Recent Immigration News

USCIS Proposes Increased Fees for All Immigration-Related Applications

Nov 14, 2019

In a new proposal officially put forward on Thursday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) called for major fee hikes for immigration-related applications. The cost for becoming a citizen would rise above $1,000 for the first time in history. In another first, USCIS proposed a new fee for asylum seekers, which would make the United […]

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The Supreme Court Heard a Major Case on DACA. Here’s What You Need to Know.

Nov 13, 2019

The Supreme Court heard arguments on November 12 in three cases challenging President Trump’s attempted rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. The Court’s decision could have far-reaching consequences for DACA recipients and the limits of executive authority when it comes to immigration law and policy. President Obama created the DACA initiative […]

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Poland Enters the US Visa Waiver Program, Signaling a Boost to the Countries’ Relationship

Nov 12, 2019

Poland officially began its participation in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) on November 11. Under the program, Polish nationals can now spend up to 90 days in the United States without first obtaining a visa. Overall, Poland’s entry into the program will benefit tourists and business travelers from Poland, as well as give a […]

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‘I Have DACA. No Matter What the Supreme Court Decides, I’ll Continue to Build American Communities.’

Nov 11, 2019

On November 12, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding the legality of President Trump’s 2017 rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. The court’s decision will impact the ability of nearly 700,000 DACA recipients across the country to continue to live and work in the United States without fear […]

The post ‘I Have DACA. No Matter What the Supreme Court Decides, I’ll Continue to Build American Communities.’ appeared first on Immigration Impact.

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USCIS’ Denial Rates for H-1B Petitions Have Quadrupled

Nov 8, 2019

The Trump administration, acting through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), is disrupting the process by which U.S. employers obtain work authorization for highly skilled foreign professionals. According to a report from the National Foundation for American Policy, these changes are affecting how often H-1B petitions are denied and the length of time it takes […]

The post USCIS’ Denial Rates for H-1B Petitions Have Quadrupled appeared first on Immigration Impact.

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Opposition Mounts to Trump’s Effort to Delay Work Permits for People Seeking Asylum

Nov 7, 2019

The Trump administration is proposing a new rule that would delay work authorization for people seeking asylum in the United States. The move is drawing opposition from advocates across the country. The proposed rule risks leaving people unable to support themselves and their families for months. The rule would eliminate a 30-day deadline by which […]

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What’s Happened to the People Returned to Mexico Under the Migrant Protection Protocols?

Nov 6, 2019

It’s been nearly a year since the Trump administration announced the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), or the “Remain in Mexico” program. This program forces vulnerable asylum seekers to return to Mexico to await their U.S. immigration court dates. It has since been expanded to six cities along the border. The U.S. Immigration Policy Center (USIPC) […]

The post What’s Happened to the People Returned to Mexico Under the Migrant Protection Protocols? appeared first on Immigration Impact.

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A Federal Agency Is Deleting Court Records That Implicate Trump’s Immigration Policies

Nov 5, 2019

Understanding how the immigration agencies operate has never been more important. Equally important is being able to rely on the information that those agencies release to the public. For this reason, a recent report issued by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) is cause for alarm. The research center discovered that the Executive Office for […]

The post A Federal Agency Is Deleting Court Records That Implicate Trump’s Immigration Policies   appeared first on Immigration Impact.

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What Is Next for Trump’s Health Care Ban?

Nov 4, 2019

A federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s health care ban on Saturday, one day before it was scheduled to go into effect. The ban would have barred entry for any prospective immigrant who could not prove they would be covered by qualifying health insurance within their first 30 days in the United States or […]

The post What Is Next for Trump’s Health Care Ban? appeared first on Immigration Impact.

