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Administration Takes Executive Action on Immigration |
On November 20, 2014, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson issued a series of memoranda as part of a much-anticipated “executive action” to remedy problems in the nation’s immigration system.
The day after the release of the DHS memos, the White House issued two Presidential Memoranda addressed to all executive departments and agencies. One memorandum, entitled “Modernizing and Streamlining the U.S. Immigrant Visa System for the 21st Century,” orders officials to offer recommendations within 120 days to streamline and improve the legal immigration system. The other memorandum, entitled “Creating Welcoming Communities and Fully Integrating Immigrants and Refugees,” establishes a “White House Task Force on New Americans” to develop an immigrant integration strategy. The memoranda are reprinted at Appendix J and Appendix K.
Complaint Highlights Inadequate Screening Procedures for Asylees at Border
On November 13, 2014, a coalition of immigrant and civil rights groups submitted a complaint to the Department of Homeland Security regarding the inadequacy of procedures used by Customs and Border Protection to screen individuals fleeing persecution for potential asylum claims.
According to the complaint, which was sent to both the DHS Inspector General and DHS Office of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, CBP officers have frequently issued expedited removal orders against individuals who should have been referred for a credible fear interview with an asylum officer.
The complaint was submitted by American Gateways, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, Centro de la Raza Legal, Human Rights First, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, the National Immigrant Justice Center, the Texas Civil Rights Project, the Immigration Clinic at the University of Texas Law School, and the Women’s Refugee Commission.
Labor Department To Certify Applications for T Visas, Expand Certifications for U Visas
Beginning in 2015, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division will begin certifying applications for T visas for victims of trafficking, and will begin certifying applications for U visas for individuals assisting in the investigation or prosecution of employers charged with extortion, forced labor, and fraud in foreign labor contracting. The Labor Department expects to publish a notice in the Federal Register by the end of the year.
[This is an excerpt from the Dec. 15, 2014, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.]
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