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D.C. District Court Vacates Minimum Service Requirements for Expedited Path to Citizenship for Military Service Members

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the Minimum Service Requirements in DOD’s N-426 policy, which required noncitizens in the military to meet certain durational and type-of-service requirements before obtaining a Form N-426, Certification of Honorable Service.

BIA Rules on Failure to File an Application for Relief by Deadline Set by Immigration Judge

The BIA ruled that after an immigration judge has set a deadline for filing relief, the respondent’s opportunity to file the application may be deemed waived, prior to a scheduled hearing, if the deadline passes without submission of the application and no good cause for noncompliance has been shown. The BIA also ruled that, although the respondent was detained, appeared pro se, and used a Spanish interpreter at his video conference hearing, none of these factors, standing alone or taken together, constitute a denial of due process. 

USCIS Designates Matter of Z-R-Z-C- as an Adopted Decision

USCIS issued a policy memo designating the AAO decision in Matter of Z-R-Z-C- as an adopted decision, holding that TPS beneficiaries who travel abroad will, upon their return, retain the same immigration status that they had at the time of their departure.

Judge Orders COVID-19 Tests at California Detention Center

The Associated Press reports that a federal judge, on Thursday, ordered ICE to test everyone held at a California immigration detention center for the coronavirus. Noting that the authorities had shown “deliberate indifference to the risk of an outbreak,” the judge said that ICE had “lost the right to be trusted” on its willingness to take safety measures at the Mesa Verde Detention Center in Bakersfield. In emails to the contractor, GEO Group, ICE officials noted that the agency wanted to avoid universal testing because it did not have room to quarantine all those who might test positive.

Tech Giants Back Legal Challenge to Trump’s Foreign Worker Restrictions

Reuters reports that U.S. tech firms including Amazon and Facebook filed an amicus brief yesterday backing a challenge to President Trump’s temporary ban on the entry of certain foreign workers. In the brief, filed in a lawsuit brought in California by major U.S. business associations, the companies argued the visa restrictions would hurt American businesses, lead employers to hire workers outside the United States, and further damage the struggling U.S. economy.

Third Circuit Says BIA Misapplied Court’s Precedent When It Determined that Honduran Asylum Seeker Did Not Establish Persecution

The court held that the BIA and the immigration judge had misstated the court’s precedent in three ways in determining that the harm the Honduran petitioner had suffered did not rise to the level of past persecution, including by requiring the petitioner to show severe physical harm.

n August 2019, DOJ petitioned the Federal Labor Relations Authority

USCIS plans to furlough more than 13,000 employees if it does not get the emergency funding it needs from Congress. On July 24, the agency announced the furlough date has been pushed from August 3 to August 31. If the furloughs go ahead, the immigration system system will nearly grind to a halt.

FLRA Rejects DOJ’s Petition to Decertify the Immigration Judges Union

n August 2019, DOJ petitioned the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) to strip immigration judges of their right to unionize, claiming that the National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ) is no longer a valid union. On Friday, July 31, 2020, the FLRA issued a decision rejecting DOJ’s petition to decertify NAIJ.

El Salvador Police Officers Convicted of Killing Trans Woman Who Had Been Deported from U.S.

Camila Díaz Córdova was deported from the United States despite telling U.S. asylum officers that she feared for her life in her home country. After her return to El Salvador, Díaz was beaten and killed by police officers, three of whom were convicted last week. According to local activists, it was the first time that a Salvadoran court had issued convictions for the killing of a transgender woman

Government Withdraws Appeal in Guilford College, Making District Court Decision Final

The Fourth Circuit granted the government’s motion to voluntarily dismiss the Guilford College case after the government withdrew its appeal, thus making final the permanent injunction of the USCIS policy memo on the accrual of unlawful presence for F, J, and M nonimmigrants.

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