Trump’s Immigration Rules Tighten As More Asylum Seekers Push For The U.S. Border

Last Thursday, Trump issued new immigration rules to make sure asylums aren’t entering the country illegally, calling upon national security to deflect long-standing policies on humanitarianism of foreign nationals entering the U.S soil.


Trump will be using the authorities that he called upon to implement his infamous ‘travel ban’ back in 2017, and will put them in force immediately.


The measures are likely to receive some form of legal challenge, however. Immigrant officials claim the current U.S. laws extend asylum protections for those who arrive in the U.S and fear possible abuse, regardless of how they enter the country.


Trump’s powers on immigration have been limited by the Supreme Court due to the backlash received from the questionable policies he aimed to put in place. According to the Trump Administration, the new immigration rules that have been put in place are reasonable as they continue to tackle illegal immigration in the nation.


The emergency immigration rules are expected to be published on Friday in the federal register.


The new measures mark the Trump administration’s latest attempts to prevent foreigners and immigrants entering the United States. It comes after there were discoveries made that around 10,000 Central Americans were attempting to cross the U.S. border in caravan groups. Trump has requested new immigration rules to prevent the thousands from entering the United States, deploying troops to support the border control agents.


At the moment, U.S. immigration jails are filling and higher courts have limited the government’s ability to hold children in the immigration jails. This means caravan families arriving at the U.S. border are likely to be released into the United States if they seek protection, suggesting the new immigration rules won’t quite have the effect the White House desires.


Under current U.S. immigration rules, foreigners can request for asylum when they arrive on U.S. soil if they fear abuse if they were returned to their country. They are then put through an interview process to determine whether they have “credible fear” before being assigned with a court date and then being released.


Trump’s new immigration rules would still allow foreigners to seek asylum, but only if they enter the U.S. ports of entry legally, not those who try to cross without authorisation. Those who cross illegally will not be able to apply for asylum but they can apply to qualify for a status known as “withholding of removal”.


This wouldn’t allow the application for a green card or U.S. citizenship, but it would be seen as a provisional for being temporarily withdrawn from the deportation process. This still provides the opportunity for those who cross illegally the chance to be released from custody and be a part of the immigration backlog.


A government official claimed that the purpose for the change is so the border control can funnel asylum seekers so that the government will be able to utilise the resources and personnel better to process the claims of the asylum seekers.


It’s unclear how many of the caravan members will look to enter the country legally through the ports of entry.

El Salvador Migrants Head For US Causing ‘Crisis At Border’

Despite Trump’s continued march to put the pressure on immigration, El Salvador migrants have fled their country as they head to the US border to escape the continued growing poverty and violence that’s found in the Central American region.


Like thousands of others, around 300 Salvadorans left the country over the weekend to start their journey. It’s estimated around 3,500 Hondurans started their journey earlier this month and are currently based in southern Mexico.


Another group have been moving through Guatemala, estimated to be around 1,000 people. They broke through the Guatemala border gate and made their way on to the bridge to head through Mexico.


The reason for travelling in such large groups means migrants feel more protected from the police officers they come across on the way.


With the November 6th elections just around the corner, Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans are aiming to keep hold of Congress, making immigration a major priority leading up to it.


Kirstjen Nielsen, the Homeland security secretary, claimed that there’s currently a ‘crisis at the border’, as migrants continue to try and pass the border. But Trump will continue his authority to prevent immigrants from crossing the border illegally.


Recent reports coming out of the US Customs and Border Protection showed statistics that illegal border crossings have declined significantly compared to record figures that were found in earlier years of the century.


There have been numerous times where Trump has threatened to close down the border with Mexico, with extra troops being ordered to man the border along with other military resources.


After the rage that was caused by Trump’s ‘no-tolerance’ policy, applications need to be considered both domestically and internationally by US authorities. This will include the travelling migrants arriving from Central America.


They organised to travel in groups using social networks such as Whatsapp and Facebook to help meet up and travel together.


The groups were also escorted by Salvadoran police, with many travellers carrying large backpacks, water and any items that would protect them from the searing heat.


The government sympathised with the migrants that chose to flee the area, understanding reasons for their action, but urged them to not risk their lives.


