Welcome back to our blog segment Immigration: Week in Review.
Each week, we hope to bring you a central news platform for what has been going on in the world of U.S. immigration in a short, concise way. For additional information on any of the below, the original article will be linked within each sub-section.
We Stand in Solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Protests & Movement
Here at McEntee Law, we stand firmly in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Protests and Movement. The anger and suffering we have seen over the past week is truly just a fraction of the oppression and suffering inflicted on Black communities for centuries.
As a law firm that fights for human rights, we condemn both the everyday discrimination faced by Black people in addition to the most brutal forms of racism and violence we have witnessed.
We stand with those fighting for Black lives, as we work together for justice, safety, and freedom. #BlackLivesMatter
ICE Deploying Personnel & Teams Nationwide in Response to Protests
CNN reported at the beginning of the week that ICE is deploying personnel and Special Response Teams nationwide in response to the protests fueled by the murder of George Floyd by law enforcement in Minnesota. An agency spokesperson stated that ICE personnel have been deployed to “assist local, state and federal law enforcement partners as needed.” Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have also been deployed.
ICE did not say where personnel would be deployed, but they did state that they would not be conducting immigration enforcement. Per ICE, they “fully respect the rights of all people to peacefully express their opinions.” Given their ICE’s track record, we would urge any and all immigrants engaged in peaceful protests across the country to be extra mindful of those around.
We would also like to share some resources :
ACLU: Know Your Rights When Encountering Law Enforcement (Relevant information for non-citizen protestors starts in Section IV, page 11)
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR): Community Resources
Immigrant Legal Resource Center: Immigration Preparedness Toolkit (just released in English recently, Spanish version coming soon)
Stay safe, and vocal!
USCIS Services Resume, Still No Word on When Embassies & Consulates Will Reopen
United States Citizenship & Immigration Services resumed in-person services in many cities across the U.S. this week after closing offices in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency conducted naturalization ceremonies in small groups and allowed limited, in-person visits for interviews, biometrics, and other immigration matters.
However, there is still no word on when U.S. Embassies & Consulates abroad will reopen. Most, if not all, Consulate and Embassy websites do not list any projected return date, nor do they hint that they’re moving towards reopening. As countries around the world begin to reopen their borders to their neighbors, we hope that news on U.S. Embassy and Consulate reopening will be forthcoming in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for this.
SCOTUS Holds That Courts Can Review Factual Challenges to a CAT Order
In a 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) found that Title 8 U. S. C. §§ 1252(a)(2)(C) and (D) does not preclude judicial review of a removable non-citizen’s factual challenges to an order denying relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). Previously, the majority of federal courts deemed that this provision bared courts from reviewing the immigration agencies’ factual conclusions, but on Monday June 1st, 2020, SCOTUS reversed, holding that courts may review the immigration agencies’ orders denying CAT relief for factual errors, as well as legal ones.
Paul Hughes, of McDermott Will & Emery who argued the case before SCOTUS, stated that “this decision guarantees full judicial review of these administrative agency decisions that carry life or death consequences. Now, overworked administrative agencies will not have the final word when an individual claims that he or she is likely to be tortured or murdered following deportation.”
Well done to our colleagues involved in this case including the fantastic Helen Parsonage and the team at McDermott Will & Emery.
Presidential Proclamation Suspending the Entry of Certain Chinese Students and Researchers
On May 29th, 2020, President Donald Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation aimed at restricting the entry of graduate students and researchers from China. It is yet the latest immigration action aimed at making it more difficult for foreign-born individuals to live, work, or study in the United States.
The proclamation bars the entry of, or the issuance of, visas to Chinese post-graduate students and researchers who have associated with entities in China that implement or support China’s “military-civil fusion strategy.” Additionally, the proclamation also calls on the Department of State (DOS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to consider using its visa revocation authority to revoke previously issued visas in this category.