• VisasU.S. will deny visas to Gambian officials for refusing to take back deported Gambians

    The United States, responding to the refusal by The Gambia to accept some 2,000 Gambians the United States has been trying to deport, will deny visas to Gambian officials. DHS secretary Jeh Johnson made the decision, which is only the second time the United States used the denial of visas to force a country to accept its deported citizens (President Bush used it in 2001 against Guyana). More than twenty countries refuse to take back their citizens – with Cuba refusing to accept more than 30,000 Cubans ordered to leave the United States.

  • ImmigrationObama’s immigration action defeat: Supreme Court declines to re-hear case

    The Supreme Court handed to Obama administration a major defeat, saying the court will not reconsider President Barack Obama’s plan to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation. Back in June, the court deadlocked over whether or not to revive the Obama administration’s plan to protect about four million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allowing them to work legally while they pursue a path to legalization in the United States.

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  • ImmigrationDespite advances, Black immigrants in U.S. still suffer racial disparities

    A two-part report on the experience of Black immigrants in the United States — The State of Black Immigrants — sheds light on the issues facing the over 3.7 million immigrants in the United States from Africa, the Caribbean, Afro-Latino countries, and elsewhere, due in large part to their race. The number of undocumented Black immigrants in the United States increased by nearly 50 percent from 389,000 in 2000 to 602,000 in 2013.

  • U.S.-born MexicansEasing integration burdens of U.S.-born children in Mexico

    About 550,000 children born in the United States are currently living in Mexico because their parents had been deported or voluntarily repatriated themselves (since 2010, the United States has deported 1.4 million Mexicans). These children face many hurdles – legal, social, cultural, linguistic, educational – trying to integrate themselves into life in Mexico. The U.S. and Mexican governments have reached an agreement on a plan to ease bureaucratic obstacles blocking these children from gaining access to health and education.

  • ImmigrationAustin poised to become first "sanctuary city" in Texas

    By Jay Root

    Austin is set to become the first sanctuary city in Texas. And in a move that would defy not just Republican orthodoxy but also the Obama administration’s policy on deporting criminal immigrants, the county where Austin sits is on the verge of ending cooperation with the federal government on immigration matters.

  • DeportationsU.S. deported many veterans who were entitled to become citizens because of their service

    The federal government’s failure to help naturalize immigrants serving in the U.S. military has led to the deportation of untold numbers of veterans, all of whom were entitled to become citizens because of their service, according to a report released the other day by the ACLU of California. The report found that deported veterans were in the United States legally and sustained physical wounds and emotional trauma in conflicts as far back as the war in Vietnam.

  • Migration crisisSwiss voters reject automatic deportation of foreigners who committed crimes

    Swiss voters, in a Saturday referendum, rejected a proposal by a nationalist party automatically to deport foreigners who commit even low-level offenses such as traffic violations. Public opinion indicated a tight vote, but the measure was easily defeated by a margin of 58.9 percent to 41.1 percent. EU leaders welcomed the referendum result.

  • ImmigrationCourt again blocks implementation of Obama's executive order on immigration

    The Obama administration’s November 2014 executive action to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation has suffered a legal setback yesterday. The fifth U.S. circuit court of appeals in New Orleans, in a 2-1 decision, has upheld a May 2015 injunction which blocked the implementation of the Obama administration’s deferred-deportation plan. Legal analysts said the decision was not unexpected, as the court of appeals’ decision came several months after the same court had denied an emergency stay request from the Justice Department. The issue is now likely to go to the Supreme Court. The appeals court said in its ruling that it was denying the government’s appeal to stay the May injunction “after determining that the appeal was unlikely to succeed on its merits.”

  • ImmigrationCourt imposes limits on detention of immigrants in deportation cases

    Last Wednesday the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit court in Manhattan ruled that some immigrants who are waiting for deportation cases to be heard, could not be held in detention longer than six months without a bail hearing. The decision by the federal appeals court followed a similar ruling last week in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California. The two decisions thus align detention rules in the nation’s largest immigrant centers – New York and Los Angeles.

  • ImmigrationSheriff Joe Arpaio loses yet another round in court battle over Obama’s executive order

    Arizona Sheriff Joseph Arpaio on Friday lost yet another round in his on-going battle against the Obama administration over immigration. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in Arpaio v. Obama, ruled unanimously that Arpaio did not have standing to sue. “We conclude that Sheriff Arpaio has failed to allege an injury that is both fairly traceable to the deferred action policies and redressable by enjoining them, as our standing precedents require,” Judge Nina Pillard wrote for the court. His allegations “are unduly speculative,” resting on “chains of supposition and contradict acknowledged realities.”

  • ImmigrationCBP violated rules in deporting thousands of unaccompanied children

    A U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit says U.S. Border Patrol agents were in violation of agency rules when, between 2009 and 2014, they deported thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children. The GAO said that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) repatriated 93 percent of unaccompanied children under age 14 from Mexico and Canada – and did so without documenting what procedures they followed to ascertain that the children would be safe when they return to their home countries.

  • ImmigrationAscribing “criminality” to immigrants defies the factual record, distorts U.S. policy

    A just-published report by the American Immigration Council says that many studies have confirmed two simple but compelling truths about the relationship between immigration and crime: immigrants are less likely to commit serious crimes or be behind bars than the native-born, and high rates of immigration are associated with lower rates of violent crime and property crime. This holds true for both legal immigrants and the unauthorized, regardless of their country of origin or level of education. These facts notwithstanding, the report says, immigration policy is frequently shaped more by fear and stereotype than by empirical evidence, leading to the stigma of “criminality” ascribed to immigrants by an ever-evolving assortment of laws and immigration-enforcement mechanisms. The result is an immigration policy which “is cruel, pointless, shortsighted, and counterproductive. And it is not an effective substitute for immigration reform which makes our immigration system responsive to the economic and social forces which drive migration in the first place,” the report concludes.

  • ImmigrationFeds to curtail use of family detention centers

    By Alexa Ura

    After visiting a family detention center in Texas, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced Wednesday that families who enter the country illegally to seek asylum will no longer be detained after they’ve established legitimate claim for relief. Johnson said that the Department of Homeland Security is making “substantial changes” to its detention practices so that families with children are not unnecessarily kept locked up.

  • ImmigrationImmigrants held for days in freezing, unsanitary cells file class-action lawsuit

    Tucson Sector Border Patrol holds men, women, and children in freezing, overcrowded, and filthy cells for extended periods of time in violation of the U.S. Constitution, a group of legal organizations allege in a class-action lawsuit filed Monday. The class-action suit, which was filed on behalf of two people detained in the Tucson Border Patrol Station as well as a Tucson man detained multiple times in that facility, describes Border Patrol limiting or denying access to beds, soap, showers, adequate meals and water, medical care, and lawyers, in violation of constitutional standards and Border Patrol’s own policies.

  • ImmigrationDivided court denies emergency stay of injunction stopping Obama's immigration executive order

    In a disappointing decision for immigration advocates, a divided panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday denied the federal government’s request for an emergency stay of a preliminary injunction which has temporarily stopped President Obama’s deferred action initiatives from being implemented. The court’s order keeps in place the hold on implementation of these initiatives while the Fifth Circuit considers the appeal of the preliminary injunction itself. The Fifth Circuit will hear argument on the appeal in early July.