This week in immigration news — July 2, 2020

Here are the news on immigration that we are tracking this week.

news on immigration | This week in immigration news

13,400 USCIS workers furloughed

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Around 73% of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ employees were informed earlier this week that they are being furloughed beginning August 3. The vast majority of the agency’s budget is derived from fees collected from immigrants when they file applications. However, the Trump administration’s cuts to legal immigration, the agency is facing significant shortfalls, and is now waiting on a solution from Congress.

Gallup poll shows Americans favor increased immigration

According to the poll, 34% of Americans favor increased immigration, whereas 28% favor decreased immigration. This is the first time that Gallup’s poll on attitudes toward immigration has had this result.

Immigration judges sue the Trump administration

The union that represents immigration judges in the United States announced this week that it is suing the Trump administration. The Justice Department has been implementing a number of new rules for judges, including speed quotas, reversing rulings, giving more power to the director who oversees the courts, and curtailing judges’ authority to exercise discretion when reviewing cases. Additionally, the Trump administration has also curtailed the ability of judges to speak about immigration outside their courts, which they argue is unconstitutional.

Strict Trump administration asylum policy is overturned

In 2019, the Trump administration issued a ruling that asylum seekers who passed through another country on the way to the United States were prohibited from claiming asylum. This week, U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly, who was appointed in 2017 by President Trump, overturned the policy on the basis that the administration did not seek public input on changing the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows people (with some exceptions, such as those with a criminal record), to apply for asylum when they arrive in the United States.

Three migrants test positive for coronavirus

About 2,000 migrants live in the Matamoros camp, a tent city on the U.S.-Mexico border. Many of the people who live there were sent back to Mexico from the United States to wait for their asylum cases to be heard.  Recently, three migrants have tested positive for the coronavirus, raising advocates’ concerns about the health and well-being of the people who live in the camp.

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