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This Week in Immigration News: Immigration Raids and USCIS International Field Office Closures

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USCIS International Field Offices

On August 9, 2019, USCIS announced its plans to maintain seven international field offices open in Beijing, Guangzhou, Nairobi, New Delhi, Guatemala City, Mexico City, and San Salvador.

As previously reported, all other USCIS international field offices will close between now and August 2020.

Functions performed at closing international offices will be handled domestically or by USCIS domestic staff on temporary assignments abroad. In addition, the Department of State (DOS) will assume responsibility for certain in-person services that USCIS currently provides at international field offices.

In addition to issuing visas to foreign nationals who are abroad, DOS already performs many of these service functions where USCIS does not have an office.

Targeted Immigration Raids

As our readers may be aware, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been conducting targeted immigration raids (Enforcement and Removal Operations) to remove undocumented immigrants from the United States.

The most recent immigration raids took place in several worksite locations at seven agricultural plants in the state of Mississippi. During these raids, approximately 680 undocumented immigrants were detained.

What happens next?

ICE has issued the following statement regarding the Mississippi operations:

All the unlawfully present foreign nationals arrested Wednesday are being interviewed by ICE staff to record any potential mitigating humanitarian situations.

Based on these interviews, and consideration of their criminality and prior immigration history, ICE is determining on a case-by-case basis based on the totality of the circumstances which individuals will be detained and which persons may be released from custody at present.

In all cases, all the illegal aliens encountered as part of this operation are either being placed into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts, and for those who already received due process and have been ordered removed, processed for removal from the U.S.

Where can you find more information about your relatives?

A 24-hour toll-free hotline is available for family members of those arrested in this operation to address questions about their detention location and status, and the removal process. This hotline operates in English and Spanish: 1-855-479-0502.

To learn more about what to do during a targeted immigration raid, click here.