Week Ending June 3
This week in immigration: Department of Justice responds to Texas judge’s order; Associated Press examines asylum success rates; and USCIS releases latest DACA numbers.
Department of Justice issues response to Judge Hanen: The Justice Department responded this week to Judge Andrew Hanen’s May 19 order which required government lawyers to undergo ethics training. In its response, the Justice Department disputed the judge’s claim that its lawyers intentionally lied during the United States v. Texas proceedings and saying the sanctions “far exceed the bounds of appropriate remedies.” Further, the Justice Department writes that Judge Hanen’s order itself is illegal because it far exceeds the judge’s authority.
Associated Press look at childen’s asylum approvals by U.S. region: The Associated Press released data this week looking at the approval ratings for unaccompanied immigrant children seeking asylum in the United States. The numbers show that approval rates of such cases vary widely by region. Some of the U.S. government’s regional offices, such as San Francisco or Los Angeles, grant asylum in over half of cases heard. However, the regional office in Houston, which hears cases from Midwest states such Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico, only approved 16% of asylum applications. “”The quality of justice should not be like a crapshoot. It shouldn’t be a lottery,” noted Karen Musalo, director of the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. “It is not just disappointing — it has life-or-death consequences for these children.”
Also this week, the American Federation of Teachers wrote a letter to Secretary John King, head of the Department of Education, and Secretary Jeh Johnson, head of the Department of Homeland Security. In the letter, the AFT calls on the federal government to end the enforcement actions targeting unaccompanied immigrant children. “The increased policing and enforcement raids have had a chilling effect on our schools and immigrant communities,” reads the letter from the group, “jeopardizing the safety and well-being of children and threatening the security and safety of entire communities. We implore you to work together as well as with other federal agencies in order to put the safety and well-being of children first.”
Latest data from USCIS shows 728,000: USCIS released data this week from the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2016. Through March 31, 2016, 728,285 applications have been reviewed and approved.