U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a regulatory change to deter aliens from illegally entering the United States and from filing frivolous, fraudulent, or otherwise non-meritorious claims for asylum to obtain an employment authorization document. This rule does not alter asylum eligibility criteria in any way and will be effective on Aug. 25.
This rule stems from the April 29, 2019, Presidential Memorandum on Additional Measures to Enhance Border Security and Restore Integrity to Our Immigration System, which emphasizes that it is the policy of the United States to manage humanitarian immigration programs in a safe and orderly manner, and to promptly deny benefits to those who do not qualify.USCIS
mission,” said Joseph Edlow, the USCIS Deputy Director for Policy. “The reforms in this rule are designed to restore integrity to the asylum system and to reduce any incentive to file an asylum application for the primary purpose of obtaining work authorization.
It also deters frivolous and non-meritorious applications by eliminating employment authorization for aliens who have failed to file for asylum within one year of their last entry until USCIS or an immigration judge determines the alien’s eligibility for asylum.”
The rule prevents aliens who, absent good cause, illegally entered the United States from obtaining employment authorization based on a pending asylum application.
Additionally, the rule defines new bars and denials for employment authorization, such as for certain criminal behavior; extends the wait time before an asylum applicant can apply for employment authorization from 150 days to 365 calendar days; limits the employment authorization validity period to a maximum of two years; and automatically terminates employment authorization when an applicant’s asylum denial is administratively final.
CASSILS The urgency of “In Plain Sight” has become paramount as people began to die from Covid-19 in detention camps. We had initially planned for this project to occur without any press, but when the pandemic hit, we launched our Instagram page that features short interviews with our artists and calls to action. It’s been a great opportunity to take action. In recent months, I’ve had 11 exhibitions canceled or paused. Almost every artist I know has, too.
There is a rich history of artists looking toward the sky for inspiration. Yves Klein used it as inspiration for his conceptual blue paintings. Recently, the artist Jammie Holmes flew George Floyd’s final words above five cities across the country. What other works have inspired your skytyping project?–
ESPARZA “Repellent Fence” (2015) by the art collective Postcommodity was particularly important for us. They created a metaphorical suture along the migration path between the United States and Mexico with tethered balloons to speak about land art in relation to permanence and shifting landscapes. In the same way that they used the land to talk about the divisive power of colonial structures, we are hoping to index the sky as a symbol of inspiration and hope. And the sky is able to migrate messages across borders. When our message is skytyped above San Diego, the words will likely drift into Tijuana. And when our words are written above Los Angeles, they will have a shared orbital path, allowing phrases like “Abolition Now” and “Stop Crimigration Now” to coalesce into a circular message.
CASSILS We are also thinking of artists who have used the language of advertisement to get their points across. Artists like Lynda Benglis and Barbara Hammer. The AIDS Memorial Quilt was another important reference because it demonstrates how people can come together through a patchwork of activism.
Many artists involved with the project are also queer, which may or may not be a coincidence. We are thinking about the words of José Esteban Muñoz, who wrote in 2009 that “queerness exists for us as an ideality that can be distilled from the past and used to imagine a future.” We see a liberation for queer, migrant and Black communities as deeply bound together because they are all rooted in the issues of white supremacy and colonization. Our jobs as queer artists is to imagine the future.
ESPARZA And we are putting the proposal of care, which is central to many queer communities, at the forefront of this project. We want to imagine what care looks like for people who are impacted by migrant detention and Covid-19.
CASSILS Bringing the skytypers into the fold has also been a unique experience. And with some messages being written in Cree, Farsi and Urdu, this will likely be the first time many people will see their own languages in the sky. There has also been a challenge to imagine how to write languages in the sky that don’t use the Roman alphabet. Skytypers usually work in fleets of five planes each, so any image or letter must exist along a five-point matrix. For artists on the project, that means experimenting with the grid and drawing out words like “freedom” in Farsi or Urdu. It’s interesting to note the challenges of what we can put into the sky, and how we might overcome those barriers.
