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Government Shutdown Closes Immigration Courts Adding to Record-High 800,000 Case Backlog

CBS News reports that the partial federal government shutdown has closed most immigration courts. AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Kate Voigt said, “Holding the government hostage for a border wall isn’t going to do anything to make the country safer, but it will make the immigration courts worse.” The Washington PostEditorial Board noted the irony of “a president who conjures migrant no-shows in courts manag[ing] to close the courts entirely.

Young Immigrants Seeking Refuge from Abuse Face Denials

The Associated Press reports on the increase in denials of applications for special immigrant juvenile status following USCIS’s change to how it handles cases involving immigrant children who turned 18 before their paperwork had been completed. Lawsuits have been filed in New York and California to challenge the policy change and denials.

9th Circuit Rules against Trump’s Asylum Ban

The 9th Circuit just ruled that it was unlawful for Trump to deny Central Americans into the U.S. to apply for asylum and cannot unilaterally stop asylum laws.

New York Times: Whistle-Blowers Say Detaining Migrant Families ‘Poses High Risk of Harm’

The New York Times reports that as the Trump administration moves to expand family detention, two of the government’s own medical consultants sent a letter to the Senate’s Whistleblower Protection Caucus detailing a series of 10 investigations over the past four years that “frequently revealed serious compliance issues resulting in harm to children.”

Trump’s Crackdown on Students Who Overstay Visas Rattles Higher Education

The New York Times reports that effective August 9, 2018, the Trump administration plans to crack down on international students and visitors who overstay their visas, stoking fears in the higher education community that President Trump’s aggressive immigration policies will hinder university efforts to attract the brightest minds from overseas.

DHS Issues Waiver to Expedite Border Construction Project in New Mexico

DHS announced that it has issued a waiver that eliminates its “obligation to comply with various laws” in the vicinity of the U.S.-Mexico border, beginning at the Santa Teresa, New Mexico port of entry and extending 20 miles westward, in order to “ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads.” DHS published a notice of determination regarding the waiver in the Federal Register on January 22, 2018.

DACA District Court Ruling

A District court order in Regents of the University of California v. DHS, which directed DHS to maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis on the same terms and conditions as were in effect before the September 5, 2017, rescission of DACA, including allowing DACA enrollees to renew their enrollments, with certain exceptions.

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