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AG William Barr Promotes Immigration Judges with High Asylum Denial Rates

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Trump administration has promoted six judges to the BIA — all of whom have high rates of denying immigrants’ asylum claims. “The [BIA’s] primary function is to ensure rule of law and impartiality, yet the [DOJ] cherry-picked judges from the harshest jurisdictions with the lowest asylum grant rates in the nation

BIA Issues Decision Clarifying Standard of Proof to Establish Marriage Fraud Under INA §204(c)

The BIA issued a decision clarifying the “substantial and probative evidence” standard of proof necessary to bar the approval of a visa petition based on marriage fraud under INA §204(c).

D.C. Circuit Court Revives Lawsuit Filed by 2017 Diversity Visa Lottery Winners from Travel Ban Countries

The court held that, on the present record, the case is not moot, because whether the district court retains the authority to award relief to the plaintiffs—winners of the 2017 diversity visa lottery from countries included in Executive Order 13780’s travel ban—is a merits question, even though the statutory deadline to apply for the diversity visas has passed. Accordingly, the court reversed the order dismissing the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and remanded to the district court for further proceedings.

Harvard Freshman Deported After Officials Review Friends’ Social Media Posts

The Hill reports that a 17-year-old Palestinian incoming Harvard freshmen was deported about eight hours after he arrived at Logan International Airport in Boston. The student told the Harvard Crimson that after arriving at the airport and being instructed to unlock his devices, a U.S. official told him that she found “political points of view that oppose the U.S.” posted by individuals that were on his social media friends list. The student explained to the official that he has “no business with such posts” and that he didn’t “like, [s]hare, or comment on them.” Nevertheless, his visa was canceled, and he was deported

Fourth Circuit Strikes Down Attorney General Opinion, Restores Fundamental Power to Immigration Judges

The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in Zuniga Romero v. Barr that immigration judges have the authority to administratively close cases pending before them. The court concluded that immigration law unambiguously permits immigration judges to control their own dockets.

U.S. Senators Urge Attorney General to Rescind Decision on Matter of L‑E‑A‑

Twelve senators sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr urging him to rescind his decision in Matter of L‑E‑A‑, which limits access to asylum for people fleeing persecution abroad because of their family ties, citing that his decision disregards decades of legal precedent.

Revision to Reciprocity Schedule for E Visas for French Citizens

Effective August 29, 2019, the reciprocity schedule for France will be revised for both E‑1 and E‑2 visas. According to the U.S. Embassy in Paris, this change is being made on a reciprocal basis commensurate with the treatment by the government of France afforded to U.S. citizens applying for similar visas.

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