A recent Sacramento Bee article points out five times California fought President Trump on immigration within the last few years. Predictably, it omits the consequences of each of its actions. Below are how its elected and appointed officials created or could have created problems for the state and the nation:
“A federal appeals court in California ruled President Trump’s diversion of $2.5 billion from military construction projects to fund the Mexico border wall ‘unlawful.’”
Sabotaging funding for the southern border wall is reckless. Not only does southern California border Mexico, it also boasts the busiest land crossing in the entire world: The San Ysidro Port of Entry. With border walls proven to deter narcotic flows, illegal immigration, and dangerous criminals, it is absurd that the state stymied this funding. California has the largest illegal alien population in the United States—costing it more than $23 billion annually (the most of any U.S. state). These figures are likely to increase with its decision to block border wall funding.
“In May 2018, California fought against the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census when [Attorney General Xavier] Becerra filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration in the U.S. District Court in Northern California.”
The addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census would have not been unprecedented and could have brought numerous advantages to California and the rest of the nation. Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution requires the federal government to conduct a nationwide count of every person living in the United States every 10 years and questions involving citizenship occurred in surveys as early as 1820 and as recently as 1950.
Similarly, the American Community Survey (ACS) collects demographic data on an ongoing basis and asks about citizenship status. All of this data helps determine how many individuals, both legal and illegal, are living in each U.S. state. These figures ultimately determine the distribution of federal funding and electoral votes. In doing so, California undermined the integrity of the system under which federal funds are disbursed and electoral systems by opposing the inclusion of this question.
“California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new law on Oct. 11, 2019 to phase out private, for-profit immigration detention facilities and prisons in the state by 2028.”
Eliminating immigration detentions jeopardizes public safety and undermines the nation’s judicial system. With a reduction in immigration detentions, public safety could become compromised as many of the detainees have been convicted of more serious crimes than immigration offenses.
Additionally, those released with a pending court date more often than not do not have valid asylum claims and are unlikely to show up to their hearing. With immigration detentions already nearly maxed out, it is irresponsible that its governor signed onto this law.
“The ‘public charge’ rule, proposed by the Trump administration in 2019, has had what advocates call a “chilling effect” among immigrant communities. The policy denies an immigrant’s green card or visa application if they are likely to be dependent on public assistance, like food stamps or other programs. Last summer, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Becerra filed a lawsuit to block the policy.”
Public charge laws have existed for centuries and are based on the rational principle that immigrants be self-sufficient. The nation must prioritize self-sufficiency and financial responsibility as most its social safety net is financed by taxpayers. Providing millions of dollars in benefits to people who are fiscal burdens to the nation would be careless. Today, almost two-thirds (63 percent) of all immigrant-led households use at least one welfare program – compared to only 35 percent of native-headed households. With welfare programs and illegal immigration costing the country hundreds of billions annually, finite resources must be safeguarded for other societal needs.
“A year after Trump’s inauguration, the president sought to increase vetting procedures for foreign nationals traveling to the U.S in 2017. Trump signed an executive order suspending foreign nationals from seven mostly Muslim countries, including Venezuela, from traveling to the country.”
The president’s travel ban addresses legitimate national security concerns identified by both his administration and those of his predecessor. Congress has delegated to the president clear, unambiguous authority to suspend entry to any alien or class of aliens deemed detrimental to the interests of the United States. Though the president’s order was eventually upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States, California’s judicial activism could have compromised public safety and enabled harmful actors abroad the opportunity to wreak havoc on the nation.
As seen by these five actions, the state of California has misguided priorities. Enhancing public safety, reducing fiscal costs, and upholding the rule of law, should be on the top of the state’s interests or really any state’s interests, but instead, it has succumbed to the interests of the open borders lobby and the cosmopolitan agenda.
President Donald Trump commemorated the 200th mile of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in San Luis, Arizona, on Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Q Can I ask a question on the wall, How’s it looking?
