Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Immigration Article of the Day: Unpacking the Rise in Crimmigration Cases at the Supreme Court  by Philip Torrey


Unpacking the Rise in Crimmigration Cases at the Supreme Court  by Philip Torrey, New York University Review of Law & Social Change, The Harbinger


Why has the Supreme Court recently granted more writs of certiorari in cases concerning the complex legal test known as the categorical analysis than it has in the last ten years? As background for the uninitiated, the categorical analysis is a tool used by adjudicators to determine when immigration consequences or federal sentencing enhancements are triggered by prior convictions. It is an often misunderstood—and consequently misapplied—analysis that has befuddled adjudicators for decades. The Supreme Court has decided to reaffirm and refine the legal test in several cases over the last few terms. The Court will have the opportunity to do so again this term in two cases, Pereida v. Barr and Shular v. United States. This Article examines several factors that may elucidate why the Court has recently taken a growing interest in the categorical analysis.


August 24, 2021 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 23, 2021

Disputes About Quotas for Social Security Judges Offer Insight On IJ Caseloads

Image Mine

In late July, WaPo ran a story with this compelling headline: Social Security judges must resolve 500 to 700 disputes per year. A watchdog says that might be too many. The subheading read: "87 percent of the judges surveyed told the Government Accountability Office the goals were too high."

The article talks about the contrast between the government's "expectation" that individual SSA judges resolve so many cases and the judges' own understanding of the numbers as a "quota" that they'll be disciplined for failing to meet. Indeed, more than 80% of SSA judges met that figure in FY2019.

Here's a few more interesting tibits. Backlocks: there were more than 400,000 SSA claims pending at the end of 2020, down from the more than 1,000,000 pending in 2016. Evidence: each SSA case involves extensive evidence -- thousands pages of medical records. And, finally, the real kicker, in SSA courts, decisions that FAVOR the beneficiary are NOT APPEALED by the government. So, there's an odd incentive for SSA judges to grant benefits.

OK -- so let's talk about what's really of interest to immprofs. How does this compare to IJs?

All of which is to say... this "watchdog" outrage over the SSA sheds a pretty negative light on the current demands facing IJs... not to mention the related negative outcomes for noncitizens who appear before them.


August 23, 2021 in Current Affairs, Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

EOIR Rolls Out "Dedicated Dockets" For Families Seeking Asylum

EOIROn May 28, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice announced a new "Dedicated Docket" process for families arriving at the border who are released from custody and placed in removal proceedings. Immigration judges are being told that they need to resolve cases assigned to these "Dedicated Dockets" within 300 days of the initial immigration court hearing.

So far, eleven cities have been assigned to the program: Denver, Detroit, El Paso, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Boston. Although these cities were selected because of their more robust nonprofit base, nonprofit leaders in these very cities have raised serious concerns about these dedicated dockets and the ability of individuals placed in these sped-up proceedings to find counsel.

An important new report just released by TRAC at Syracuse University gives the first up-close look at how cases are being processed in this new program. According to their detailed report, "[t]he Immigration Court has recorded placing 4,866 people comprising approximately 1,700 families onto their dedicated docket. This compares with 108,102 individuals in family units that the Border Patrol reported apprehending between ports of entry along the southwest border during June and July this year." 


August 23, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Supreme Court To Review Bond Hearings For Detained Immigrants

The Supreme Court has decided a number of immigrant detention cases in recent years.  Next Term brings another case.    Alyssa Aquino for Law360 reports that the Court agreed today to review a Ninth Circuit decision that required bond hearings for immigrants who have been detained for more than six months with final removal orders.  A split ruled that the Immigration and Nationality Act requires the federal government to hold bond hearings for detained migrants, and that the government bears the burden of proving that detainees are a flight risk or public safety threat.

The consolidated  cases are Garland. v. Gonzalez and Tae D. Johnson v. Guzman ChavezAmy Howe on SCOTUSBlog offers some background on the cases her.

August 23, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why Mass Immigration Is the Key to American Renewal Our economy, politics, and culture all need the revitalization only immigrants can provide.