Many of the migrants travelled to the borders by any means necessary, utilising the public transport or hitchhiking in local pick up trucks. Along the way, they would use local rivers to help refresh, with some journeys covering up to 30 miles a day.


Association Specialising in IT Services Hit US Immigration Body With Lawsuit Over H1-B Visas

IT Service Alliance, a non-profit trade association based in New Delhi representing a large number of IT firms, has took to the US courts regarding the Trump administration’s recent ‘zero-tolerance’ policy after it affected the length of time an H-1B visa can be issued for.


They’ve issued a lawsuit against the immigration bodies which said that US laws allowed those with an H-1B visa a three-year duration prescription. However, new laws that have been issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have resulted in the visa only being issued for a matter of days or months, according to the Times of India.


They provided some examples where visas were only granted for 12 days, whilst in other cases, notices for approval had been sent after the approved-visa has already expired. For instance, one example showed an H-1B visa being granted for the dates covering the 15th June to August 10th, 2018, which is a total of 56 days. However, the notice was sent on August 29th which is after the expiry date, deeming the process irrelevant.


Other cases included visas being granted for really short periods such as 28 days and 54 days.


IT Service Alliance claimed the changes made as unlawful, challenging whether the USCIS had the authority to make changes to the granted visas. Since Donald Trump’s presidential reign began, there have been a host of policies introduced to restrict the issuing of H1-B visas which are popular among Indian immigrants. India has raised the issue countless times with the US and despite receiving reassurances, the crackdown continues.


Changes made in the crackdown includes the suspension of faster processing times for H-1B visas. This has resulted in longer waiting periods for the approval process as well as renewals for those who have expired legal statuses to remain in America. This is down to reasons such as individuals having their visa extension applications denied.


Times of India reported that the USCIS implemented the rule of shorter H-1B visas was implemented back in February 2018. The document outlined that applications for the visas required sufficient evidence to support the process including detailed customer contracts and itineraries for the employees.


The USCIS also managed to gain approval of acquiring freedom to limit the approvals of the shorter duration visas. This allowed the proof being acquired of employees needed for particular projects with specialisation. However, the lawsuit argues that providing requirements such as the employees’ itinerary are beyond the USCIS’s power and that the changes made are unlawful.

Homeland Security Watchdog Claims US Were Unprepared For Zero Tolerance Immigration Policy

A report issued by the Homeland Security that has been made public claims that immigration officials admitted to struggling with trying to deal with the “zero tolerance” policy that was implemented by Trump this Summer, with many of the problems occurring at the Southwest border. It resulted in the separation of nearly 3,000 children from their parents as the Trump looked to minimise illegal immigration occurring in the country.


There was outrage due to the confusion for parents around why they were being separated from their children at the border without a clue of how to reach them as well as confusion with reuniting the families the policy was questioned by the high courts, calling for the families to be joined together again.


The report was conducted by investigators from the Homeland’s Security Office, take into account point of views from about 50 immigration employees, in addition to 17 parents and detainees who were separated from their families. Alternative data and documents were also reviewed to help compile the report.


The report outlines the difficulty of implementing poorly written immigration laws according to Homeland Security Officials. There was a large a mix-up between migrants crossing the border illegally and migrants who come to the ports legally to seek asylum.


Although crossing the border illegally had already been a criminal charge, a large part of Trump’s presidential campaign was to crack down on illegal immigration, hence the implementation of the large-scale family separation.


Back in May, President Donald Trump implemented a “zero-tolerance” immigration policy that began criminally charging those who attempted to cross the Southwest border illegally, separating children from their parents and essentially splitting up families.


It prompted outrage worldwide and caused Donald Trump to sign an executive order to stop the separations from occurring. The Americal Civil Liberties Union ordered a lawsuit against the Trump Administration and courts ordered for families to be reunited. The process is still ongoing.


Lee Gelernt, the lead lawyer on the ACLU case claims that the Trump administration has caused trauma for life, with many parents being left with the possibility that they will never see their children ever again.


The policy outlined that the children were only meant to be held in facilities for around 72 hours before being transferred to Health and Human Service officials who manage the care of migrant children and are responsible for their welfare. However, there was one case where a child was kept for almost 25 days within a border control facility.


On average, from the research conducted as part of the report, on average children were spending around 65 hours in Border Control, which meant that the delay caused Border Control officers to steer away from their normal work. Rather than patrolling and monitoring the border, the officers had to mind and care for the children that were being detained.


