Many Local Agencies Decline to Hold Immigrants for Deportation
From January through August of 2014, ICE sent out approximately 105,000 requests for local law enforcement agencies to hold arrested immigrants for up to 48 hours after their scheduled release date. These holds allow enough time for the immigrant to be taken into federal custody and deported back to their home country. Immigration officials announced recently that local law enforcement agencies have declined almost 9,000 of these detainer requests.
Jailed immigrants are requested to be detained based on the severity of their crime or history of past criminal activity. Some who support the policy worry that immigrants with past criminal history will continue to commit crimes once they are released from jail. Others who oppose the policy find it hard to justify holding an immigrant in jail longer than a U.S. citizen for committing the same crime. Furthermore, immigrant detainer requests often foster a negative relationship between law enforcement and local communities. When local law enforcement agencies routinely deliver immigrants to ICE for deportation, immigrant communities begin to distrust police and hesitate to report any criminal activity.
ICE issued a memo stating that the detainer requests are not mandatory. Since then, many California counties have declined to cooperate with ICE’s detainer requests. Colorado stopped adhering to detainer requests earlier this year and New York City may quickly follow suit.
Temporary Protected Status Extended for Hondurans and Nicaraguans
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced an 18 month TPS extension for Honduran and Nicaraguan nationals, stretching the expiration date from Jan. 6, 2015 to July 5, 2016. Those nationals who wish to extend their status must re-register between October 16, 2014 and December 15, 2014 by submitting Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. More information is available online at http://www.uscis.gov/tps.
DHS to Implement Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HFRP)
USCIS announced a Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) program that will go into effect in 2015. Eligible Haitian beneficiaries of approved family-based visa petitions will be allowed the opportunity to re-locate to the U.S. up to two years before their visa priority dates become current. The program is meant to expedite family reunifications and to promote safe and legal migration from Haiti to the U.S. A similar program for Cuban nationals went into effect in 2007.
No applications will be accepted at this time. USCIS will announce program details by the end of 2014. At the turn of the new year, the National Visa Center (NVC) will contact eligible U.S. citizens and permanent residents whose Haitian family members have approved family based petitions. NVC will issue application instructions to those that are eligible to apply. Only those who receive written notice of eligibility from NVC may apply.
More information is available on the USCIS website: http://www.uscis.gov.
DED Extended for Eligible Liberians
USCIS announced an automatic six month extension for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for Liberian nationals covered under Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). EADs with an expiration date of September 30, 2014 are now valid until March 30, 2015. This EAD extension follows the announcement that President Obama has decided to extend DED to September 30, 2016 for eligible Liberian nationals. The six month EAD extension will allow eligible Liberians to continue working in the U.S. while they prepare their applications.
The following are ineligible for DED:
- Individuals who did not have Temporary Protected Status on Sept. 30, 2007, and are therefore not covered under DED;
- Certain criminals;
- People subject to the mandatory bars to Temporary Protected Status; and
- Those whose removal is in the interest of the United States.
More information is available on the USCIS website:
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