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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Wednesday, June 12, 2024

USCIS Issues Policy Guidance on Customer Service and Confidentiality Protections for Certain Naturalized U.S. Citizens

USCIS is issuing guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual that interprets that the confidentiality protections under 8 U.S.C. 1367 end at naturalization, which will allow naturalized U.S. citizens previously protected under 8 U.S.C. 1367 (specifically, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioners and those seeking or with approved T and U nonimmigrant status) the ability to fully access e-filing and other customer service tools. This guidance is responsive to requests from naturalized citizens and other stakeholders, and it provides these U.S. citizens with increased access to customer service tools, helping to eliminate barriers to case processing and improving USCIS response times for certain inquiries. Termination of the protections after naturalization will allow a naturalized citizen to request a replacement naturalization certificate in the case where they may have misplaced this document. It would allow the citizen to ask or answer questions regarding their intent to be a financial supporter for parole applicants. Feedback from stakeholders, adjudicating officers, and naturalized citizens indicated that removing the barriers to communication and case processing, initiated by 8 U.S.C. 1367 protections, will prove a significant benefit in family reunification and humanitarian sponsorship. This will allow more freedom in exchanging information between the naturalized citizen and USCIS and in turn, increases customer service support from USCIS to the naturalized citizen. Persons eligible for and recipients of survivor-based immigration relief (specifically Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioners and those seeking or with approved T and U nonimmigrant status) are entitled to protections under 8 U.S.C. 1367. The confidentiality provisions were enacted to protect noncitizen victims from their abusers’ use of the immigration system as a tool to further harm and control them and to limit disclosure of their requests for immigration protection. After a noncitizen victim becomes a U.S. citizen, their abuser no longer has the same means to use the immigration system against the victim. Continuing these safeguards after naturalization causes case processing delays and is more of a hardship than a protection mechanism. This guidance, contained in Volume 1 of the Policy Manual, is effective July 12, 2024. On that date, USCIS will stop applying the 8 U.S.C. 1367 protections to naturalized citizens. The guidance contained in the Policy Manual is controlling and supersedes any related prior guidance on the topic. For more information, see the Policy Alert. To provide feedback on this update, email the Office of Policy and Strategy at policyfeedback@uscis.dhs.gov.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Among Latino voters, the biggest threat to Joe Biden is not Donald Trump

As President Joe Biden gears up for a tough reelection fight, a narrative has taken hold that former President Donald Trump is ascendant among voters of color. As co-founder and president of the largest organization promoting Latino civic participation, I’ve long argued that this storyline cherry-picks facts and ignores others. Stories are often written based on polling crosstabs, the microgroups within a polling sample that are rarely a reliable sample size. A poll that surveys 1,000 American voters, for example, might include a crosstab of Latino voters that number 100 people or fewer. To gain greater insight into the dynamics of the 2024 election, Voto Latino commissioned the respected national polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner to poll 2,000 likely Latino voters to dive deeply on their feelings and preferences heading into the presidential election. The results completely challenge the conventional wisdom. Among swing-state Latinos, Biden actually leads Trump In a new Voto Latino poll of 2,000 likely Latino voters in the United States, President Joe Biden leads former President Donald Trump 59% to 39% among respondents in swing states. The good news for the president: In a head-to-head matchup, Biden's leading Trump among swing-state Latinos by a robust 59% to 39%. This is within striking distance of his 2020 election results. Considering how quickly the Latino population and vote share are growing, approximating his 2020 numbers would significantly boost Biden’s raw vote totals in key states. But these numbers don’t tell the whole story. When our survey expands the field to include third-party candidates Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cornel West and Jill Stein, Biden’s support among Latino voters plummets to just 47%, with Trump falling slightly to 34% and Kennedy taking 12%. 'No spoilers'?RFK Jr. wants Biden to drop out of the presidential race. He's delusional. These voters moving from Biden to Kennedy are precisely those who will decide the outcome of the 2024 election. They are no fans of Trump, but they view their personal financial circumstances as abysmal. This leaves them extremely open-minded about supporting alternatives, especially Kennedy. Make sure Latinos see Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for who he really is Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who started his campaign in April 2023 as a Democrat before going independent in October 2024, is the son of the late former U.S. senator from New York and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. But members of the Kennedy family have endorsed President Joe Biden's reelection bid. Most prognosticators suggest that 2024 will be a pure turnout election. Both campaigns are approaching the race as if there are few truly undecided voters between Biden and Trump, so the winner will be whoever best turns out his base. However, our poll reveals a key reality for the Biden campaign: For all-important Latino swing-state voters, this will be a persuasion election after all – between Biden and Kennedy. Get the The Right Track newsletter in your inbox. Columnist Nicole Russell on conservative values, family and religion. Delivery: Tue, Thu Your Email Historically, most third-party candidates lose support over time. When Election Day is still an abstraction, voters are more willing to register a protest vote. But when the outcome becomes more tangible, voters typically end up choosing between the two major party candidates – even if it means choosing the one they perceive as the lesser of two evils. Conservatives can choose better:Trump's a horrible choice for the Republican Party's presumptive nominee Our poll suggests that the Biden campaign cannot count on this historical pattern bringing Kennedy supporters back into the fold. These Latino voters skew young and progressive: We found that 59% of third-party voters are between 18 and 39, which is critical. Latinos trend far younger than the overall U.S. population, so voting trends among this group play an outsized role. The risk isn’t that they start trending more conservative; it’s that they opt out of the two-party system entirely. This is not a potential protest vote akin to choosing “none of the above” out of frustration. It’s an emphatic cry for a changing of the guard, born out of a belief that only a third party can break a system they see as stacked against them. If the Biden campaign assumes Latino voters will return to the traditional Democratic coalition, he will lose. The Latino swing voters who are expressing support for Kennedy are squarely outside the tent, and it’s going to take real work to bring them back in. There are signs that this work is underway. It needs to accelerate. Even so, there is a clear path. While we intend to dive deeper into how Latino voters perceive Kennedy, the topline is that he benefits from being vaguely seen as both a Democrat and an outsider. The Kennedy brand is powerful in the Latino community: It stands for social activism and economic progress. Knowing little about his actual policy positions, Latinos can squint and imagine him as the progressive working-class champion they want Biden to be. Kennedy has the unique advantage of being a highly undefined product wrapped in a blue-chip brand. But that edge can be erased if the Biden campaign stops ignoring him and starts defining him. Maria Teresa Kumar is the co-founder and president of Voto Latino. That’s what Voto Latino intends to do. Our polling makes it clear that Latinos continue to be repelled by Trump. Yes, we will continue to remind our community just how catastrophic his return to power would be. At the same time, we’ll be shifting our resources to ensure Latinos see Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for who he really is: no champion of social justice and no friend to working people. Maria Teresa Kumar is the co-founder and president of Voto Latino. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

The inflationary consequences of Trump's planned immigration crackdown

The 2024 election cycle will likely be one of the closest in recent memory, coming down to the smallest of margins of victory. President Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have an incredible story about giving voters the tools to create better lives. But that is only half the story; to go on offense, Democrats must attack Donald Trump's abysmal economic record. Conventional wisdom is that Republicans hold an advantage over the economy; however, a close examination of Trump’s toxic economic record presents many lines of attack, particularly regarding how his policies will increase voter's cost of living. Remember, Trump is the only president in modern history to leave office, losing more jobs than he created. His corporate tax cuts didn't benefit working-class voters economically and increased wealth inequality. Worse, his current economic plans, raising tariffs across the board by 10% and creating a deportation force, would increase inflation, raise costs, and hurt working people. With record job creation, lowered health care costs, and 17 million new small businesses created, Democrats have an incredible story to tell. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has a dismal economic record. He passed the most significant corporate write-off in history, which only helped the mega-rich and failed to deliver on the financial benefits promised to working-class people. Under Trump's law, according to the non-partisan Tax Center, workers who earned less than $114,000 on average saw "no change in earnings," while top executive salaries increased sharply. Advertisement: Recent research from Way to Win Action Fund shows that Democrat base turnout voters already view corporations as a huge impediment to their families well well-being. Corporate price gouging, profiteering, and raising prices were listed as the number one reason families are suffering right now by Black, Gen Z, and Voters of Color. Donald Trump gave these companies massive tax breaks and would be their best friends if elected president again. We need your help to stay independent Subscribe today to support Salon's progressive journalism If that wasn't bad enough, Trump's trade wars were disastrous for the American economy. If re-elected, he would double down on these tariffs, with plans for a 10% universal tariff on imports. While President Biden has left many of the tariffs put in place during the previous administration and has levied further ones, what Trump is now proposing would tip the scales too far, likely significantly increasing inflation. Advertisement: ADVERTISING According to the Center for American Progress, Trump’s tariff would cost the typical American household roughly $1,500 a year. The proposed across-the-board tariff would amount to an annual tax increase for the typical household, including: “a $90 tax increase on food, a $90 tax increase on prescription drugs, and a $120 tax increase on oil and petroleum products. This tax increase would drive up the price of goods while failing to significantly boost U.S. manufacturing and jobs.” Finally, Trump's other big plan to boost the economy, mass deportations of immigrants, would be both a humanitarian and economic disaster. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, immigrants raise wages and boost the employment of U.S.-born workers. Instead of finding awful ways of keeping immigrants out of the country, we should be reforming our broken immigration system to find ways to allow more people into the country and legalize those here to help raise wages and boost employment for everyone. Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course. Advertisement: Giovanni Peri and Alessandro Caiumi, economists at the University of California, Davis, put it this way: "Immigration, thanks to native-immigrant complementarity and college skill content of immigrants, had a positive and significant effect on wages of less educated native workers, and no significant wage effect on college-educated natives." Peri and Caiumi also found that immigrants positively affected the employment rate of most native U.S.-born workers. Yet, despite all of the positive things immigrants bring to this country if elected, Trump would do everything he could to remove immigrants. These mass deportations would be a humanitarian disaster and raise the cost of goods and services for everyone. According to the Center of Migration Studies of New York: "The undocumented population comprises 5 percent of the workforce in the United States, working in industries such as agriculture, construction, service, entertainment, and health care. Without their labor, the US economy would experience a labor shortage, and the costs of goods and services would rise." Advertisement: Donald Trump's proposed economic policies would only worsen inflation. At the same time, President Biden has invested in workers, giving the American people the tools to create more jobs and small businesses and helping people build better lives. Donald Trump's economic policies would make it harder for working families in our great country. This election cycle is between protecting our progress and going backward to chaos and economic uncertainty. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Blocked from asylum, migrants juggle their choices: try to cross again or give up

