to a recent
CNN article, a federal judge in the District of
Columbia ruled that a Trump Administration policy violated the Immigration and
Nationality Act (INA). In this policy, the Administration sought to bar
immigrants who had crossed the border without authorization from seeking
asylum. The Trump Administration issued the policy back in November 2018, which
would have limited asylum applications to those immigrants who lawfully
presented themselves at official ports of entry into the U.S. According to the
judge’s opinion, the federal government could not extinguish a statutory right
to seek asylum under the INA simply by issuing a policy.
nationwide injunction that prohibited the policy from going into effect has
been in place since a California federal judge issued it last year. The federal
government appealed the injunction to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the high
Court refused to stay the injunction by a 5-4 vote. So as a practical matter,
the D.C. judge’s decision ultimately follows the injunction already in effect.
policy has been one of many that the Trump Administration has attempted to
enact to significantly restrict the ability to apply for asylum, especially for
Central American migrants. For instance, the Administration has expanded a
policy designed to keep more asylum seekers in Mexico until their cases are
processed. The federal government now has limited the number of asylum seekers
who can enter a port of entry each day for processing of their asylum
applications. The Trump Administration also attempted to deny asylum to all
migrants who traveled through another country to reach a U.S. port of entry and
to require them to first seek asylum in another country before coming to the
U.S. These policies were specifically aimed at individuals traveling through
Mexico from South America.
A California federal district court judge also entered a nationwide injunction regarding the requirement that migrants seek asylum in another country before seeking it in the U.S. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals limited the injunction to California and Arizona. On remand, the federal district court judge reinstated the nationwide ban after making the findings outlined in the Ninth Circuit order. However, most recently, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the injunction pending litigation, which allows the federal government to go forward with denying asylum to this specific group of immigrants.
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.
April, Attorney General William Barr announced that the federal government
would no longer offer bond hearings to detained immigrants. The new policy was
aimed at the surge of immigrants appearing at the border to apply for asylum.
Historically, individuals who passed the initial credible fear interview then
applied for asylum and were released pending their court date.
the new policy, however, these individuals would remain detained until an
immigration court heard their asylum claims. Barr stated that this policy would
go into effect on July 15, 2019. The net result of the policy would be to keep
between 15,000 and $40,000 immigrants in custody for six months or more while
their asylum claims played out in the immigration courts.
advocates, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Northwest Immigrant
Rights Project, immediately filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit to block
the policy. These organizations claim that the move violates the Fifth
Amendment right to due process. A federal judge in Seattle now has ruled that immigrants
who enter the country seeking asylum are entitled by the U.S.
Constitution to have a bond hearing.
about half of asylum-seekers gain release on bond. To do so, they must prove to
the immigration court that they are not a flight risk and pose no threat to the
public. When asylum-seekers are released on bond, they may be able to reunite
with family members and may have a better chance of obtaining legal counsel.
These factors often make a significant difference in the outcome of an asylum
matter the type of immigration issue you are facing, the skilled and
knowledgeable immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland are here to assist you.
We handle many different types of immigration cases every day and have the kind
of strategic experience and skills that are necessary to reach the desired
outcome. By calling our office as quickly as possible after your legal issue
arises, we will have the best opportunity to resolve your immigration law case
administration has taken the unprecedented step of sending immigrants who have
crossed the border without authorization to other cities for processing at a
rate of about 3,000 per week. As U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
officials struggle to keep up with the continuing surge of migrants, they are
flying and busing thousands of immigrants to other locations. These sites
include San Diego and Del Rio, Texas, as well as El Centro, California, and
Laredo, Texas. Processing of immigrants at the new location consists of taking
photographs and fingerprints and completing background checks and health
CBP is required to
process immigrants within 72 hours of their arrival. At no time in history has
CBP had to send immigrants to other locations due to an inability to process
them within the 72-hour timeframe. They also have insufficient space to house
the immigrants, which is available in other places. Most immigrants being sent
elsewhere are coming from Rio Grande Valley, Texas, and Yuma, Arizona. Some CBP
officials claim that the Trump administration also is considering sending the
influx of immigrants to other locations in the U.S., including Florida,
Detroit, and Buffalo, New York.
The exact number of
immigrants being sent elsewhere is unknown. However, CBP reportedly is sending
five planes per week to Del Rio and three planes per week to San Diego. Each
plane holds approximately 130 immigrants. Four buses with about 47 passengers
travel to Laredo every day. Likewise, vans carrying about 125 per day are
driving El Centro.
