Month: December 2013

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ICE Releases Report on FY 2013 Deportations

Earlier this month, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released their annual report on removals for fiscal year 2013.  ICE performed 368,644 removals, of which 133,551 were within U.S. borders.  According to ICE, the majority of individuals who were picked up within the U.S. have criminal convictions, suggesting that they came into contact with law enforcement, which then triggered an order of deportation. Of the 235,093 deportations not originating from within the interior of the U.S.,  95% were intercepted by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) before being turned over to ICE for removal proceedings. ICE maintains that it focuses its efforts on the deportation of individuals with criminal records, while also preventing immigrants from crossing the border without documentation.

Most of the deported individuals hail from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador respectively, with the vast majority being Mexican nationals.

 

 

 

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CBP Expands Definition of Family Members

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will be expanding the definition of “members of a family residing in one household” to include long-term same-sex couples. In practice, this means that same-sex couples and their families will be able to file one joint customs declaration upon entry to the United States. CBP reports that they anticipate the change saving “up to $2.8 million annually in personnel time.” Additionally, the rule provides for “other domestic relationships” such as foster children and stepchildren. The rule will go into effect on January 17, 2014 and applies to U.S. citizens, legal residents, and international visitors.

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USCIS Reaches Annual Maximum Allocation of U Visas

Mere months after the start of the 2014 fiscal year, USCIS announced that is has approved the annual statutory maximum number of U visas. Until the 2015 fiscal year visa numbers become available on October 1, 2014, U visa petitions will still be reviewed and those petitioners that are eligible for a U visa will be placed on a waiting list . U visas grant non-immigrant status to individuals who have been victims of certain crimes, such as domestic violence, and  who assist law enforcement in the prosecution of the crime.  U visas were first issued in 2008 and over the last five consecutive years the statutory cap of 10,000 has been reached. USCIS reports that over 89,600 victims of crime and their families have received U visas since 2008.

 

 

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Advocates Increase Efforts to Reach DACA Eligible Immigrants

The face of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. is typically portrayed as Latin American, and more often than not, is also assumed to be Mexican. As most undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. do hail from Central and Latin America, deferred action advocacy and grassroots organizing has been focused around these populations. Yet, outreach to other immigrant communities, such as the Chinese and Filipinos, has been lacking. Groups like Atlas: DIY are trying to change this by conducting neighborhood outreach in immigrant neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Some advocates contend that there is less discussion of undocumented status within Asian communities, which may decrease the likelihood that qualified individuals will seek out deferred action. The New York City Council is investing millions in a push to help bring out these individuals. How advocates across the nation will reach their respective lesser-known immigrant communities remains to be seen.

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Fast for Families Continues

On Tuesday, several immigration activists, who had been fasting for the past 22 days to draw attention to the need for immigration reform, passed on their fasts to new fasters.  Democratic Representative Joe Kennedy, one of the seven new fasters, will fast for 24 hours before passing on the fast to another member of Congress. The “Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship” has been held on the National Mall since November 12th and has garnered support from President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, who both paid visits to the group of faith, immigrant rights, and labor leaders.

Although Speaker John Boehner has not responded to meeting requests from the group, he recently hired  Rebecca Tallent, former director of immigration policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a move which activists hope is an indication that immigration reform is still likely.

 

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New E-Verify Posters

E-Verify has released new E-Verify Participation and Right to Work posters that use less ink after receiving feedback on the E-Verify Listens site. Former versions of the posters are still acceptable and all E-Verify employers are required to have some version of the posters displayed.

E-Verify employers who may be interested in the development of an E-Verify mobile app can go to the E-Verify Listens site for more information or to submit ideas.

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