Donald J. Trump replies: ”I think it’s great. It’s great. It’s going to be – it’s really foolproof. It’s solid steel. It’s rebar and concrete inside the steel. So we have a very heavy concrete inside the steel. And inside the concrete, we have rebar. So you have everything you could have. It’s what they wanted, and that’s what we did.”
Donald J. Trump: Any questions?
Q Mr. President, with all the problems that we’re facing right now, why are you determined to end DACA at this time – with unemployment, with COVID?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’re looking at it. We’ll work it out with DACA. I think good things are happening with DACA. They resubmit, but we’ll work it out. And the Democrats have been playing with DACA for years, and they haven’t done anything. I’ll get it done. I’ll get it done. And we’ll — good things will happen for DACA recipients, and pretty soon.
Q Is there a message for DREAMERS?
THE PRESIDENT: So, we’re going to — yeah. The message is: Put your chin up. Good things are going to happen. You’ll watch. Okay?
Q Why was the suspension on green cards necessary?
THE PRESIDENT: You have to talk up.
Q Suspension on green cards: Why was it necessary?
THE PRESIDENT: So we want to give jobs to Americans right now. Right now we want jobs going to Americans.
Any other questions? Okay. Thank you all very much.
“We’re going to build a wall” – it’s something we’ve heard Donald Trump say many times since he started presidency.
Despite the border wall becoming a controversial topic, President Trump continued to find ways to complete his project while nearing the end of his term.
What is the status of the wall?
The US-Mexico border is 1,954 miles (3,145km) long and crosses vast deserts and mountains in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. About 654 miles of that have some sort of manmade barriers, such as fencing or a wall. President Donald J Trump insists on building this wall while nobody really wants to help fund it. This day marked the 216 miles of the border wall, well shy of the 450 miles he has pledged to finish by the end of this 2020. A report Friday by Customs and Border Protection shows that since Trump took office in 2017, $15 billion has been budgeted for about 738 miles of wall.
How much does the wall really cost?
- The original estimate of $5.7 billion dollars would build 234miles of the wall.
- The new estimate is $24.4 million per mile
- $24.4 million per mile does not include the large cost overruns for construction projects. That would bring the total cost to $36.6 million per mile.
- The total estimate does not include the low-ball $870,000 annual cost to maintain the wall.
As the cost of the border wall keeps getting higher, the border wall keeps becoming less of a wall.
What exactly is “the wall” and why is the president so intent on getting the billions to fund it?
Supporters argue that:
“This is the most important issue facing our nation. Our border must be secured,” Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, said in a statement Monday. “Yuma is on the front lines of this defense and I am proud to have supported additional border security.”
- The Democrats are not willing to compromise on border security.
- The human cost of illegal immigration is devastating.
- Taxpayers shoulder the financial costs of illegal immigration.
- The experts want a border wall to help them fight illegal immigration.
- The border crisis is not going to solve itself.
Those who are against the wall say:
Obama on Trump Wall: ‘Good luck with that’
- A lot of undocumented immigrants are already here.
- Cartels can outsmart checkpoints.
- Terrorists aren’t undocumented.
- Immigration courts are already overwhelmed.
How does the Wall affect the environment?
- Disrupts wildlife refuges and parks
- Divides a river
- Exacerbates flooding
- Exempts from environmental oversight laws
- exposes danger to wildlife and plants
- Threatens diverse landscapes
More on effected endangered species here at National Geographic
How does Mexico feel about the Wall?
Here is part of the transcript of the call between Mr. Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, which took place on January 27, 2017, and lasted 53 minutes.
Trump: Hello, good morning.
Pena Nieto: Mr. President, good morning.
Trump: How are you, Mr. President?
Pena Nieto: I am good. How are you? It is good to speak with you. Let me switch to Spanish so I will be more comfortable.
Trump: Yes, that would be fine, Enrique.
Pena Nieto: President Trump, I am very glad to hear from you and I know we have had a point of difference that has complicated the situation. Let me tell you clearly what I think is now happening in the route of reaching an agreement between our two nations. The first thing I want to say is that I highly appreciate the openness of your team and the willingness of your team to work to open a new framework between our two countries.
