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.
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).
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.
Immigrants worried about increased ICE enforcement under Trump can prepare to defend themselves now by beginning an immigration file. Gathering vital information and documents now will save precious time if you are detained, and allow an immigration attorney to represent you more efficiently and effectively. (Note, this focuses on immigration case preparation, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center has a helpful guide with your legal rights and suggestions for day-to-day issues if a foreign national is detained.)