So a few days ago, she attempted to cross into the U.S. without authorization, but she was detained and deported. “We learned about the new policy when we got back to Mexico,” Paty says. “That’s when we learned no one was getting asylum.” Paty is one of thousands of migrants who have been deported — instead of being given an opportunity to claim asylum — as part of President Biden’s executive actions implemented early last week. Under the policy, migrants who cross without authorization — absent exceptional circumstances — will not be eligible for asylum, and will be removed in an expeditious manner. This ban would continue until 14 days after the seven-day average of illegal crossings goes below 1,500. It can be reinstated once the number goes over 2,500. Migrants will be subject to at least “a five year bar to reentry and potential criminal prosecution,” according to the rule by the Department of Homeland Security. . Sponsor Message The goal of the policy, the administration has said, is to deter illegal migration. But it’s too early to know whether it would be effective. Paty, at least, has not been deterred, and says she will try to get an asylum appointment through the CBP One app — one of the legal pathways President Biden has been encouraging migrants to use to petition asylum. The app uses a lottery system to give out only 1,500 appointments per day. Many migrants have to wait months to get one. A two vantage point flag has been affixed to the border wall in Nogales, Sonora on Saturday, June 8, 2024. A two vantage point flag has been affixed to the border wall in Nogales, Sonora on Saturday, June 8, 2024. Ash Ponders for NPR Cars line up to cross into Mexico early in morning in Nogales, Arizona on Friday, June 7, 2024. Cars line up to cross into Mexico early in morning in Nogales, Arizona on Friday, June 7, 2024. Ash Ponders for NPR A miagrant and her two sons in Nogales, Sonora on Friday, June 7, 2024. Liz and her two sons pose for a portrait in Nogales, Sonora on Friday, June 7, 2024. Ash Ponders for NPR “If I don’t hear back before June 17, I already have plans to cross into the U.S. in another way,” Paty says. That’s the day the smugglers she paid $5,000 to cross the border told her she could try again. Paty’s case illustrates the challenges policies aimed at curbing illegal migration face. And data shows orders like Biden’s tend to lower illegal crossings, but only for a brief period of time. An analysis by the Washington Office on Latin America shows that number goes up after a few months. That is because the root causes of mass migration — like poverty and violence — continue to be there. Migrants Daniel Lopez and Alicia Pereda pose for a portrait in Nogales, Sonora on Friday, June 7, 2024. Migrants Daniel López and Alicia Pereda pose for a portrait in Nogales, Sonora on Friday, June 7, 2024. Ash Ponders for National Public Radio That’s what prompted Daniel López to leave his hometown of Puebla, Mexico. “We fear for our lives and that of our kids,” he says. We don’t know what to do.” Daniel López, his wife, mom and two kids arrived at the San Juan Bosco shelter Friday afternoon. López says they left their hometown four days before Biden’s executive order went into effect. By the time they tried to cross into the U.S., the new restrictions were in place. Jun 8 2024, Nogales, Sonora—Migrants gather for lunch at the Kino shelter in Nogales, Sonora on Saturday, June 8, 2024. CREDIT: Ash Ponders for National Public Radio Arizona Biden EO Migrants gather for lunch at the Kino shelter in Nogales, Sonora on Saturday, June 8, 2024. Ash Ponders for NPR “We didn’t know that after that date we were all going to be turned back,” he says. He doesn’t know what’s going to happen next. But without money, López and his family are considering going back to Puebla. Sponsor Message “We made the mistake of crossing illegally,” he says. “But that’s the desperation of a person who fears for the safety of his loved ones, and because of the need for food.” For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Biden administration is considering protecting undocumented immigrants who are married to citizens

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is considering a plan to protect from deportation undocumented immigrants who are the spouses of U.S. citizens and give them access to work permits, according to two sources familiar with the discussions. The sources stressed that the proposal was not final and the timing was fluid. The program, known as “parole in place,” would also make it easier for some undocumented immigrants to get a green card and a path to U.S. citizenship. One of the sources said lawmakers on Capitol Hill had been briefed on the proposal. A White House spokesperson declined to comment on details. “As we have said before, the administration continues to explore a series of policy options and we remain committed to taking action to address our broken immigration system,” the spokesperson said. The discussions come after immigration advocates and Democratic lawmakers urged the administration to prioritize long-term undocumented immigrants and also as President Joe Biden tries to court Latino voters in crucial battleground states such as Nevada and Arizona. Last week, during remarks at the White House, Biden announced an executive action to tighten asylum restrictions outside legal ports of entry. Under the new policy, anytime the seven-day average of illegal border crossings tops 2,500, migrants entering the U.S. between legal ports of entry — with some exceptions — will be banned from claiming asylum and deported, though there are mounting questions about how the action will work without new congressional funding. Biden also teased more immigration-related moves. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

POLITICS Biden weighs move to unlock legal status for some unauthorized immigrants

POLITICS Biden weighs move to unlock legal status for some unauthorized immigrants By Camilo Montoya-Galvez Updated on: June 10, 2024 / 4:17 PM EDT / CBS News President Biden's administration is weighing a far-reaching move that would unlock temporary legal status and potentially a path to American citizenship for hundreds of thousands of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, five people familiar with the internal discussions told CBS News. The plan under consideration by the White House would give work permits and deportation protections to certain unauthorized immigrants through the immigration parole authority, as long as they have spouses who are American citizens, the sources said. The policy, known as "parole in place," could also make beneficiaries eligible for permanent U.S. residency and eventually even citizenship, by helping them clear hurdles in U.S. law. The sources, two current U.S. officials, two former officials and a congressional official, all spoke under condition of anonymity to speak freely about internal plans. They said the final details of the Biden administration's proposal have not been approved or finalized. The plan, the sources said, would likely benefit longtime undocumented immigrants who have been living in the U.S. for years, if not decades — not recent arrivals. In a statement to CBS News, White House spokesperson Angelo Hernandez Fernandez said officials "continue to explore a series of policy options, and we remain committed to taking action to address our broken immigration system." The proposal being considered by the administration, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal in late April, would be the latest ambitious move by Mr. Biden to act unilaterally on immigration amid decades of congressional gridlock on the issue. Last week, in the harshest policy enacted by a Democratic president, Mr. Biden invoked his executive authority to ban most migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border from asylum. But the parole in place plan could benefit a significant number of the country's undocumented population. There are an estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S., according to estimates by the federal government and research groups. The advocacy group Fwd.US estimates that 1.1 million of them have U.S. citizen spouses. Progressive lawmakers and advocates also argue that the proposal would also help Mr. Biden politically, energizing some voters, including Latinos, ahead of the election in November. Polling over the years has shown that Latino voters broadly support border security measures and programs to legalize unauthorized immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for years. If approved, the plan would likely confront legal challenges. The Biden administration has already faced lawsuits by Republican state officials over its use of the parole authority, and in 2016, the Supreme Court, in a 4-4 deadlock, prevented the Obama administration from giving work permits and deportation protections to the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders. The Biden administration has used the immigration parole authority at an unprecedented scale, invoking it to resettle hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees from Afghanistan, Latin America, Haiti and Ukraine. The plan being discussed within the administration would use that same authority to provide immigration relief to some people already in the U.S. A grant of parole in place would allow unauthorized immigrants married to U.S. citizens to obtain temporary work permits and legal status. But perhaps more importantly, it would also allow some of them to overcome a rule in U.S. immigration law that prohibits immigrants from getting permanent legal status if they were not officially admitted or paroled into the U.S. Immigrants who entered the U.S illegally, for example, generally have to leave the country and re-enter legally to qualify for a green card based on an application by a U.S. citizen spouse. Those immigrants, however, can face years-long bans from re-entering the U.S., leading some to not travel overseas and pursue that option. Parole in place would give undocumented spouses of American citizens a chance to become permanent U.S. residents, if they meet other requirements, without having to leave the country. Unlike other categories, green cards for spouses of American citizens are unlimited. After several years, green card holders may apply for U.S. citizenship. Since the Bush administration, the U.S. government has operated a smaller-scale parole in place program for unauthorized immigrants who are immediate relatives of U.S. military members. In 2020, Congress affirmed that policy. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Why Biden’s new border policy will likely backfire