Although this change
in logistics usually would be part of a plan approved by the Department of
Homeland Security (DHS) and the White House, CBP and ICE appear to have taken
control of this venture out of sheer necessity.
immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the immigration cases of countless
individuals and businesses facing immigration-related issues. We are here to
protect your rights and advocate on your behalf to get the outcome that you are
seeking. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with
our immigration attorneys.
According to a recent
article from The Hill, the Trump administration is
considering a new immigration plan that would block immigrants from seeking
asylum in the U.S. if they had resided in a country other than their home
country prior to seeking asylum. This proposal is aimed at making the thousands
of Central American migrants who have been traveling to enter the U.S. through
the southern border with Mexico in recent months completely ineligible for
asylum. Reportedly, the Trump administration is seeking ways either to
implement this proposal legislatively or through an administrative rule,
although both likely are to become the subject of litigation.
This proposed change
closely accompanies the controversial “stay in Mexico” or “safe third country” policy
for asylum-seekers, which is aimed at forcing individuals seeking asylum to
remain in Mexico while the U.S. processes their asylum claims. For its part,
the Mexican government apparently has agreed to this proposal, promising to expand
a program that requires migrants to wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are
Experts have criticized these moves as a fundamental reshaping of the U.S. asylum system, in direct contravention to the definitions established for asylum and refugee status by the U.N. in its 1951 convention, which the U.S. signed in the 1967 protocol and later adopted as part of American immigration laws in the Refugee Act of 1980. By requiring asylum-seekers to remain outside the U.S. or declaring them ineligible for asylum before they even apply, the Trump administration is not only changing definitions in U.S. law without legislation, but also drastically reducing the number of people who would become eligible for asylum. Our goal is to assist you with your immigration concerns, whether family or business-based. We can evaluate your situation and develop a strategy that is most likely to be efficient and effective in your case. Regardless of the immigration matter that you are facing, the attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience, knowledge, and reputation that you want and need to advocate on your behalf. When results matter most, contact us at (512) 474-4445.
The Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil
Liberties Union of Louisiana have teamed up to file a class action lawsuit in
the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Trump
administration, alleging that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) categorically
has denied release to individuals who have presented themselves lawfully at
official points of entry seeking asylum in the U.S. Although DHS policy requires
the release of asylum seekers if they are able to establish their identities
and that they are neither dangers nor flight risks, DHS nonetheless has
categorically denied parole across the board to asylum-seekers, instead
confining them in prisons in remote areas of Alabama and Louisiana.
Less than ten years ago, about 90 percent of asylum seekers
meeting the legal requirements for parole were released pending their asylum
proceedings in immigration court. In contrast, the New Orleans Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE) field office granted parole in 76 percent of cases in
2016 and 22 percent of cases in 2017. By 2018, this office granted parole to
individuals in only two out of 130 cases, or less than two percent; the other
128 individuals remained in ICE custody.
The lawsuit also attacks the well-publicized dehumanizing
conditions that exist in many for-profit immigration detention facilities. Given
the high denial rates of parole for asylum-seekers in Louisiana, immigration
advocates find it unsurprising that ICE has dramatically expanded its capacity
to detain immigrants in Louisiana by entering into contracts with for-profit
prison providers and busing in hundreds of asylum-seekers from other faraway
points of entry.
This is the second lawsuit of its kind. Immigration advocacy
groups filed a similar lawsuit in March 2018, making the same claims about ICE
field offices in Detroit, El Paso, Los Angeles, Newark, and Philadelphia. Last
year, a federal judge ordered ICE to follow its own policies in granting parole
your situation may be, you will need skilled legal assistance to work toward a
resolution of your immigration matter. The Texas immigration attorneys of Peek
& Toland know how to help you navigate through the maze of immigration
forms, regulations, and policies, and get the relief that you need. Take the
first step today and secure the future of your family in the U.S. Contact our
office today at and set up an evaluation with one of our highly skilled Texas immigration lawyers.
