Articles Posted in Southwest 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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The Supus-supreme-court-building-2225766_1280reme Court of the United States has issued an important but temporary victory to the Biden administration. On Monday, the court temporarily halted the enforcement of a controversial immigration law from the state of Texas known as SB4, which would authorize state law enforcement officials to arrest and detain those suspected of entering the country illegally, while imposing harsh criminal penalties.

The administrative hold issued by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito blocks the law from taking effect in the state of Texas until March 13. This temporary pause will give the court enough time to review and respond to court proceedings initiated by the Biden administration. Alito has ordered Texas to respond to the government’s lawsuit by March 11.

U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar has argued that SB4 violates the law by placing the authority to admit and remove noncitizens on state law enforcement when these matters fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government, and not individual states.

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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 start the week with great news for Cuban and Haitian nationals.

On August 10, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security announced new publications in the Federal Register introducing changes to the Cuban and Haitian Family Reunification Parole processes.

The FRP program allows eligible Cuban and Haitian nationals to seek parole into the United States for the purpose of reuniting with their family members while they wait for their immigrant visas to become available to apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence.

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This past week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the implementation of a new Family Reunification Parole (FRP) program for foreign nationals of Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, that falls in line with previous governmental policies aimed at reducing unlawful migration.

The program will benefit nationals of such countries whose family members are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents and have received approval to join their family in the United States.

Nationals of these countries can be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis for a period of up to three years while they wait to apply to become a lawful permanent resident. This means that those who are eligible for parole will have the opportunity to lawfully reside inside of the United States while applying for lawful permanent residence for a period of up to three years.

The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas, said that “These new processes promote family unity and provide lawful pathways consistent with our laws and our values,” and will allow for the expansion of safe, orderly, and lawful pathways to reduce “dangerous, irregular migration to the United States.”

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In this article, we will discuss how the upcoming Presidential election could impact immigration for years to come.

On November 3, 2020 Americans will head to the polls to cast their votes for the next President of the United States. While the upcoming presidential election seems far into the future, Americans must now begin to consider how their votes could impact the future of immigration.

During the 2016 election, the topic of immigration took center stage and has continued to remain a prominent topic of contention among Democrats in Republicans. In part immigration was catapulted to mainstream media by then Presidential nominee Donald Trump, who made the topic of immigration a central issue of his campaign, by means of his campaign logo “Make America Great Again,” to highlight the discontent that many Americans felt regarding illegal immigration, the availability of jobs in the United States, and the country’s general loss of “status” in relation to other countries. Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump consistently made pledges to his supporters with respect to immigration, including a promise to build a wall and ensuring Mexico pay for it, ending birthright citizenship, ending “mass” migration of Syrian refugees, removing undocumented immigrants from the United States, and limiting legal immigration, to name a few of his campaign promises. The President also vowed to serve the interests of America and its workers, calling them “the forgotten people.” This rhetoric proved to be successful as disenchanted Americans across the country began to rally in support of Donald Trump helping him win the Presidency.

The President’s strategy was so successful, that other Republicans have taken a page out of Donald Trump’ s playbook, using the same rhetoric to gain the support of rural Americans.

This same anti-immigrant rhetoric is expected to take center stage during the upcoming presidential election. Republicans have remained united on the issue of immigration and have consistently supported Trump’s policies even where courts have struck down the President’s orders with respect to ending DACA.

Today, Americans remain largely divided on the issue of immigration, making the outcome of the Presidential election all the more unpredictable. The President’s current impeachment proceedings have also thrown a wrench into the process, creating deep divisions among party lines.

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As we approach the end of the year, in this blog post, we look back at the major policy changes implemented by the Trump administration in the year 2019 that have had a profound impact on the way our immigration system functions today.

JANUARY 

Government Shutdown Woes

The start of 2019 began on a very somber note. From December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019 Americans experienced the longest government shutdown in American history (lasting a period fo 35 days) largely due to political differences between the Republican and Democratic parties on the issue of government funding to build a border wall along the U.S. Mexico border.

The government shutdown created a massive backlog for non-detained persons expecting to attend hearings in immigration court. Because of limited availability of federal workers, non-detained persons experienced postponements and were required to wait an indeterminate amount of time for those hearings to be re-scheduled.

To sway public opinion, 17 days into the government shutdown, the President delivered his first primetime address from the Oval office where he called on Democrats to pass a spending bill that would provide $5.7 billion in funding for border security, including the President’s border wall.

With no agreement in sight, on January 19, 2019, the President sought to appease Democrats by offering them a compromise solution. In exchange for funding his border wall and border security, the President announced a plan that would extend temporary protected status of TPS recipients for a three-year period and provide legislative relief to DACA recipients for a three-year period. The President’s proposal however did not provide a pathway to residency for Dreamers, and was quickly rejected by Democrats.

On January 25, 2019, with still no solution and pressure mounting, the President relented and passed a temporary bill reopening the government until February 15, 2019.

Meanwhile, immigration courts across the country were forced to postpone hundreds of immigration hearings, with Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky being the most deeply affected by the shutdown.

Changes to the H1B Visa Program

On January 30, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security announced proposed changes to the H-1B visa program including a mandatory electronic registration requirement for H1B petitioners filing cap-subject petitions beginning fiscal year 2020, and a reversal in the selection process for cap-subject petitions. The government outlined that it would first select H-1B registrations submitted on behalf of all H-1B beneficiaries (including regular cap and advanced degree exemption) and then if necessary select the remaining number of petitions from registrations filed for the advanced degree exemption. Moreover, only those registrations selected during fiscal year 2020 and on, would be eligible to file a paper H1B cap petition.

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