DBheadshot-2 Milkman

In "Why Mass Immigration Is the Key to American Renewal: Our economy, politics, and culture all need the revitalization only immigrants can provide." by Deepak Bhargava & Ruth Milkman in the American Prospect talk about "mass immigration" in a positive way.  It begins:

"Could admitting millions more immigrants over the next decade be the jolt the U.S. needs to revive its economy, culture, and politics? After four years of restrictionism under President Trump, ongoing border controversies, and an escalating culture war led by nativists, this idea may seem counterintuitive or even far-fetched. But recent labor market trends, demographic changes, and even accelerating climate change all point to dramatically increased immigration as a logical catalyst for national renewal. Becoming the most welcoming country on Earth for migrants—breathing new life into our most flattering, if too often inaccurate self-image—could be our salvation."




August 23, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Immigration Article of the Day: The Right to Special Education: Undocumented Children and the Promise of Plyler by Blakely Simoneau

The Right to Special Education: Undocumented Children and the Promise of Plyler by Blakely Simoneau, Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2020


Undocumented children in immigration detention facilities have the right to access education. Yet these children, on American soil and in the government's custody, remain unprotected by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Changing immigration policies further compound this problem. This article argues that the potential value to our society cannot be assumed away by their uncertain immigration status, and that if the right to education is taken seriously, these children cannot be excluded from the receipt of special education merely because their legal status is unknown.


August 23, 2021 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 22, 2021

"The Groundbreaking Decision That Just Struck a Blow to Our Racist Immigration Laws"

Elie Mystal for the Netion discussed the recent ruling in U.S. v. Carrillo-Lopez, in which U.S. District Judge Miranda Du declared 8 U.S.C. Section 1326, outlawing illegal re-entry into the country, violated Equal Protection. I blogged about the ruling shortly after it was issued.

Mystal writes:

"The opinion is thorough and well-reasoned, and Judge Du’s arguments are so obvious in retrospect that it’s kind of amazing they aren’t a staple of the immigration debate in this country. But this is where Judge Du’s background perhaps becomes important.

The opinion is brilliant, and I’m going to print it out so I’ll still have a copy of it when Justice Samuel Alito and the other conservatives on the Supreme Court reverse it and order Du’s opinion to be nuked from orbit. . . .  After all, the Supreme Court found bigotry to be okay in Trump v. Hawaii, which upheld the Muslim ban, so finding a reason to uphold Section 1326 will be child’s play for the conservatives who like a little bigotry in their immigration rulings."


August 22, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 21, 2021

RIP Hung Liu (Artist): 1948-2021

Kelliu52, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hung Liu was born in China. She came to the United States in 1984 to attend UCSD. She stayed, ultimately becoming a U.S. citizen and a teacher at Mills College in California.

Hung Liu was a visual artist. An immigrant herself, the subjects of Hung Liu's paintings included, among other topics, refugees and immigrants.

Her online bio describes her works in distinctly poetic terms:

Known for paintings based on historical Chinese photographs.... [m]uch of the meaning of Liu’s painting comes from the way the washes and drips dissolve the documentary images, suggesting the passage of memory into history, while working to uncover the cultural and personal narratives fixed – but often concealed – in the photographic instant. Washing her subjects in veils of dripping linseed oil, she both "preserves and destroys the image.” Liu has invented a kind of weeping realism that surrenders to the erosion of memory and the passage of time, while also bringing faded photographic images vividly to life as rich, facile paintings. She summons the ghosts of history to the present. In effect, Liu turns old photographs into new paintings.

"Weeping realism." Wow.

I urge you to click through to see some of her amazing work. Check out, for example, Resident Alien from 1988. It's oil on canvas, 60 x 90, and can be found in person at the San Jose Museum of Art. It's a rendition of the artist's own green card. Or look at her series Chinese in Idaho to find yourself transported back in U.S. history to an immigration story you likely haven't thought about before.

Hung Liu died earlier this month in Oakland California. 


August 21, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Justice Alito Stays Injunction Barring Rescission of Trump's "Remain in Mexico" Policy


Official Supreme Court Photo

Amy Howe reports on the Biden Administration's seeking Supreme Court review of the district court's halt of the rescission of the "Remain in Mexico" policy.   Justice Alito has stayed the injunction until next week so that the Court may consider the application.


UPDATE (Aug.22):  The American Immigration Lawyers Association summarizes the Migrant Protection Protocol litigation before Justice Alito's stay in this document.


