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Federal Judge Issues Nationwide Injunction Against Implementation of New Policy to Change Calculation of “Unlawful Presence”

U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Biggs recently issued a permanent nationwide injunction against a 2018 Trump Administration policy in which officials sought to make it more difficult for foreign natives to remain in the U.S. once their legal immigration status expires. The policy would have fundamentally changed how the federal government calculates the length of a foreign native’s “unlawful presence” in the U.S., or time spent in the country without legal immigration status. The change primarily would have affected over one million international students, instructors, and scholars, who sometimes lose legal immigration status when they switch schools or jobs. By starting the time clock running earlier on some immigrants in this predicament, the new policy would eliminate some of the existing avenues for these individuals to remain in the U.S.

In response to the policy, several presidents of American colleges and universities sued, arguing that the policy would jeopardize the legal status of these individuals. Judge Biggs entered a preliminary injunction in the case in May, which foreshadowed her ruling on the permanent injunction. In support of her actions, she found that the Trump Administration’s policy change impermissibly conflicted with existing immigration law. More specifically, the Administration should have published their proposed new procedures for public notice and comment before implementing them.

Federal Judge Issues Nationwide Injunction Against Implementation of New Policy to Change Calculation of “Unlawful Presence”

The ruling also put the propriety of nationwide injunctions squarely in the spotlight, as these orders have become an increasing target for the Trump Administration. Even some members of the U.S. Supreme Court have expressed concern over the use of these nationwide injunctions, causing some to wonder whether the high Court will address the issue in an upcoming opinion. Nonetheless, opponents of the previous administration also successfully sought nationwide injunctions to block proposed immigration policies, as well, such as the Obama Administration’s proposed expansion of immigration benefits for DACA recipients. An experienced Texas immigration attorney can help you with all aspects of immigration law. We are here to evaluate the facts surrounding your case and present your options. Finally, we can help you make the decisions that will be most beneficial to you based on your circumstances. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445 today and see how we can help.

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