Articles Posted in Immigration Court

smile-5621670_1280-1On Tuesday June 4, 2024, President Joe Biden’s rumored executive action on immigration was unveiled by the White House.

Among its sweeping provisions, effective Wednesday June 5, 2024, the order will limit the number of migrants who can claim asylum at ports of entry along the southern U.S. border, while there are high levels of illegal crossings at the southern border.

Specifically, migrants seeking asylum will be turned away at the border when the seven-day average of daily border crossings exceeds 2,500 daily encounters between ports of entry. Since the number of encounters currently exceeds this figure, the order will go into effect immediately.

This means that starting June 5th U.S. border officials will stop conducting credible fear interviews for asylum claims and will instead quickly expel migrants seeking asylum at the border.

Migrants who are expelled under the order will receive a minimum five-year bar on reentry to the United States and potentially be subject to criminal prosecution.

The government will only accept asylum claims at the border if 14 days have passed, and the number of daily encounters has declined to 1,500 migrants or less at U.S. ports of entry.

Apart from unaccompanied minors, the order applies to all noncitizens, encountered along the southern border, irrespective of their country of origin.


What does the order do?


This executive order will temporarily suspend the entry of noncitizens who cross the border without prior authorization, or a legal basis to do so, including those claiming asylum at the border during periods of high border crossings.


Can migrants still claim asylum through scheduled appointments on the Customs and Border Protection’s One App?


Yes. The executive order does not prohibit migrants from using the CBP One app to make appointments at the border where they are able to claim asylum. The executive order only prohibits “unscheduled” asylum claims at the border.

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The Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department recently announced a new plan to expedite immigration court proceedings for asylum seekers who have recently arrived in the United States without lawful status.

On May 16th senior administration officials from the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department made it known to the public that a new Recent Arrivals (RA) docket process will allow undocumented immigrants to resolve their immigration cases more expeditiously – within a period of 180 days.

Under the RA Docket process, DHS will place certain noncitizen single adults on the RA Docket, and EOIR adjudicators will prioritize the adjudication of these cases.

The RA Docket will operate in five cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. Immigration judges will aim to render final decisions within 180 days, although the time to make a decision in any particular case will remain subject to case-specific circumstances and procedural protections, including allowing time for noncitizens to seek representation where needed.

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Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a new online portal known as the “ICE Portal,” designed to centralize communications between noncitizens and the federal government.

This new online portal will allow noncitizens to conveniently schedule appointments, update their address with ICE, and check immigration court hearing information all in one place.

It will incorporate previous online capabilities and improve upon them like ICE’s Appointment Scheduler and the change of address tool. Noncitizens will be able to look up information regarding upcoming immigration court hearings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).

The portal is now live and ready to be accessed by the public here.

It is ICE’s latest initiative to streamline and simplify compliance requirements for noncitizens on ICE’s non-detained docket.


Will ICE collect my personal information by using this portal?


No. Except for login information used to create an account, the ICE Portal does not collect other personally identifiable information provided by an individual when using ICE’s digital services.


Who should use the ICE Portal?


Any noncitizen who has been placed in removal proceedings. It provides important information for noncitizens to complete necessary tasks related to the immigration process such as:

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Source: Flickr Creative Commons, Attribution Gage Skidmore

As the 2024 United States presidential election draws closer Republican politicians are taking a strong stance against illegal immigration.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently unveiled a new immigration law known as SB4 that will make it a state crime to cross the border illegally into the state of Texas from Mexico. If passed, the law would require people accused of illegally crossing the state’s southern border to accept a magistrate judge’s order to return to Mexico or face prosecution, with possible penalties ranging from a Class A misdemeanor to a second-degree felony.

Once signed into law, local and state law enforcement officials in Texas would have the authority to arrest those suspected of entering the state without proper documentation. Immigrant rights groups have decried the law and vowed to sue the state of Texas for what they believe is a law that legalizes racial profiling and allows local law enforcement to have greater power than authorized under the law. That is because under the constitution, the removal of noncitizens falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government, and not individual states.

If passed, SB4 will undoubtedly lead to a constitutional battle. Interestingly, the law is drawing support from none other than former President Donald Trump. On November 19th the former President visited the Rio Grande Valley where he was officially endorsed for the U.S. presidency by Greg Abbott himself.

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 “If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.”

Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 United Airlines Captain Jason Dahl

In remembrance of the lives lost on September 11, 2001 welcome-905562_1280

In this post, we would like to share with our readers that starting September 13th the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will require affirmative asylum applicants to bring interpreters to asylum interviews, if they are not fluent in the English language, or would like to have their interview conducted in a language other than English.

