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News & Analysis

Huge Trump-era and pandemic immigrant visa backlog poses a challenge for Biden

Even though President Joe Biden has moved to reverse many of his predecessor’s anti-immigration policies, the consequences of those restrictive measures linger and have contributed toa massive backlog of nearly 2.6 million visa applications.The backlog includes nearly half a million applicants who are “documentarily qualified” and ready for interviews, according to a recent legal filing by the State Department. Backlogs in some immigrant-visa categories are 50 or even 100 times higher than they were four years ago, at the start of the Trump administration. Click here for details – courtesy CNN

Texas sues Biden administration over halt to deportations

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas on Friday moved to stop President Joe Biden from allowing a 100-day moratorium on deportations, bringing one of the first lawsuits against his new administration. In rushing to court not even a week after Biden was sworn in, America’s biggest red state signaled that it was ready to resume the role of chief antagonist to a Democratic president’s immigration agenda, after four years of cheering on Donald Trump’s hardline policies along the southern border. Click here for full story

PRESIDENTIAL ACTIONS

Executive Order on the Revision of Civil Immigration Enforcement Policies and Priorities By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:  Section 1.  Policy.  Immigrants have helped strengthen America’s families, communities, businesses and workforce, and economy, infusing the United States with creativity, energy, and ingenuity.  The task of enforcing the immigration laws is complex and requires setting priorities to best serve the national interest.  The policy of my Administration is to protect national and border security, address the […]

Birthright Citizenship in the US

With his promise to revoke, by executive order, the guarantee of birthright citizenship in America, President Trump has made the inconceivable possible. Most legal scholars appear to agree that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot be changed in the way that Trump proposes, but his vow has already elevated previously marginal arguments—they are now positions to be considered. If the President follows through with an executive order, what may have seemed like legal nonsense yesterday will have to be weighed by the courts. We have seen this mainstreaming of previously unimaginable ideas many times in […]

There’s good and bad news for immigrants waiting for USCIS biometrics appointments

More than a million immigrants in the United States who have applied for U.S. citizenship through naturalization, adjustment of status, and other benefits have been waiting for their biometric services appointment at a local Application Support Center (ASC) to provide their fingerprints, photograph, and/or signature. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, in-person services were canceled at Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices between March and June of last year, and there have been subsequent restrictions after opening to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Thousands of biometrics appointments were canceled and USCIS said it would reschedule them […]

Supreme Court ruling upholds DACA program for young, undocumented immigrants

WASHINGTON – A deeply divided Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration Thursday from ending a popular program that allows nearly 650,000 young, undocumented immigrants to live and work in the USA without fear of deportation. Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion, called the Department of Homeland Security’s action “arbitrary and capricious,” therefore unlawful. The ruling was 5-4: The court’s four liberal justices agreed, and the four more conservative justices dissented. “We do not decide whether DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) or its rescission are sound policies,” Roberts said. “We address only […]

How DACA Has Transformed The Lives Of Dreamers — And Their Communities

Today, the 643,000 DACA recipients in the United States can breathe a little easier. After the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision allowing the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals Program to remain in place, calling the Trump administration’s rescinding of the program “arbitrary and capricious”, it’s been a cause for celebration—if a cautious one— by advocates and the “Dreamers”. Since the program was announced in 2012, DACA has been a lifeline for immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. Their two-year permits allow them to work and defers deportation. And, depending on state law, […]

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