This Week in Immigration - American Immigration Council

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Updated: 1 hour 51 min ago

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Expansive Immigration Detention

March 21, 2019 - 16:44

Immigrants with even minor, dated criminal convictions will now be placed in mandatory detention without the possibility of a bond hearing—even if they have already served their time and been previously released. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Nielsen v. Preap this week. A majority of the Court ruled that an immigration law […]

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Congress Debates Reauthorization of Expired Violence Against Women Act

March 20, 2019 - 21:19

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a landmark piece of legislation that was the first to offer clear protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, is up for reauthorization this year. The law has been instrumental in providing protections for immigrants who have faced this type of violence. Due to the government shutdown, […]

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Taking H-4 Spouses out of the US Workforce Would Hurt Women the Most

March 19, 2019 - 15:42

The Trump administration is set to issue a proposed rule that would prevent the spouses of certain high-skilled temporary foreign workers from getting jobs while they are in the United States. The rule—which would bar employment for those in H-4 status—would waste economic potential and have a disproportionate impact on women. This new rule derives […]

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An Update on TPS: A Promising New Bill, More Lawsuits, and an Uncertain Future

March 18, 2019 - 14:57

More than 300,000 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders whose status was due to expire in the coming months have new reasons to be hopeful. On the legislative front, Congress proposed a new bill to provide permanent status in the United States for many TPS holders and Dreamers. Separately, the Trump administration gave TPS holders from […]

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Immigration Groups Are Using This Tool to Expose Government Secrets

March 15, 2019 - 17:48

Many of the country’s top immigration agencies operate in secret. This lack of transparency in how immigration laws are implemented, administered, and enforced has the potential to devastate the lives of millions of immigrants and their families. Fortunately, there is a powerful tool—the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)—that ensures government agencies comply with their obligations […]

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Federal Judge Rules Government Must Reunite Thousands More Separated Families

March 13, 2019 - 17:36

In recent weeks, alarming stories have surfaced indicating that thousands more children were forcibly separated from their parents at the southern border than originally thought. In response to this and earlier reports that the government had begun separating parents as early as 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asked a federal judge to expand […]

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After Shutdown Loss, Trump Doubles Down on Immigration in His New Budget

March 12, 2019 - 17:01

After weeks of tense negotiations, Congress averted a second government shutdown last month by reaching a bipartisan agreement on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget—a budget which gave President Trump very little of his border demands. Undeterred, the president made a budget request for the next fiscal year on Monday. He called for $8.6 billion […]

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Appeals Court Says Asylum Seekers May Now Challenge Their Deportation in Federal Court

March 11, 2019 - 16:21

Many asylum seekers who travel to the United States seeking protection often receive something much less—they are arrested by immigration officials and provided no meaningful way to challenge their deportation in federal court. Last week, in Thuraissigiam v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals became the first federal appeals court […]

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America’s Asylum System Must Ensure the Protection of LGBTQ People

March 8, 2019 - 12:40

A group of drag queens—clad in feathered boas and wigs—gathered at a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas last week to protest construction of President Trump’s border wall. Lip-syncing to the tunes of Lady Gaga, they hoped to raise money in support of LGBTQ asylum seekers. Though the performance was meant to be lighthearted, […]

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DHS Secretary Denies Responsibility for Family Separation, Asks Congress to Limit Asylum Protections

March 7, 2019 - 17:43

In a combative hearing before Congress on Wednesday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified for the first time since Democrats became the majority in the House of Representatives. During the House Homeland Security Committee hearing, Nielsen refused to admit culpability in family separation, denied reports that asylum seekers are being turned away […]

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Families Hit Hardest by State Department Visa Denial Uptick

March 6, 2019 - 18:11

Family reunification has long been the cornerstone of U.S. immigration policies. Yet, last year when the administration made changes to guidance around “public charge”—a term that many consider an economic litmus test for who can come to or stay in the U.S.—advocates decried the impact it would have on families. These fateful predictions are ringing […]

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The Demand for Highly-Skilled Foreign Workers Is Undeniable

March 5, 2019 - 16:18

There is little doubt that highly skilled natives and immigrants have worked together for years to drive innovation in a broad range of fields and to build America’s private sector. However, despite ample evidence of the complementary nature of the work done by highly skilled foreign-born professionals, the anti-immigration community in the United States is […]

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ICE Releases Infants in Its Custody Following Civil Rights Complaint

March 4, 2019 - 16:19

Nothing is more delicate or worthy of comprehensive care than a newborn. Yet, over the past several weeks, detention watchdogs and public health experts have noticed an alarming uptick in the number of infants—some as young as five months old—being held in prison-like detention facilities run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). On-the-ground staff in these facilities report mothers complaining […]

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Number of Undocumented Immigrants in US at a 25-Year Low

March 1, 2019 - 11:12

  Contrary to President Trump’s claim that “large-scale unlawful migration” across the southern border constitutes a “national emergency” that requires building a wall, research suggests that undocumented immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border is actually the lowest it’s ever been in the past 25 years. The Center for Migration Studies (CMS) has issued a report with […]

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The Government Is Hiding Information About How It Deports People – This Lawsuit Seeks to Expose That

February 28, 2019 - 18:15

The Trump administration’s aggressive enforcement tactics have made immigrants with final removal orders more vulnerable. That’s why it is more important than ever to have basic due process safeguards and to understand how they are implemented. A stay of removal (temporary reprieve from deportation) is one such safeguard in the deportation process. It helps ensure […]

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Government Officials Deflect Responsibility for Family Separation at Congressional Hearing

February 27, 2019 - 18:07

At an oversight hearing on family separation in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, government officials from four different agencies dug in against criticisms and denied any accountability for the Trump administration’s family separation policy. All but one of the officials admitted under questioning that they had not raised any objection to family […]

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Congress Members and Others Argue Against Turning Back Asylum Seekers

February 26, 2019 - 16:27

The Trump administration’s policy of turning back asylum seekers has been devastating, as vulnerable people are repeatedly denied access to the asylum process at ports of entry (POEs) along the U.S.-Mexico border. Now, Members of Congress, states, organizations, and law professors are standing up to the administration by supporting a lawsuit that challenges the government’s […]

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Immigration Courts’ Growing Reliance on Videoconference Hearings Is Being Challenged

February 25, 2019 - 18:08

In some parts of the country, it has long been the practice for detained immigrants to appear for their immigration court hearings via video teleconference (“VTC”), rather than in-person. This is especially the case for immigrants being held in remote detention centers, hours from the nearest immigration court. However, under the Trump administration, immigration courts […]

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