August 21 - 27
A Nation of Immigrants No More
VOX | Nicole Narea | August 27
"On the campaign trail in August 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump departed from his typical stump speech to give an uncharacteristically detailed address in Phoenix that would define his immigration agenda for the next four years. His thesis was simple: The US immigration system was broken in a way that served “the needs of wealthy donors, political activists, and powerful politicians,” Trump told the crowd. “Let me tell you who it doesn’t serve. It doesn’t serve you, the American people.” He proceeded to describe, in laundry-list fashion, how he would reinvent the immigration system for what he said was the benefit of American citizens, painting an inaccurate portrait of immigrants as violent criminals and low-skilled workers as stealing American jobs and draining taxpayer resources."
Trump Takes Night Off From Anti-Immigrant Talk to Swear in U.S. Citizens
New York Times | Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Michael D. Shear | August 26
"President Trump moved within weeks of taking office to prohibit immigrants from Sudan from entering the United States, citing terrorism threats and including it in his travel ban on some predominantly Muslim countries — restrictions that remain partly in place today. But on Tuesday, when Mr. Trump wanted to portray himself as pro-immigrant, he invited Neimat Abdelazim Awadelseid, a Sudanese woman who had just qualified to become a U.S. citizen, and four others to a White House naturalization ceremony that his re-election campaign featured prominently during the Republican National Convention."
U.S. Immigration Agency Says It Won't Need to Furlough Employees, but Processing Could Slow Ahead of Election
Washington Post | Nick Miroff.| August 26
"The agency that runs the U.S. legal immigration system said Tuesday it will no longer need to furlough 70 percent of its workforce, after warning for months that 13,000 of its employees would be sent home if lawmakers didn’t provide a $1.2 billion emergency bailout. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is funded via the fees it collects from immigrants seeking green cards, citizenship and other benefits, but a drop in revenue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic had left the agency facing a budget shortfall. Several of the agency’s service centers have temporarily closed to the public or scaled down their operations during the outbreak."
August 14 - 20
Key Findings about U.S. Immigrants
Pew Research | Abby Budiman | August 20
"The United States has more immigrants than any other country in the world. Today, more than 40 million people living in the U.S. were born in another country, accounting for about one-fifth of the world’s migrants. The population of immigrants is also very diverse, with just about every country in the world represented among U.S. immigrants."
Immigrant 'Dreamers' in Search of a Job Are Being Turned Away
New York Times | Miriam Jordan | August 20
"Since its introduction by the Obama administration in 2012, DACA has enrolled some 800,000 undocumented immigrants, often called Dreamers, who were brought to the country illegally as children. Many have gone on to graduate from college and build successful lives under the program, which has bipartisan support in Congress. Yet while the courts have accepted DACA’s legality and have blocked the recent attempts to abruptly cancel it, some of the country’s biggest companies are unilaterally refusing to hire Dreamers. Since Mr. Trump stepped up his attacks on the program, the employment roadblocks have become even more prevalent."
Reviving DACA to Reforming DHS: 5 Immigration Issues Biden Could Confront as President
VOX | Nicole Narea | August 19
"If Joe Biden wins in November, advocates who have spent the last four years suing President Donald Trump over his immigration policy are ready to hold the Democratic nominee accountable for his campaign promises. Biden is positioning himself as former President Barack Obama’s natural successor, including on immigration policy. But he has sworn he won’t merely revert to the Obama-era status quo if elected. “I was very proud to serve Barack, but even he acknowledges we can’t go back to what it was,” the former vice president said in June, pledging to send an immigration reform bill to Congress on day one of his presidency."
August 7 - 13
New State Dept. H-1B Visa Guidance Won't Stop Immigration Lawsuits
Forbes | Stuart Anderson | August 13
"The U.S. Department of State issued guidance that provides more ways for H-1B and L-1 visa holders to overcome the Trump administration’s visa ban. While it may help some professionals and companies, the guidance is unlikely to stop the immigration lawsuits filed against the presidential proclamations. The guidance raises troubling issues, attorneys say, as it imposes new H-1B visa requirements without Congress or even a new regulation."
U.S. Immigration Shutdown Imminent As Congress Talks Collapse
Forbes | Andy J. Semotiuk | August 13
"USA Today has reported that since Congress has failed to reach a deal on a COVID-19 stimulus package, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will proceed with its furlough of about 13,400 employees, or about two-thirds of its workforce, on August 30th. The USCIS had hoped the Covid package would serve as a vehicle to approve an emergency bailout to address the agency's budget shortfall but after two weeks of negotiations on the stimulus package, talks in Congress broke down as Democrats and the White House blamed each other for the stalemate. Earlier this month, the USCIS notified about two-thirds of its employees that they would be furloughed starting August 30th because of budget shortfalls, which the agency hoped Congress would fill in its next relief package before negotiations stalled recently."
Trump Immigration Policy Now Blocks World's Most Highly Skilled
Forbes | Stuart Anderson | August 12
"Today, even the most highly skilled individuals in the world cannot enter America under the Trump administration’s immigration policy. Reports from attorneys and a statement from the State Department confirm that U.S. consular officers in Europe are denying O-1 visas for individuals with “extraordinary ability” based on a health pretext. The strict interpretation of Trump presidential proclamations means individuals that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have found to “possesses extraordinary ability” or a “record of extraordinary achievement” are – and will be – refused visas in Europe and cannot come to America."
July 30 - August 6
"Arrests on the US-Mexico Border Continue to Increase
CNN | Geneva Sands | August 6
"Nearly 40,000 people were arrested illegally crossing the US-Mexico border in July, part of a steady increase in the border arrests since April, according to newly released US Customs and Border Protection data. Economic conditions in Mexico are partially to blame, the agency said. The increase comes as the Trump administration continues to swiftly remove migrants as a result of a public health order implemented in late March that allows for the quick expulsion of migrants arrested at the border. "We are not out of the woods yet. In fact, it's likely to become increasingly challenging due to the deteriorating economic conditions in Mexico, Central America and beyond, exacerbated by Covid-19," said Mark Morgan, the senior official performing the duties of the Customs and Border Protection commissioner,"
The Cost of Applying for U.S. Citizenship is Dramatically Increasing
USA Today | Daniel Gonzales (Arizona Republic) | August 5
"It's going to cost more to apply for U.S. citizenship...Starting Oct. 2, legal immigrants eligible to apply for citizenship will pay $1,160 if they submit their application online, or $1,170 if submitting a paper application. Under the new fee, immigrants will pay at least $520 more to apply for citizenship. That is more than 80% higher than the current application fee of $640. It's also the second biggest jump in the naturalization application fee in history, analysts say."
Trump Issues Election-Year Order on H-1B Visas and Federal Contracts
Forbes | Stuart Anderson | August 4
"Experts say it is unclear what a new executive order issued by Donald Trump on federal contracting will accomplish, though it may be followed with additional measures to restrict companies that employ H-1B visa holders. Trump’s efforts to protect a relatively small number of union jobs at a federally owned corporation (the Tennessee Valley Authority) against contracts awarded to private companies may be ironic, analysts note, given the administration’s high spending on government contracts for information technology (IT) services. It also comes as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has threatened to furlough over 13,000 federal employees unless the agency receives a bailout."
Lazaro Law Group, Managing Attorney