also challenging the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new H-1B rule. The complaints argue that the new H-1B rules will make it near impossible for many U.S. businesses to hire foreign workers—particularly those in […]

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Naturalization Fees: A Poll Tax Hidden in Plain Sight

October 21, 2020 - 15:43

The application fee to apply for U.S. citizenship rose from $640 to $1170 on October 2. This is not the first time U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has raised the naturalization application fee. But the increase has never been this high—a staggering 82%. The Center for American Progress found in a 2014 study that […]

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How Proposed Changes to ‘Duration of Status’ Rules Will Impact Students and Exchange Visitors

October 20, 2020 - 17:32

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published a proposed rule that will make it more difficult for individuals applying for admission in a J-1 exchange visitor or F-1 student visa category to complete their programs, apply for extensions, and even secure these opportunities in the first place. Exchange visitors are approved non-immigrants that participate […]

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The Senate Reveals CBP Violated the Law by Rounding Up Migrants — In Guatemala

October 19, 2020 - 14:47

As the Trump administration cracked down on migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, it has often invoked the concept of “national sovereignty” to justify drastic policy changes. But a new Senate report reveals that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) itself violated the sovereignty of another nation. Agents deployed to Guatemala in January in partnership with […]

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Border Patrol is Going After Humanitarian Aid in the Arizona Desert—Again

October 15, 2020 - 18:09

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched another military-style raid on a humanitarian aid station in the Arizona desert, close to the U.S.-Mexico border. On October 5, Border Patrol agents and CBP’s para-military arm Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) descended on the aid camp. They charged in with assault rifles, an armored vehicle, ATVs, a […]

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ICE Deported Cameroonian Immigrants Despite Protests and Congressional Intervention

October 14, 2020 - 17:53

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported a flight of approximately 100 African asylum seekers to their home countries, where they could face immediate arrest and death. Many of the Cameroonian and Congolese immigrants had protested their detention and spoken out about abuses in U.S. custody. ICE went forward with the deportations on October 13 […]

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Department of Justice Eliminates Diversity and Inclusion Training for All Immigration Judges

October 13, 2020 - 18:58

At a time when tensions over race in the United States are high, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in an October 8 memo that it will cancel all diversity and inclusion trainings for its staff of over 115,000 people. The decision could have a particularly devastating impact on the U.S. immigration court system. […]

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Indigenous People Face Persistent Language Access Challenges in Immigration Detention

October 12, 2020 - 18:16

The effort to permanently replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day signifies a growing movement to honor the resilience and history of indigenous communities. The day presents an opportunity to learn more about the native communities who were here long before the violent arrival of Christopher Columbus. It is also a chance to reflect on […]

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Restrictions on Foreign Workers Will Hurt America’s Recovery From COVID-19

October 8, 2020 - 19:46

The Trump administration issued two rules October 8 that, if not overturned, will further restrict legal immigration. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued the first rule, which only applies to H-1B workers. This rule further limits an employer’s ability to demonstrate that its job is in a “specialty occupation.” The other rule—issued by the […]

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USCIS’ Changes to ‘Affidavit of Support’ Make It Harder for Americans to Sponsor Immigrant Family Members

October 7, 2020 - 18:22

The Department of Homeland Security has proposed a rule that would make it much more difficult for U.S. citizens and legal immigrants—especially those experiencing financial hardship—to sponsor family members for green cards. If the rule goes into effect, the process of family-based immigration will become even more cumbersome and restrictive. The proposed rule—published in the […]

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Congress Expands Premium Processing to Help Cash-Strapped USCIS

October 6, 2020 - 17:42

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) suffered a budget crisis partially of its own doing and partially due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. Although the agency did not need to go through with planned furloughs, Congress has nevertheless acted to provide the agency with a new way to raise money through the expansion of […]

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Immigrants Detained in California Win the Right to Sue Private Prison Companies

October 5, 2020 - 18:01

The multibillion-dollar private prison industry that operates immigration detention facilities—forcibly detaining tens of thousands of men, women and children—has come increasingly under fire in past weeks. California Governor Gavin Newson signed a bill allowing detained immigrants to sue private prison companies for failing to meet minimum standards of care outlined in the facilities’ contracts in […]

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