This Week in Immigration - Immigration Policy Center

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Data Shows Prosecutorial Discretion Grinds to a Halt in Immigration Courts

July 24, 2017 - 18:06

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last month that it now has hired 326 immigration judges, 53 more judges than July 2016, yet during that time the immigration court backlog has grown. According to new data released by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) the reason for this may be due to the fact that […]

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Six Months of Immigration Enforcement Under the New Administration

July 21, 2017 - 16:40

Now that we have passed the six-month mile marker of the new administration, the wheels of immigration enforcement have had a chance to settle into their new rhythms. Enforcement targets have expanded, enforcement tools have been sharpened, and enforcement locations have been widened, triggering pervasive fear of deportation and separation among immigrant families. President Trump’s […]

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Dream Act of 2017 Introduced With Bipartisanship in the Senate

July 20, 2017 - 16:09

The bipartisan Dream Act of 2017 was just introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) in the U.S. Senate. The bill provides legal status, as well as a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrant youth who entered the United States before the age of 18. The Dream Act, if passed into law, […]

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House Committee Funds Administration’s Super-Sized Immigration Enforcement

July 19, 2017 - 17:01

In the first week of his presidency, through executive orders, the president laid out harsh proposals for immigration enforcement and border security. However, much of what the president proposes to do requires generous amounts of taxpayer dollars allocated by Congress. In May, the president submitted a proposed budget which provides record levels of funding for […]

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Leaks Reveal Administration’s Plans to Expand Expedited Removal

July 18, 2017 - 17:22

The Trump administration has threatened to expand its use of a fast-track removal process, which could lead to the deportation of thousands of immigrants with valid claims for humanitarian relief or who have family members in the United States. The Washington Post recently reported obtaining a 13-page draft memorandum from the White House which outlines […]

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Hawaii Judge Rules That Grandparents and Other Close Relatives Are Excluded from the Travel Ban

July 17, 2017 - 13:00

This story was updated on July 19, 2017. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson ruled last week that “grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States,” as well as refugees connected to resettlement agencies should be exempt from the Trump administration’s travel ban. This ruling came as a […]

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Private Land Is Being Seized in Texas to Build the Border Wall

July 14, 2017 - 10:17

The House of Representatives unveiled their Fiscal Year 2018 budget for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) this week, which allocates $1.6 billion to begin construction of a border wall along the entire Southern border with Mexico. However, being provided the funds is not enough to complete the project. To achieve a complete and uninterrupted border […]

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Supreme Court Limits Power to Revoke Naturalized Person’s Citizenship

July 13, 2017 - 10:50

The Supreme Court recently rejected the government’s extreme argument that any false statement given during a naturalization exam—even a misstatement that had no impact on the naturalization decision—could later be a basis for stripping the person of their citizenship. In Maslenjak v. United States, the government’s interpretation of the law was so narrow that it […]

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Groups Sue U.S. Government for Turning Away Asylum Seekers

July 12, 2017 - 14:27

Men, women, and children fleeing persecution, grave violence, and even death arrive daily at Ports of Entry (POE) all along the U.S.-Mexico border and present themselves to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers to seek asylum in the United States. The right to seek asylum is guaranteed under both U.S. and international law, yet […]

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Pentagon May Deport Immigrants Who Have Served in the Military

July 11, 2017 - 13:39

The Pentagon is considering halting a program that allows immigrants with urgently needed skills to serve in the military, putting the thousands of soldiers promised expedited citizenship in exchange for their service at risk for deportation. According to an undated Defense Department memo, the Pentagon may terminate the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest program […]

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Ending Deportation Priorities Breaks Away from Decades of History and Sound Policy

July 10, 2017 - 15:09

A recent story from ProPublica has revealed an internal February 2017 memorandum authored by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to its employees about the implementation of recent Executive Orders on immigration enforcement. The memo is stunning in its declaration: “effective immediately, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers will take enforcement action against all removable [immigrants] […]

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Court Rules That Immigration Authorities May Not Deny Bond Hearings to Children

July 7, 2017 - 13:55

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals delivered a strong rebuke to the government’s years-long effort to strip detained immigrant children of the right to a bond hearing in immigration court. The 3-0 decision, authored by Judge Reinhardt on Wednesday, came in a case involving the 1997 Flores settlement which requires the government to comply with […]

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Parents Risk Prosecution for Helping Children Seek Safety in the United States

July 6, 2017 - 11:51

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials recently confirmed their plans to initiate criminal prosecutions and deportation proceedings against immigrant parents and guardians who help bring their children to the United States through the use of smugglers or traffickers. Reports indicate that these enforcement actions are already underway. The ostensible goal is to disrupt smuggling networks […]

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U.S. Citizen Children Among Those Hurt by Deportations

July 5, 2017 - 16:05

Thanks to the nation’s dramatically outdated immigration system that values punitive enforcement over family unity, millions of individuals living in the United States suffer as a result of immigration enforcement. For example, an estimated six million U.S. citizen children live with at least one family member who is undocumented, making them vulnerable to a slew […]

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This Independence Day America Welcomes 15,000 New Citizens

July 3, 2017 - 13:57

Along with the annual fireworks and family gatherings to mark the Fourth of July, 15,000 new citizens will be sworn in around the country and take the oath of citizenship. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will naturalize 15,000 new citizens on Independence Day. USCIS will kick off the naturalizations with more […]

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Two Anti-Immigrant Bills Attacking Sanctuary Cities and Criminalizing Immigrants Passed by the House

June 30, 2017 - 16:14

The House of Representatives passed two harsh immigration enforcement bills this week, both of which had the adamant backing of President Trump. The anti-immigrant bills, which passed largely along party lines, are an attempt to crack down on so-called sanctuary cities and increase penalties for those who re-enter the country unlawfully. The two bills, “No […]

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Travel Ban Bars Grandparents, Grandchildren from Entering US – The Lawsuits Practically File Themselves

June 29, 2017 - 18:37

The Trump administration is set to begin implementing part of its long-touted travel ban on Thursday, which seeks to ban the entry of nationals of six Muslim-majority countries for at least 90 days and suspend the admissions of all refugees for at least 120 days. This implementation was prompted by a Supreme Court decision earlier […]

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The Government Continues to Ignore the Rights of Children in Detention, Court Finds

June 28, 2017 - 17:38

Despite being among some of the most vulnerable, children seeking asylum in the United States often fare the worst. Upon entering the United States, children are often detained for extended periods in violation of a long-standing agreement known as the Flores settlement. The Flores agreement essentially acts as a contract between the government and children […]

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How to Get the Immigration System in Line With Our Nation’s Values and Interests

June 27, 2017 - 13:58

Over the past two decades, much of the immigration policy debate has focused on issues related to immigration enforcement. In fact, many argue that “enforcement first”—the notion that we must adequately enforce the laws on the books before considering broader immigration reforms—has de facto become the nation’s singular immigration policy. This preoccupation with enforcement has […]

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Who Will and Won’t Be Impacted by the Travel Ban After the Supreme Court’s Decision

June 26, 2017 - 20:46

The Supreme Court has decided to hear the Travel Ban case when its fall session begins in October 2017. In the meantime, the Court will allow the administration to implement parts of President Trump’s second executive order (EO-2), which bans the entry of nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from the United […]

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