At least the White House got the headlines it wanted. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden declared that he was using executive authority to create a new “emergency” policy regime at the U.S.-Mexico border, which would generally prevent people who crossed illegally from receiving asylum in the United States. The declaration (using the same provision of immigration law that President Donald Trump used for his travel bans, as well as for a similar asylum ban quickly struck down by the courts in 2018) “suspends the entry” of most people who come without papers or an appointment at an official port of entry. The suspension will remain in place until border apprehensions drop to 1,500 per day — a level rarely seen for half a decade. The move was dutifully reported as Biden taking action to “seal” the border where Congress had once again failed, and media outlets reported that would-be asylum-seekers would instead be expelled to Mexico or their home countries. The problem is that this isn’t an accurate description of what the new policy will do, merely what the White House hopes it will do. And while Biden may be taking a short-term victory lap, it’s hard to envision the new policy reducing chaos at the border in a lasting way — and even harder to envision that migrants, and the public, won’t notice that things aren’t going according to plan. Biden can issue proclamations ‘suspending the entry’ of border crossers, but he can’t proclaim billions of dollars into existence to pay for their flights home. To start with, the administration is benefiting from some confusion over what Biden actually did. It’s true that under the proclamation — and, just as importantly, the new regulation (published in “interim final” form) that came along with it — irregular border crossers are generally prevented from receiving the immigration status known as asylum. But that’s not the same as saying they’re prevented from staying in the U.S. International agreements prevent the U.S. from deporting someone to a country where they will be persecuted on the basis of specific grounds of identity or from delivering torture victims back to the governments that torture them. Under normal conditions, such people can often qualify for asylum in the U.S.; even if they don’t (because of a criminal record, for example), they may qualify for lesser forms of protection that can’t be converted to citizenship but can come with work permits. Those latter protections are still available under Biden’s proclamation, no matter how many people are crossing the border. The new regulation takes steps to make it harder for people to make it through the early stages of the process to receive such protections. First, and most importantly, border agents are no longer required to ask someone if they fear persecution before deporting them. The burden is on the migrant to say they want asylum or that they fear going back. Some people likely won’t do that, or don’t know they’ll have to, and there’s plenty of evidence that even when people express fear, border agents don’t always listen. This change alone may have a significant effect on the number of people allowed to seek protection in the U.S. Those who pass this first hurdle will then be screened by asylum officers, where they’ll have to demonstrate a “reasonable probability” that a judge will ultimately find they qualify for protection. This “reasonable probability” standard is completely new, and no one knows yet what it means. The regulation specifies that it’s a “substantially higher” standard than the previous one (“reasonable possibility”) yet “somewhat lower” standard than “more likely than not.” The magnitude of the shift won’t be clear until we start to see interview passage rates. 'People will die': Immigrant activist criticizes Biden's new border executive action 03:41 The administration’s theory of the case, laid out in internal guidance to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, is that these two procedural changes — plus the fact that even those who surmount both hurdles will be eligible only for sub-asylum protections — will allow ICE to deport the overwhelming majority of border crossers in a matter of days. That, they hope, will send a strong message to potential future migrants not to come at all. But here’s what the administration refuses to acknowledge: Even before Tuesday, the problems with border processing weren’t about who was eligible for what form of protection. They were about resource bottlenecks. Crackdowns don’t just fail to create that order on their own; they siphon away the resources that could be used to improve processing and efficiency. Biden can issue proclamations “suspending the entry” of border crossers, but he can’t proclaim billions of dollars into existence to pay for their flights home. The population of migrants entering the U.S. irregularly is more diverse than ever, which means there are a lot of countries to deport people to. Under Trump and Biden alike, the United States’ most effective hack has been getting Mexico to accept non-Mexicans from the border. But Mexico isn’t expanding existing deals to accommodate Biden’s “emergency” declaration. The longer it takes to fill a deportation flight, the longer people have to be detained — even though the U.S. lacks the capacity to detain more than a few families for any length of time. Holding a migrant for a screening interview will take longer still. And there are fewer than 1,000 asylum officers in the U.S., far below what is needed to screen everyone. More from MSNBC Daily Must reads from Today's list VENGEANCE Marjorie Taylor Greene’s calls for payback reveal just how far Trump’s allies will go Susan Del Percio HIGH HOPES ‘We had no idea how huge it was’: Cricket’s plan to conquer the U.S. Dr. Jalal Baig The bottlenecks have meant that most of these migrants were released from Border Patrol custody with notices to appear before an immigration judge at a later date, without being screened by asylum officers at all. The problem, in other words, wasn’t that the “reasonable possibility” standard was too low but that some people were being subjected to it while many more were not. 'We are going to sue for sure.': ACLU preparing to sue Biden administration over new border policy 05:43 Crackdowns are more resource-intensive than the alternative: For example, the higher the screening standard, the longer the interview is to complete. The result, in practice, is a bigger disparity between those subject to the crackdown and those who are not. Biden’s proclamation even allows border agents to exempt people from the asylum ban due to “operational considerations” — an acknowledgment of this reality that also exposes the declaration’s arbitrary nature. Headlines declaring the border closed can buy a government a little bit of time with would-be migrants; generally, a crackdown engenders a “wait and see” period of a few weeks or months. But once it becomes clear that the new policy isn’t prohibiting literally everyone from entry, the deterrent effect fades. It’s quite possible that border numbers will drop over the summer. It’s harder to imagine that they won’t rise at any point between now and, say, November. The opposite of border chaos is, obviously, border order: clear, consistent processing that runs smoothly with a minimum of bottlenecks. Crackdowns don’t just fail to create that order on their own; they siphon away the resources that could be used to improve processing and efficiency. Biden’s declaration got him the headlines he wanted this week, but may have set the stage for headlines later in the year he very much does not want. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Far-right, white nationalists step up rhetoric after Trump verdict

Far-right groups and white nationalists have responded to last week's guilty verdict against Donald Trump with vague threats of violence and racist posts about people of color, monitoring groups say. Why it matters: Trump himself has repeatedly made threats about prosecuting opponents, used bigoted language to describe immigrants and suggested a loss in November may result in violence. Zoom in: Almost immediately after the verdict was announced, white nationalists went online to compare Trump's conviction to the U.S. becoming a "third world country" or "banana republic," according to Western States Center, a group that monitors anti-democracy movements. "Don't be surprised, you know this was going to happen. Stand back and stand by this is far from over, we promise," the far-right Proud Boys wrote on one of its websites. An Ohio Proud Boys chapter vowed "war," according to Reuters. "This is the road to serfdom — unless this Marxist lawfare is stopped, halted, and reversed and democracy restored," said former Trump aide and America First Legal president Stephen Miller in a statement. Trump responded to the verdict with white replacement theory rhetoric by declaring that "millions of people pouring into our country right now from prisons and from mental institutions...and they're taking over our country…" Threat level: Violent promises coming from the various far-right groups after the verdict may encourage individuals to commit violence, Lindsay Schubiner, program director at Western States Center, tells Axios. "It lays the groundwork for more anti-democracy actions and that's particularly dangerous in the lead-up to the election." Schubiner said many of the posts on social media blame immigrants for Trump's guilty verdict even though the case had nothing to do with immigration. Groups are posting threats on Telegram channels, social media and other platforms, Schubiner said. Zoom out: Some posts from extremist groups also attack the racial diversity of New York City (where the Trump trial was set) and make racist remarks about Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D), who is Black. Google searches for "rigged trial," "boycott New York" and "kill the judge" also spiked after the verdict, Brian Levin, the recently retired director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, tells Axios. "While violent and intimidation-directed rhetoric definitively sloped up, it did so the week before the conviction, when there were similar false narratives concerning some of Mr. Trump's other difficulties already in mainstream circulation." Levin said that "Dox the jurors" and "kill Biden" were other Google searches that went up after the verdict. The bottom line: Extremist groups' broad expression of conspiracies and aggression in response to current events is now the norm and is becoming more mainstream, Levin said. Schubiner said anti-hate advocates fear the unchecked continuing behavior online could become normalized, putting immigrants and people of color at risk. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Trump embraces harsh immigration rhetoric during Las Vegas rally

