This Week In Immigration – Week of August 29-31, 2021

This Week In Immigration


Why is the Supreme Court rejecting executive authority over immigration?

Under President Biden, DHS terminated the MPP (the Migrant Protection Protocols) in June. Texas and Missouri sued the Biden administration, arguing that termination of the MPP violated the umbrella statute governing federal agency actions because it failed to fully address the implications of Biden’s rescission decision, including the possible resurgence of illegal immigration, the cost to the states and other factors. MPP policy was challenged in federal court as unauthorized under the INA, a California judge halted the policy, and the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit lifted that injunction because the Trump administration requested an emergency stay on appeal.


Complaint Alleges Retaliation at Immigration Detention Facilities after Protests Over Conditions

The allegation is part of a complaint filed last week by California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice, Centro Legal de la Raza, and the American Civil Liberties Union that says detainees at California immigration detention centers faced retaliation from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and its contractors after organizing hunger strikes and other protests over unsanitary conditions. The complaint asks the Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to investigate the allegations and to make recommendations to ICE to stop future retaliation, including calling on the agency to terminate its contracts with the private prison companies at the named facilities. 

Chicago Immigration Groups Scramble to Resettle Afghan Refugees

A coalition of immigrant and refugee organizations along with Illinois public officials said they would do everything they could to successfully resettle Afghans who worked with U.S. forces. They say they anticipate 500 refugees relocating to Chicago, but the groups are calling on President Joe Biden and Congress to expedite the special immigrant visa process — not only for Afghan allies but their families that remain in danger.

Afghan Refugees “Carefully Vetted” Before Entering the US

According to the National Immigration Forum, an immigrant advocacy group, Afghan refugees and Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants are being screened using the Defense Department’s automated biometrics system, and some have been flagged for additional screening. The U.S. is sending SIV applicants to secondary locations, including Qatar, Germany, Italy, and Bahrain, before bringing them to the United States. The SIV allows Afghans who worked for the U.S. government during the war and now fear reprisal from the Taliban to move to the United States permanently.

States: COVID-19 Vaccine Will Be Required for Most Intending Immigrants to The U.S. Starting October 1, 2021

Starting on October 1, 2021, immigrants to the U.S. eligible for COVID-19 vaccination will be required to show evidence of having received COVID-19 vaccination, in order to either obtain an immigrant visa or adjust their status to permanent resident from within the U.S. Individuals with an adjustment of the status application still pending after October 1, 2021, who submitted a medical exam with their original application should receive a Request for Evidence from USCIS requesting a new medical exam. Immigrant visa applicants living in countries where the vaccine is readily available should bring their record of having received the vaccine to the panel physician’s office for inclusion in the medical exam given to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Immigrant Convicted of Killing Iowa College Student Sentenced to Life in Prison

Cristhian Bahena Rivera, the 27-year-old undocumented Mexican immigrant convicted of the 2018 murder of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts, was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole and was ordered to pay a $150,000 fine to Tibbett’s estate. Rivera now has 30 days to file an appeal of his sentence to the Iowa Supreme Court. There is no word yet from his attorneys if he plans to do so.


Student-Led Organization Helps Immigrants Become Naturalized Citizens

The student-led organization Mission: Citizen in Portland helps immigrants prepare to become naturalized U.S. citizens with a 10-week course. Online and in-person classes cover all the material that applicants need to know in order to pass the naturalization exam and to be active participants in democracy.   

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