There was also confusion around tracking and identifying parents, which meant reuniting the families became even more difficult. Children weren’t photographed, they weren’t identified by a wristband or another form of identifier.

Some parents were also not advised of the situation, gaining a lack of communication with immigration officials and their children according to the report.


This was all going on whilst zero tolerance was being enforced. It caused a rise in asylum seekers to the border which was rapidly filling holding facilities. This meant officers had to turn away some asylum seekers whilst space could open in the facilities which may have pushed asylum seekers to enter illegally.


Agreement Made Between US and Separated Immigrant Families

Trump’s zero-tolerance immigrant policy separated immigrant families at the Mexico-US border to prevent them from entering the country. Now, an agreement in the US has finally been agreed over the immigrant families.


Last Wednesday, court documents were provided which agreed on a settlement that provides the children and parent’s the opportunity to apply for their asylum in the US. This would still have to be approved by the judge but it was a sign of progress from the point of view of rights groups who challenged the “zero-tolerance” policy that was introduced by President Donald Trump.


US authorities in the past have rejected claims that the immigrant families would be victim to torture or persecution if they were to be sent back home. This provides the opportunity for the families to escape from such violence from their home countries.


Although there were over 2,500 children and parents that were affected by the separation at the border, the agreement outlines that at least 1,000 families will have the opportunity to apply for again for asylum to the country.


Individual cases will also be considered as there have already been hundreds of parents that have already been deported back to their home countries. There may have been cases where individuals could have had the opportunity to seek asylum under the report that was provided.


The purpose of Trump introducing the “zero-tolerance” policy was to cast down on illegal immigration. This was a major talking point of Trump’s campaign but separation at the borders prompted a major condemnation of the policy, with thousands of children being torn away from their parents, more specifically those residing from countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.


The policy was ended earlier this year in June.


The settlement was agreed after lawsuits that were put in place by the American Liberties Union, the Muslim Advocates and others. Some lawsuits indicated that the parents were suffering from being separated by their children. They claimed that the trauma would have influenced the parents “credible fear” interviews which were given to the immigrants to prevent them from being deported back to their countries.


Where this previously was the case, now parents will be able to provide additional evidence to support their case as part of the settlement that has been agreed.


The result was seen as a great win for the parents by a Muslim attorney advocate, claiming that the parents “will finally have a real chance to be heard and to secure safety and stability for themselves and their families”.


The agreement put forward to U.S. Dana Sabraw in San Diego has been seen as an ultimatum for the parents, however, with those who don’t agree to the settlement needing to be “promptly removed to their country of origin.”


A total of 12,800 migrant children were reported to have been detained by immigration officials on Wednesday with the majority crossing the border alone, without parents.


Immigration Officials Investigate Voter Fraud In North Carolina After Voting Records Requested

Over 20 million voter records from the North Carolina area have been requested to be acquired as part of an investigation being conducted by the Trump Administration into voter fraud. The records requested cover almost eight years and local officials claim it has impaired their preparations for the elections due to take place on the 6th of November.


The Trump Administration has provided a deadline of the 25th of September for 15 million records from the state and 5.6 million individual records from 44 different counties to be handed over.


According to Josh Lawson, a board lawyer claimed that the subpoenas that were written from the Justice Department to the relevant county boards “were the most exhaustive on record”. The comments were made in a letter to the Justice Department and he continued to state that subpoenas have “materially affected” preparations for the elections which are due to take place in November.


According to the state board, there are over 7 million registered voters in North Carolina which has a population of over 10 million and subpoenas were faxed individually to each of the county boards.


U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are believed to be heading the investigation according to the Justice Department. ICE have recently created a new Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force which the investigation is currently operating under. When pressed for comments ICE refused to answer and referred any questions to a federal prosecutor based in North Carolina.


Other relevant parties also refused to comment about the matter, including U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Robert Higdon.


The investigation arose after charges and indictments were made to 19 foreigners for voter fraud in North Carolina in August according to federal law enforcement officials.


There are suspicions around the reason for the subpoenas and Mr Higdon, who’s part of the Trump Administration, has been asked in a letter by Wake County Commissioner John Burns for an explanation for them. There are claims that the investigation could be a way to interfere with the vote.