USCIS has said that affirmative asylum applicants who need an interpreter, but fail to bring one, or who bring an interpreter that is not fluent in English or a language they speak, in such case the immigration official may consider this a failure to appear if the applicant does not establish good cause.

Additionally, USCIS may dismiss the asylum application or refer the asylum application to an immigration judge.


Interpreter Requirements


The following requirements apply to interpreters present at USCIS interviews:

The interpreter must be fluent in English and a language you speak fluently and must be at least 18 years old. The interpreter cannot be:

  • Your attorney or accredited representative;
  • A witness testifying on your behalf;
  • A representative or employee of the government of your country of nationality (or, if you are stateless, your country of last habitual residence); or
  • An individual with a pending asylum application who has not yet been interviewed.

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The Trump administration is in full gear to expedite the removal of hundreds of asylum seekers, most of which are arriving from Central America.

As early as October of 2019, the Washington Post made public the existence of a confidential pilot program coordinated by the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice designed to swiftly deport asylum-seekers within a matter of days.

Under the program, Prompt Asylum Claim Review, the government would take a maximum period of 10 days to consider applications for asylum from individuals arriving at the U.S./Mexico border. Those denied would be swiftly removed from the country and returned to their homeland.

As a result, asylum determinations that usually take years to be made, will now be made in a matter of days.

It is easy to see how this type of accelerated removal from the country raises serious due process concerns and delegitimizes the complex asylum process.

A recent lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Department of Homeland Security reveals that asylum seekers placed in this program are given only one window of approximately 30 minutes to one hour to call family members or retain counsel, and even where detainees have successfully retained counsel, CBP has denied attorneys physical access to speak to detainees, prohibited in-person meetings, and telephonic access. Where attorneys have tried to reach clients before their credible fear interviews, or hearings before an immigration judge, CBP has forced a detainee to proceed without opportunity to counsel with their attorney.

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On August 20, 2019, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced “enhanced coordination” efforts to remove Guatemalan adults and families arriving at the border more quickly. These efforts have been implemented to discourage Central Americans from attempting to enter the United States illegally and to deter human smuggling.

Acting Associate Director of ICE ERO Timothy Robbins made the following statement regarding these enforcement actions, “Breaking U.S. laws by illegally entering the United States is an ineffective manner to petition to legally remain in the United States. Ultimately, if you have no basis to remain in the United States, you will be apprehended and returned to your home country.”

ICE has announced that since mid-July it has implemented a more streamlined process to expeditiously remove Guatemalans who have no basis to remain in the United States.

According to ICE, this process allows the US to repatriate these individuals, “without utilizing resources to house aliens or manage their cases while they await immigration or removal proceedings out of custody.”

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On Wednesday, the Trump administration announced a proposal that will change the settlement agreement reached in Flores v. Reno, an agreement that limited the amount of time and conditions under which the U.S. government could detain immigrant children.

Reno v. Flores prevented the government from holding immigrant children in detention for over 20 days. The Trump administration is now seeking to do away with that prohibition and hold undocumented families traveling with children for an indefinite period of time.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan, announced the administration’s plans to publish a final rule in the Federal Register to do away with the Flores rule. The rule would become effective 60 days after publication. The proposal however will likely be met with great opposition and result in years long litigation.

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A new report released by CBS news estimates that the immigration court system could face a staggering backlog of more than one million cases, if the government shutdown extends into February and March.

According to the report, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky in particular will be the most affected, owing to a surge of Central American immigration that has caused significant backlogs in these state’ systems.

The government shutdown has now entered its 30th day, with no end in sight. Immigration judges have been forced to postpone hundreds of hearing that had been scheduled months or even years in advance. The only cases that have not been impacted by the shutdown are those of detained immigration seekers. All other non-detained individuals have had their hearings cancelled.

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The government shutdown has now entered its 13th day with no agreement in sight between the President and lawmakers to settle government funding for the President’s wall along the U.S./Mexico border.

Today, January 3, 2019, the President awoke to a newly convened House of Representatives, now controlled by the Democratic party. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is now seeking to pass legislation to re-open the government but will be unable to do so without support from the Republican-led Senate.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated that the Senate would not vote to pass any legislation that did not concede to the President’s demands to fund the wall.

The President tweeted Wednesday evening his willingness to continue talks with Democrats “to pass a bill that secures our borders, supports the agents and officers on the ground, and keeps America safe.”

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