Immigration News: August 8, 2022

Starting the week with some good news! Just about an hour ago, the Department of Homeland Security announced that Remain in Mexico is over! No new people will be enrolled. Asylum seekers already in the program will be allowed to stay in the United States while immigration courts sort through their cases.

[CBS] “In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it had stopped placing migrants in the Migrant Protection Protocols, a policy colloquially known as “Remain-in-Mexico.” It also said it would process migrants already enrolled in the program and allow them to continue their asylum cases inside the U.S. …

“In a one-page order issued Monday afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk set aside a ruling he issued last year that required the Biden administration to reinstate the Remain-in-Mexico protocols, which had been initially suspended on President Biden’s first day in office in January 2021. …

“While Monday’s order is a legal victory for advocates for asylum-seekers who have called the Remain-in-Mexico policy inhumane and draconian, it will have a limited impact on current U.S. border policy, since the Biden administration had been enrolling a very small percentage of migrants in the program. …

“Human rights workers recorded hundreds of reported attacks against migrants forced to wait in Mexico, including in areas U.S. officials warn Americans not to visit because of violent crime and kidnappings.”

And in other news

Four Muslim men have been shot and killed from ambush in Albuquerque since November 2021. All four were immigrants

[New York Times] “Muhammad Imtiaz Hussain is afraid to step outside his home in Albuquerque to water his plants. Or retrieve books from his car. Or even venture out onto his balcony.

“’My kids won’t let me go outside of my apartment,’ said Mr. Hussain, 41, whose younger brother Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, was fatally shot a week ago Monday just a few blocks away. He was one of four Muslim men who were killed recently in the city — three in the past two weeks — and authorities believe the deaths are connected and meant to target the Muslim community.”

Dismissal rates for missing paperwork have skyrocketed, rising from 0.3 percent in 2018 to 16.6 percent now.

[Border Report] “One in six new cases coming before U.S. immigration courts is being dismissed because of missing “Notice to Appear” paperwork, a research group reports.

“The dismissal rate is much higher in some dedicated docket courts designed to speed up immigration hearings. The immigration court in Miami has an 81% dismissal rate so far in fiscal year 2022; the one in Boston stands at 62% while those in Houston and El Paso report rates of 54% and 32%, respectively, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University….

“DHS agencies must ensure that the court receives a copy of the NTA. …

“Those snafus are wasting the time of immigration courts already backlogged and creating problems for the migrant and legal advisers, the study says.”

DHS will begin issuing photo IDs to people awaiting deportation hearings, in an effort to streamline notice and tracking. 

[WKRG] “The proposal from Immigration and Customs Enforcement is still being developed as a pilot program, and it was not immediately clear how many the agency would issue. The cards would not be an official form of federal identification, and would state they are to be used by the Department of Homeland Security.

“The idea is for immigrants to be able to access information about their cases online by using a card rather than paper documents that are cumbersome and can fade over time, officials said. They said ICE officers could also run checks on the cards in the field….

“Gregory Z. Chen, senior director of government relations at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said migrants have mistakenly gone to ICE offices instead of court for scheduled hearings that they then missed as a result. He said so long as immigrants’ privacy is protected, the card could be helpful.

“’If ICE is going to be using this new technology to enable non citizens to check in with ICE, or to report information about their location and address, and then to receive information about their case — where their court hearings might be, what the requirements might be for them to comply with the law — that would be a welcome approach,’ Chen said.”

About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet, www.tcdailyplanet.net, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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