Temporary Protected Status or TPS is granted to some migrants from specific countries because their countries have been hit by natural disasters or civil wars. The Trump administration drastically limited the time period for extension for Haitians last May. Now it’s time to make a decision on TPS for Salvadorans, Hondurans, and Nicaraguans. If TPS ends, those with the status are subject to deportation. The number at risk: 195,000 Salvadorans, 57,000 Hondurans, 50,000 Haitians and 2,550 Nicaraguans.
Tens of thousands of Haitian, Central American immigrants could lose protected status (Washington Post, 10/20/17)
“In May then-DHS Secretary John Kelly renewed TPS protections for those Haitians for six months, far less than the 18-month waivers granted by the Obama administration. In a statement at the time, Kelly called it a “limited” extension whose purpose was to “allow Haitian TPS recipients living in the United States time to attain travel documents and make other necessary arrangements for their ultimate departure from the United States,” and “to provide the Haitian government with the time it needs to prepare for the future repatriation of all current TPS recipients.”
“Immigration policy analysts say DHS could make a similar six-month, start-packing-your-bags extension for Central Americans, including the nearly 200,000 Salvadorans whose protections expire in March.”
Untruths fan flames of fear in St. Cloud (Star Tribune, 10/22/17)
“Refugees do get some federal money to come to the U.S. but must pay it back. They also receive a small federal grant to resettle, “but there is very little of the county tax levy supporting refugees here,” Huberty said. After 30 days, they are entitled to the same social services that help the thousands of people who grew up in St. Cloud and need help.
“The animosity “appears from a very small group of people who are upset and don’t know the facts,” said Huberty. “Perhaps they don’t want to know the facts.”
Trump administration considers pausing U.S. refugee family reunification program (Reuters, 10/20/17)
“President Trump’s administration has drafted a plan to pause a program that allows family members join refugees already settled in the United States until they can undergo increased security checks, two sources with knowledge of the situation told Reuters….
“When you put in additional security checks you can basically halt the system,” said Robert Carey, the former director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement under former President Barack Obama, a Democrat.
“Every check is only good for a finite period of time and they expire and the whole process has to start all over again,” he said, adding that the level of scrutiny is higher for refugees than most any other visa applicant to the United States.”
Editorial: Sessions’s plan for immigration courts would undermine their integrity (Washington Post, 10/22/17)
“The administration aims to speed up the work of immigration judges, who now face a massive workload: The immigration court system is weighed down with a record backlog of 600,000 pending cases, and the average case takes roughly two years to resolve. Yet pushing judges to resolve cases quickly to meet performance standards could put judges in the position of choosing between keeping their jobs and the interests of fairness. Judges would end up rushing through complex cases that require more time to reach a quota. If the hurry were extreme enough, a judge’s brisk handling of a case might not meet the minimum standards for constitutionally required due process.”
What Trump’s DOJ’s Numbers Don’t Say About Immigration Court Backlog (Talking Points Memo, 10/20/17) Total immigration court backlog grew from 540,000 cases in January to 632,261 cases by August.
“Last month, Politico published an investigation that found judges were made to abandon overloaded dockets at home for details to sleepy border courts, where some had little to do. DOJ pushed back on that report, insisting that changes had since been made to the program, and earlier this month in a press release boasted that mobilized judges completed about 2,700 more cases than they would have been able to otherwise.
“A DOJ official told TPM that the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) got that figure by using historical data to compare the cases judges were projected to complete at their home courts with those they completed at the surge courts from March-September. But those numbers don’t give a complete picture of the backlog in the immigration courts, according to judges and researchers. They say the types of cases processed in the home and surge courts are entirely different, making for an “apples to oranges” comparison.”
Medical Students in LImbo as Young Immigrant Program Ends (U.S. News, 10/21/17)
“Medical student Alejandra Duran Arreola dreams of becoming an OB-GYN in her home state of Georgia, where there’s a shortage of doctors and one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the U.S.
“But the 26-year-old Mexican immigrant’s goal is now trapped in the debate over a program protecting hundreds of thousands of immigrants like her from deportation. Whether she becomes a doctor depends on whether Congress finds an alternative to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that President Donald Trump phased out last month.”
Backlog of immigration cases stymies immigrants in Florida (Tampa Bay Times, 10/20/17) Immigrants in Florida wait for an average of 500 days for a hearing.
“Gihon, the Jacksonville lawyer, has an Iraqi client who assisted U.S. and allied forces with intelligence in the second Gulf War. For that, he and his family have been targeted by ISIS. The man fled the country and arrived in America in 2014 to seek asylum for himself and his family. His request was not granted, though, and his case was referred to immigration court. He has been in removal proceedings for about 18 months.
“The man had a hearing scheduled for this month, but an Orlando judge assigned to the case was temporarily reassigned to handle a docket at a Georgia detention center.
“Meanwhile, the man’s wife and three children remain overseas in hiding.
“He’s distraught,” Gihon said. “He’s depressed. He prays every single day that they’re okay, and he’s powerless to help them.”
Opinion: The case against special judicial deference in immigration and national security cases (Washington Post, 10/22/17)
“Rejecting special deference does not mean that all national security and immigration policies should be subject to a high level of judicial scrutiny. Many need not be. it simply means such policies should not get a blanket exemption from the kind of judicial review applied to similar policies in other fields.”