Border and Enforcement News

Posted on: May 30th, 2017
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Judge Blocks Trump Effort to Withhold Money From Sanctuary Cities

A San Francisco judge established a temporary nationwide block of an initiative by President Trump to withhold federal funding from jurisdictions which are uncooperative with federal immigration enforcement. William H. Orrick of the United States District Court determined in his decision to impose the block that the president had acted beyond his authority when he set forth his executive order which, according to the court, unjustly allocated billions of federal funding to immigration enforcement. This ruling marks the third immigration order to be stopped by federal courts within the first 100 days of the administration. Similar to the other two rulings which halted his temporary bans on travel from numerous predominantly Muslim countries, the president’s own words were used against him.

Though lawyers for the Justice Department asserted that the amount of funds being withheld would be insignificant, Orrick indicated that public comments by both the president and Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggested the punishment could wind up being far more severe. Although currently a temporary order until the judge determines the constitutionality of the executive order, he strongly indicated the eventual permanence of this decision. Furthermore, it was an early verdict regarding the question of whether Washington can coerce cities and counties into aiding federal immigration agents detain and deport immigrants who are illegally present in the country.

Mr. Trump, never one to shy away from publicly announcing his criticisms, released a statement shortly after the ruling saying, “Once again, a single district judge – this time in San Francisco – has ignored federal immigration law to set a new immigration policy for the entire country.”

While there is no concrete definition for what constitutes a “sanctuary” city or county, most that consider themselves as sanctuaries, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston, limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities, limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement efforts.

In the case of San Francisco, specifically, the city argued that the executive order by seizing power from state and local officials and enforcing federal immigration law. A more practical consequence of the executive order, according to San Francisco’s filing, would affect public safety by breaking the trust between local authorities and immigrants, who would in response become less likely to report crimes or serving as witness in court. Furthermore, San Francisco estimated that, as a result of the order, it would lose more than $1 billion in federal funding, and Santa Clara estimated its figure to be closer to $1.7 billion in federal funding withheld, a figure which accounts for more than a third of its revenue.

For more information, view the full article.

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Haiti is Granted a Limited Extension for Temporary Protected Status

Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly granted a six-month extension for the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti. This extension takes effect July 23, 2017 and concludes in January 22, 2018.

Following the devastating earthquake in 2010, Haiti was designated as Temporary Protected Status. While the conditions in Haiti have improved significantly, the Secretary determined that an extension was warranted because the conditions continue to be extraordinary and temporary conditions in Haiti that prevent Haitian nationals from safely returning to Haiti. Furthermore, the Secretary determined that allowing such Haitian nationals to remain in the country is, at this time, not detrimental to the national interest of the United States.

Since the last announced extension, DHS has assessed the conditions in Haiti, and the Secretary determined, based on this assessment and consulting with DOS, that a limited, 6-month extension was warranted. Haiti has made significant improvements in recovering from the 2010 earthquake, with only lingering effects remaining from it, specifically targeting issues directly related to the earthquake. For example, 96% of people who were displaced by the earthquake and were forced to live in internally displaced person camps have been able to leave those camps, and over 98% of the camps have closed altogether. Over 55,000 Haitians who lost their homes, however, are still living in 31 such camps without a practically viable option to leave. Personal security within these camps is an imperative issue, with gender-based violence being a serious concern. Hurricane Matthew made landfall on October 4, 2016, causing critical damage to crops, housing, livestock, and infrastructure across Haiti’s southwest peninsula. There were, according to the Haitian government, 546 confirmed fatalities as a result of the storm, and more than 175,000 people were displaced. These damages were compounded with heavy rains in April 2017, which caused flooding and landslides. Four people were killed in the heavy rains, and almost 10,000 homes may have been damaged, affecting at least 350,000 people. Furthermore, it was estimated that 80% of the Spring harvest in the South department was destroyed. This coupled with complications from Matthew have affected the country’s food security, affecting an estimated 3.2 million people, approximately 30 percent of the Haitian population. For these reasons, the limited TPS extension for Haiti was granted.

Nationals of Haiti should reregister for TPS and apply for renewal of their Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). All eligible Haiti TPs beneficiaries who re-register in a timely manner will receive EADs with a January 22, 2018 expiration date. If the beneficiary does file in a timely manner during the 60-day re-registration period, his or her employment authorization will automatically be extended for an additional period of no longer than 180 days from the date that the current EAS expires. The Secretary, prior to January 22, 2018, will review the information and re-evaluate Haiti’s designation to decide whether extension, redesignation, or termination is warranted, and it is in the best interest of beneficiaries to prepare for their return to Haiti in the event that Haiti’s TPS designation is not extended again.

For more information, view the notice.

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4th Circuit Rejects Travel and Refugee Bans

In a 10-3 en banc decision, the conservative Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on May 25th that the travel ban executive order violates the Constitution’s establishment clause. The case was filed by HIAS, the country’s oldest refugee agency as well as other refugee and immigrant rights organizations. The decision went further than the 9th Circuit, because it also enjoined the bars on refugee processing.

For more information, go to https://www.hias.org/blog/4th-circuit-ruling-muslim-ban-suffers-yet-another-legal-blow

 

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