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The Artificial Intelligence Industry Thrives on a Global Workforce

Nov 1, 2019

At a time when skills related to the burgeoning field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are in very short supply, the U.S. government is making it harder to recruit highly trained professionals from abroad. According to a report from Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, U.S. immigration policies have undercut the U.S. high-tech sector […]

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Congress Debates Current Policies That Make Life More Difficult for Immigrant Service Members and Their Families

Oct 31, 2019

At a House Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee Hearing on Tuesday, Congress heard testimony from experts about the impact of recent immigration policies affecting foreign-born military members, veterans, and their families. The witnesses addressed a myriad of policy changes surrounding the naturalization of service members and the separation of military families. Policy changes have resulted in an […]

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USCIS Changes Policy on Fee Waivers, Potentially Deterring Thousands of Citizenship Applications

Oct 30, 2019

The cost of filing an application for citizenship—usually a hefty $725—has long been a barrier for some immigrants. Now, a change to the naturalization process may leave even more people priced out of becoming a U.S. citizen. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced a new policy that will change how the agency determines […]

The post USCIS Changes Policy on Fee Waivers, Potentially Deterring Thousands of Citizenship Applications appeared first on Immigration Impact.

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Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans Extended, While Liberians Face Looming Deadline for Departure

Oct 29, 2019

Following an agreement between the governments of the United States and El Salvador, Salvadorans with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) will be able to extend their status for another year into early 2021. At the same time, many Liberians with special protections from deportation are suddenly facing a much different fate. The U.S. and Salvadoran governments […]

The post Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans Extended, While Liberians Face Looming Deadline for Departure appeared first on Immigration Impact.

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New Process in El Paso Seeks to Deport Asylum Seekers in Less Than 10 Days

Oct 28, 2019

The Trump administration began a secretive new asylum process in El Paso, Texas that came to light late last week. It seeks to deter asylum seekers from coming to the United States and to remove them as quickly as possible once they’re here. The process—dubbed the “Prompt Asylum Claim Review” or “PACR”—condenses the asylum process […]

The post New Process in El Paso Seeks to Deport Asylum Seekers in Less Than 10 Days appeared first on Immigration Impact.

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How States Expand Access to Driver’s Licenses Ahead of Real ID Deadline

Oct 25, 2019

Beginning in December, all New Yorkers will be able to apply for a driver’s license—regardless of immigration status. The Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act, or “Green Light” bill, passed the New York Senate in June. Oregon passed a similar bill, the Equal Access to Roads Act, that month. It will take effect in January 2021. At […]

The post How States Expand Access to Driver’s Licenses Ahead of Real ID Deadline appeared first on Immigration Impact.

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Privacy Concerns Grow as Federal Immigration Agencies Use More Surveillance Technology

Oct 24, 2019

Federal immigration officials are beginning to expand their use of surveillance technology to collect information on immigrants. As officials gather more tools in their arsenal—from DNA collection to cell phone tracking devices—the privacy concerns also grow. The Trump administration proposed a new regulation on Monday that intensified those concerns. The proposed regulation would authorize immigration […]

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The Perils of the Migrant Protection Protocols

Oct 23, 2019

Rape, violence, kidnapping, and lack of basic health care is, unfortunately, a reality for hundreds of asylum seekers subjected to the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) or “Remain in Mexico” program. Multiple recent accounts, including a report by Human Rights First (HRF), have documented the cruel and inhumane consequences asylum seekers suffer when they are sent […]

The post The Perils of the Migrant Protection Protocols appeared first on Immigration Impact.

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Prosecutions from Workplace Immigration Raids Overwhelm Mississippi Legal System

Oct 22, 2019

The consequences of record-breaking workplace immigration raids are still overwhelming the legal system in southern Mississippi. After the Trump administration repeatedly threatened mass raids last summer, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) entered seven Mississippi food processing plants in August, detaining 687 workers. In the following days, about half of those detained were released on […]

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The Trump Administration Wants to Return to a Pre-Civil Rights Immigration System

Oct 21, 2019

The ideology of President Trump is about more than limiting how many immigrants enter the United States each year; it’s about turning back the clock on U.S. social history. A recent analysis by law professor Robert Tsai explores how President Trump’s ideology—labeled “Trumpism”—is the latest installment in a long-standing conservative movement to dismantle the legacy […]

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What Is Happening with Trump’s Border Wall? Here’s Everything You Need to Know So Far

Oct 18, 2019

President Trump has made the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border a cornerstone of his presidency. To date, not a single mile of new barriers has been erected. But the Trump administration continues to aggressively pursue new avenues to fund this project outside of the traditional federal appropriations process, including the president’s declaration […]

The post What Is Happening with Trump’s Border Wall? Here’s Everything You Need to Know So Far appeared first on Immigration Impact.

