• Kenya’s harsh new security laws put hundreds of thousands of refugees at risk

    Kenya has passed a controversial amendment to the country’s existing security laws, days after heated debates led to brawling on the floor of the Kenyan Parliament. Despite the fracas, the bill was passed with only minor changes, to the dismay of observers at home and abroad. Domestic and international attention has mainly focused on the impact the bill would have on the period of detention without charge, the tapping of communications without court consent, the erosion of media freedom and the limitations placed upon the right to protest. But the world has paid less attention to the severe implications the new amendments have for refugees in Africa’s second-largest refugee-hosting country.

  • USCIS tries to avoid HealthCare.gov-like problems in implementing executive order

    President Barack Obama announced the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability(DAPA) initiative on 20 November, and a day later, USCIS began to publish job postings seeking individuals to help with the rollout. Applicants who qualify for DAPA still have until May 2015 before they may apply, but immigration officials are taking a proactive approach and anticipating a large number of applications in order to avoid the mistakes made during the Obama administration’s launch of HealthCare.gov.

  • Undocumented construction workers in NYC will benefit from Obama’s executive action

    Undocumented workers in the U.S. construction industry have much to gain from President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) initiative, which allows some immigrants to apply for work permits while deferring deportation attempts. New York City’s booming construction market has attracted thousands of undocumented workers who are willing to work for low wages, but it has also encouraged many property developers to ignore safety hazards around construction sites.

  • USCIS looking to fill 1,000 positions in response to Obama’s executive order

    An internal memo from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) notes that the federal government is seeking to fill 1,000 full-time permanent and temporary positions at a new “operational center” in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia, in response to the Obama administration’s executive actions to allow some five million undocumented immigrants have their deportation deferred, apply for driver’s licenses in most states, and apply for two-year work permits.

  • Undocumented immigrants can now practice law in Florida

    On 20 November, Jose Godinez-Samperio took the oath of admission to the Florida Bar, but unlike many lawyers before him, Godinez-Samperio was not a U.S. citizen.The state legislature amended an existing family law bill to allow would-be lawyers like Godinez-Samperio to practice law in Florida.

  • CBP IA’s Janine Corrado and Jeffrey M. Matta leave agency for new positions

    Janine Corrado and Jeffrey M. Matta are leaving CBP IA to assume other positions outside of CBP IA.Corradowill receive a promotion to the position of Chief of Staff for Gregory Marshall, Chief Security Officer at DHS. Matta will take a position in the Office of Field Operations at CBP. J. Gregory Richardson, who worked at CBP IA, complained that Corrado and Matta ignored his status as a disabled veteran despite extensive documentation of his medical condition.

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  • Obama’s executive action may divert resources from handling legal immigrants

    Critics of President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration are worried that shifting immigration resources from work done on behalf of legal immigrants to applications filed by those in the country illegally would discourage future immigrants from entering the United States legally.A former federal immigration official compares the new immigration effort to the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program (DACA), which drew more than 600,000 applications from Dreamers.One of the effects of DACA was an increase in the wait time for green cards for immigrant spouses of U.S. citizens from five months to fifteen months, which critics blame on personnel being diverted to work on the DACA program.

  • Tech industry disappointed with lack of details on visas for skilled foreigners

    Leaders of the U.S. tech industry hoped President Barack Obama’s recent immigration speech would unveil specifics on how his executive action on immigration would affect the number of highly skilled foreigners who would be granted American work visas. Instead, Obama just mentioned that he would “make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed.”Since Obama did not announce specific plans for the H-1B visa program, tech industry leaders will now push for more congressional support – even though the House did not bring to a vote a bi-partisan Senate bill which would have increased visas for skilled workers to at least 115,000.

  • New deportation approach targets convicted criminals, threats to national security

    Last Thursday, President Barack Obama announced the end of Secure Communitiesas part of his immigration reform strategy. The program was designed to identify deportable undocumented immigrants who had committed crimes, by allowing federal immigration agents to access fingerprint records collected at local jails. In many cases, agents requested local law enforcement officials to hold inmates beyond their jail terms until they could be transferred to federal custody. Obama has announced a new initiative — the Priority Enforcement Program— to target only undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of certain serious crimes or who pose danger to national security.

  • James F. Tomscheck forced disabled veteran from CBP IA – Pt. 2

    While the details and implications of President Barack Obama’s immigration reforms continue to be closely scrutinized, an unprecedented scandal unfolds within the federal agency charged with providing security and control at our Mexican border. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), a law enforcement agency of 65,000 employees, is potentially facing alarming charges fostered by its former assistant director of Customs and Border Protection Internal Affairs (CBP IA), James F. Tomscheck. Tomscheck, who turned federal whistleblower last summer, lambasted his superiors with multiple accusations. Allegations, however, have arisen against Tomscheck that he knowingly discriminated against a disabled military veteran within CBP IA, then fired him.

  • Number of unaccompanied children crossing into U.S. declines sharply

    The number of unaccompanied children apprehended by federal agents along the U.S.-Mexico border last October was down by 40 percent compared with October 2013. In the nine sectors of the Southwest border from California to Texas, federal border officials apprehended 2,529 children last October, down from 4,181 in October 2013. Family apprehensions also decreased about 10 percent — from 2,414 in October 2013 to 2,163 in October 2014.

  • Immigration advocates say CBP uses "expedited removal" to deport asylum seekers

    A new complaint to the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties charge sthat U.S. Customs and Border Protection(CBP) agents routinely ignore asylum seekers’ claim of fear of prosecution in their homeland, a claim which could grant them asylum in the United States. The complaint further states that CBP officers are increasingly using “expedited removal” to deport illegal immigrants. Unlike conventional deportation, expedited removal occurs outside of the judicial process. The number of expedited removal orders more than doubled in less than a decade from 72,911 in 2005 to 193,092 in 2013.

  • Drones watch over U.S. borders

    Since 2000, the number of Border Patrol agents on the 1,954-mile U.S.-Mexico border has more than doubled, to surpass 18,000, and fencing has increased nine times — to 700 miles. Some members of Congress and border state lawmakers are calling for more border agents and more fencing, but the Obama administration is looking to drones to help reduce the number of illegal immigrants and drugs entering the United States, while simultaneously shifting resources and agents to parts of the border where illegal activity is highest.

  • Obama’s executive order will shield 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation

    In the face of bitter protests from Republicans in Congress, President Obama will soon announce that he will be using executive orders to launch a broad overhaul of the U.S. immigration enforcement system. One of the immediate results of the overhaul would be to shield up to five million undocumented immigrants – nearly half of the estimated 11.5 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States — from the threat of deportation. The president’s orders will also provide many of these undocumented immigrants with work permits.

  • U.S. introduces new security measures to screen Western-passport travelers

    At least 3,000 of the 15,000 foreign fighters in Syria are from Australia and Europe. DHS has introduced new screening measures for travelers from Europe, Australia, and other allied nations due to concerns about the increasing number of Islamist militants who have fought in Syria and Iraq alongside the Islamic State (ISIS) and could travel freely to the United States using their Western passports.