August 21, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 20, 2021

Immigration Articles of the Day: Two by Mary Hoopes


Here are two immigration articles by Mary Hoopes:

1.  Regulating Marginalized Labor, Hastings Law Journal, Forthcoming


Farmworkers are one of many vulnerable groups who remain far from the administrative state’s reach, existing largely in the shadows of the law. While there is a relatively robust regulatory framework that ostensibly governs the conditions under which they work, it is highly fragmented and seldom enforced. One agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), has emerged as an important exception, adopting innovative strategies to win millions of dollars in settlements and secure a wide range of injunctive relief. Decades before contemporary movements on behalf of low-wage workers of color began, the EEOC was mounting an initiative to bring farmworkers into the core of Title VII’s protections and jurisprudence. Drawing upon an original database of EEOC farmworker litigation and interviews with both EEOC employees and farmworker advocates, this Article provides the first empirical analysis of the agency’s groundbreaking initiative over the past two decades, which has gone unnoticed within legal scholarship.

Conventional accounts of the EEOC portray an agency hampered by managerialist, bureaucratic approaches that do little to combat systemic discrimination. By contrast, I argue, the Commission’s farmworker initiative evinces a carefully tailored, creative approach that has enabled it to achieve meaningful structural reform in this context. At least two features were critical to its success. First, the EEOC’s de-centralized, entrepreneurial structure permitted this initiative to diffuse from the bottom up within the agency, and helped to insulate it from oscillation across administrations. Second, its unique and sustained partnerships with advocacy organizations enabled the Commission to surmount many of the bureaucratic obstacles that prevent agencies from responding effectively to the needs of vulnerable populations. These findings contribute to a growing literature on how to entrench the enforcement of civil rights within administrative agencies. This Article further echoes the call to reinvigorate the enforcement apparatus of the federal government. As it suggests, the EEOC’s trajectory provides insight into how to develop a more robust vision of public enforcement in the context of marginalized communities like farmworkers.


2.  Judicial Deference and Agency Competence, Berkeley Journal of International Law (BJIL), Forthcoming


While there is consensus among practitioners and scholars alike that immigration adjudication is in a state of crisis, very few studies have examined the role that federal courts play in reviewing this system. This Article focuses on asylum appeals at the federal appellate level, and constructs an original database of cases across five circuits over seven years. It reveals that the Courts of Appeals have created a wide variety of court-fashioned rules that serve to either expand or constrict the scope of judicial review, with important implications for the likelihood of remand. In these data, having one’s asylum appeal heard in the Seventh or Ninth Circuits was associated with a significantly higher likelihood of remand than in the First, Tenth, or Eleventh Circuits. This variation does not merely reflect a difference in the types of cases across circuits. Rather, a qualitative analysis reveals very different approaches to reviewing the agency’s decision-making. Across these five circuits, the Seventh and Ninth Circuits have adopted a much more searching level of review that arguably reflects a distrust of the agency’s competence.

As this analysis demonstrates, the elasticity of the appellate review model permits this wide variation, as courts applying a nearly identical standard of review are reaching starkly different results. I argue that the more expansive approach to review is normatively beneficial, as we ought to have an appellate review model that permits courts to be responsive to evidence of an agency in crisis. This is particularly compelling in the context of asylum seekers, as their lack of political power has enabled both a long history of politicization of the adjudication process and a disregard for quality assurance initiatives within the agency. Since larger changes aimed at addressing the underlying flaws at the agency level are unlikely to be forthcoming soon, federal courts may be the only institutions equipped to meaningfully address problems within asylum adjudication.


August 20, 2021 in Current Affairs, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Afghans Wait for Special Immigrant Visas, "the redheaded stepchild of immigration processes"

The stories of Afghan refugees have been the subject of news stories, podcasts, and commentaries since the fall of Kabul.  In "How the Biden administration plans to process the influx of people fleeing Afghanistan," Priscilla Alvarez and Geneva Sands for CNN reports that

"The Biden administration is ramping up efforts to process the influx of Afghans rushing to flee Afghanistan as the Taliban overtakes the country.

In recent days, administration officials worked overtime to pull lists of names of special immigrant visa applicants to push through systems and get security checks cleared . . . [D]espite months of internal discussions over the process, there was a lack of decision making on how best to handle and expedite visas, an administration official said. Now, it's a scramble.
The challenge facing officials is meeting the demand of Afghans desperately trying to leave Afghanistan and eventually reach the United States, with a visa program that's been bogged down by systemic issues."