Trump: Thank you.
Pena Nieto: Yes, and I want to also thank you personally for what you said last Wednesday on the importance of Mexico to have a strong economy, and also the responsibility our administration has accepted to stop illegal trafficking of weapons and money coming into Mexico. However, we have found an issue here that marks differences and this is nothing new, Mr. President.
I think that since your visit we have spoken about this and this is what I want to talk about, this difference. Let me tell you, Mr. President, this is not a personal difference. It has nothing to do with you personally, Mr. President.
”But it is unthinkable that I cannot ignore this because we find this completely unacceptable for Mexicans to pay for the wall that you are thinking of building.”
You can read the full transcripts originally released from the Washington Post here
Despite many who are against the wall, the Trump administration continues to pump money into the border wall, arrests of migrants have declined dramatically compared to 2019, and new restrictions related to the coronavirus continue to prevent migrants and asylum seekers from entering the U.S.
In May, Border Patrol arrested more than 21,475 people along the Southern border, according to the latest available data. Of those detained, 19,707 were expelled from the US under a public health order in March.
New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Global Viewpoint Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, NBC News, Fox News and various books and other publications.
The Trump administration has banned foreign nationals on certain employment-based nonimmigrant visas from entering the United States. The new ban begins June 24, at 12:01 am ET. The administration also extended its April 23 ban on the entry of certain immigrants, which would have expired on June 22.
2017-2020 Immigration Timeline of major Immigration events following The presidency of Donald Trump which began at noon EST (17:00 UTC) on January 20, 2017.
January 27, 2017: Trump issues executive order on refugee admission and immigration bans
February 2017: ICE conducts operations targeting criminals
February 20, 2017: DHS issues guidance on enforcement of immigration laws.PDF
March 20, 2017: DHS issues first detainer report
April 18, 2017: Trump issues Buy American, Hire American executive order
July 11, 2017: DHS delays implementation of International Entrepreneur Rule
August 2, 2017: Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act
September 18, 2017: U.S. State Department outlines new requirements for visa holders
September 24, 2017: Trump administration releases updated travel restrictions
October 24, 2017: Restrictions on refugee admissions expire; new guidelines in place
December 11, 2017: Trump calls for an end to chain migration after the terror attack
January 16, 2018: U.S. Department of Justice appeals DACA ruling
January 24, 2018: Trump says he supports a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients
January 25, 2018: Trump administration releases initial framework for an immigration plan
February 15, 2018: Senate rejects four immigration reform proposals
February 26, 2018: SCOTUS denies Trump administration’s request to review DACA case
March 6, 2018: DOJ files lawsuit against California’s immigration laws
March 13, 2018: Trump visits border wall prototypes in California
March 20, 2018: Trump claims sanctuary cities harbor criminals
March 28, 2018: Trump shares photos of construction on U.S.-Mexico border
April 2, 2018: Justice Department announces quotas for immigration judges
May 1, 2018: Texas and six other states file lawsuit to end DACA
October 26, 2018: Trump administration to send troops to U.S.-Mexico border
October 30, 2018: Trump proposes ending birthright citizenship
November 8, 2018: Ninth Circuit Court rules Trump administration cannot end DACA
November 9, 2018: Trump issues a presidential proclamation on asylum
December 21, 2018: Trump pledges government shutdown unless border wall funding secured
January 19, 2019: Trump releases plan to secure the border and end partial shutdown
February 3, 2019: Trump administration announces more troops headed to the southern border
February 21, 2020: SCOTUS allows public charge rule to take effect
WASHINGTON — President Trump said Friday that he will once again attempt to end a program designed to protect young immigrants from deportation, one day after the Supreme Court said his earlier efforts to do so were arbitrary and improper.
In a tweet Friday morning, Mr. Trump vowed to try again.
“We will be submitting enhanced papers shortly in order to properly fulfill the Supreme Court’s ruling & request of yesterday,” Mr. Trump wrote.