LAS VEGAS — Donald Trump descended into scorching Sin City on Sunday for his first rally since becoming a convicted felon, wielding harsh rhetoric about illegal immigration and occasionally touching on his own run-ins with the law. Speaking at an outdoor event at a park about six miles from the Las Vegas Strip, Trump called Nevada, a key battleground state, a “dumping ground” for unauthorized immigrants and slammed President Joe Biden for unleashing a “nightmare” through his border policies that he argued were “totally destroying” Black and Hispanic Americans. “The people of Nevada have had a front-row seat to Joe Biden’s evil and criminal obliteration of our southern border,” Trump told the crowd. “It was criminal what he’s done.” The speech came just days after Biden announced his executive order on immigration to close the U.S.-Mexico border when border crossings exceed 2,500 people a day. Trump dismissed the order as a “little plan” that was “pro-invasion, pro-child trafficking, pro-women trafficking, pro-human trafficking, pro-drug dealers and all the death they bring and pro-illegal immigration.” He raised instances of violent crimes allegedly committed by people unauthorized to be living in the U.S. Biden issues executive action limiting asylum-seekers SharePlay Video “It’s weak, it’s ineffective, it’s bullshit what he signed,” Trump said, before his supporters erupted into a chant of, “Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.” On the same day he made these comments, the Trump campaign launched the rebranding of its Latino outreach effort, from “Latinos for Trump” to “Latino Americans for Trump” — in a state where Latinos represent a critical and influential voting bloc and as Republicans continue to make inroads among Latinos. Trump has promised if reelected that he’ll carry out mass deportations, end birthright citizenship and reinstitute his prohibition on people entering the U.S. from certain Muslim-majority nations. He also in February effectively encouraged Republicans in Congress to reject a bipartisan immigration deal backed by Biden. Trump at one point on Sunday referred to the first family as the “Biden crime family” and raised the fact that Biden kept classified documents after his vice presidency, though a special counsel did not recommend charges. (Trump is currently charged with allegedly hoarding classified documents and obstructing the investigation into the matter.) Conversely, Trump downplayed convictions of people who stormed the Capitol on January 6, calling them victims and “J6 warriors.” Trump’s rally in Las Vegas caps a four-day swing through the West Coast and Southwest. On Thursday, Trump spoke at a town hall in Phoenix, where he railed against Biden’s border actions, and then separately spent several days in California wooing donors. He also held a high-dollar fundraiser in Vegas on Saturday night. His increasingly rabble-rousing language on undocumented immigration — where at one point on Sunday he claimed “the invasion is apocalyptic,” according to transcribed remarks shared ahead of his speech — highlights that it will likely be a major issue in the remaining months of the 2024 election. From appeals to fundraising: What's next for convicted Trump? SharePlay Video Since his conviction, Trump in TV interviews has left open the possibility that he might seek retribution against his political enemies if reelected, though Sunday he only briefly touched on the matter and mostly boasted about how much fundraising had poured into his campaign as a result of the verdict. “When he indicted me over nothing, they opened up a whole new box,” he said of Biden, before then listing the other indictments he faces in multiple jurisdictions. “They have weaponized the Department of Justice.” The DOJ has brought two federal cases against Trump while his New York conviction stemmed from a criminal case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Trump is also facing state criminal charges in Georgia related to a sprawling racketeering case. The Vegas event was Trump’s first rally since a jury found him guilty on May 30 of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records about payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels in an effort to influence the 2016 presidential election. His first pre-sentencing hearing is set for Monday. MOST READ Patrick Cavan Brown.3075.jpg Colorado’s Weed Market Is Coming Down Hard and It’s Making Other States Nervous Unaired footage shows chaos, anger of congressional leaders amid Jan. 6 evacuation Canada’s Parliament rocked by allegations of treason Trump embraces harsh immigration rhetoric during Las Vegas rally Biden barely mentioned Trump in France. He didn’t have to. Biden won Nevada by roughly 2.5 points in 2020, but today Trump is leading Biden by more than 5 points, according to the 538 polling average, in a state that has among the highest unemployment rates and gas prices in the U.S. Should Trump carry the state in November, he would be the first GOP presidential candidate to do so since George W. Bush 20 years ago. “If we win Nevada, we win the whole thing,” Trump said during his speech, which stretched over an hour. But the newest aspect of Trump’s rally was promising that, if elected, he wouldn’t charge taxes on tips — an announcement that drew huge applause in a state whose economy is heavily reliant on tourism and hospitality. “We will throw out Bidenomics and replace it with MAGAnomics,” he said. Trump also repeatedly boasted that he could handle the desert heat, which reached 99 degrees, despite “sweating like a dog” and complaining about how his teleprompter didn’t work. Throughout his speech. he mocked Biden’s mental acuity, at one point doing a dramatic impersonation of the president’s walk, and another point mockingly running down a list of reporters to call on and hesitating over a question about what kind of ice cream he liked. “He’s a corrupt, very dumb person. He’s a low-IQ individual,” Trump said of Biden, though he quickly clarified that the criticism against his rival — who is just 3.5 years older than he is — was not rooted in concerns about his age. “There’s just something missing there,” he said. “There always has been.” People cheer as Republican presidential candidate, former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally. Trump supporters, many of whom arrived hours before the rally started, struggled to tolerate the heat and began trickling out of the park about 45 minutes into the speech. | John Locher/AP In response, the Biden campaign questioned where Latino voters were at his rally. “All we saw today was a wannabe dictator spouting his trademark hatred for our community, doubling down attacking immigrants and espousing the same racist tropes against Venezuelans,” said Hispanic Media Director Maca Casado, referring to comments Trump made that people coming to the U.S. had been in jails and mental facilities. She also pointed to his controversial immigration policies as president, including his child separation policy. “Attacking Latinos is ‘good politics’ in Trump’s eyes,” she added. “Latinos deserve a president who is focused on creating economic opportunity for all of us and making our communities safer. If today showed our community anything, it’s this: we have to reelect Joe Biden.” Trump supporters, many of whom arrived hours before the rally started, struggled to tolerate the heat and began trickling out of the park about 45 minutes into the speech. But many waited in long lines to enter the event, where the campaign provided water bottles and misting fans, and one of the food trucks sold shaved ice and soft-serve ice cream. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who spoke as people entered the park, warned that Trump’s supporters were “not going to tolerate” the recent conviction. “The man that I worship was also a convicted felon,” she said, referring to Jesus. The crowd erupted in chants of “bullshit” over the criminal convictions. Attendees told POLITICO they didn’t think the verdict would hurt Trump and believed the former president’s accusations that the prosecution had been politically motivated. Some attendees wore shirts that said, “I’m voting for the convicted felon.” “It’s what they’re chanting — it’s bullshit,” said Trump supporter Rick Welter, 58. “It’s a sham.” Sunday’s rally was the first Trump event for Welter, who works in medical insurance, though he’d voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020 and said the conviction made him more motivated to turn out on Sunday. He and his sister-in-law both said they were concerned about illegal immigration and the economy. “We would not be out here in this hell hot if we didn’t believe it was important,” said his sister in law, Nanette Welter. Trump did not use his platform to explicitly endorse in the Republican Senate primary in Nevada, which is set for Tuesday, though at one point he said, “You have a good guy named Brown here” referencing retired Army Captain Sam Brown, one of the Republican candidates. One of his rivals, former Ambassador to Iceland Jeff Gunter, was also present at the rally. Toward the end of the speech Trump broadly urged his supporters to vote in the primary. Later Sunday, Trump endorsed Brown in a post on social media. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Some nationalities escape Biden’s sweeping asylum ban because deportation flights are scarce

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Border Patrol arrested Gerardo Henao 14 hours after President Joe Biden suspended asylum processing at the U.S. border with Mexico this week. But instead of being summarily deported, he was dropped off by agents the next day at a San Diego bus stop, where he caught a train to the airport for a flight to Newark, New Jersey. Henao, who said he left his jewelry business in Medellin, Colombia, because of constant extortion attempts, had one thing working in his favor: a scarcity of deportation flights to that country. Lack of resources, diplomatic limitations and logistical hurdles make it difficult for the Biden administration to impose its sweeping measure on a large scale. The policy, which took effect Wednesday, has an exception for “operational considerations,” official language acknowledging the government lacks the money and authority to deport everyone subject to the measure, especially people from countries in South America, Asia, Africa and Europe who didn’t start showing up at the border until recently. The Homeland Security Department said in a detailed document outlining the ban that “demographics and nationalities encountered at the border significantly impact” its ability to deport people. RELATED COVERAGE Signs line the front of an encampment of asylum-seekers mostly from Venezuela, Congo and Angola next to an unused motel owned by the county, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Kent, Washington. The group of about 240 asylum-seekers is asking to use the motel as temporary housing while they look for jobs and longer-term accommodations. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson) Hundreds of asylum-seekers are camped out near Seattle. There’s a vacant motel next door Border Patrol agents talk with migrants seeking asylum as they prepare them for transportation to be processed, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, near Dulzura, Calif. President Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled plans to enact immediate significant restrictions on migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border as the White House tries to neutralize immigration as a political liability ahead of the November elections. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) Migrants are rattled and unsure as deportations begin under new rule halting asylum Chinese migrants wait to be processed after crossing the border with Mexico on May 8, 2024, near Jacumba Hot Springs, Calif. The U.N.’s refugee agency has expressed concern over plans for new asylum restrictions in the United States. President Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled plans to enact immediate significant restrictions on migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border as the White House tries to neutralize immigration as a political liability ahead of the November elections. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun) UN migration and refugee agencies cite ‘fundamental’ right to asylum after US moves to restrict it Thousands of migrants have been deported under the ban so far, according to two senior Homeland Security Department officials who briefed reporters Friday on condition that they not be named. There were 17 deportation flights, including one to Uzbekistan. Those deported include people from Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru and Mexico. Henao, 59, said a Border Patrol agent told him about the ban after he was picked up Wednesday on a dirt road near a high-voltage power line in the boulder-strewn mountains east of San Diego. The agent processed release papers ordering him to appear in immigration court Oct. 23 in New Jersey. He casually asked Henao why he fled Colombia but didn’t pursue that line of questioning. “It was nothing,” Henao said at a San Diego transit center, where the Border Patrol dropped off four busloads of migrants in a four-hour span Thursday afternoon. “They took my photo, my fingerprints and that was it.” Many migrants released that day were from China, India, Colombia and Ecuador. One group included men from Mauritania, Sudan and Ethiopia. “Hello, if you are arriving right now, you have been released from immigration custody and you can go to the airport,” a volunteer with a bullhorn told the migrants, directing them to a light-rail platform across the parking lot. “You can go for free if you don’t have money for a taxi or an Uber.” Under the measure, asylum is suspended when arrests for illegal crossings reach 2,500 a day. It ends when they average below 1,500 for a week straight. Border officials were told to give the highest priority to detaining migrants who can be easily deported, followed by “hard to remove” nationalities requiring at least five days to issue travel documents and then “very hard to remove” nationalities whose governments don’t accept U.S. flights. The instructions are laid out in a memo to agents that was reported by the New York Post. The Associated Press confirmed its contents with a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because it has not been publicly released. Homeland Security has been clear about the hurdles, said Theresa Cardinal Brown, senior adviser for immigration and border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington think tank. “There’s a limitation to the resources that the government has for detention and removal of people, and in particular to countries that we have a hard time removing people to because the (other) government is not cooperative,” Brown said. “We can’t detain them indefinitely.” U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement did 679 deportation flights from January through May, nearly 60% of them to Guatemala and Honduras, according to Witness at the Border, an advocacy group that analyzes flight data. There were 46 flights to Colombia, 42 to Ecuador and 12 to Peru, a relatively small amount considering that tens of thousands enter illegally from those countries every month. There were only 10 deportation flights during that period to Africa, which has emerged as a major source of migration to the United States. There was just one to China, despite the arrests of nearly 13,000 Chinese migrants. Mexico is the easiest country for removals because it’s only a matter of driving to the nearest border crossing, but Mexicans accounted for less than 3 of 10 border arrests in the government’s last fiscal year, down from 9 of 10 in 2010. Mexico also takes up to 30,000 people a month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, countries that have limited capacity or willingness to take people back. Some countries refuse to accept flights to avoid getting overwhelmed themselves, Corey Price, then-director of ICE enforcement and removal operations, said in an interview last year. “We don’t drive the bus on this,” said Price, who retired last month. “We don’t decide unilaterally, ‘OK, we’re sending your citizen back to you.’ No, that country still has to agree to take them back.” For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Biden nears huge next move on immigration as he tries to win over Latinos in key states

