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The Chipping Away of U.S. Legal Immigration: July Edition

This article is part of our ongoing series tracking the many changes in immigration legislation.  You can access the full series here.

7/6: ICE announced that international students on M-1 and F-1 visas in the U.S. will have to leave the country or risk deportation if their universities switch to online-only courses this fall, which many are doing because of COVID-19.

7/6: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Trump administration’s 2019 rule requiring asylum seekers at the southern border to first apply for asylum in Mexico, arguing that the U.S. does not have the necessary agreement in place with Mexico. 

7/10: President Trump stated that an upcoming merit-based immigration measure will preserve DACA, but also stated "We put it in, and we'll probably going to then be taking it out", creating confusion about what the intent of the upcoming measure is. 

7/13: Over 900 staff working at private immigration detention centers have tested positive for coronavirus. This was revealed publicly for the first at a U.S. House of Representatives oversight committee hearing. 

7/14: After opposition from colleges, universities, municipalities, businesses, and faith groups, ICE rescinded the rule issued earlier this month that would have required international students to their home countries if their classes became online-only due to COVID-19. Instead, ICE is returning to the prior policy giving schools flexibility.

7/15: USCIS continues to anticipate furloughing about 13,400 employees starting August 3 if they do not receive emergency funding from Congress. 

7/16: Although the Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration’s attempt to terminate the DACA program, DACA applications are being rejected

7/16: The Department of State released information on exceptions to the June Presidential Proclamation banning certain categories of immigrants. These reasons include “humanitarian reasons, public health response, or national security” and more. 

7/17: Judge Dolly Gee of California has agreed to extend the deadline for releasing migrant children from federal family detention. In June, Judge Gee had ordered USCIS to release children from three family residential centers by July 17. The deadline is now July 27. 

7/17: Only 61 unaccompanied children crossing the southern border in June were transferred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, even though 1,650 were apprehended by Customs and Border Protection. 

7/17: A federal court orders the Trump administration to accept new DACA applications. 

7/23: Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied a request to release families being held in ICE detention due to the same health risks that had led Judge Dolly Gee to order the release of children in ICE custody in June. 

7/24: The Trump administration announced that all new DACA applications will be labeled as “pending” while officials consider another attempt at ending the program.

Don't miss the rest of this series avaliable here.

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