When talking about immigration policy and using the term “amnesty”, many pundits argue that immigrants coming to the United States should all have to enter the United States legally in order to obtain legal immigration status in the United States. The argument goes something like this: we cannot make any changes or exceptions in our immigration law to allow for any type of “amnesty” because it would be unfair to our ancestors and all those who have immigrated legally to the United States in the past.
New performance goals announced by the Department of Justice will require immigration judges to complete at least 700 cases per year in order to get a “satisfactory” rating.[i] Immigration judges, after subtracting out days for training and vacation, are working on cases for a maximum of 220 days per year. To meet their new 700 case quota, this would require them to finish 3.5 cases per day.
At the Denver Immigration Court, the six immigration judges are projected to complete 2,030 cases in fiscal year 2018.
Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has recently referred some immigration cases to himself for review. A regulation exists that gives him the power to reconsider cases decided by the Board of Immigration Appeals, or “BIA.”
The cases he will be reviewing could both have a large impact on immigration case law. One case is Matter of Castro-Tum, a case regarding a concept known as administrative closure. Administrative closure is a tool that allows immigration judges to temporarily remove a case from their docket.
In response to a report written by the Office of the Inspector General, USCIS changed its posted processing times overnight between March 21 and March 22. On March 21, according to the official USCIS website (USCIS.GOV) USCIS Denver was processing I-485 applications (Application to Adjust Status) filed on or before December 31, 2016 and estimated that it would take up to 14 months to process this type of application. On March 22, the processing time read June 12,
On January 8, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced that it is ending the designation of Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) for El Salvador. Nationwide, there are approximately 263, 500 Salvadorans with TPS currently. The Trump administration has taken away that protection, but it is giving Salvadorans until September 9, 2019 to leave the United States or to find another immigration status. About 193,000 U.S. Citizen children have at least one parent who is a Salvadoran TPS holder.
On November 13 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling allowing the Trump administration’s travel ban to proceed in part. A Hawaii federal judge had previously blocked the newest travel ban from going into effect, but the 9th Circuit held that the Trump administration could limit the issuance of visas to individuals from six countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. However, the decision would allow for individuals from those countries who have a “bona fide relationship” to the United States to still be allowed into the country.
On November 20, 2017, Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke announced her decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) for Haitians. The decision will take effect 18 months before the Haitian TPS designation terminates on July 22, 2019.
DHS made its decision to terminate TPS for Haiti after reviewing the conditions upon which TPS was based, finding that the temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist. Acting Secretary Duke’s action follows an announcement in May 2017 by then-secretary John Kelly announcing a limited extension for Haiti’s TPS designation.
It’s no secret that Thanksgiving 2017 comes at a time of great challenge and incredible distress for many immigrants and their families. The anti-immigrant rhetoric and scapegoating continually flowing out the Trump Administration is matched by its harsh and restrictive policies. The president cancelled DACA and Dreamers are now left counting the days until their protection against deportation expires. Those who have long legally resided in the U.S. with TPS are now seeing that status canceled and being instructed to prepare to leave the country.
As most people are aware, on September 5, 2017 the Trump administration announced that DACA will be rescinded on March 5, 2018. Applicants with DACA had until October 5 to deliver their renewal applications to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
USCIS received reports that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has identified USPS mail service delays that affected many DACA renewal requests. Because the DACA policy has been rescinded and individuals can no longer request deferred action under DACA,
Becoming a United States citizen is a memorable and meaningful experience—one that brings with it the right to obtain a U.S. passport to travel internationally and to seek protection and assistance from the U.S. government when abroad, the ability to serve on a jury when summoned, the ability to serve the country if and when required, and the right to vote in local, state, and national elections. However, becoming a U.S. citizen is not always an easy process,
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