This Week In Immigration – Week of August 15-21, 2021

This Week In Immigration


Volunteers Solicited from DHS Immigration Agency for Afghanistan Support

The Biden administration asked USCIS employees to volunteer in Texas, Wisconsin, California, and other locations for assignments to support the relocation of Afghans who helped the United States. Some 30,000 Afghans can potentially come to the U.S. due to the Operation Allies Refuge that was launched in July to get Afghans who worked alongside the U.S. and who are eligible for Special Immigrant Visas and their families to the United States. 

‘Pathway to Citizenship’ in Senate Reconciliation Package

The current Senate reconciliation package includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, but lawmakers still need to agree about which immigrants to include before final passage. The budget reconciliation outline, which was approved by the Senate, includes billions for both border security and legalization of some undocumented migrants. It is unclear if the package will be approved by the U.S. House. 


Biden Administration Proposes Overhaul of Asylum System to Speed Up Claim Approval

The Biden administration has proposed a federal regulation that would allow the processing of asylum claims faster and help reduce the immigration court backlog. The proposed rule would give asylum officers the authority to decide cases that are usually assigned to immigration judges when migrants cross the southern border. According to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, “Individuals who are eligible will receive relief more swiftly, while those who are not eligible will be expeditiously removed.”

Biden-Harris Immigration Plan neither Serious nor Realistic

The plan, endorsed by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, would shower billions of dollars on Central American countries, with the stated goals of fixing their problems so that their citizens are not inclined to come to America. The idea that centuries-old problems of poverty and crime can be solved by simply throwing more money at those problems is an idea that has been discredited time and time again, including in the countries Biden’s root causes strategy aims to help.

The Door and Immigration Advocacy Coalition File Lawsuit Against USCIS for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Data

The End SIJS Backlog Coalition, a national group of directly impacted youth and allied advocates, announced a lawsuit against the USCIS seeking expedited processing of a Freedom of Information Act request for agency data on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) adjudications and applications. The data is necessary to examine trends in the treatment of immigrant children under the SIJS statute, a matter of urgent importance affecting the well-being of tens of thousands of vulnerable immigrant youths.


The Real Immigration Crisis Is not at the Border

In 2021, farms, factories and restaurants have struggled with the labor shortage, and many have offered increased pay and perks to attract workers. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of issued visas are down 54%. In the meantime, immigrants from Central America, fleeing unemployment, poverty and violence, and realities exacerbated by the pandemic, and who are willing and able to become productive citizens, are turned out at the border due to the Title 42 order. The authorities must acknowledge the degree to which the U.S. economy relies on immigrant labor, especially undocumented immigrants, and to offer migrants legal options to work in the U.S., even if only as seasonal labor. 

US: Nevada Court Ruling Could Reshape U.S. Immigration Policy

U.S. District Judge Miranda Du in Reno found the law widely known as Section 1326 that dates to 1929 and makes it a felony for a person who has been deported from the U.S. to return to the country, to be unconstitutional, because it is based on “racist, nativist roots” and discriminates against Mexican and Latino people. It is not expected that the Department of Justice will appeal the ruling. 

NJ Prison No Longer Detaining Immigrants

Essex County Prison in Newark, New Jersey, has officially ended its detention of individuals for federal immigration violations. However, many of the detained individuals have not been released but rather moved to other prisons, raising concerns that detainees are now farther away from their families and attorneys.

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