This Week in Immigration - Immigration Policy Center

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Justice Department Will Not Halt Legal Orientation Program for Detained Immigrants, Reversing Course for Now

April 25, 2018 - 15:35

Just two weeks after the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a suspension of the Legal Orientation Program (LOP), Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified today that DOJ will reverse course and continue the program—at least for now. The announcement was made while testifying before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, which oversees the […]

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The Trump Administration Is Placing More Long-Residing Immigrants Into Court Proceedings

April 24, 2018 - 17:57

For years, immigration enforcement officials prioritized recent border-crossers over long-time residents with U.S.-born children, clean criminal records, or other evidence of roots in the United States. This was done by exercising “prosecutorial discretion” in deciding against whom to initiate deportation proceedings. The basic idea was that scarce law-enforcement resources shouldn’t be wasted tracking down people […]

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Department of Justice Ignores Its Own Evaluators’ Recommendations on Immigration Courts

April 23, 2018 - 14:03

A newly-released document obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) shows that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is making radical changes to the immigration court system that deliberately contradict the recommendations given to the department by its own independent evaluators. The recommendations were made in an April 2017 Booz Allen Hamilton report commissioned by […]

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Canadian Lawsuit Challenges the United States’ Designation as a Safe Country for Asylum Seekers

April 20, 2018 - 14:48

The United States has historically been viewed as a nation that welcomes refugees fleeing from violence and persecution in their home countries. Yet, the Trump administration recently reiterated its proposal that Central American refugees seeking asylum in the United States should instead seek refuge in Mexico. As these debates on Mexico’s ability to take on […]

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Family Unity Is Threatened by This New Immigration Enforcement Policy

April 19, 2018 - 16:36

In a directive dated Aug. 29, 2017, which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement only posted publicly this week, the government significantly weakened safeguards for the rights of parents during the course of immigration enforcement. The release of the policy change comes amid growing concern that the Trump administration is increasing the separation of families as […]

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The Supreme Court Strikes Down Vague Deportation Law

April 18, 2018 - 15:47

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling on Tuesday in Sessions v. Dimaya, declared a provision of immigration law so vague as to be unconstitutional. Noncitizens—including green card holders—can be deported for a conviction for what is known in immigration law as a “crime of violence.” The “crime of violence” deportation ground is considered as […]

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High Profile Cases Highlight Border Patrol Abuses and Need for Systemic Change

April 17, 2018 - 15:44

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—the Border Patrol in particular—has a reputation for repeatedly and systematically violating the rights of immigrants and U.S. citizens alike. Border Patrol agents are known for regularly using excessive force during apprehensions, detaining people under inhumane conditions, and resorting to coercion and misinformation in order to remove people from the […]

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Yes, All Immigrants – Even Undocumented – Pay Billions in Taxes Each Year

April 16, 2018 - 08:00

Immigrants—both documented and undocumented—contribute billions of dollars in taxes to the United States every year. Immigrants who are authorized to work in the United States file the same taxes as any U.S.-native including local, state, and federal taxes. Unauthorized immigrants pay taxes as well, often using the Individual Tax Identification Number and consequently are paying […]

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Fewer Foreign Doctors Could Spell Disaster for America’s Most Underserved Communities

April 13, 2018 - 11:41

The United States has long been the country of choice for international physicians seeking a graduate medical education. But for the second year in a row, the number of foreign doctors who applied to graduate residency programs in the United States has declined. This has triggered concern that the Trump administration’s strict immigration policies are […]

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Largest Worksite Raid in a Decade Signals a Dark Turn in Immigration Enforcement

April 12, 2018 - 14:32

The largest employment crackdown in a decade was launched on April 5 at a meat-processing plant in Bean Station, a rural community outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. Nearly 100 immigrants were detained during the raid, most believed to be from Mexico. According to reports: “[Immigration and Customs Enforcement] summarily closed off roads, surrounding the plant, and […]

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The Justice Department Is Halting Its Legal Advice Program for Detained Immigrants

April 11, 2018 - 15:36

In its latest attack on due process and access to counsel in the immigration court system, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has decided to suspend its Legal Orientation Program (LOP) despite its demonstrated ability to increase efficiencies in the nation’s horribly backlogged immigration courts. According to the Washington Post, EOIR (the Department of […]

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New Border Policies Could Have a Big Impact on Families, Children, and Asylum Seekers

April 10, 2018 - 17:46

Undocumented immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border increasingly consist of asylum seekers fleeing record levels of violence in Central America. But the Trump administration’s response to this humanitarian crisis has been unforgiving. In fact, the administration has recently made two policy announcements with the goal of further criminalizing immigrants apprehended crossing the border, as well as […]

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This Controversial Immigration Enforcement Program Threatens U.S. Communities

April 9, 2018 - 14:13

In an era of increased immigration enforcement, it is even more important to understand the ways in which some states and localities collaborate with the federal government. Recent research also highlights the benefits that immigrants bring to these communities across the country—contributions that could be jeopardized by aggressive enforcement efforts and local-federal entanglement. One of […]

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Trumps Calls in the Troops to the Border—But No One Knows What For

April 6, 2018 - 15:16

President Trump first announced via tweet—and later a signed proclamation—that he plans to send the National Guard to the nation’s southern border. And yet, at the same time, he acknowledged that border apprehensions (which are used to gauge how many people are attempting to cross the border) are at a 46-year low. Some have questioned […]

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H-1B Cap Has Been Reached in First Week for Sixth Consecutive Year, USCIS Announces

April 6, 2018 - 11:59

Demonstrating a critical demand for educated foreign workers in the United States, the annual H-1B cap has been reached within 5 business days. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting H-1B petitions on April 2, and on April 6, USCIS announced that it had received more petitions than the entire H-1B cap for Fiscal […]

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Immigration Groups Demand Records Related to Family Separation at the Border

April 5, 2018 - 15:08

To shed light on the cruel and unlawful practice of family separation, a group of immigrant rights organizations filed a series of Freedom of Information Act requests to multiple government agencies this week. The groups seek agency records underlying an unconscionable practice where immigration officials at the border purposefully divide families–taking children from their parents […]

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Immigration Judge Quotas Could Result in Assembly Line Justice

April 4, 2018 - 17:30

In a controversial move, the Department of Justice recently announced new case completion quotas for immigration judges. These new quotas will result in time constraints and pressure for judges to reach decisions quickly, impacting individuals’ ability to have a fair day in court. The Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), the DOJ component that runs […]

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Migrant Caravan Making Its Way North to Be Greeted By a Complex Web of Immigration Laws

April 3, 2018 - 11:05

Slowing making their way north through Mexico is a large caravan of migrants searching for safe haven, an opportunity to work, or the chance to reunite with family. Some will remain in Mexico, while others hope to reach the U.S.-Mexico border. But what will they face when they arrive? The caravan caught the attention of […]

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Court Ensures That Asylum Seekers Will Receive a Fair Opportunity to Apply for Asylum

April 2, 2018 - 17:47

A federal court judge in Seattle ordered the government to notify asylum seekers that they are required by law to file their asylum applications within one year of their entry, and to adopt and implement a procedure that will ensure that applicants are able to file their asylum applications by the deadline. This decision, issued […]

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