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

For a comprehensive list of all the immigration changes from Executive Orders issues during the coronavirus pandemic, see this list

6/1: The Supreme Court rules that immigrants who are at risk of being tortured upon deportation to their home country can challenge deportations in federal appeals court. 

6/1: For ICE detainees, different judges reject or approve petitions even for similar medical and legal cases. 

6/1: Immigrant families wrongly separated at border, according to report.

6/3: On June 2, ICE told a Senate panel that it does not routinely test detainees before deporting them to other countries or transferring them to a different detention facility. This is significant because one of the current administration officials has cited a desire to slow the spread of coronavirus as a reason for reducing legal immigration pathways during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

6/4: The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University has found that 850,000 immigrants “may well be affected by the shutdown even if the Court were to reopen today”, facing months or possibly years of delay in their immigration proceedings.

6/10: A draft rule released by the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice proposes to “amend the regulations governing credible fear determinations” for asylum seekers. The proposed new rule includes further restrictions for asylum seekers, mainly by increasing the amount of people who would not qualify for asylum under the new restrictions. 

6/10: Unaccompanied children are being turned away at the border and returned to their native country. 2,175 have been expelled since March.

6/11:  Betsy DeVos issues emergency rule that DACA And Foreign Students Cannot Receive Coronavirus Relief Funds. The funds are meant to help recipients obtain food, health care, and child care. 

6/11: USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) will furlough 15,000 employees, unless it receives emergency funding. Although it is funded almost exclusively by user fees, the agency has implemented policies that have resulted in a revenue loss, such as the public charge rule, as well as mismanaged its finances to the point that it is now asking for $1.2 billion in bailout funds.

6/15: The Supreme Court decided against hearing the Trump administration’s case against a California sanctuary law.

6/16: Business leaders and colleges ask Trump to reconsider the planned extension of the work visa ban implemented in April. 

6/17: Families of some ICE detainees have been unable to communicate with or locate their loved one during the pandemic. According to attorneys, “ICE’s withholding of detainee location and medical information from lawyers has become very common”. 

6/17: USCIS beings processing some green-card applications that had been on hold

6/18: Supreme Court rules in favor of DACA

The Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration's effort to end the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, which has provided protection from deportation for approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. It is important to note that there is still no long-term solution for DACA recipients to pursue. 

6/22: President Trump extends and expands many immigration restrictions through December. This continued ban adds to earlier restrictions, and “will prevent foreign workers from filling 525,000 jobs, according to the administration’s estimates. The measures will apply only to applicants seeking to come to the United States, not workers who already are on U.S. soil”. 

6/23: Last fall, the Trump administration expanded expedited removal, but a lower court blocked the expansion. On June 23, a federal appeals court overturned the previous ruling and ruled that Trump can move forward with expanding fast-track deporations. Previously, DHS had only issued expedited removal orders to noncitizens whom DHS encountered within 100 miles of the border and within 14 days of their entry. The Trump administration’s plans will expand expedited removal nationwide and require individuals to demonstrate they have been in the United States for at least two years in order to not be deported.

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

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