Articles Posted in Removal orders

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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As the 2024 U.S. presidential elections draw nearer, Biden and Mexico’s President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador, have announced joint efforts to combat illegal border crossings.

The two leaders have said that their administrations will take steps to decrease illegal border crossings by ordering their national security teams to cooperate. While specific details were not disclosed, a government official has said that immigration enforcement actions may include a crackdown to prevent railways, buses, and airports from being used for illegal border crossings.

The issue of immigration will likely sway voting age Americans who believe President Biden has not done enough to prevent illegal immigration.

Under intense scrutiny and political pressure, the Biden administration has attempted to appease these voters by getting tougher on immigration. Recently, the Biden administration attempted to include restrictive immigration policies as part of a $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Biden called the immigration reform measure the “strongest border security bill this country has ever seen.” If passed, the measure would have given him the authority to turn away migrants at the U.S. Mexico border.

Against political gridlock however, Congress blocked the inclusion of the measure from the bill. This has left the Biden administration to consider the possibility of executive action and internal policy decisions to ramp up its enforcement efforts.

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In this blog post, we share with you the latest regarding the controversial immigration law from the state of Texas known as SB-4.

In a stunning turn of events, on Tuesday March 19th the Supreme Court of the United States cleared the way for the state of Texas to enforce its controversial immigration law SB4, which would allow state officials to arrest and detain those suspected of entering the country illegally.

The Supreme Court rejected the Biden administration’s request to intervene and keep Texas’s strict immigration enforcement law on hold pending litigation.

The legal challenges however did not stop there. Later that day, a federal appeals court put the controversial law back on hold, just hours after the Supreme Court would have allowed Texas to begin enforcing the new law.

The order came down from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in which a three-judge panel voted 2-1 to vacate a previous ruling that had put the law into effect.

The future of the law still hangs in the balance as the 5th Circuit prepares to hear arguments over the controversial law to decide once and for all whether the law is unconstitutional.

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Without any prior notice, the U.S. government has started requiring immigrants without passports, to submit to facial recognition technology in order to board domestic flights in the United States.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently confirmed this policy change, stating that migrants who do not have the proper photo identification, must submit to facial recognition technology, to verify their identify using Department of Homeland Security (DHS) records. Those who refuse to undergo facial recognition are turned away at the airport.

This change came to light after several migrants flying out of Texas were unexpectedly required to submit to the technology.

A spokesperson for the agency further confirmed that if TSA cannot match the person’s identity to DHS records, they will be denied boarding and entry to secure areas of an airport.

This has been alarming news for immigrants who must relocate to areas where they are pursuing their immigration claims, or where they have been scheduled to appear before immigration court.

It has also caused concern for immigrants who were blindsided by the change and spent their hard-earned money on nonrefundable domestic flights.

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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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We are happy to inform our readers that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has launched a new online change of address form for noncitizens.


What is the online change of address form?


This new form gives noncitizens the option to update their information online instead of having to do so by phone or in-person.

To process an online change-of-address, the system requires a full name, A-number, and validated non-commercial address. It takes approximately one minute to complete the form.

This tool will make it easier for noncitizens to comply with their immigration obligations and improve the accuracy of address information reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by utilizing address autofill to ensure U.S. Postal Service standardization.


Reporting a Change of Address with USCIS


As a reminder, all noncitizens in the United States, except A and G visa holders and visa waiver visitors, must also report a change of address to USCIS within 10 days of relocating.

You may change your address with USCIS online here.


Reporting a Change of Address with Immigration Court


Once a noncitizen has entered a valid mailing address, if they are currently in removal proceedings pursuant to Section 240 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the interactive online system will provide the noncitizen with information on how to also change their address with the immigration court as required, using the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s (EOIR) Form EOIR-33, Change of Address/Contact Information. Form EOIR-33 can be submitted by mail, in-person at the immigration court, or online through EOIR’s Respondent Access.

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In this blog post, we share with you some recent updates in the world of immigration.


Suspension of Visa Services in Sudan


Today, April 24, 2023, the Department of State announced suspension of non-immigrant and immigrant visa services in Sudan, due to armed conflict in the country. The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum suspended all operations on April 22, 2023, and all personnel have been evacuated under orders of the Department of State.