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In Historic Ruling, Thousands of Immigrants Waiting for Their Immigration Records Can Now Challenge Agency Delay

Oct 17, 2019

A federal court in San Francisco certified two nationwide classes of immigrants and attorneys challenging extreme agency delays in producing immigration case files. Plaintiffs allege that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have a system-wide practice of failing to provide access to immigration case records—called A-Files—within deadlines set […]

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California Bans Private Prisons, Eliminating Immigration Detention Centers That Incarcerate 4,000 People

Oct 16, 2019

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law on Friday that will phase out private prisons—including federal immigration detention centers—throughout the state. The new law, AB 32, prohibits the state government and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from creating, modifying, or renewing prison contracts with private companies beginning on January 1, 2020. The […]

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Which Immigration Cases Will the Supreme Court Rule on This Session?

Oct 15, 2019

The Supreme Court began a new session this October, and in the coming months, the justices will hear several high-profile immigration cases. These cases involve the attempted termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, the highly-criticized killing of a young boy in Mexico by a Border Patrol agent, and the criminal prosecution […]

The post Which Immigration Cases Will the Supreme Court Rule on This Session? appeared first on Immigration Impact.

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“Public Charge” Rule Blocked Days Before Going Into Effect

Oct 14, 2019

The Trump administration suffered another immigration blow in court last Friday. The new “public charge” rule set to go into effect Tuesday, October 15, was blocked in three separate rulings by judges around the country. Courts in New York, San Francisco, and Seattle all issued rulings halting the implementation of the rule. This was largely […]

The post “Public Charge” Rule Blocked Days Before Going Into Effect appeared first on Immigration Impact.

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Pennsylvania Should Widen Access to Justice for People in Immigration Detention

Oct 11, 2019

People in immigration detention who are represented by an attorney are more likely to receive a positive outcome in immigration court than those that face judges alone. Unfortunately, people who arrive in the U.S. from other countries are not guaranteed representation even though having one can be the difference between being allowed to stay or […]

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Federal Court Blocks Error-Prone ICE Deportation Program

Oct 10, 2019

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested millions of people based on unreliable electronic databases. In a recent court decision with nationwide impact, a federal judge in California ruled that parts of this mass deportation program—called Secure Communities—are unconstitutional. Through Secure Communities, anyone arrested and fingerprinted for any reason has their fingerprints sent to […]

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How Trump’s New Healthcare Ban Threatens the Legal Immigration System

Oct 9, 2019

President Trump invoked the same legal authority used for the Travel Ban to impose a sweeping new ban on legal immigration last week. Under the new ban, which analysis suggests could block as much as two thirds of all immigrants from coming to the United States, immigrants will be banned from entering unless they can […]

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CBP Officers Take on Role of Asylum Officers – This Lawsuit Demands to Know Why

Oct 8, 2019

Officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—a law enforcement agency with a history of misconduct and abuse—are reportedly conducting screenings of asylum seekers pursuing protection in the United States. A new lawsuit aims to find out more about this secretive practice. For decades, these screenings—called credible fear interviews (CFI)—have been under the jurisdiction of […]

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Cameroonian’s Death in ICE Custody Underscores Problems with Immigration Detention

Oct 7, 2019

Nebane Abienwi, a 37-year-old man who had recently fled war-torn Cameroon, died in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody on Tuesday. His passing—the first of the new fiscal year that began on October 1—follows a string of tragic and unnecessary deaths in ICE detention that illustrate just how poorly the agency operates its facilities. […]

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What the Safe Third Country Deals Mean for The Future of Asylum in the United States

Oct 4, 2019

The Trump administration announced last week that it had signed an “Asylum Cooperative Agreement” with Honduras, following two similar agreements signed with El Salvador and Guatemala. If any of these agreements go into effect, the United States could rapidly deport asylum seekers to a third country, without ever permitting them to apply for protections in […]

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American Communities Benefit From Welcoming Refugees – The White House Wants to Stop That

Oct 3, 2019

For many small towns and rural communities, opening their doors to refugees is part of a local strategy to reverse population decline, stimulate their workforce, and build diverse communities. There are countless examples. Clarkston, Georgia—once a Southern town struggling to keep up with rapid population decline—has accepted over 40,000 refugees in the last four decades. […]

The post American Communities Benefit From Welcoming Refugees – The White House Wants to Stop That appeared first on Immigration Impact.

