This week in immigration news – December 12, 2019

Federal court halts Trump administration changes to fee waiver for citizenship.

Laura Vasquez, Senior Program Manager of Immigration Initiatives at UnidosUS explains: “This week a federal judge blocked the administration’s changes to the I-912 fee waiver form that would significantly limit access to immigration benefits for low-income people who qualify for a fee waiver based on receipt of means-tested benefits.”

Vasquez proceeds: “USCIS will be required to continue accepting fee waiver applications based on means-tested benefits receipt while the preliminary injunction is in place. We do not have a final outcome in the case: USCIS may appeal and the case has other open issues. But for now, let’s celebrate being able to continue helping clients apply for fee waivers so they can secure all the benefits of citizenship.”

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Read about the positive impact the fee waiver has on our community in this blog post about the client of one of our Affiliates.

Immigration advocates and attorneys are reporting that U.S. officials are issuing fake court notices to migrants—even to some individuals who have been granted asylum.

Additionally, critics of the Trump administration’s third country agreement with Mexico charge that migrants are being put in unnecessary danger, especially when they are being forced to return after winning asylum.

The advocacy group Human Rights First found more than 600 reported cases of kidnapping, rape, torture, assault, and other violence against asylum seekers and migrants who had to return to Mexico under the Trump administration’s policy.

Burleigh County in North Dakota was poised to be the first county to take advantage of the Trump administration’s executive order that mandates state and local governments to give written consent before they can accept refugees.

But members of the community—including recent immigrants—gave passionate testimony to the Burleigh County Commission, which voted 3-2 to continue to accept refugees. Members of the community remain divided over the number of refugees that the county accepts, which is capped at 25 per year.

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