According to CNN, special immigrant visas "have always been the redheaded stepchild of immigration processes," an administration official said. "Very slow, but little attention to fix."   "While Afghans are thoroughly vetted before working alongside US forces, they still go through a cumbersome and meticulous process riddled with checks before obtaining a visa to come to the US."


August 20, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 19, 2021

From The Bookshelves: Names for Light by Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint


Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint is the author of Names for Light: A Family Memoir. Here's the publisher's summary:

Names for Light traverses time and memory to weigh three generations of a family’s history against a painful inheritance of postcolonial violence and racism. In spare, lyric paragraphs framed by white space, Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint explores home, belonging, and identity by revisiting the cities in which her parents and grandparents lived. As she makes inquiries into their stories, she intertwines oral narratives with the official and mythic histories of Myanmar. But while her family’s stories move into the present, her own story―that of a writer seeking to understand who she is―moves into the past, until both converge at the end of the book.

Born in Myanmar and raised in Bangkok and San Jose, Myint finds that she does not have typical memories of arriving in the United States; instead, she is haunted by what she cannot remember. By the silences lingering around what is spoken. By a chain of deaths in her family line, especially that of her older brother as a child. For Myint, absence is felt as strongly as presence. And, as she comes to understand, naming those absences, finding words for the unsaid, means discovering how those who have come before have shaped her life. Names for Light is a moving chronicle of the passage of time, of the long shadow of colonialism, and of a writer coming into her own as she reckons with her family’s legacy.

NPR reports that the book "reads like poetry," offering this incredibly high praise: "[the book] was more of an embodied experience than a read, like swimming in a pool of exquisite reflections on family and rootedness and deracination and sorrow and love."


August 19, 2021 in Books | Permalink | Comments (1)

Protecting Voices of Claudio Rojas and the Immigrant Movement

Lawyers for Claudio Rojas say he was deported (to Argentina) by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in retaliation for speaking out against conditions in a Florida detention center while he himself was in detention. Rojas' first person account of his activism is described here and was featured in the Infiltrator documentary that gave him some notoriety. A lawsuit challenging the deportation raises First Amendment issues that clash with AADC v. Reno, a case granting considerable discretion to ICE in enforcement matters, and is being heard in the Eleventh Circuit. (The opinion is here.)

The story is covered in this public radio, which also features Alina Das from NYU Law School and Michael Kagan from UNLV Law School.  Das also published a piece on the topic in a New York Law School symposium about protecting immigrant protestors. Downloadable here.





August 19, 2021 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Federal Judge Blocks ICE Enforcement Guidelines and Attempts to Upend Prosecutorial Discretion


WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2021—Today, a federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration’s immigration enforcement priorities directing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to focus on those it considers to be a threat to public safety or national security. The decision was issued in a case challenging ICE’s ability to arrest, detain, and deport those outside the scope laid out in the February 18 enforcement memo.

Judge Drew Tipton of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ordered ICE to formulate new policies by September 3, and to provide the court with the names, addresses, and criminal histories of anyone in the United States who is released from criminal custody and not transferred to ICE custody. Judge Tipton also declared that the president does not have discretion to choose not to detain certain immigrants. 

The following statement is from Jorge Loweree, policy director at the American Immigration Council: 

"Immigration enforcement has operated on overdrive for years, with immeasurable consequences for immigrant families and communities throughout the United States. Today’s decision upends meaningful efforts to move away from a dragnet approach to immigration enforcement. If permitted to stand, it will undermine one of the most basic principles of law enforcement—the government’s ability to determine who will and who will not be subjected to enforcement activities.

“ICE’s enforcement priorities were created to limit some of the harm experienced by immigrant communities over the last four years by narrowing the agency’s focus on people the government believes to be threats to national security and public safety. This decision seeks to force the federal government to lock up thousands of vulnerable people during a global pandemic while COVID-19 still rages through many ICE detention centers. It cannot stand.”