Looking to shore up Latino votes in Nevada and Arizona for his reelection campaign, President Joe Biden is on the verge of soon following up last week’s executive action aimed at curbing border crossings with another move focused on providing legal status for long-term undocumented immigrants who are married to American citizens. Though final details have not been decided, officials are reviewing an existing legal authority known as “parole in place” that would shield select undocumented immigrants from deportation and allow them to work legally in the country as they seek citizenship. The orders have not yet been presented to Biden himself for review. Polling reviewed by top aides in the White House and the president’s reelection headquarters are helping seal the deal. For Biden in Arizona, “Everything is on the margins, right?” said Democratic Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly. “My sense is it should help.” Estimates put the number of people who could be directly affected at 750,000 to 800,000, with a reverberating effect among spouses, children, extended family and friends — and predominantly Latinos. That’s millions of potential votes in just Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia. Those are all battleground states, all home to many Latinos and all looking likely to be decided in November by slivers of the electorate. “We have lost the narrative on the border, and so we need to start winning it back,” said one person involved in the discussions of why Biden started with the executive action tightening asylum rules last week. But “Latino voters in particular are extremely enthusiastic about seeing something done to help people they know. It is either a direct relative or friend, someone they work with,” that person argued. “It is such a powerful signal to these communities that you care about them, and you understand what’s happening there.” This could amount to the federal government’s biggest relief program since the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. That program, which allowed undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to live and work in the country, was announced mid-June of Obama’s own reelection year in 2012. Several veterans of Obama’s reelection point to that moment as a key turning point for his bid for a second term. Biden, then the vice president, was engaged in many of those discussions. People involved with the internal discussions say that by focusing on workers and keeping families together, Biden would be able to make a case about economic growth, as well as asserting a very different portrayal of immigrants than that pushed by Donald Trump. Trump’s campaign has also been looking to attract Latino voters, with the launch of a Latinos for Trump group timed to the former president’s rally in Las Vegas on Sunday, among other outreach and advertising. Still, on Thursday night in Arizona, Trump brought onto stage and kissed former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, infamous for his crackdowns on undocumented immigrants and the recipient of a Trump presidential pardon for illegal racially profiling. Though some still think Biden may not go through with the move, aides have discussed when best to make the announcement. One option is to do so ahead of the June 27 debate, with the aim of goading Trump into attacking the widely popular orders. Some worry, though, that giving Trump that opening could lead to voters turning against the border executive action by calling the moves “amnesty.” Making the announcement later would deprive Trump of that possibility, while giving Biden another attention bump, perhaps with a July 4 theme. Others say it could slip to later that month, especially in a White House where internal deadlines are often missed. Kelly said that every week he hears from constituents facing problems stemming from their documentation status, but also from CEOs looking for more workers. He and his wife, former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, “know people that these policies affect and their families directly. I think that’s true for most Arizonans,” Kelly said. “It’s co-workers, it’s a co-worker’s relative, it’s a friend, it’s a family member.” Support for ‘an easy straightforward fix that most Americans think happens already’ To tamp down criticism among many leading Latino and immigration advocacy groups over Biden’s executive action cracking down on border crossings, several operatives connected with the president spent days quietly reassuring leaders that more was coming. They urged those leaders not to risk either frustrating the West Wing or getting themselves too far out on a limb when circumstances may change. Then, on Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas kept the door open for more immigration moves in a virtual briefing with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Congressional Progressive Caucus, saying the administration is reviewing possible options to extend protections to long-term undocumented immigrants residing in the United States, according to a source familiar. Strategists working with the Biden campaign argue that the pair of moves — border security and legalization for long-term undocumented immigrants — will appeal to Latino voters who have drifted from Biden, citing polling that shows Latinos also favor border enforcement. And not just among immigrants, or among Latinos. Across Democrats, Republican and independents and across backgrounds, Biden aides believe there is close to universal support for keeping families together by creating pathways to citizenship for immigrants who have been living in the US.for many years and pass a background check and pay taxes, according to a memo obtained by CNN summarizing one set of findings shared with the White House and the Biden campaign. Those numbers also show huge support for expanding work permits to Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants who have lived in the country for many years and passed background checks and who don’t have criminal records. Other polling that Biden’s campaign has seen shows similar levels of support. Biden not so subtly teased the move himself as he announced the border action on Tuesday, acknowledging the blowback by some immigrant advocates and progressives who blasted his asylum restrictions. Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Pramila Jayapal told CNN that she felt Biden had “gone into the same frame as Donald Trump at the very time when we need to make a distinction between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.” “For those who say the steps I’ve taken are too strict, I say to you — be patient,” Biden said. “In the weeks ahead — and I mean the weeks ahead — I will speak to how we can make our immigration system more fair and more just.” Democeratic Rep. Tom Suozzi was hailed by many in his party as a national example when he won back his old New York City suburbs House seat in a February special election by successfully pushing back on Republican attacks centered on immigration and the situation at the border. He told CNN after standing with Biden at the White House that he has already written a letter to the president asking for the next move. Suozzi argued that so many people believe that citizenship automatically comes from marrying an American that actually providing documentation to people in otherwise-citizen families would be “an easy straightforward fix that most Americans think happens already and most Americans would support.” “It would be great for the economy, it would be great for the families, and it would be great for America,” Suozzi said. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who also flew to Washington to stand with Biden at the White House on Tuesday, said the new moves on the border are extremely important — and that the next steps also will be key to voters in her state and across the Southwest come November. “Voters want a fair president who understands their struggles, who’s willing to make tough decisions, who’s clear that he can’t do all of it, but tries to balance those efforts leaning toward the public safety realities where he must,” Lujan Grisham said. “There’s more coming — and it’s a valve. It uses smart, effective policies where you need them right now. He gets both.” White House spokesman Angelo Fernández Hernández declined to address specifics, but told CNN, “As we have said before, the administration continues to explore a series of policy options and we remain committed to taking action to address our broken immigration system.” Immigration advocates debate wider action As the panic among Biden aides about the drop-off in Latino support has been mounting around the reelection campaign, pressure for more policy moves from Democratic lawmakers and immigrant advocacy groups has been growing for months. In May, a group of Democratic senators including Sens. Alex Padilla of California, Dick Durbin of Illinois and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada publicly called for protections to be extended to long-term undocumented immigrants in the United States, including the spouses of American citizens and their caregivers. Padilla said Biden’s actions on the border from Tuesday were a huge disappointment. “This is the first time that I can recall that a Democratic position is, ‘OK, let’s be all for the border and not fight for relief — for DREAMers, for farmers, or anyone who’s a long-term resident of the United States who happens to be undocumented,” Padilla told CNN after Tuesday’s announcement. Now Biden shouldn’t wait to make the additional moves, Padilla argued. “If they were going to take a tough-on-the-border action, they should have paired it with something as thoughtful and responsible — and overdue,” Padilla said. Advocates who have long been pushing for the moves that are about to be put in front of Biden are now stressing the potential political benefits themselves. “As we approach the 12th anniversary of the DACA program, President Obama’s decision to take bold executive action to support our nation’s Dreamers remains a masterstroke of political ingenuity and the most successful immigration policy in decades,” said Todd Schulte, president of FWD.us, in a statement. “Today, President Biden faces a similar pivotal moment.” For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Friday, June 07, 2024

Biden border order on ‘shaky legal ground,’ immigration advocates say

A new executive order from President Biden drastically curtailing asylum rights at the border is already facing threats of lawsuits from those who successfully toppled similar efforts from former President Trump. The Tuesday order from Biden borrows from an idea included in bipartisan Senate negotiations. It largely cuts off the right to seek asylum between ports of entry if border crossings tick above 2,500 a day over a seven-day average. While using border metrics as a basis to deny access to the asylum process for those fleeing persecution is new, major limitations on accessing the system are not and have been previously struck down in court. “The law could not be more clear that it doesn’t matter where you enter, you have to be screened for asylum. So that’s why this policy of cutting off asylum for people who enter between ports is illegal. And that’s why it was illegal when Trump tried it,” said Lee Gelernt, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) who led previous litigation over Trump-era asylum rules and has pledged to challenge this rule as well. While asylum-seekers are allowed to make the claim if they appear at a port of entry, the law also allows them to do so in between ports of entry after crossing the border. The law was designed that way to take into account that ports may be hundreds of miles away or difficult to access when someone is fleeing danger. But now Biden is targeting that method as the number of migrants crossing between ports of entry to claim asylum is on the rise. Migrants, after declaring asylum, are then funneled into a system with an overwhelming backlog that leaves migrants waiting years to determine if they will be awarded protection. “The basic legal tension is the right to asylum is very clearly spelled out in federal law enacted by Congress. And it’s quite clear that anyone who is physically present in the United States is legally entitled to request asylum,” said César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, an immigration law professor at Ohio State University College of Law. “Congress in 1980 laid out the very basic legal obstacle that the Trump administration struggled to overcome, and I think that the Biden administration is going to struggle to overcome, which is that once a person is in the territory of the United States, Congress says, it doesn’t matter how that person got here. It does not matter whether they have the federal government’s permission to be here. They have a legal right to request asylum.” Biden’s proclamation and a joint rule from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) takes numerous hits at Congress for failing to act to change asylum law — arguing the process it lays out is simply unworkable with modern migration flows where people are increasingly seeking the protection. “For the vast majority of people in immigration proceedings, the current laws make it impossible to quickly grant protection to those who require it and to quickly remove those who do not establish a legal basis to remain in the United States,” Biden wrote in the order. Meanwhile, the departments complained the years-long backlog for asylum means they “cannot predictably and swiftly deliver consequences to most noncitizens who cross the border without a lawful basis to remain. This inability to predictably deliver timely decisions and consequences further compounds incentives for migrants to make the dangerous journey.” Trump’s asylum bans In 2018, the Trump administration introduced its first asylum ban, which also barred anyone who came into the U.S. between ports of entry from seeking the protections, but it was enjoined, and a judge later determined the rule was illegal. A 2019 rule that barred asylum for those who traveled through another country on the way to the border without first seeking the protections there was also later struck down by the courts. Immigration law experts and the Biden administration disagree over the extent to which the nuances of the Biden plan distinguish it from the 2018 Trump asylum ban. Biden’s plan offers more exceptions than Trump’s policy did, including allowing unaccompanied children to seek protection. And while it would allow migrants who actively make the claim to seek asylum — called a “shout test” — it ends the requirement on agents to ask if a migrant has a fear of being returned to their country. The other chief difference is tying the right to asylum to border crossing figures. That idea was first floated in the bipartisan Senate immigration package that was swiftly rejected by the chamber’s Republicans after Trump spoke out against the proposal. That plan would have limited asylum when border crossings exceeded 4,000. But Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy director at the American Immigration Council, said those shifts are not substantial enough changes to protect the order. “DHS and DOJ argue that this is legal because it only bans asylum to a slightly smaller portion of people who cross the border between ports of entry, and they argue that makes it distinct enough,” he said, but that does little to address a law that allows migrants to seek asylum regardless of how they entered the country. He also dismissed the idea that tying asylum to border crossing figures provided any legal cover. “I don’t think you can put a number on a right,” Reichlin-Melnick said. García Hernández said the administration would also have trouble defending rolling out the rule and having it take effect immediately without first going through a notice and comment period, something litigants could challenge under the Administrative Procedures Act. “To say simply, ‘Well, there have been more people requesting asylum over the last three and a half years than is typically the case’ doesn’t get you all the way to ‘why couldn’t you wait 60 days or 90 days to allow the public to comment and then take their feedback into account?’” he said. Waving off threats Administration officials waved off the immediate threat of lawsuits. “I think we are accustomed to being litigated, frankly, from both sides of the political spectrum for just about any measure we take in this space, and that is just yet another sign that there is no lasting solution to the challenges we are facing without Congress doing its job,” a senior administration official told reporters Tuesday. But to Gelernt, the repeated comments chastising Congress for its failure to act underscores the administration isn’t on strong legal footing. “The bottom line is we are challenging this executive order as an excess of executive authority under the laws Congress has passed. And I think that the administration has acknowledged that they are on shaky legal ground, and that’s why they tried to do it through Congress — as you know, that got blown up — but we don’t think the executive can do this unilaterally,” he said. While immigration groups project confidence about their ability to challenge the law, the process will be a lengthy one. “Regardless of whether this order is eventually struck down or not, it’s in effect today. And there will be people who are turned away and denied the right to seek asylum under these orders in those days and weeks before any court gets an opportunity to rule on this,” Reichlin-Melnick said. “This is having an immediate effect.” For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Biden’s border move infuriated progressives. He’s trying to fix that.

