This Week In Immigration – Week of August 22-28, 2021

This Week In Immigration


Justices Issue Summer Orders, Add Two New Immigration Cases to Merits Docket

The Supreme Court added two new immigration cases to its docket for the 2021-22 term. The justices granted review in Johnson v. Arteaga-Martinez and Garland v. Gonzalez. Both cases involve noncitizens who have been ordered deported but claim they are entitled to “withholding” protection – a form of humanitarian relief in which noncitizens cannot be deported to their home country because they may be tortured or persecuted there.

As Gov. Greg Abbott Issues New Order Regarding Border Enforcement, 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a new executive order according to which Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley could no longer transport migrants and that state troops would watch Catholic Charities’ shelter in McAllen. 


Federal Courts Have Dismantled Biden’s Immigration Plan

A U.S. District Court Judge issued a preliminary injunction against the Biden administration in a case filed by the states of Texas and Louisiana against the Department of Homeland Security in an attempt to force the administration to comply with the mandatory detention provisions in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), specifically sections 1226(c) (criminal aliens) and 1231(a)(2) (aliens subject to final deportation orders). These sections provide that DHS “shall” detain certain criminal aliens when they are released from police custody or incarceration, or during their removal periods if they are subject to a final deportation order. The states claim that DHS has issued memoranda that prohibit compliance with these provisions.


Immigrants Pay Extremely High Bail Bonds to Be Released from Detention Across U.S.

The two main parts of deciding a person’s bond amount are flight risk, and if they are a danger to the public. Bond amounts can vary by court, and there are few standards determining what the bond should be. Under President Trump, government attorneys asked for bonds well in excess of the minimum amount of $1,500, regularly $15,000 to $20,000, and as high as $1.25m. If the immigrant can’t pay the full amount of the bond, a hearing happens. At that point, a government attorney can suggest a bond amount higher than originally suggested. Immigration advocates hope that the Biden administration will begin to significantly reduce bond amounts for detained immigrants.


DHS Allows Afghans Temporary Entry into U.S. Under Immigration Law

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas directed Customs and Border Protection earlier this week to “parole” certain evacuees on a case-by-case basis into the US. The move will allow Afghan nationals who are part of Operation Allies Refuge to remain in the US for two years following security vetting. DHS will coordinate with other federal agencies to ensure that relocated Afghans have access to medical care and sufficient support to enable their successful resettlement in the U.S.

Women at Florida Immigration Detention Center File Federal Complaint Over Sexual and Medical Abuse, Toxic Chemical Spray, and Racist Treatment

Several immigrant women held at Glades County Detention Center in Glades County, Florida, filed a complaint with federal officials, shedding light on an appalling pattern of abuses including sexual abuse by guards and a psychiatrist amounting to violations of the Prison Rape Elimination Acts (PREA), exposure to a highly toxic chemical spray, life-threatening medical neglect, violations of COVID-19 safety protocols, and racist and degrading treatment. Eight members of Congress joined the call for closure, urging DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to immediately close the detention center in the face of ongoing abuses and unsafe conditions.


Oregon Lawmakers Work with Immigration Nonprofits to Welcome Hundreds of Afghan Refugees

Oregon lawmakers joined several nonprofit organizations in a discussion on how the state is preparing to welcome hundreds of refugees from Afghanistan as violence within the country mounts following its collapse to the Taliban. The state has welcomed some Afghan refugees so far, and it expects to see at least 200 to 300 more in the coming weeks and months. The discussion highlighted the need for the organizations to work collaboratively in offering legal services, housing, healthcare, education, and job opportunities to Afghan families arriving in Oregon.

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