This week in immigration news – February 9, 2022

U.S. to try house arrest for immigrants as alternative to detention

DHS is piloting a house arrest program in Houston and Baltimore as an alternative to detention—it would cost $6-$8 per day to monitor a person vs $142 per day for a detention center. The house arrest program requires enrollees to remain home from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., with exceptions for work hours for people with work authorization or experiencing extraordinary circumstances.

The plan has already drawn criticism from immigrant rights advocates, who note that the house arrest program is stricter than existing alternatives to detention, such as ankle monitors that only require immigrants to notify a case manager if they plan to leave the state, and do not confine them to their homes.

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Immigration agency adds ‘respect’ and ‘welcome’ to mission statement after Trump-era controversy

USCIS’s statement now reads, “USCIS upholds America’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility with fairness, integrity, and respect for all we serve.”  The statement under the Trump administration used the phrases “safeguarding its integrity” and “securing its homeland,” and also removed the phrase “nation of immigrants,” which was in line with the administration’s often draconian immigration policies.

Arizona Attorney General calls border crisis an “invasion”

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has made the claim that Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey has the ability to activate the state’s National Guard troops to defend the border, adding that he believes that the federal government has abdicated its responsibility to address drug and human trafficking and that the level of immigration at the border constitutes an “invasion.”

Congressman Raul Grijalva pushed back against the use of the word “invasion,” saying that it harms communities at the border.

A “Threat To Black Communities”: Senators Call On Immigration Cops And FBI To Quit Using Clearview Facial Recognition

Senators Edward Markey and Jeff Merkley as well as House Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Ayanna Presley have cited the use of facial recognition software as being particularly harmful to communities of color, because there is a far higher chance that their faces may be misidentified than, for example, white males.