The following statement may be attributed to Jeremy McKinney, president elect of the American Immigration Lawyers Association: 
“Every single day, prosecutorial discretion is exercised by law enforcement agencies. Yet, today’s decision disrupts DHS agency efforts to implement this longstanding principle in the immigration arena. It is outrageous that this federal judge has gone so far as to dictate who the executive branch can detain or not detain and in what cases it should expend finite law enforcement resources. The order’s myopic focus on two subsections of immigration law conveniently ignores other statutory provisions affirming the ability of the government to release people, even those subject to so called ‘mandatory detention.’  To be sure, the decision does not put an end to prosecutorial discretion, but by enjoining portions of the two memoranda issued by ICE and DHS, this Texas judge is single-handedly forcing the federal government to re-examine how it will enforce immigration law.
“Even after today’s decision, immigration attorneys and advocates should press the agency to exercise discretion in appropriate cases and implement robust policies on prosecutorial discretion. Enforcement must be done in a fair and humane manner and every advocate must continue to fight for their clients whether they are deprived of their liberty in a jail cell or free.”


UPDATE (August 21):  For Hamed Aleaziz's analysis of the immediate impact of the ruling on BuzzFeed News, click here.


August 19, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Daily on Afghani Interpreters, the Devastation in Haiti After the Earthquake

The last two episodes of The Daily have focused on issues that touch on immigration.   Today's episode touches on the plight of Afghani interpreters who assisted the U.S. military but have been awaiting Special Immigrant Visas for years.  Hear an interview with "Zack," an interpreter who now fears for his and his family's lives.   

The Interpreters the U.S. Left Behind in Afghanistan



Haiti has faced natural, political, social, and economic disaster for years.   A devastating earthquake has worsened conditions in Haiti, with migration consequences almost certain to follow.

A Devastating Earthquake in Haiti



August 19, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The American Sociological Association Writes to Secretary of State Blinken Supporting Afghan Refugees

The American Sociological Association (ASA) has taken public positions on important issues of concern to the profession. In a letter dated August 17, 2021, the President of the ASA Cecilia Menjívar wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken to request that the U.S. Department of State take steps to "address the emerging crisis in Afghanistan." In particular, the letter makes a number of essential recommendations for protecting the Afghan people, with special attention to women and girls who are extremely vulnerable under Taliban rule. The full letter is available here


August 19, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Refugees welcome: Several states open arms to fleeing Afghans


The fall of Afghanistan has led to large numbers of refugees seeking to flee the embattled country.  While some state leaders  have taken hardline immigration policies, a number of governors have expressed a willingness to resettle Afghan refugees. 

Dareh Gregorian for NBC News reports that a bipartisan group of governors is offering to take in Afghans who are fleeing  their country after Taliban forces seized power.

"Utah was settled by refugees fleeing religious persecution. We understand the pain caused by forced migration and appreciate the contributions of refugees in our communities," the state's Republican governor, Spencer Cox, tweeted.

Cox has written a letter to President Biden offering to "assist with the resettlement of individuals and families fleeing Afghanistan, especially those who valiantly helped U.S. troops, diplomats, journalists, and other civilians over the past 20 years."

Other Republican governors have stepped up as well.

“The chaotic and heartbreaking scenes out of Afghanistan over the last several days—with innocent civilians running for their lives in fear of the Taliban—is the result of a rushed and irresponsible withdrawal. Many of these Afghan citizens—our allies—bravely risked their lives to provide invaluable support for many years to our efforts as interpreters and support staff, and we have a moral obligation to help them," Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a video statement, where he noted his state a history of taking in refugees.


South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster told reporters it's "our duty" to help the Afghans.  “Those people … helped protect Americans,” McMaster said, according to the local newspaper The State. “Now it is our duty to help them. We need to help them.”

Other governors have offered to help the U.S. government in resettlement efforts.


August 19, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

U.S. District Court: "Section 1326 disparately impacts Latinx people and . . . the statute was motivated, at least in part, by discriminatory intent"

Criminal immigration prosecutions comprise a large chunk of the caseload of the federal courts.  As stated by the National Immigrant Justice center in its report Lgacy of Injustice: The U.S. Criminalization of Migration (2020):

"For nearly 20 years, the U.S. government has prosecuted migration-related offenses in greater numbers than any other type of federal offense in the United States. Most recently, the Trump administration . . .used migration-related prosecutions as part of its anti-immigrant policymaking in ways that systematically separate families and violate the United States’ national and international legal obligations." (footnote omitted).

Ingrid Eagly blogged earlier this month about an April 2021 by U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon (D. Oregon)  in an illegal reentry case.  As reported by Maxine Bernstein of the Oregonian, Judge Simon issued a 32-page opinion that carefully reviewed the historical record of the racial animus behind the illegal reentry law, which is codified at 8 U.S.C. 1326. 


