This week in immigration news – October 17, 2019

Immigration news

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan has stepped down from his position after only six months.

McAleenan was seen as a moderate and experienced civil servant, particularly when it came to managing the issues at the border. His short tenure, however, was marked by controversy. President Trump has yet to name a replacement.

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The Trump administration was set to unveil its public charge rule this week, which would have made it more difficult for immigrants to receive green cards if it looked like they might access non-cash public assistance, rather than just cash assistance, which was traditionally the only element of public charge.

The public charge rule has been challenged by immigrant rights groups and by more than a dozen states attorneys general, and last Friday, was held up by federal judges in New York, California, and Washington.

Also on Friday, a federal judge halted President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to fund his border wall.

The judge went further and explained that the president had violated the law and had no authority to spend more money than Congress had previously approved. While critics of the president applauded the decision, it is likely that the administration will end up appealing the decision.

This past week, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill outlawing all private, for-profit prisons and detention facilities in the state by 2028.

One of the companies that currently operates for-profit detention facilities in California—Geo Group—was found to have delayed medical care, unsanitary bathrooms, and food service issues. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been highly critical of the law and says that they are reviewing its legality.

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