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Federal Judge Says DHS Must Keep Its Promise to Protect Children in Immigration Detention

Oct 2, 2019

A federal judge on Friday blocked the Trump administration’s attempts to significantly undo the Flores Settlement Agreement, which mandates certain protections for children held in immigration detention. The changes to the settlement would have allowed the administration to hold immigrant children and their parents indefinitely in jail-like settings. Federal Judge Dolly Gee repeated that the […]

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USCIS Implemented New H-1B Wage Level Policy Without Providing Sufficient Guidance to Its Staff

Oct 1, 2019

Newly released documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveal that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rolled out a major policy change impacting petitions for H-1B workers without sufficient training to officers deciding the petitions. The records reveal troubling insights into what likely contributed to substantial increases in requests for evidence (RFEs) […]

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Federal Judge Blocks the Expansion of Fast-Track Deportation Program, Expedited Removal

Sep 30, 2019

A federal judge blocked the expansion of a fast-track deportation program, known as “expedited removal,” minutes before the government said it would begin implementing its expansion on September 28, 2019. Expedited removal allows the government to deport certain people without basic legal protections. Those who are put in this process are not able to see […]

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Refugee Admissions to Hit 40-Year Low Under Trump

Sep 27, 2019

President Trump yesterday proposed a reduction in the annual number of refugee admissions to 18,000 persons for 2020. This is the lowest number ever in the 40-year history of the refugee program, and the fourth time Trump has reduced refugee admissions since January 2017. Simultaneously, Trump has issued an Executive Order that requires states and […]

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State Governments Should Step In to Provide Oversight of Detention Facilities

Sep 26, 2019

Immigration enforcement may be a federal responsibility, but state governments have a great deal of power over the conditions under which immigrants are detained. At a time when over-crowded detention facilities are failing to meet even the minimum standards of humane treatment, states must step up and exercise their authority to improve a situation that […]

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Deporting Immigrants Does Not Lower Crime, According to Study

Sep 25, 2019

The mass deportation of immigrants from the United States under the Secure Communities program has had no appreciable impact on local crime rates. Why? Because most of the immigrants being deported do not have serious criminal records. That is the simple yet powerful conclusion of a recent study from the University of California, Davis. The […]

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How the Immigration Court Reached a Record One Million Case Backlog

Sep 24, 2019

When Donald Trump took office in January 2017, the immigration courts faced a record backlog of over 542,000 cases. This month, the immigration court backlog hit a new historic high with over 1,000,000 cases. Driven by new Trump administration immigration court policies and the growth in the number of families arriving at the border in […]

The post How the Immigration Court Reached a Record One Million Case Backlog appeared first on Immigration Impact.

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The National Park Service Warns Border Wall Construction Could Destroy 22 Archaeological Sites

Sep 23, 2019

In the Trump administration’s rush to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, 22 archaeological sites could be damaged or entirely destroyed. This warning comes from an internal National Park Service report that details how new border fencing, bulldozers, excavators, and Border Patrol four-wheelers could irrevocably harm ancient remnants of Native American tribes as well as endangered […]

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‘Don’t Let Them Take Me Away Again.’ Mothers and Children Sue Trump for Harm Inflicted by Zero Tolerance Policy

Sep 20, 2019

Five mothers and their children sued the U.S. government on Thursday for forcibly separating them in 2018. The five families are among the thousands of parents and young children who were split apart for months under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. The lawsuit demands accountability and compensation for the families’ significant and long-lasting trauma. […]

The post ‘Don’t Let Them Take Me Away Again.’ Mothers and Children Sue Trump for Harm Inflicted by Zero Tolerance Policy appeared first on Immigration Impact.

