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A federal appeals court ruled to block the asylum ban.

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit found procedural and substantive reasons to block the “asylum ban” while litigation proceeds. The impact of this ruling is low, however, since a federal judge in Washington, D.C. blocked the policy on procedural grounds last week. Additionally, the Trump administration has imposed pandemic-related measures that allow CBP to quickly expel asylum seekers from the U.S.

Top universities have sued the federal government and vowed to protect international students from deportation.

ICE recently announced a policy that would require international students to leave the country if they do not take any in-person classes this fall term. This would apply even if the university is fully online this fall or if the university transitions to an online model in the middle of the semester. On July 7, top universities including Harvard, Columbia, and Stanford have denounced the policy, while also assuring international students that they will work to create a plan that will allow them to continue their studies in America “without fear.” On July 8, Harvard and MIT filed suit in federal court, seeking to block the policy and calling ICE’s decision “arbitrary and capricious.”

International students will be forced to leave the country if university classes go online.

According to guidelines published by ICE on July 6, international students whose universities go fully online this fall will either have to transfer universities to one holding in-person instruction or leave the U.S. For schools that will have a mix of in-person and online classes, international students will be barred from taking only online classes. International students will not be exempt from these guidelines even if the universities transition to online classes during the fall term. The American Council of Education called the guidelines “horrifying” and said this was clearly an incentive for schools to reopen despite possible health consequences.

ICE Offering ‘Citizens Academy’ Course with Training on Arresting Immigrants

ICE Chicago Field Office Director Robert Guadian sent a letter to shareholders inviting them to participate in a six-week “Citizens Academy” course on immigration enforcement. According to the letter, the program is “the first of its kind” and will “serve as a pilot for nationwide implementation.” The course would include training in “defensive tactics, firearms familiarization and targeted arrests.

Diversity Visa Winners File Complaint Arguing the Trump Administration Unlawfully Suspended the DV-2020 Program]

A group of 226 Diversity Visa program selectees and their families from over 65 countries filed a complaint in district court arguing that the Trump administration has suspended the DV-2020 program through policies, procedures, and practices that are contrary to the INA and federal regulations governing the program.

LPR Applicants, Their Sponsors, and Immigrant and Civil Rights Groups Sue over Law Violations in Implementation of Trump Administration’s Public Charge “Wealth Test”

A group of applicants for lawful permanent residence, their sponsors, nonprofit immigration legal service providers, and immigrant and civil rights groups sued the Trump administration for violating the law in its implementation of the new public charge regulation, alleging that the USCIS guidance for implementing the regulation goes further than the regulation itself to exclude individuals who merit admission to the United States. The complaint was filed by lawyers from AILA, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), Jenner & Block LLP, and Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP. AILA Director of Federal Litigation Jesse Bless said, “The administration took a discriminatory and terrible regulation … and made it even worse through the [USICS Policy Manual] and overreach for information included in the new Form I-944.”

The Supreme Court has granted a case on the stop-time rule for next term.

On June 8, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear an immigration case on the stop-time rule in its next term. The stop-time rule, which stops the clock on time accrued by the immigrant to become eligible for relief from deportation, is triggered when the government sends the immigrant a “notice to appear” with specific information about the removal proceedings. The specific issue that the Supreme Court will consider is whether all the necessary information must be provided to the immigrant in a single document or if the government can trigger the rule by providing multiple documents. The Supreme Court’s next term starts in October of this year. 

2021 visa lottery results have been posted.

On June 10, a federal judge in New York ruled that the practice of making immigration arrests in and around state courthouses was illegal. The lawsuit against ICE was brought by the New York attorney general, who argued that ICE’s actions “chilled participation” in courts and disrupted hearings, as ICE would arrest people coming in for scheduled hearings. This is the second federal judge to rule against the policy; last year, a judge in Massachusetts issued a preliminary injunction stopping ICE from conducting arrests in or at the entry of Massachusetts courthouses..

The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to deportation procedures next term.

On June 15, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on whether some immigrants fighting deportation orders may seek temporary freedom while they await their court date. The case, Albence v. Chavez, came out of the 4th Circuit, where the court ruled for the plaintiffs, but this issue has caused a circuit split between different areas of the country. The Supreme Court’s next term will start in October 2020.

The Supreme Court has decided not to hear a challenge to a California sanctuary law.

On June 15, the Supreme Court declined to grant certiorari in a case challenging a California law limiting information-sharing with federal immigration enforcement. Since the 9th Circuit ruled in favor of California, the Supreme Court’s decision to decline the case lets the law stand.

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