This week in immigration news – November 21, 2019

Immigration legal services providers

State Department documents that were obtained by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee show that then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was advised that ending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras would have negative consequences for national security, foreign relations, and the children of TPS recipients.

While President Trump tried to argue that conditions had improved in these countries in November 2017, Tillerson was warned that, at bare minimum, the program needed at least three years to conclude, if it should be ended at all.

The Supreme Court has taken up another case that concerns immigration—United States v. Sineneng-Smith, which concerns a provision in immigration law that “forbids, ‘encouraging or inducing an alien…to reside in the United States’ when the encourager knows the person has no legal status.”

The case concerns an attorney (Sineneng-Smith) who willfully encouraged her undocumented client to stay in the United States under a program she knew to have ended. But immigrant rights advocates fear that the court’s decision could have broader implications for their advocacy work. 

On Wednesday, a group of Democrats, led by New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, introduced a bill called the Protecting Our Workers from Exploitation and Retaliation (POWER) Act.

This bill would protect immigrant workers from retaliation if they get into a dispute with their employer.

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