DHS recently announced an unprecedented new policy called the Migrant Protection Protocols ("MPP"). The MPP is currently only being implemented in Tijuana, but will imminently be expanded to other cities on the U.S.-Mexico border. As we brace ourselves for the expansion of this program, it is important to consider just how much of a blow it is to due process and human rights protections for refugees and asylum seekers.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") recently published a troubling memorandum that will place more people in removal proceedings. This will be done by USCIS issuing what's known as a Notice to Appear ("NTA"), the government charging document that initiates removal proceedings.
In a decision issued today, Attorney General Sessions has upended over thirty years of precedent allowing immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals to administratively close proceedings. Now, there administrative closure is no longer available, with very limited exceptions. "Administrative closure" allows immigration courts to suspend cases in their discretion, for reasons such as pending applications outside of the court, grants of Temporary Protected Status, and when the ICE agreed to close the case because it was not an enforcement priority. Some cases have been administratively closed only a few months, others for decades.
Immigration law in the United States changes constantly. This can make it difficult to know who is at risk for deportation.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement are targeting people once considered safe from deportation. They are detaining people at home, at work and even at church.
Exciting news for certain children whose parents petitioned them who are waiting for a visa to become available! On February 14, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals came down with an important decision in Rodriguez Tovar v. Sessions. The Ninth Circuit rejected the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA")'s decision in Matter of Zamora-Molina, 25 I. & N. Dec. 606 (BIA 2011), which held that when a Lawful Permanent Resident ("LPR") parent petitions his minor child, and that parent later naturalizes, the child's age is his biological age, not his statutory age. The Ninth Circuit in Rodriguez Tovar held the contrary, specifically that USCIS will calculate the child's age on his parent's naturalization date based on the Child Status Protection Act ("CSPA"), when deciding whether he is an immediate relative of his naturalized parent (meaning under 21 child of a U.S. citizen).
As Northern Californians begin to recover from recent fires, many immigrants will face additional hurdles including losing important immigration documents and potentially missing vital appointments. While these problems may not be the same as the loss of life or a home, we have seen clients harmed tremendously by the loss of documents or failure to maintain a current address with immigration agencies. For immigrants who have lost their homes or been forced to relocate, here are some key things to know.
DHS recently updated their information-gathering and recordkeeping practices. This notice has received a lot of publicity because it gives the agency very broad powers- both in terms of the information they can collect, and who they can investigate.
On Tuesday, the government announced the rescission of the DACA program after months of speculation and dread. While many have begun to do so already, DACA holders and those close to them should now begin to plan for the announced changes, but also know things are still not fully settled. Even though DHS has provided key details about how the rescission will be executed, The full effect of the rescission will depend on what happens in the coming months.
President Trump's attack on immigrants continues with his support for the re-introduced "RAISE Act", which would drastically cut legal immigration. This bill has already drawn very strong opposition, and will hopefully never become law. It has enough support, however, to take seriously both for the potential changes in the law and another example of the administration's disregard for immigrants.
Refugees and other foreign nationals at airports have understandably drawn the attention of those opposed to President Trump's travel bans. The real effect of those bans, however, extends well beyond the airports. Also, the full extent of the orders has yet to be determined. This means that for those opposed to the bans, the fight has just begun.