This week in immigration news — February 27, 2020


Here are the news we’re tracking this week:

The Trump administration hits legal immigration

Since the Supreme Court lifted the injunction and allowed the Trump administration’s expanded public charge rule to take effect, community leaders have reported a chilling effect on the number of immigrants who are eligible for public benefits signing up for the programs.

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A case supported by the Trump administration in front of the Supreme Court threatens the First Amendment 

Another case that is in front of the Supreme Court currently is United States v. Sineneng-Smith. At issue for the court is a law that criminalizes encouraging non-citizens to remain in the United States.

Critics charge that if this law were to be enforced, it would conflict with freedom of speech, and would have further implications for lawyers who work with undocumented immigrants, charities, medical professionals, or even family members. Meanwhile, the Justice Department claims that it would not enforce the law to that extent.

It remains to be seen exactly how the Supreme Court will decide the case.


Border Patrol agent who shot 15-year-old in the face does not face consequences

The Supreme Court has ruled in Hernandez v. Mesa that a Border Patrol agent who shot a 15-year-old boy in the face at the border cannot be sued by the boy’s family.

The decision to prevent the lawsuit from moving forward—regardless of what happened, which is disputed by the family and the agent—means that the agent will not face any consequences, as the Justice Department has declined to prosecute him.


Trump’s chief of staff commends immigration while administration reduces legal immigration

President Trump’s Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told an audience at the Oxford Union in England this week that the United States is “desperate for immigrants” and that they “fuel economic growth.”

Despite Mulvaney’s words, the administration has undertaken a number of measures to reduce legal immigration, so critics caution that his statements not be seen as a reversal of the administration’s recent policies.

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