Articles Posted in Unlawful presence

courthouse-1223279_1280The federal government has sued the state of Oklahoma in a new lawsuit seeking to block HB 4156 from taking effect, a new anti-immigration law that regulates the entry of noncitizens by detaining and fining migrants who are unlawfully present in the state.

The U.S. government filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma on May 21st arguing that HB 4156 is unconstitutional because the federal government maintains exclusive jurisdiction over the subject of immigration and the status of noncitizens under the supremacy clause and foreign commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Oklahoma’s HB 4156 which was slated to take effect July 1st considers the unlawful presence of a noncitizen in the state to be an “impermissible occupation” and directs law enforcement officials to arrest and jail undocumented immigrants.

The law aims to protect the state’s citizens against undocumented immigrants who could “potentially harm” its residents. Under the law, a first conviction would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail and a $500 fine. A second conviction would rise to a felony and carry a sentence of up to two years in county jail and a $1,000 fine.

Those convicted would be required to leave the state of Oklahoma within three days of being released from county jail.

In attempting to enforce this law, the Justice Department argues that the state is circumventing established law and constitutional authority by trying to take matters into its own hands.

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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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Ahead of the U.S. presidential election, President Biden is considering the rollout of a set of new executive actions aimed at curbing illegal migration at the U.S. southern border and measures that would create new obstacles for asylum applicants. Individuals speaking on condition of anonymity have said these policies could come as soon as March 7th as part of President Biden’s State of the Union speech.

According to reports by insiders of the Biden administration, the proposals under discussion would use a provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to stop migrants from requesting asylum at U.S. ports of entry once a certain number of illegal crossings has been reached.

While the exact details of the executive order are still unclear, the proposal would likely carve out several exceptions for unaccompanied minors and those who meet the requirements of the United Nations Convention Against Torture. A similar proposal was previously discussed in the U.S. Senate as part of a border deal earlier this month.

To further appease conservative voters, the Biden administration is also considering implementing policies that would make it harder for migrants to pass the initial screening of the asylum interview process. Under these proposals, the administration would elevate the “credible fear standard” of the asylum process, thereby narrowing the pool of applicants eligible to seek asylum. Those who cannot meet the elevated standard, would be swiftly deported.

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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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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 recent guidance released by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for supporters and beneficiaries of Uniting for Ukraine and nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, requesting humanitarian parole to the United States.

Individuals participating in these programs must have a supporter in the United States who agrees to provide financial support for the duration of their parole in the United States. The first step in the process is for the U.S.-based supporter to file a Form I-134A, Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support, with USCIS for each beneficiary they seek to support, including minor children. The U.S. government will then review the supporter information provided in the Form I-134A to ensure that they are able to financially support the beneficiaries they are agreeing to support.

USCIS has cautioned applicants that they have been receiving many duplicate filings of Form I-134A, as well as multiple inquiries submitted to the USCIS Contact Center regarding these filings.

To avoid any errors and ensure the proper submission of the form, USCIS has provided the following important tips.


Duplicate Filings of Form I-134A


Some potential supporters have been filing multiple Forms I-134A for the same beneficiary. These duplicate filings add to USCIS workload, which delays processing.

The agency encourages applicants to refrain from filing more than one Form I-134A for the same beneficiary because this could delay the processing of the application for the beneficiary you are agreeing to support.

Those who have not received a decision on a Form I-134A they have filed on behalf of a beneficiary, are advised to check their case status through their USCIS online account.

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