* Dramatization
* Dramatization
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Immigrant Rights Advocates Vow Continued Fight Against Texas SB4Attorneys and immigrant rights groups that came together to resist the implementation of Texas Senate Bill 4 penalizing so-called sanctuary cities claim the fight is far from over despite a federal court ruling in favor of the state legislation. Three judges at the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals formed a panel that ruled on Tuesday to allow most provisions of SB4 to go into effect while legal challenges against it continue.

The state law is one of the country’s most controversial immigration policies in recent years, coming at a time when the federal government has vowed intensified operations against undocumented immigrants and even legal immigration.

  • SB4s allows local law enforcement officers, including sheriffs and campus police, to inquire on the immigration status of any individual in their custody.
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ACLU Takes ICE Field Offices to Court for Illegal Detention of Asylum SeekersThe American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), together with other groups, has filed a federal lawsuit against five U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field offices for detaining asylum seekers without cause.Foreigners seeking asylum in the United States are procedurally required to submit themselves to initial “credible fear” exams to determine the legitimacy of their reasons for attempting to enter the country. According to the ACLU, all the asylum seekers in question, who now serve as plaintiffs to the case, had passed their exams but are nonetheless being kept in detention.

In the suit, the ACLU notes that the asylum seekers in question have ready and able sponsors in the U.S.willing to provide housing. Despite this fact, they claim the federal government insisted on detaining them instead of granting them access into the country.

The ICE field offices named in the suit include Detroit, El Paso (which covers West Texas and New Mexico), Los Angeles, Newark, and Philadelphia. The ACLU alleges that more than 1,000asylum seekers have been unjustly detained by these offices since the beginning of the Trump administration. And according to Borderland Immigration Council, an El Paso-based “coalition consisting of local immigration attorneys and advocacy groups,” the success of the case may mean relief for at least 2,000 more asylum seekers detained in El Paso and Sierra Blanca.

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courtroomThe Department of Homeland Security announced on Wednesday that immigration agencies will resume processing of renewal applications under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which comes as a result of nationwide injunctions issued by a number of courts over the past months.

DACA is an Obama-era executive order that offers temporary protected status to undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors. Under the under the immigration program, DREAMers (named after the DREAM Act, a failed bill with the same provisions as DACA) are permitted to apply for two-year-renewable work permits, allowing them to legally work in the country and seek a driver’s license among other things.

In September last year, President Donald Trump announced that he would be rescinding DACA on the grounds that former President Obama had overstepped his executive power in creating the program. He did, however, give Congress six months to draft and pass a legislative-based replacement that would finally protect DREAMers for good.

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Primary Results in, Immigration May Influence November ElectionsAs the primary polls closed in Texas on Tuesday, party candidates were decided for the positions in the U.S. and State Senate, the U.S. and State House, the Texas Agriculture and Land Commissions, as well as the Texas Governor and Lieutenant Governor seats. The grand turnout and results, many expect, could give some insight as to how the November elections may unfold and how issues such as immigration and border protection could be decided at the state and federal level.

This year’s Texas primaries saw a 300,000 increase in voter turnout from 2014, and, surprisingly, a brighter streak of blue as Democratic turnout exceeded Republican turnout in midterm early voting – a first in the state’s electoral history – after having increased by nearly 150%. Six counties, all with large Hispanic populations, also saw major boosts in voter turnout.

In an interview with Time, Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, attributed this uptick in voter activity to the heated discussion on immigration, immigrants, and border patrol policies occurring at the national level. Much of the debate has focused on the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a constant target of criticism by the Trump administration.

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banA Los Angeles federal judge ruled to issue a nationwide ban on the deportation of undocumented immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program without giving them notice and the chance to defend themselves in court.

Federal immigration agencies have allegedly revoked the immigration protections of multiple DACA recipients with minor criminal offenses and providing them no notice of such terminations. This practice came to a halt when the American Civil Liberties Union filed a class action suit on behalf of DACA recipients.