All Immigrant and Diversity Visa interviews have been cancelled until further notice.  Those with an inquiry about a pending post-interview Immigrant Visa case, are advised to send only one email to KhartoumIV@state.gov.  The inbox will remain unmonitored for a certain period of time, until officials can begin to resume normal or alternative operations.

The mission is unable to conduct passport or document passback for the time being.

Applicants for U.S. nonimmigrant visas are encouraged to apply in any country in which they are physically present and where there are appointments available. As each U.S. Embassy and Consulate has specific application procedures, applicants should contact the U.S. Embassy where they wish to apply directly. Contact information for U.S. Embassies is available at usembassy.gov.


ICE launches online CeBONDS capability to automate bond payments


Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced its implementation of a new web-based system called, Cash Electronic Bonds Online (CeBONDS), which provides a fully automated, online capability to request verification of bond eligibility, make cash immigration bond payments, and send electronic notifications to cash bond obligors. The web-system will benefit detained noncitizens determined by the Immigration Judge or ERO to be suitable for release on bond and enables ICE to send electronic notifications to cash bond obligors.

Individuals will still have the option of making in-person bond payments until the online system fully takes over on June 1st.


CeBONDS Frequently Asked Questions


Who can utilize CeBONDS?


U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, law firms, and non-profit organizations can use CeBONDS to post a delivery bond, voluntary departure bond, or order of supervision bond. Noncitizens can also post a voluntary departure bond or order of supervision bond on their own behalf.

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On June 4th, 2021, the interim guidance memorandum (“The Memo”) was publicly released. The reason the memo sent many, like me, into a frenzy was because of the million people currently in immigration court limbo who have just had their lives transformed by these thirteen pages.

This memo is proof the Biden Administration has set a new tone towards immigration. The memo beautifully states, “the government wins when justice is done,” reminding OPLA attorneys they should remain mindful that “immigration enforcement obligations do not consist only initiating and conduction prompt proceedings that lead to removals at any cost.” The memo provides internal direction to OPLA attorney’s regarding the following: 1. Removal Priority Cases, 2. Prosecutorial Discretion, 3. Ability to cancel NTAs, 4. Authority to Administrative closure or Continuance of Proceedings, and 5. Authority to Terminate  Proceedings.

(It is important to note this memorandum was released For Official Use Only by the Department of Homeland Security. You should seek the advice and counsel of an attorney to review your case specifically.)

  1. REMOVAL PRIORITY CASES

It is directed that OPLA attorneys prioritize agency resources in the following priority categories:

A. Noncitizens who engaged in or suspect to engage in terrorism or whose apprehension is otherwise necessary to protect the national security of the United States.

B. Noncitizens who were apprehended at the border or port of entry, while attempting to enter unlawfully into the United States after November 1, 2020.

C. Noncitizens convicted of an “aggravated felony” or convicted of an offense related to a criminal street gang and determined to pose a threat to public safety.

The memo also provides a non-exclusive list of civil immigration enforcement and removal decisions where the agency should identify any opportunities of a non-citizens process to ensure just fair and legally appropriate outcomes.

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Welcome back to Visalawyerblog! We kick off today’s post with very exciting news. Yesterday, February 18, 2021, President Biden unveiled new legislation that will create an 8-year earned path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States who were brought to this country as children.

While the bill faces an uphill battle in Congress, it is the start of the administration’s efforts to create new momentum to push parties on both sides of the aisle to fix our broken immigration system once and for all.


What does the new bill propose?


The new piece of legislation is based on the President’s immigration priorities as outlined during his first day in office.

While President Biden has been in office for less than one month, he is already moving forward with his most ambitious effort yet – introducing viable immigration proposals before Congress, that will counteract the past four years of harmful policies passed by his predecessor.

In a nutshell, the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, as it is known, seeks to create (1) an eight-year pathway to citizenship for nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants (2) a shorter process to legal status for agriculture workers and recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and (3) establishes an enforcement plan that includes deploying technology to patrol the Southern border.

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