President Joe Biden enraged progressives this week when he clamped down on asylum at the southern border. Now he’s looking at policies that may appease them. The administration is considering new actions for undocumented immigrants, lawmakers and immigration advocates say. The internal discussions come after Biden officials have spent months crafting Tuesday’s new border restrictions, with top aides fixated on beating back GOP criticism over the president’s handling of immigration. White House officials privately pointed frustrated advocates to a part of Biden’s remarks on Tuesday, when he said in the “weeks ahead,” he would “speak on how we can make our immigration system more fair and more just,” according to two people familiar with the conversations, granted anonymity to discuss private exchanges. And a spokesperson for Sen. Alex Padilla said the California Democrat has heard directly from administration officials that the president is exploring options. As part of that effort, White House officials are looking closely at “parole in place” for undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens, which would shield them from deportation and allow them to work legally while they pursue a path to citizenship, the people said, adding that any moves may not come until after Biden’s debate this month with Donald Trump. The program could provide temporary relief for an estimated 1.2 million people. “That’s the right signal for the White House to be sending, that they’re going to try to find more pathways to citizens for families who are caught in unconscionable circumstances,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) told POLITICO on Wednesday after decrying Biden’s border action, which allows the president to shut down asylum in between ports of entry when it becomes overwhelmed, as “irresponsible and ill-advised” in a Tuesday statement. The discussions speak to how delicate immigration remains for the president as he tries to walk a political tightrope on a vexing issue. Even as Biden’s team fights off the barrage of GOP attacks on high border crossings, his officials are also grappling with mounting pressure from the president’s highly vocal left flank to go beyond border security. Reactions to Biden’s executive action tightening the border SharePlay Video Biden officials acknowledge that there could be political gains in taking action for long-term, undocumented residents, as polls show Americans support border security as well as paths to citizenship, though they caution that it remains unclear whether the president will ultimately move forward. Biden campaign pollster Matt Barreto pointed to DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) in 2012, which saw no backlash from white voters, moderates or swing voters. President Barack Obama ultimately did well with Latino voters, and when policies are rolled out with “a lot of care and thought,” Barreto added, “it goes back to my overarching point: the American public wants to see action taken on the immigration issue.” “It would be consistent with everything he’s said in the State of the Union this year. He recommitted himself to finding a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants,” Barreto said. “And at the same time he committed to taking action on border security if Congress didn’t. And so I think there’s an opportunity there, following in DACA’s footsteps, to continue to lead on immigration policy.” For months, immigration advocates, Democrats on the Hill and local leaders have been pushing for the White House to follow its tough action with protections for long-term, undocumented residents like dreamers, caregivers, farmworkers and spouses of U.S. citizens and for the president to continue using his authorities to expand Temporary Protected Status. Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus also pushed the White House on affirmative relief in a recent meeting, according to a senior staffer, granted anonymity to discuss a private meeting. Progressives pounced after Biden’s announcement on Tuesday, issuing a slew of statements slamming his executive action and joining with advocacy groups in a press conference outside the Capitol to urge the president to both rescind his policy and to pivot to other forms of relief. “The one silver lining,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told the crowd outside the Capitol on Tuesday, “is that [Biden] did say that there will be positive actions to make the system more humane and fair. And we will be looking and pushing for those actions in coming weeks.” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) speaks with reporters outside the Capitol on Nov. 15, 2023. “The one silver lining,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said “is that [the president] did say that there will be positive actions to make the system more humane and fair." | Francis Chung/POLITICO On Thursday, the advocacy group Human Rights First launched an online letter-writing campaign to urge the Biden administration to reverse its “harmful deterrent-based policies” and “work towards solutions that will expand access to safe pathways and restore access to asylum.” And advocates plan to spend the next few weeks ramping up these efforts, with op-eds, letters, press conferences and lobbying visits as they dial up the pressure on the White House to act. MOST READ 20240606-Hunter-Biden-Getty.jpg The Hunter Biden Case Is Solid. There’s Something Rotten About It Too. A polling do-over finds Trump’s lead shrank after guilty verdict Trump to make virtual appearance at event with group that calls abortion ‘child sacrifice’ ‘Calling their bluff’: Contraception bill fails in Senate ‘Whoa, that was gross,’ former NJ attorney general recalls after meeting with Menendez “It is my hope that Biden goes back to the campaign promises that he made four years ago — that we will see policies that embrace immigrants and address some of the systemic problems that we have, including a lack of legal pathways and opportunity for more immigrants,” said Kica Matos, president of the National Immigration Law Center. “So I’m not giving up hope. I fully anticipate that this administration in the coming months will come out with some pro-immigration policies.” The White House hasn’t taken any policy options off of the table, a White House official said, adding that no final decisions have been made. Discussions inside the administration about its next moves come as Biden officials remain concerned about the situation at the southern border — their fears heightened by general-election polls showing immigration as both a top issue for voters and one on which the president gets poor marks, particularly against Trump. Biden’s aides believe moderate Democrats and independent voters will reward the president for cracking down on migration this week. “Immigration is never going to be a huge positive issue for [Democrats] in this cycle.” Paul Maslin, Democratic pollster A mid-May Quinnipiac University poll showed a majority of voters (52 percent) thought Trump would do a better job handling immigration than Biden (41 percent). An April AP-NORC poll showed 56 percent of Americans believe Biden’s presidency has hurt the country when it comes to immigration and border security. And the 40 percent approval rating Biden notched for his handling of immigration in the Havard/Harris X May poll was the second-lowest of the 10 issues surveyed, behind only the war in Gaza. “Immigration is never going to be a huge positive issue for [Democrats] in this cycle,” said Democratic pollster Paul Maslin. “But I think to a large extent Biden is reducing his losses, and that’s an important thing.” Biden officials moved quickly this week to sell Biden’s executive action and believe it gives the president a good story to tell about his efforts to solve the problem at the border, in spite of Trump and Republicans blocking a bipartisan border deal in Congress. And the fresh round political ammo comes at a key moment — just three weeks before Biden is scheduled to debate Trump in Atlanta. Advocates remain concerned that the border could overshadow internal discussions about policies for undocumented immigrants, particularly in the weeks and months ahead if Biden’s new policies are halted by the courts. But others are simply worried that the president’s team won’t move quickly enough. “I’m not as worried about the political or legal pressure,” said one advocate, granted anonymity to speak candidly. “It’s more about putting pen to paper on the actual details of what they want to do.” For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