Among the defendants named by the ACLU class action include U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Customs and Border Protection officials.

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lawThe Supreme Court has overturned an earlier ruling that guaranteed bond hearings to immigrants awaiting their deportation proceedings after months—sometimes even years—of detention. A large number of undocumented immigrants stand to lose from the ruling, which had previously resulted in a deadlock prior to Justice Neil Gorsuch joining the Court. The High Court eventually came to a final 5-3 vote that sealed the fate of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants across the country.

The Supreme Court’s decision is particularly important in light of the Trump administration’s initiative to crack down on undocumented immigration and increase the number of deportations. Under the law, immigrants who have committed criminal offenses—even minor ones—and those caught while crossing the border can be held indefinitely as the deportation proceedings happen. But in 2015, an appellate court in San Francisco ruled to require bond hearings every six months for individuals facing deportation, requiring that detention beyond the first six months would require proof to justify their extended custody.

According to Justice Samuel Alito, the appeals court erred in its ruling, saying that the relevant statute in federal immigration law does not hint at such a requirement. He insisted that the law authorizes detention “until the end of the applicable procedure,” adding that the lower court had no justification for any of its additional procedural requirements.

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detainedU.S.immigration enforcement officials have detained a Brazilian mother and child in separate detention centers, a move that signals a sharp turn in the agency’s enforcement approach.

In the past, immigration enforcement agencies that manage to arrest immigrant families illegally entering the country made it a practice to detain parents together with their children in the same detention facility. This, however, was not the case for a Brazilian mother hiding under the pseudonym “Jocelyn” and her 14-year-old child.

Jocelyn entered the United States along with her son in August last year, having left Brazil to flee from both domestic and gang violence. They had hoped to apply for asylum given their circumstances. Jocelyn is now being held in a Texas detention center while her son was placed in a shelter in Illinois.

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signatureU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS) announced that both applicants and petitioners seeking immigration benefits will now have to provide a valid signature on any forms provided to the agency, effectively scrapping the provision allowing power of attorney signatures.

“In an effort to protect and safeguard the nation’s immigration system and those who benefit from it, power of attorney signatures will no longer be accepted. If forms are filed by a corporation or other legal entity, they must be signed by an authorized person,” USCIS said in a February 16 release on the agency’s website. “If forms are filed by a corporation or other legal entity, they must be signed by an authorized person. The new policy is effective March 18, 2018.”

The new policy, which takes effect on March 18, 2018, updates an interim memo stipulating the rules of signature validity, which also allowed entities filing immigration petitions with the agency to use the signatures of people with power of attorney. Highlighting concerns about program consistency and integrity, USCIS decided to rescind its power of attorney policy on applicant and petitioner signatures.

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federal judge
In yet another setback for the Trump administration’s attempts to shutter the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of Federal District Court in Brooklyn issued a nationwide injunction on Tuesday, temporarily blocking the President’s move to terminate the controversial immigration program.

DACA is an Obama administration program that protects undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as minors from immediate deportation. Under DACA, qualifying immigrants can seek legal employment in the country through renewable special work permits—each permit comes with a two-year validity and also allows recipients to apply for a driver’s license.

In September last year, President Trump last announced that he would finally end DACA on the grounds that, in creating the program, Obama had overstepped the power of his office. He did, however, place a 6-month delay for the program’s termination to take effect, which he said should give Congress enough time to draft a replacement program that is both constitutional and legislation-based.

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immigrantsUnited States Defense Secretary James Mattis assured undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children and are currently enlisted in the armed forces that they will not face deportation even after the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the immigration program allowing them to continue staying legally in the country, expires.

Enacted as an executive order under the Obama administration, DACA protects undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors (often called DREAMers, after a failed bill with the same provisions as DACA) from immediate deportation, treating them with “deferred action” instead.

In addition, DACA recipients can apply for a special work permit that allows them to legally work in the country, renewable every two years.