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Government Watchdog Says US Officials Were Unprepared to Address Children’s Trauma After Family Separation

Sep 19, 2019

In summer 2018, the Trump administration attempted to deter asylum-seeking families from coming to the United States by separating children from their parents at the southern border. It was immediately clear that separated children’s trauma would be long-lasting. Now, the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released a study […]

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ICE Plans to Build ‘Hyper-Realistic’ Tactical Training Facility That Can Simulate ‘Urban Warfare’

Sep 18, 2019

At a new training facility at Fort Benning in Georgia, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is reportedly planning to build “hyper-realistic” simulations of homes, schools, courtrooms, and commercial buildings to replicate the type of environment its agents encounter on the field. The facility will reportedly be used to train ICE “Special Response Teams,” as […]

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US Visa Policies Prevent Tech Startups From Hiring Foreign Workers

Sep 17, 2019

Tech startups are engines of innovation, economic growth, and job creation. Yet U.S. visa policies may be preventing startups from hiring the highly skilled foreign professionals they need to succeed. A new study looks at foreign and U.S.-born workers who recently graduated from American universities. Researchers specifically wanted to see where foreign workers with a […]

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Welcoming Week 2019 Showcases America’s Inclusive Spirit

Sep 16, 2019

Welcoming Week 2019 has arrived. Communities around the nation are spending the week of September 13 – 22 bringing together immigrants, refugees, and longtime residents in a spirit of unity and celebration. Despite the daily news on immigration, Americans are far more welcoming than one might think. In fact, average Americans (the ones born here […]

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Trump Administration Considers Lowering the Refugee Cap to Zero

Sep 13, 2019

The Trump administration is considering decreasing the maximum number of refugees accepted into the United States to 10,000 and as possibly low as zero, administration officials confirmed last week. Each year, the president determines the refugee cap or ceiling, the maximum number of people who can be admitted under the United States Refugee Admission Program […]

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Why It’s Bad to Force Asylum Seekers to Seek Protection Elsewhere

Sep 12, 2019

The Supreme Court issued an emergency ruling on Wednesday allowing the Trump administration to implement a ban on asylum seekers at the southern land border. The ban applies to people who transited through another country prior to arriving at the border. Although the ruling is a temporary development while litigation continues, the impact of the […]

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USCIS Wants to Make it Harder for Asylum Seekers to Get Work Permits

Sep 11, 2019

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently proposed a rule that will further delay asylum seekers’ ability to receive work authorization. Under current law, USCIS must grant or deny an initial asylum applicant’s employment authorization application within 30 days. Under the proposed rule, USCIS would have no time frame in which it must decide the […]

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Trump Administration Offers Contradicting Message on Whether Hurricane Dorian Survivors Are Welcome in the US

Sep 10, 2019

The strongest hurricane to ever hit the Bahamas ripped through the islands last week. In the wake of such devastation, it would not be unusual for the U.S. government to announce temporary immigration measures for Bahamians seeking shelter in the United States. Given its proximity to Florida, many Bahamians have long-standing ties to the state, […]

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Chaos and Dysfunction at the Border: The Remain in Mexico Program Firsthand

Sep 9, 2019

The first thing many people forcibly returned to Mexico tell you is that they’re afraid. Afraid of the cartels, afraid of Mexican immigration officials, and afraid of the months of uncertainty. This is what they’ve faced since the Trump administration sent them back to Mexico as part of the “Remain in Mexico” program—formally called the […]

The post Chaos and Dysfunction at the Border: The Remain in Mexico Program Firsthand appeared first on Immigration Impact.

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Which Military Construction Projects Are Losing Funds to Build Trump’s Wall?

Sep 6, 2019

The Trump administration is raiding the Department of Defense’s budget to fund construction of its border wall. According to Pentagon officials, 127 military construction projects will be canceled in order to free up $3.6 billion to build 175 miles of wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. President Trump previously said this would happen when he declared […]

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