Photo by U.S. District Court, District of Nevada

Today, Chief Judge Miranda M. Du of the U.S. District Court, District of Nevada, an appointee of President Obama who fled by boat from Viet Nam at age 8, issued the following ruling:

"Carrillo-Lopez has demonstrated that Section 1326 disparately impacts Latinx people and that the statute was motivated, at least in part, by discriminatory intent . . .  [T]he Court reviews whether the government has shown that Section 1326 would have been enacted absent discriminatory intent. Because the government fails to so demonstrate, the Court finds its burden has not been met and that, consequently, Section 1326 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fifth Amendment."

Professors Benjamin Gonzalez O’Brien (Political Science, San Diego State) and Kelly Lytle Hernández (History UCLA) provided expert opinions on the motion, which were cited frequently in the order.



August 18, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

DHS and DOJ Publish Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Make Asylum Process More Efficient and Ensure Fairness

Dhs Doj

Here it is the announcement (and here). The Biden administration describes the proposal in a nutshell as follows:

"In a key step toward implementing the Administration’s blueprint for a fair, orderly, and humane immigration system, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) are publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would amend current regulations to improve the processing of asylum claims.  The proposed rule would allow, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum officers to hear and decide applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and Convention Against Torture (CAT) protection for individuals who receive a positive credible fear determination.  These cases are currently assigned to immigration judges within DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review."

Hamed Aleaziz for BuzzFeed News explains the proposal and its implications.

What do ImmigrationProf readers think?  Here are some quick responses:

For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan Gordon, 617-651-0841
Aug. 18, 2021

Proposed Asylum Changes a Positive Step

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) have proposed a new rule that would significantly change the asylum process at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The proposed changes would allow U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum officers to adjudicate the asylum applications of some recent border-crossers, alleviating the immigration court case backlog and lessening the wait time for families to have their cases heard. Allowing USCIS to handle more of the asylum process is a change the Forum has called for repeatedly to help address increases in migration at our southern border and lessen the burden on our overwhelmed immigration courts.

However, under the current proposal, the new procedure would only apply to asylum-seekers placed in expedited removal proceedings, which have in the past raised concerns around due process and whether individuals have been given adequate preparation time before making their case.

The proposal now enters a 60-day public comment period, giving advocates and others an opportunity to provide feedback on the rule.

"Our asylum system needs improvement. This rule would be a positive step toward establishing a more efficient and humane system for migrants arriving at our borders," said Ali Noorani, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. "As it moves to make much-needed changes to the asylum process, the administration should continue working with advocates and other stakeholders to ensure a fully functional, fair, and secure asylum system for all those seeking protection."




August 18, 2021

Dear Kevin R.,

Today, the Biden administration unveiled a proposed rule that would represent a fundamental reform of the U.S. asylum system, which is struggling to cope with rising requests from asylum seekers arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.

As my colleague Doris Meissner notes in a new commentary: “Today’s asylum system is failing both by undermining U.S. obligations in domestic and international law to protect those fleeing from persecution and by undermining the ability to ensure orderly and predictable control of entries at the border.”

The proposed rule would shift asylum decisions in border cases from the immigration courts, where huge backlogs can mean waits of several years for a decision, to asylum officers who are specially trained to decide protection claims. While this appears to be a technical processing change, at base the plan would help preserve asylum as a bedrock element of the U.S. immigration system while also recognizing that a credible immigration system requires both deterring unlawful entry and ensuring the right to seek humanitarian protection.

The administration’s announcement today owes its origins to policy recommendations that Doris and co-authors made in a seminal 2018 report. We at MPI are committed to advancing policy solutions that can ensure fairness, efficiency, and consistency in the U.S. immigration system.

The commentary is available here: www.migrationpolicy.org/news/biden-asylum-processing-proposed-rule.

With best regards,

Andrew Selee
Migration Policy Institute

Why am I so torn? 



August 18, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Immigrants from Iran in the United States

The Iranian population in the United States is often ignored but is substantial.  In Immigrants from Iran in the United States, the Migration Policy Institute offers facts on Iranian immigrants.  "The United States is home to the largest population of Iranian migrants in the world. More than half of Iranian immigrants in the United States live in California. This article explores key details of this immigrant population, which is older, more highly educated, and has significantly higher median household incomes than the U.S.-born and overall immigrant populations."


August 18, 2021 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)