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Supreme Court Rules Asylum Seekers Cannot Seek Federal Court Review of Expedited Removal Orders

In Department of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam, the U.S. Supreme Court held that restrictions on the ability of asylum seekers to obtain review of expedited removal orders under a federal habeas statute do not violate the Constitution’s suspension clause or due process clause

A federal appeals court has allowed a fast-track deportation policy to continue.

Last year, the Trump administration attempted to expand expedited removal to any alleged undocumented immigrant who had been present in the U.S. for less than two years. On June 23, the D.C. Circuit overturned an injunction that had blocked the policy from being implemented. This means that the Trump administration may go forward with the policy and bypass immigration judges for many deportation cases. Part of the court’s reasoning was that the policy was not covered by the Administrative Procedure Act and therefore the DHS secretary had sole discretion in this area.

USCIS Publishes Final Rule on Employment Authorization for Asylum Applicants

Today, USCIS published a final rule making multiple changes to the regulations governing asylum applications and eligibility for employment authorization based on a pending asylum application. The rule is effective on August 25, 2020. On the Immigration Impact blog, the American Immigration Council’s Aaron Reichlin-Melnick writes that the rule “will strip most asylum seekers of the right to seek work authorization” and that, in response to concerns that the rule would force many into desperate straits, DHS suggested that asylum seekers become familiar with state homelessness resources.

An “internal disconnect” led to confusion about court dates at the border.

DHS recently sent out conflicting information on how asylum seekers in Mexico would receive new immigration court dates. First, DHS told asylum seekers to come to a port of entry one month after their originally scheduled court date in order to receive a new hearing date. A week later, DHS sent a notice out telling some asylum seekers to report on their original court date to receive a new date. Later, DHS clarified that the first instruction was the correct one. The DHS official who sent out the conflicting information said that it was due to an “unintentional internal disconnect” within DHS.

A government watchdog reported that DHS underestimated family separations.

According to a new Inspector General report published on June 2, DHS reported only a fraction of the families who were separated at the border by CBP. The government watchdog found that at least 60 families were separated in May-June 2018, when DHS had reported only 7. These separations occurred at the height of the Trump administration’s now-ended “zero tolerance” policy. CBP took issue with the report’s suggestion that CBP separated families without regard to their health, safety, and reunification.

21 House Republicans penned a letter supporting a work program for graduate students

21 Republicans in the House of Representatives sent a letter this week to DHS and the Secretary of State. In that letter, they argued that Optional Practical Training (OPT) should stay “fully intact” so that the U.S. continues to be “an attractive destination for international students.” Optional Practical Training, which has been a particular target of the Trump administration, allows graduate students to work and get practical training in the U.S. after graduation.

An “internal disconnect” led to confusion about court dates at the border.

DHS recently sent out conflicting information on how asylum seekers in Mexico would receive new immigration court dates. First, DHS told asylum seekers to come to a port of entry one month after their originally scheduled court date in order to receive a new hearing date. A week later, DHS sent a notice out telling some asylum seekers to report on their original court date to receive a new date. Later, DHS clarified that the first instruction was the correct one. The DHS official who sent out the conflicting information said that it was due to an “unintentional internal disconnect” within DHS

A government watchdog reported that DHS underestimated family separations.

According to a new Inspector General report published on June 2, DHS reported only a fraction of the families who were separated at the border by CBP. The government watchdog found that at least 60 families were separated in May-June 2018, when DHS had reported only 7. These separations occurred at the height of the Trump administration’s now-ended “zero tolerance” policy. CBP took issue with the report’s suggestion that CBP separated families without regard to their health, safety, and reunification.

21 House Republicans penned a letter supporting a work program for graduate students

21 Republicans in the House of Representatives sent a letter this week to DHS and the Secretary of State. In that letter, they argued that Optional Practical Training (OPT) should stay “fully intact” so that the U.S. continues to be “an attractive destination for international students.” Optional Practical Training, which has been a particular target of the Trump administration, allows graduate students to work and get practical training in the U.S. after graduation.

DHS Extends Flexibility in Requirements Related to Form I-9 Compliance

DHS announced that it has extended the flexibilities in rules related to Form I-9 compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic by an additional 30 days. These flexibilities include prosecutorial discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under section 274A of the INA and an additional 30-day extension for NOIs served in March 2020. DHS also provided information regarding acceptable documents for Form I-9 verification of lawful permanent residents.

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