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SIJS Policy Updates and Proposed Regulations

  • By: CLINIC and the Immigration Legal Resource Center
  • Date: 11/07/19

This co-authored practice alert highlights the key take-aways from three recent decisions by the Administrative Appeals Office on Special Immigration Juvenile Status, or SIJS. It includes some of the most important elements of the proposed SIJS regulations for advocates to challenge through comments, and contains an appendix with case summaries of the three decisions by the Administrative Appeals Office.

Civil Rights Coalition Halts Implementation of Presidential Proclamation Requiring Health Insurance

  • By: Justice Action Center (JAC), the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and the Innovation Law Lab, with Sidley Austin LLP
  • Date: 11/02/19

A temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the U.S. District Court in Portland, OR, has stopped the federal government from implementing the policy. This is not the end of the process as the court considers the full merits of the case, Doe v. Trump, in the coming days and weeks.

Keep Your Benefits CA

  • By: Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, Protecting Immigrant Families, and Immigration Advocates Network
  • Date: 10/31/19

A new website and informational interview, to help Californians understand if public benefits affect their immigration options. In English and Spanish, plain language.

Refugee/Asylee Family Reunification Practice Manual

  • By: CLINIC
  • Date: 10/30/19

This manual is designed to assist attorneys and accredited representatives in representing asylees and refugees to reunify with family members and seek lawful status for family already in the United States. The manual gives an overview of applicable laws, regulations, and guidance concerning the I-730 petition process. It also provides practical information on how to navigate the application process from completing the form I-730, to compiling evidence, to troubleshooting with government agencies.

Fee Waiver Lawsuit

  • By: Protect Democracy, Advancing Justice-AAJC, the Seattle City Attorney’s Office, and Mayer Brown LLP
  • Date: 10/30/19

Advocates filed suit in California on behalf of organizations and communities who will be irreparably harmed by the proposed changes to the naturalization process.

Plaintiffs are the City of Seattle and five naturalization legal service providers who serve low-income, citizenship-eligible legal permanent residents: Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), Central American Resource Center of California (CARECEN), Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), OneAmerica, and Self-Help for the Elderly.

Immigration Detention is Psychological Torture: Strategies for Surviving Our Fight for Freedom

  • By: Freedom for Immigrants
  • Date: 10/29/19

This report documents nearly 2,000 instances of emotional distress caused or exacerbated by the isolation inherent in the U.S. immigration detention system. Examples of these psychological, and sometimes physical, assaults include an inability to connect with family or attorneys, transfers away from communities of support, solitary confinement, extreme temperatures, attacks on religious practices, and other forms of abuse by U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement.

Crushing Immigration Judge Caseloads and Lengthening Hearing Wait Times

  • By: TRAC
  • Date: 10/25/19

"The current policies of the Trump Administration have been unsuccessful in stemming the rise in the Immigration Court's backlog. Overcrowded dockets create lengthening wait times for hearings. At some locations, immigrants with pending cases now wait on average 1,450 days or more - over four years! - before their hearing is scheduled."

New Fee Waiver Form

  • By: USCIS
  • Date: 10/25/19

"We posted the 10/24/19 version of Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver. We will reject any Form I-912 with an edition date of 03/13/18 or earlier, or any fee waiver request submitted without Form I-912 that is postmarked on or after Dec. 2, 2019. We will adjudicate any fee waiver request postmarked before Dec. 2, 2019 under the previous policy, AFM 10.9, Waiver of Fees."

USCIS Updates Fee Waiver Requirements

  • By: USCIS
  • Date: 10/25/19

"U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has revised Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, by removing the means-tested benefit criteria that was previously used as a factor in determining whether an applicant was exempt from paying for filing fees or biometric services. Individuals may still request a fee waiver if their documented annual household income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or they demonstrate financial hardship."

Matter of THOMAS and THOMPSON, 27 I&N Dec. 674 (A.G. 2019)

  • By: U.S. Attorney General
  • Date: 10/25/19

Decision by the Attorney General:

(1) The tests set forth in Matter of Cota-Vargas, Matter of Song, and Matter of Estrada will no longer govern the effect of state-court orders that modify, clarify, or otherwise alter a criminal alien’s sentence.

(2) Such state-court orders will be given effect for immigration purposes only if based on a procedural or substantive defect in the underlying criminal proceeding; these orders will have no effect for immigration purposes if based on reasons unrelated to the merits of the underlying criminal proceeding, such as rehabilitation or the avoidance of immigration consequences.

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