Reuters recently reported that the U.S. is
taking steps to limit the number of unaccompanied minor children who qualify
for special protections. Traditionally, these children have a right to make
their claims to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer in
a non-adversarial setting, rather than in front of an immigration judge in
court. If the USCIS officer denies their claims, they then normally have a
second chance to plead their cases at
In 2013, the Obama
administration had issued a memorandum that extended these protections for
immigrant children even if they turned 18 or reunited with a parent or relative
prior to filing their asylum petition. The policy change was in recognition of
the fact that many immigrant children are traumatized and it takes time for
them to be able to explain their situation in a manner that will allow them to
apply for asylum. The Trump administration has rescinded that memorandum, characterizing
the guidance as a legal “loophole” in the asylum system. The rescission of the
memo went into effect on June 30, 2019, reverting to a 2009 policy regarding
USCIS is changing the
definition of “unaccompanied minor” to include only those immigrant children
who meet the following criteria when they file their petitions for asylum:
lawful immigration status
the age of 18
parent or legal guardian in the U.S. to care for them
Since many of these children are released to parents or guardians as quickly as possible, it is common for many of these children to be living with these individuals at the time of their asylum petition. Under the revised definition, individuals already living with sponsors would no longer qualify as unaccompanied minors, and therefore would not be eligible for the special protections offered to those children who fall within the revised definition. No matter the type of immigration issue you are facing, the skilled and knowledgeable immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland are here to assist you. We handle many different types of immigration cases every day and have the kind of strategic experience and skills that are necessary to reach the desired outcome. By calling our office as quickly as possible after your legal issue arises, we will have the best opportunity to successfully resolve your immigration law case.
Attorney General William Barr has been
following in the footsteps of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who
certified a various Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) cases to himself for
review. In this way, Sessions was able to shape immigration policy and
overruling existing precedent. Recently, Barr decided a case entitled Matter of M-S-, which effectively overruled an existing
precedent found in the case of Matter of X-K-. In M-S-, Barr
issued a ruling that effects non-citizens transferred from expedited removal
proceedings to regular removal proceedings after establishing the preliminary
finding necessary to seek asylum or a credible fear of persecution or torture. In
the decision, Barr determined on behalf of the BIA that these individuals are
not entitled to release on bond, which subjects them to indefinite mandatory detention.
Before this ruling, individuals seeking
asylum who met the preliminary credible fear finding often were released with
their families and await their asylum hearing dates. Now, these individuals may
remain indefinitely detained and separated from their families. Since asylum
proceedings often can take years, mandatory detention without the opportunity
to be released on bond could stretch for years, as well.
Additionally, the Trump Administration
now is requiring that some individuals seeking asylum must remain in Mexico due
to a lack of room in detention centers. This BIA decision, which requires more individuals
to stay in detention indefinitely, only compounds the overcrowding problem. Less
than two months following the issuance of the Matter of M-S- decision, the
Office of the Inspector General advised that due to severe overcrowding in at
least one Texas detention facility, it was recommending that the Department of
Homeland Security (DHS) take immediate action to address the overcrowding
The immigration lawyers of Peek &
Toland have handled the cases of countless individuals
and businesses who are facing all types of immigration concerns. We are here to
protect your rights and advocate on your behalf to get the best outcome
possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an
appointment with our immigration attorneys.
In a memorandum to
the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Justice Department (DOJ), the
Trump Administration directed DHS to issue regulations within 90 days that are
designed to deny work permits for any immigrants entering the country
unlawfully and to begin charging a fee to apply for asylum. Historically, the
U.S. never has charged a fee to apply for asylum. The White House justified
these directives based on a recent increase in the number of Central Americans
arriving at the southern border to apply for asylum.
According to the
Administrative Procedure Act (APA) that governs the making of rules and
regulations for federal government agencies, DHS and DOJ must confine their
rulemaking to existing statutory authority in the Immigration and
Naturalization Act (INA), which is the federal immigration law. As a result,
these agencies must solicit input from stakeholders through a “Notice and
Comment” period before any rules can become final. Due to these procedures, any
person or entity who wants to challenge the regulations must wait until they have
become final under the APA to seek review of them in court.
permits and charging fees to apply for asylum is likely to harm those
immigrants who genuinely are seeking asylum. Currently, asylum seekers can seek
issuance of a work permit 180 days after applying for asylum. The 180-day
waiting period is intended to curb frivolous asylum claims that might increase
if work permits were available immediately, while at the same time recognizing
that asylum seekers need to support themselves and their families while waiting
for their asylum hearings, a process that can take as long as three years.
However, the proposed
regulations to deny work permits to anyone who entered the country other than
by appearing at a port of entry can place an arbitrary bar to some individuals
seeking asylum. In some cases, exigent circumstances may leave immigrants no choice
but to enter the country at somewhere other than a port of entry. Although the
regulations might deter some frivolous claims, it also could very well deter
some meritorious claims.
An experienced Texas immigration attorney
can help you with all aspects of immigration law. We are here to evaluate the
facts surrounding your case, present your options, and 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
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