News Bytes

Posted on: December 21st, 2017
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Courthouse Immigration Arrest Sparks Protest

Genaro Rojas-Hernandez was waiting on the eighth floor of the Brooklyn courthouse for a hearing, when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers arrested the native of Mexico. His attorney was not allowed a private meeting with Rojas-Hernandez, and after the attorney spoke to the judge in his case who allowed him to attend his routine hearing, ICE agents took him into custody and sought to have him deported. Rojas-Hernandez became at least the 39th individual to be arrested by ICE in a city courtroom this year, and although no such 2016 data exists for comparison, many immigration advocates believe this figure is a large increase as a result of a Trump Administration which has placed priority on immigration enforcement. News of the arrest spread rapidly through the courthouse, and later that day attorneys and advocates staged a walk out protest.

ICE spokespeople asserted that the arrest was within the scope of the law, stating that proper protocol was followed since the ICE agents alerted court staffers of their presence. Rachel Yong Yow, a spokeswoman for ICE, attested that sanctuary cities noncompliance with federal immigration officials necessitates arrests in courthouses, which are not viewed by the agency as sensitive locations. Requests from the agency to the city’s local law enforcement to detain individuals are not granted unless the individual has been convicted of a serious crime. Yow stated that only after all other possible courses of action are pursued will ICE agents perform a courthouse arrest.

For more information, view the full article.

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Trump Administration Withdraws U.S. From UN Migrant And Refugee Compact

Placing importance on the need to make decisions regarding immigration domestically, the Trump Administration decided to pull out of a U.N. agreement which upheld the rights of refugees in order to more effectively coordinate such policies amongst countries within the organization. Citing “numerous provisions that are inconsistent with U.S. immigration and refugee policies and the Trump Administration’s immigration principles,” the Administration withdrew the United States from the 2016 agreement.

The decision was met with criticism, namely from the president of the U.N. General Assembly, Miroslav Lajčák, who asserted the need for international coordination on an issue as globally encompassing as immigration, stating no country alone has the capability of adequately managing international immigration. “The role of the United States in this process is critical,” Lajčák said, “as it has historically and generously welcomed people from all across the globe and remains home to the largest number of international migrants in the world.”

For more information, view the full article.

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USCIS Announces its Acceptance of Applications Under the International Entrepreneur Rule

In the wake of a recent court decision, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced its plans to begin implementation of the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER). The Rule was initially published during the Obama Administration and was scheduled to take effect on July 17, 2017. It sought to provide a means for international entrepreneurs to apply for parole, a grant which is usually given on a selective basis for extenuating circumstances such as urgent humanitarian crises or significant benefit to the public, without allowing the possibility of citizenship. The rule would incentivize entrepreneurs from other countries to choose the United States as the location for their prospective businesses, which would directly influence domestic economy and job growth.

 

A final rule issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on July 11, 2017, however, delayed the effective date until March 14, 2018, prospectively allowing USCIS time to assess the program and possibly remove the IER regulations altogether. After litigation was filed in September 2017 challenging the delay rule, a December 1, 2017 rule from the District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the delay of the effective date. While implementing the IER, DHS will also continue drafting its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) which seeks to remove the IER.

For more information, view the USCIS announcement.

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TRAC data shows decline in immigration prosecutions

The latest data available suggests that immigration prosecutions are have decreased from a year ago, according to the Transactional Records Action Clearinghouse (TRAC). There was a total of 59,910 new immigration prosecutions in Fiscal Year 2017, which represents a 14% decrease from the total of 69,636 prosecutions in Fiscal year 2016. TRAC pinpointed a decline in referrals from Customs and Border Protections (CBP) as a contributing factor in the overall decline. Such instances declined from 62,868 in 2016 to 52,077 in 2017. Meanwhile, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) records show a moderate increase in overall criminal prosecutions, but the overall number of ICE cases was strikingly lower than CBP totaling 13,534 in 2017 compared to 12,761 in the previous year.

For more information, view the TRAC report.

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