New immigration policy already causing Biden legal headaches

President Joe Biden’s attempt to crack down on illegal immigration is already being leveraged in court by administration critics who favor an even tougher approach at the southern border. A lawyer for the state of Texas, which is fighting to maintain concertina wire along a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border, argued in court Thursday that Biden’s sweeping executive order to suspend the right to make asylum claims undercuts previous administration legal arguments in a suit brought by Gov. Greg Abbott. Texas Solicitor General Aaron Nielson told a panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that Biden’s action, which prohibits most migrants from being permitted to claim asylum when certain conditions are met, was “flatly contrary” to legal arguments the Justice Department previously offered in the case. “They told the district court and this court and the Supreme Court, essentially the toehold theory: If you get one toe into the United States, you are entitled to the asylum process. That is not consistent with what the president said two days ago, that … they can turn off the asylum process, if too many people are trying to come into the country,” Nielsen said during the court session in New Orleans. Reactions to Biden’s executive action tightening the border SharePlay Video Under Biden’s plan, which went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, the government will suspend the right to claim asylum, with few exceptions, if the number of people apprehended between the ports of entry exceeds 2,500 people for seven straight days. The suspension remains in effect until the number drops to 1,500. The initial conditions have already been met, so the U.S. has effectively stopped accepting new claims except at ports of entry. The executive order, announced Tuesday, does not apply to unaccompanied minors and allows the government to make exceptions in cases of urgent humanitarian need. Immigrant rights groups have vowed to challenge the new Biden rules as a violation of existing law and treaty obligations. It’s unclear precisely what form such legal challenges will take, since some existing asylum limits are already being litigated and some suits over Trump-era policies are still active or on appeal. However, the arguments Thursday at the 5th Circuit underscore the fact that Biden is also likely to face continued legal pressure from Republican state officials and their attorneys, who contend he’s still not doing enough to limit uncontrolled immigration from Mexico. Texas filed suit against the Biden administration last year for destroying concertina wire installed at the direction of Abbott in response to record numbers of people coming to the U.S.-Mexico border to seek asylum. At the court session, Justice Department attorney Melissa Patterson said the Texas lawyer’s claims about Biden’s new policy were inaccurate and that it does not completely foreclose asylum proceedings for everyone who is encountered by the Border Patrol after the daily quota is exceeded. “We simply lack–there is no turn-back authority,” Patterson declared. “Once someone is within the United States, once they have entered and are present to the United States, regardless of whether they have entered unlawfully or whether they’ve entered lawfully at a port of entry, [immigration law] gives folks the right to apply for asylum. Nothing about the proclamation and the rule that accompanied changed that.” “It imposed a limitation on eligibility. It’s going to be harder to get it–to get asylum for a lot of folks, but you still get to apply, you still get to be processed,” the DOJ lawyer said. The Biden administration has argued that the razor wire Texas national guard troops deployed last year interferes with the Border Patrol’s ability to monitor the border and to respond to medical emergencies such as drownings. In January, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to lift a 5th Circuit ruling that prevented federal officials from cutting through the wire so they could easily reach the border. However, that was a one-time decision and did not preclude the 5th Circuit from granting similar or other relief to Texas as the litigation continued. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Thursday, June 06, 2024

How Ron DeSantis’s ‘chilling’ anti-immigration law hurts Florida workers

A federal judge appointed by Donald Trump will this week decide whether to reinforce his ban on a key part of Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s “callous” anti-immigration law after handing the extremist Republican a humiliating courtroom defeat last month. The Miami district court judge Roy Altman has invited written arguments from both sides after ruling that the “human smuggling” clause of a sweeping immigration bill DeSantis signed into law last year exceeded the state’s authority. Ranch-style blue home amid palm trees completely surrounded by water under a calm, partly cloudy sky. Climate deniers like DeSantis hurt most vulnerable communities, scientists say Read more Section 10 of the law makes it a felony for anybody, even US citizens, to knowingly transport an undocumented person. It was touted by DeSantis as a robust response to “Joe Biden’s border crisis”, but assailed by representatives of Florida’s legions of immigrant farm workers for its cruelty. It also sparked a diplomatic spat with the government of Mexico, which accused the DeSantis administration of “discrimination and racial profiling”. “This callous and blatantly unconstitutional law’s effect has been pretty devastating for our plaintiffs and for farm workers and immigrants across the state,” said Spencer Amdur, senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s immigration rights project, representing the Farmworker Association of Florida. “It’s prevented people from doing things like visiting their families, in Florida and other states; it’s prevented people from going to work and putting food on the table; it’s prevented people from engaging in their religious practice. “Those were all harms that our plaintiffs were experiencing while the law was in effect, and that the judge cited in blocking it. It was just such a clear and on-point ruling from the circuit court that basically states have no business enacting laws like this.” With the injunction in place, law enforcement, including the Florida highway patrol (FHP), can no longer stop and detain drivers suspected of carrying undocumented riders. About a dozen people were arrested after the law took effect on 1 July last year, including Raquel López Aguilar, a 41-year-old from Mexico, who was stopped by an FHP officer last August while driving a minivan containing immigrant roofers. He has been incarcerated in the Hernando county jail ever since. The case of Aguilar, who faces up to 20 years in prison on four counts of felony human smuggling, has become something of a cause célèbre for the law’s detractors, as well as the Mexican government, which has been paying his legal bills. Juan Sabines Guerrero, the Mexican consul in Orlando, did not answer questions from the Guardian, but told 10 Tampa Bay in April: “We will win this case. Nobody is illegal in this world.” Altman, a Venezuelan-born member of the Federalist Society who was nominated to the federal bench by Trump in 2018, will revisit his preliminary ruling later this week after issuing a secondary decision, with a 6 June deadline, for parties to offer comment on its scope. Ashley Moody, Florida’s attorney general, has argued forcefully that any injunction should apply only to plaintiffs with standing in the wider legal challenge to the law, which has yet to be heard. Lawyers for a coalition including the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the American Immigration Council and Americans for Immigrant Justice, say it must be a permanent, statewide ban. “I think the court agreed with us that a statewide injunction makes sense at the preliminary level, and that’s of course what we’ll argue for at trial,” said Paul Chávez, senior supervising attorney for the SPLC’s immigrant justice project. “But there has been controversy over statewide injunctions, so they issued the follow-up order asking for the briefing. My sense is that [Altman] just wants to be certain in that finding. I don’t get the sense that he changed his mind, but he has recognized there is current controversy over it. “The Farmworker Association has members all over the state, and those members are part of the suit. Ideally the injunction will apply so that nobody gets prosecuted.” Chávez also has stories of immigrants terrified by the consequences of the DeSantis law. Many are among the hundreds of thousands of Florida’s agricultural workers, an estimated 60% of whom are undocumented. “A lot of farm workers left Florida and let us know they aren’t coming back. So the broader impact is economic, if you have workers not willing to come back into the state that otherwise would be here,” he said. “But then there’s just the cruelty behind it, people that normally go in and out of Florida. It’s had a chilling effect on travel. One of our plaintiffs is a US citizen who’s part of a mixed-status family. She often drives between Florida and Georgia and was concerned she could be exposed to felony charges just for driving to visit her family.” Altman’s injunction is among a succession of recent legal setbacks for DeSantis’s extremist agenda in Florida, much of which was enacted immediately prior to the launch of his failed campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Last month, another Trump-appointed district court judge, William Jung, dismissed the state’s challenge to a new federal law blocking it from booting children from lower-income households from a popular health insurance program. The Guardian reported in April that more than 22,500 children in the state had been disenrolled from the Children’s Health Insurance Program since 1 January, despite the law’s continuous eligibility clause that secures 12 months of healthcare coverage if at least one premium payment is made. In March, a settlement between DeSantis’s education department and civil rights attorneys removed contentious clauses of Florida’s so-called “don’t say gay” law that was derided by the LGBTQ+ community. Under the agreement, teachers and students can again conduct previously banned discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity outside of formal classroom instruction. DeSantis’s office did not respond to a request for comment. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

President Biden’s new border policies cut time for migrant attorney consultations

Though President Joe Biden has stressed that his new executive actions limiting asylum claims at the southern border are grounded in his belief that immigration is the “lifeblood of America,” his administration is taking even more steps to make it harder for migrants to gain safe harbor in the U.S. — sparking fear and outrage among migrant advocates. The Department of Homeland Security is reducing the time allotted for migrants to consult with an attorney for a credible fear screening, Scripps News has learned. It's part of the Biden administration’s rollout of sweeping changes to its border policy. Under President Biden’s new executive actions, asylum claims would be barred for migrants crossing the border unlawfully when daily encounters reach a seven-day average of 2,500, a threshold that has already been surpassed. The consultation period for migrants to consult an attorney under the new policy will be cut from a minimum of 24 hours to four hours for initial asylum screenings, according to a Department of Homeland Security official who pointed to an effort for faster removals. “To support expeditious processing at the southern border, DHS is maximizing the use of expedited removal, and in turn, the number of credible fear screenings that can be conducted for noncitizens who manifest a fear either explicitly or nonverbally,” the official stated. “Lengthy consultation periods lead to increased amount of time noncitizens remain in immigration detention before decisions can be made in each case. Increased times in custody can directly contribute to a situation where DHS’s capacity can quickly become overwhelmed. These factors in circumstances described in the Presidential Proclamation constitute unreasonable delays in the credible fear process.” A view of the U.S.-Mexico border wall Biden takes steps to curtail asylum claims at southern border The minimum four-hour period for consultation before a credible fear interview would apply between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. from when the individual is provided an opportunity for consultation. The official warned of likely denial of extension requests “as unreasonably delaying the process, except in extraordinary circumstances.” The standard for fear is also higher under the executive actions. “I think individuals who do manifest a fear and are ineligible for asylum as a result of the rules measures will be screened for our international obligations under withholding of removal and the Convention Against Torture at a ‘reasonable probability’ standard, which will be a substantially higher standard than the ’significant possibility’ standard that is being used today, while still somewhat below the ultimate merits standard of 'more likely than not,'” a senior administration official told reporters when describing the new policy. A DHS memo sent to a leader in enforcement and removal operations, obtained by Scripps News, outlines the changes to the credible fear process. CBP will not question a migrant for expedited removal and refer the migrant for a credible fear interview to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services if the migrant manifests a fear of return, an intention to apply for asylum or protection or a fear of persecution or torture. However, officers will help in determining whether exceptions to the asylum restrictions apply to a migrant, which can include an acute medical emergency, threat to life or being a victim of a severe form of trafficking. The changes have sparked concerns over obtaining legal representation for some immigration advocates. “There goes any chance of getting legal representation,” Gregory Chen, director of government relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association posted on X. “4 hours (even 24) is not enough time to help someone who has suffered torture, persecution + may need time, counseling, support to talk about trauma. Processing can be faster but this is NOT FAIR.” A view of the U.S.-Mexico border wall Scripps Newsline: Experts discuss Biden's executive action on border control Other immigrants' rights groups, meanwhile, reacted to reports of the changes with anger, likening them to the stringent border policies pursued by former President Donald Trump and previewing possible legal challenges to the new policies. “In 2018 the Trump admin cut the time people are allowed to rest and seek legal assistance before a credible fear interview from 48 hours to 24. They got sued and lost,” noted Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy director at the American Immigration Council. “In May 2023, the Biden admin did the same and cut it to 24 hours. Now they’re cutting it again — to just 4 hours.” Lawyers for the ACLU already told Scripps News they planned to sue over President Biden’s new border actions. “It was illegal when Trump did it, and it is no less illegal now,” Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

USCIS Issues Guidance on In-Person Filing for Certain SIJ Petitioners

We are updating the USCIS Policy Manual to clarify how certain petitioners for special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) classification (or their representatives) may file Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widower, or Special Immigrant. If you are an SIJ petitioner with less than two weeks before your 21st birthday, you may file Form I-360 in person at a USCIS field office, instead of filing by mail. Contact the USCIS Contact Center to request an expedited appointment. If you are not within two weeks of your 21st birthday, you must file Form I-360 by mail, according to the current filing instructions. Children eligible for SIJ classification must file their petition by their 21st birthday. However, many face challenges filing on time because of juvenile court delays issuing the required judicial determinations or other circumstances. Allowing SIJ petitioners to file in person gives them another way to ensure we receive their petition on time. We began this policy on March 30, 2023, and we are now updating the policy manual for transparency and consistency.