Requests made in the subpoenas would cover handing over application and voting forms, poll books and ballots regarding absentees. The state requests cover over 8 years of documents.


The issue for some counties is that documents would have to be pulled out individually one-by-one. This will be considered time-consuming and not utilising resources effectively. Gerry Cohen, an expert in state election law, said some states wouldn’t have the capabilities to deal with such a request considering they also have to prepare for the elections.


Essentially, the time it would take to send over the documents would mean an election wouldn’t be able to take place. As a result, Mr Lawson has requested extensions for some states due to the strain.


President Trump has claimed that immigrants voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election, influencing results and helping Hillary Clinton win the popular vote.

New Report Outlines Risks Faced By Children Deported From U.S.

A new report released by the United Nations children’s agency suggests the immigration crackdown happening in the US for families crossing the southern border poses a major risk for the children that are being deported back to their homelands.


The report, Uprooted in Central America and Mexico, goes into detail of how children being deported back to their countries of origin are likely to revert to a poorer way of living, ending up riddled in debt and having their life at risk from being targeted by local gang members in the region.


It highlights incredible deportation figures since the Trump Administration put in place the “zero-tolerance” policy with UNICEF reporting that “96,216 migrants from northern Central America, including 24,189 women and children, were returned from Mexico and the U.S. between January and June of this year” to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.


From those that were returned from the U.S. to Mexico, over 90% of the immigrants were deported from Mexico to them countries stated above.


Maria Cristina Perceval, the Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean for UNICEF reiterated how the struggle that the children have in their homeland makes them even more likely to want to return, for a better life, “children who are sent back to their countries of origin have no home to return to”, she says. “Being returned to impossible situations makes it more likely that they will migrate again”.


The document hasn’t been created to scathe or attack the policy that’s been put in place by the Trump Administration, but rather highlight the struggles that migrants face back home and the dangers they’re trying to escape from in attempting to cross the Mexico-US border. For young people in particular, they can be faced with great danger in their home countries.


The report in particular, focuses on countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, where gang-related crime, poverty and lack of quality education are just some of the challenges that young children face on a daily basis. It means that migrants are faced with further suffering and stricter border controls aren’t less likely to stop them from fleeing their current living conditions.


Back in June, Trump signed an agreement to stop the separating of young children from their parents when they were met at the US border. However, it hasn’t been easy trying to reunite the families.

The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) filed a lawsuit this week, claiming that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been unlawfully coordinating to prevent immigrants from seeking legal U.S residency and instead campaigning to arrest and deport the immigrants.


The report goes on further to say, “detention and family separation by migration authorities are deeply traumatizing experiences,” and that they wished to reiterate that they promote the idea of wanting to keep the families together.

South Korean Born US Soldier Set For ICE Custody In Immigration Crackdown

Yea Ji Sea, a decorated US Army Medic, is due to be discharged from her position due to her immigration status.


Originally born in South Korea, Sea came to the United States aged 9 through a visitor’s visa in 1998. She joined the US army at the age of 26 to earn her US citizenship. There was a program allowing service members to earn this through an active duty within the US army.


Despite becoming a well-decorated service member in her 4 and half year stint as a soldier, her naturalisation application had always had a hindrance on her progress, and now that progress is no longer possible as she’s been honourably discharged from her duties.


Sea had always been optimistic about her chances of success in the service, with continuous reassurance from the Army that by putting the country and them first, she would always feel wanted for her skills and dedication to the cause.


However, news of her discharge has slowly drained away all the optimism that she once had. She explains how she regrets believing that the army wouldn’t take into account her status when fulfilling her service, stating that she “believed them because I was stupid”.


In response to the news of her discharge, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Sea to the Department of Homeland Security and U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services. The legal document argues that Sea’s naturalisation application had been unrightfully processed and ordered that a judge forces the government to make a decision on the matter within 20 days.


The situation has escalated beyond critical due to the timescale in which her discharge is due to take place. Without a valid immigration status, the will be unable to work and runs the risk of being deported. This would involve ICE coming to the base and escorting Sea out of the base in custody.


The idea of obtaining a citizenship is what drew Sea to the military service. Under the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program (MAVNI), noncitizens could work for their citizenship through military service if they were lawfully present in the country.


