Articles Posted in Immigration Law (General)

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father-656734_640-300x195The Fifth Circuit affirmed a district court’s dismissal of a selective enforcement claim to halt the removal of an immigrant father, citing that it also lacks the subject-matter jurisdiction to conduct a judicial review of the claim.

Martin Duron Esparza moved to Mississippi from Mexico as an undocumented immigrant and has been a valued member of the community for over 20 years. He filed an application for cancellation of removal in 2011, proving that he had the good moral character, lack of a criminal record, and that his removal would cause tremendous hardship for his remaining relatives – many of whom are US citizens.

An immigration judge, however, found that Esparza failed to meet the criterion of having a 10-year continuous presence in the country, and subsequently ordered his removal to Mexico. Esparza appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), but his appeal was dismissed in 2013.

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despaired-2261021_640-300x200U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has published guide questions surrounding its workplace inspections and Form I-9 audits, which the agency has been conducting with increasing frequency in the past year.

Employment Eligibility Verification, more commonly known as “Form I-9,” is issued by the federal government and used by employers to verify that an individual has authorization to work in the US. ICE recently disclosed that its Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) unit opened investigations on at least 6,093 worksites between October 1, 2017, and July 20, 2018, more than tripling the total number of investigations made the year before.

A recent operation saw the HSI serving more than 5,200 notices of inspection (NOI), forcing employers across the country to present their I-9 forms along with other documents that need to be produced during ICE audits. HSI issued more than 2,700 NOIs and arrested 32 people between July 16 and July 20, 2018 alone.

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statue-of-liberty-1210001_640-300x200A federal class action filed by the attorneys representing the child immigrants separated from their parents at the border accuses the government of deporting reunified immigrant families while and forcing them to forego their asylum claims.

Justin Bernick, who represents the six lead plaintiffs in the case, argues that immigration officials have made a practice of coercing immigrant parents to waive their children’s rights to pursue asylum claims. He claims that ICE officials have been specifically targeting vulnerable parents, or those who face expedited removal orders, forcing them to make the uninformed decision of choosing to either leave the country with their children or be deported without them. His case drew information from the revelations in the California class action Ms. L v. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“The forms do not recognize that the children have independent rights to seek asylum, and a right to be accompanied by their parent(s) pending the outcome of those proceedings,” the complaint states.

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passport-315266_640-298x300Texas officials are reportedly refusing to release a young immigrant woman in dire need of medical attention for her schizophrenia, this despite warnings from her family about her condition.

Tania Silva, a woman born in Mexico who has been living in the U.S. for years, went missing after being dropped off at an Austin community college, where she studies veterinary medicine. Upon realizing that their child had disappeared, Silva’s parents immediately filed a missing persons report only to discover that she had been arrested by immigration officials.

According to Pamela Silva, Tania’s younger sister, Tania is a student who has been helping community, volunteering at the high school that she went to. She adds that when she’s not ill, she’s a normal person and acts calmly, something her friends and family know.

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money-256312_640-300x200A number of Texas businessmen and business organizations have recently filed a brief in opposition of the Texas state government’s efforts to pursue legal action aimed at terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Obama-era immigration policy they claim plays a vital role in the Texas economy.

Representatives from southwest businesses, business associations, and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce filed the brief last week objecting to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against the DACA program, citing concerns over the significant negative consequences that getting rid of the program would have on their businesses. Rescinding DACA, they claim, would cause Texas to lose over $6 billion in economic activity over the next 10 years.

DACA is an Obama executive order that took effect in 2012, designed to protect immigrants who entered the country as children from immediate deportation and provides them the opportunity to acquire temporary work permits. The brief states that DACA has given over 126,000 Texas-based immigrants deferred status since its implementation.

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pulse-trace-163708_640-300x169The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Trump’s immigration/travel ban in Trump v. Hawaii will have a substantial impact on the industries that depend on employing immigrant workers from countries affected by the ban, namely: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.

The healthcare industry is expected to take a specifically strong blow as the United States is already facing a critical shortage of healthcare professionals including nurses, doctors, and home health aides, ban notwithstanding. According to the Migration Policy Institute, immigrants comprise at least 30 percent of all physicians and surgeons in the country, with Syria and Iran among the top 10 countries supplying these professionals.

Over 30 organizations, including the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), wrote a joint statement to the Supreme Court in an amicus brief during the Trump v. Hawaii proceedings, pointing out that “international health professionals provide essential care in teaching hospitals and their communities, particularly for rural and underserved populations.”

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post-it-notes-1284667_640-300x200US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a memo on July 5, 2018 requiring its officers to issue a Notice to Appear (NTA) to foreign nationals deemed “not lawfully present” in the United States upon the denial of their immigration benefit.

The government issues NTAs to foreign nationals found to be removable from the country. NTAs of this nature mark the commencement of the removal proceedings of a foreign national, thereby requiring them to appear before an immigration judge for such proceedings.

These new guidelines are expected to influence the proceedings of a wide range of immigration cases, particularly nonimmigrant workers and students.

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indian-1158807_640-300x200Over 300,000 immigrant children whose lawful presence in the United States depend on visas nearing termination face forced removal from the country as the clogged immigration system fails to process their applications for other visas on time. This includes children of skilled Indian immigrants in the country on a variety of visas.

The issue dates as far back as 2002, with Congress recognizing that thousands of families would be torn apart as thousands of children grow past the age limitation for their respective visas and cannot acquire green cards on time due to setbacks in the application system.

In response to the problem, then-president George W. Bush enacted the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), giving the affected children time to receive their green cards or seek other viable visas to remain in the country. While the CSPA brought some relief to immigrant families, it was not a perfect solution. As many immigration rights advocates note, the CSPA may have prevent some families from being separated, but some families were definitely not as fortunate.

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law-books-291676_640-300x225A panel of legal experts met with a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee to raise concerns over the constitutionality of Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) agents stationed at the northern and southern borders being able to search cellphones without warrants. For years, CPB’s policy has allowed border agents to force travelers and immigrants stopped at the border to unlock their electronic device without first obtaining a warrant—the only condition is that there is “reasonable suspicion” to do so.

But Georgetown University law professor Laura Donahue testified in Washington last Wednesday, arguing that CPB’s warrantless searches are not only a violation of civil rights, they also lead to racial profiling. The tremendous increase in searches, Donahue claims, pose a complete breakdown of the constitutional rights that both migrants and U.S. citizens crossing the US border still enjoy.

The CPB reports that its agents have searched over 8,500 devices in 2015 alone. That number doubled to more than 16,000 searched in 2016 and soared “to more than 30,000 searches in 2017,” this according to data Donahue presented to the Senate subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management.

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lawThe fate of President Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration, which has resulted in massive backlash over its separation of immigrant children from their guardians at the border, will be decided in the Los Angeles federal court this month. U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee will be presiding over arguments on July 27.

Critics of the administration’s immigration policy will be presenting their case against the President’s recent executive order ending the practice of separating immigrant children from their guardians. The dissent stems from the order being used as a springboard for another problematic immigration policy involving the extension of the detention periods of these immigrant families.

The order states that “alien families” will be detained “together throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceedings” in the effort to maintain “family unity.” President Trump additionally clarifies that unlawfully present families will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, consistent with his hardline approach to immigration.