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Biden rolls out asylum restrictions, months in the making, to help ‘gain control’ of the border

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled plans to enact immediate significant restrictions on migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border as the White House tries to neutralize immigration as a political liability ahead of the November elections. The long-anticipated presidential proclamation would bar migrants from being granted asylum when U.S. officials deem that the southern border is overwhelmed. The Democratic president had contemplated unilateral action for months after the collapse of a bipartisan border security deal in Congress that most Republican lawmakers rejected at the behest of former President Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Biden said he preferred more lasting action via legislation but “Republicans have left me no choice.” Instead, he said he was acting on his own to “gain control of the border” while also insisting that “I believe immigration has always been the lifeblood of America.” ADVERTISEMENT Trump “told the Republicans ... that he didn’t want to fix the issue, he wanted to use it to attack me,” Biden said. “It was a cynical, extremely cynical, political move and a complete disservice to the American people who are looking for us not to weaponize the border but to fix it.” RELATED COVERAGE Jacques Alejandra Gomez, executive director of Latino advocacy group Living United for Change in Arizona, speaks at a news conference outside the Arizona Supreme Court, Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Phoenix. The news conference was focused on the group's lawsuit that asks a court to prevent a border proposal from appearing on Arizona's ballot in November because it contains an alleged constitutional defect. (AP Photo/Jacques Billeaud) Latino advocacy group asks judge to prevent border proposal from appearing on Arizona’s ballot Chinese migrants wait to be processed after crossing the border with Mexico on May 8, 2024, near Jacumba Hot Springs, Calif. The U.N.’s refugee agency has expressed concern over plans for new asylum restrictions in the United States. President Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled plans to enact immediate significant restrictions on migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border as the White House tries to neutralize immigration as a political liability ahead of the November elections. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun) UN migration and refugee agencies cite ‘fundamental’ right to asylum after US moves to restrict it President Joe Biden leaves after speaking about an executive order in the East Room at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2024. Biden unveiled plans to enact immediate significant restrictions on migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border as the White House tries to neutralize immigration as a political liability ahead of the November elections. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Will Biden’s new border measures be enough to change voters’ minds? Trump, on the other hand, used his social media account to assail Biden again over immigration, saying the Democrat had “totally surrendered our Southern Border” and his order was “all for show” ahead of their June 27 presidential debate. The order will go into effect when the number of border encounters between ports of entry hits 2,500 per day, according to senior administration officials. That means Biden’s order should go into effect immediately, because the daily averages are higher now. Average daily arrests for illegal crossings from Mexico were last below 2,500 in January 2021, the month Biden took office. The last time the border encounters dipped to 1,500 a day was in July 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. ADVERTISEMENT The restrictions would be in effect until two weeks after the daily encounter numbers are at or below 1,500 per day between ports of entry, under a seven-day average. Those figures were first reported by The Associated Press on Monday. 0:00 / 51 AP AUDIO: Biden says he’s restricting asylum to help ‘gain control’ of the border AP Washington correspondent Sagar Meghani reports President Biden has announced plans for a significant and immediate restriction on migrants trying to claim asylum at the southern border. Homeland Security said increased enforcement with Mexico since high-level bilateral meetings in late December has lowered illegal crossings but is “likely to be less effective over time,” creating a need for more action. “Smuggling networks are adaptable, responding to changes put in place,” the department said in a federal rule published Tuesday. The department predicts that arrests for illegal crossings may climb to a daily average as high as 6,700 from July through September. Once this order is in effect, migrants who arrive at the border but do not express fear of returning to their home countries will be subject to immediate removal from the United States, within a matter of days or even hours. Those migrants could face punishments that could include a five-year bar from reentering the U.S. or even criminal prosecution. ADVERTISEMENT Meanwhile, anyone who expresses that fear or an intention to seek asylum will be screened by a U.S. asylum officer but at a higher standard than currently used. If they pass the screening, they can pursue more limited forms of humanitarian protection, including the U.N. Convention Against Torture. “We’re troubled to see this administration raise the bar on asylum seekers who are coming to our southern border and exercising a legal right,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Global Refuge. “Certainly no one wants to see migrants who may be coming to seek a better life or for economic opportunity game the asylum system, but we see in our clients and in other immigrants people who are fleeing the most dire of circumstances at a time of unprecedented global migration and believe that the U.S. is still a beacon of hope and refuge.” The U.N.’s refugee agency also expressed concern, saying the new measures will deny access to asylum for many who are in need of international protection. The agency said in a statement that it recognizes that the U.S. is facing challenges in dealing with the significant number of people arriving at its border, but nonetheless called on the United States “to uphold its international obligations and urge the government to reconsider restrictions that undermine the fundamental right to seek asylum.” ADVERTISEMENT The U.N.’s International Organization for Migration, which is run by Amy Pope, a former Biden senior adviser on migration, was more muted. “IOM acknowledges the challenges posed by the increasing irregular crossings of migrants at the United States-Mexico border,” IOM said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. “It is crucial that any measures taken to manage migration respect the fundamental right to seek asylum, as well as to strengthen safe and regular migration pathways.” ADVERTISEMENT At the border Tuesday, there were no visible signs of immediate impact. Iselande Peralta, a Haitian mother staying at a migrant shelter in Reynosa, Mexico, with her 3-year-old son, said the U.S. was within its rights to enforce new restrictions. She has been trying for 10 months to get an appointment through U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s online app, called CBP One. Peralta, 26, wouldn’t consider crossing illegally and considers CBP One her best option. “Even if I was crazy, I wouldn’t cross the river. How would I do that with a child as young as him? I’m willing to wait,” she said. Biden’s directive is coming when the number of migrants encountered at the border have been on a consistent decline since December, but senior administration officials say the numbers are still too high and could spike in better weather, as is typical. Yet many questions and complications remain about how Biden’s directive would be implemented. For instance, the administration already has an agreement with Mexico in which Mexico agrees to accept up to 30,000 citizens a month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela once they are denied entry from the U.S., and senior administration officials say that will continue under this order. But it is unclear what happens to nationals of other countries who are denied under Biden’s directive. Four senior administration officials, who insisted on anonymity to describe the effort to reporters, acknowledged that Biden’s goal of deporting migrants quickly is complicated by insufficient funding from Congress to do so. The administration also faces certain legal constraints when it comes to detaining migrant families, and the administration said it would continue to abide by those obligations. The legal authority being invoked by Biden comes under Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows a president to limit entries for certain migrants if their entry is deemed “detrimental” to the national interest. Senior officials expressed confidence that they would be able to implement Biden’s order, despite threats from prominent legal groups to file lawsuits over the directive. “We intend to sue,” Lee Gelernt, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union who successfully argued similar legal challenges when Trump was president. “A ban on asylum is illegal, just as it was when Trump unsuccessfully tried it.” The senior administration officials insisted that Biden’s proposal differs dramatically from that of Trump, who leaned on the same provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act that Biden is using, including Trump’s 2017 directive to bar citizens of Muslim-majority nations and his efforts in 2018 to clamp down on asylum. Biden’s order outlines several groups of migrants who would be exempted due to humanitarian reasons, including victims of human trafficking, unaccompanied minors and those with severe medical emergencies. The directive would also exempt migrants who make appointments with border officials at ports of entry using the CBP One app. About 1,450 appointments are made a day using the app, which launched last year to allow migrants to make asylum claims. Immigration advocates worry that Biden’s plan would only increase an already monthslong backlog of migrants waiting for an appointment through the app, especially when immigration authorities do not have an accompanying surge of funding. It could also be difficult for border officials to quickly remove migrants when many agents are already tasked with helping in shelters and other humanitarian tasks, said Jennie Murray, the president of the National Immigration Forum. “Customs and Border Protection cannot keep up with apprehensions as it is right now because they don’t have enough personnel so it would cause more disorder,” she said. Republicans dismissed Biden’s order as nothing more than a “political stunt” meant to show toughened immigration enforcement ahead of the election. “He tried to convince us all for all this time that there was no way he could possibly fix the mess,” GOP House Speaker Mike Johnson said at a news conference. “Remember that he engineered it.” In a call organized by Trump’s campaign, Stephen Miller, a senior adviser in Trump’s White House who orchestrated his most polarizing immigration policies, and Tom Homan, former acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the Trump administration, said Biden’s order essentially would allow 2,500 people into the country a day and legalize the illegal entry into the U.S. “The only reason they’re doing this is because of the election,” Homan said. “They’ve had three and a half years to take action and done nothing.” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said legislation would have been more effective, but “Republican intransigence has forced the president’s hand.” For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.