She enrolled back in October 2013 and had a successful time in the service, excelling in training and earning promotions and medals through her work.


However, a problem with her visa would hinder gaining citizenship. In 2008 when she applied for her F-1 student visa from the National America Language School, the school’s owner was actually working with corrupt agents who would stamp visas for bribes.


Unaware that the visas were fraudulent, ICE declared the school as an approved program making her believe that the paperwork was legitimate, when in fact, her application had a different date to when she entered the country.


Others in a similar situation have also been discharged within the past year or so and despite knowing of the student visa since 2014, it is only now that they have chosen to discharge her because of the MAVNI program.


Now, Sea is facing the reality that all of her hard work is getting washed away as she rushes to pack her belongings into boxes.

Progress Made With Reuniting Immigrant Families According To U.S Judge

There’s been “very promising progress” in reuniting the families who were separated at the U.S-Mexico border according to a federal judge in the U.S.


There were over 2,500 immigrant children who were separated from their parents as part of Trump’s ‘zero-tolerance’ immigration policy, but the forward movement continues to reunite the families.


The government were provided with a deadline by U.S District Judge Dana Sabraw to reunite the families who had been separated. He requested that the government attorney’s provided him with an update with only 6 days to go and the update appeared positive.


According to reports, U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials reported to Sabraw’s San Diego courtroom on Thursday confirming that 364 children over the age of 5 had been reunited by their parent in the past three weeks. On Friday this number increased to 450.


The government, however, were unclear on how many parents and children would be reunited before the July 26th deadline.


Interviews had taken place for nearly 850 parents by Thursday and they were cleared to be reunited with their children. However, 229 parents were ineligible because they had a previous criminal record or they requested that their reunification is “waived” away. The rest of the reviews are still pending.


Of the decisions made so far, 850 parents are facing deportation orders but Sabraw has ordered that deportations are put on hold until a final decision has been made on the reunited families.


Requests have been made for the information that was shared with the American Civil Liberties Union to also be shared with attorney generals that cover 17 states and the District of Columbia. Similar to the ACLU, the lawsuit filed by the attorney generals questioned the policies and the rights to separate the families at the border.


A major priority for Sabraw is making sure that the families are reunited quickly and there have been challenges from the government who claim the reason it’s taking longer than anticipated is so the children can remain safe.

Kristen Niejlsen, the U.S Homeland Security Secretary, clarified that although they have every intention of meeting the deadline proposed by the judge, she wanted to make sure her team didn’t “cut corners”.

Extra Worry For Farmers Over Trump’s US Trade And Immigration Policies

Farmers in the US have felt the squeeze with their overall income since crop prices have fluctuated over the last few years, threatening them to lose out in millions within their trade.


Now Trump’s US policies to do with bio-fuel and immigration means that farmers are even more worried about maintaining their trade in the agricultural industry, especially with the potential of counter tariffs being applied on US farm goods.


Earlier this year, the tariff threats were made by Trump to China, Mexico, Canada and the EU which caused a major fluctuation in prices for crops such as corn and soybeans. Then, as of July 6th, there was a rise in land prices from the tariff made against China, who responded with a tariff of their own.


Predictions had already been made by the Department of Agriculture, noting that across the board the US farm industry would have a drop in income of around $60billion even before the threat of tariffs.


One farmer based in southeastern Nebraska has witnessed some fellow farmers who have quit farming already as they have struggled to make any profit before the tariff threats were put in place earlier this year.


Many common crops that are valuable assets to farmers have seen a major fall in prices which has affected their income dramatically.


Records have shown that the prices of soybeans have hit a 10 year low, falling 19% since May whilst the price of corn has dropped by 15 per cent meaning many farmers lose out at the current prices.


Farmers who breed pigs for Pork produce could have the largest impact as a result of the tariffs in place in China. Iowa State University predict that they could lose out on more than $2billion every year because hog prices are dropping rapidly.


There have been promises made by Trump’s administration that farmer profitability will be restored but many question how it would be possible and whether they can trust the administration to do so.


The immigration policies put in place by Trump have also provided an extra stumbling block for farmers that produce pork. Farmers rely heavily on immigrants to make up the majority of their workforce but raids and trade disputes have farmers extra worried.