On Thursday, June 06 many people were glued to their tv-sets while waiting to hear the fate of almost 700,000 undocumented immigrants. People across the Nation showed their support at federal buildings including the White House and the Supreme Court.
It was President Trump’s attempt to dismantle Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Just one more achievement Trump wanted to cross off his to-do list before Novembers elections.
But Thursday was not a day Trump will want to remember after hearing the Supreme Court ruling had turned against him. Supporters from around the world cheered and celebrated as if it were personal, and it was.
Chief Justice John Roberts, favored the five-to-four decision and said this was not a matter of whether or not the DACA program polices are sound or not, this decision was made because the Trump administration had violated government procedures while trying too quickly to end DACA back in September of 2017. “Their arguments were weak anyway.”, he added.
The Supreme Court ruling will allow the DACA program to continue taking new applications, but who knows when Trump administration officials will strike again.
For now, people can only wonder what the Trump administration’s next move will be while the fate of 700,000 “dreamers” remains in question.
Barrack Obama’s reaction on Twitter after the decision was made
What Is DACA?
Ex-President Barack Obama launched DACA in June of 2012 which provided a reprieve from deportation to young people who came to the United States as children. DACA does not give anyone legal status in the U.S. nor does it leed a pathway to citizenship. However, it does allow them to be lawfully present without the threat of deportation.
DACA gives young undocumented immigrants:
- Protection from deportation
- 2 yr. work permit
- driver’s licenses
What Are The Requirements For DACA?
- You were under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012;
- You first came to the United States before your 16th birthday;
- You have lived continuously in the United States from June 15, 2007, until the present;
- You were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time you apply;
- You came to the United States without documents before June 15, 2012, or your lawful status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- You are currently studying, or you graduated from high school or earned a certificate of completion of high school or GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or military (technical and trade school completion also qualifies); and
- You have not been convicted of a felony, certain significant misdemeanors (including a single DUI), or three or more misdemeanors of any kind.
USCIS recently asked Congress for $1.2 billion in emergency funding which they claim was a direct result of having fewer applicants during the pandemic. But after an internal investigation, it was revealed that USCIS already had a history of serious financial mismanagement and counterproductive policies prior to the pandemic ever arriving.
USCIS also proposed a 10 percent surcharge on new immigration applications to pay the $1.2 billion back to U.S. taxpayers. USCIS already had announced its plans of increasing their application fees in 2019. If Congress doesn’t come to the rescue, USCIS is expected to run out of funds soon and will be sending two-thirds of their employee’s notices of temporary layoffs as early as next week.
USCIS’s funding comes directly from the fees people pay in pursuing immigration benefits, such as applications for naturalization and petitions for noncitizen workers.
But a close examination of USCIS’s operations before the coronavirus pandemic reveals a different story. Ineffective procedures, fiscal mismanagement, and a series of policies have harmed the agency’s own bottom line.
USCIS projected a 61% reduction in applications
- USCIS must become more fiscally responsible.
- USCIS data confirms that between 2017 and 2019 their cases already dropped by 10%.
- USCIS expanded its personnel by 1/4 between 2015 and 2018 despite a 10% decline.
- USCIS increased its payroll expenses while their revenue decreased.
- USCIS limited certain revenue generation tools in recent months
USCIS stopped “premium processing” applications for certain petitions ($1,440 guaranteed the processing of a petition within 15 calendar days ) Although, the damage to its bottom line was already done, on June 8, USCIS reversed this suspension and began accepting employment-based petitions again but only on an expedited basis.
Immigrants feared they will be denied their benefits and lose their filing fees.
USCIS’s recent public charge rule in October caused many applications to be denied which significantly affected applicants. The new policies, perhaps intentionally, made things a lot harder for applicants to file. As a result, USCIS received one million fewer applicants in 2019 compared to its 8.7 million applications in 2018.
- USCIS must become more efficient.
Although USCIS hired more personnel to process petitions and applications, quite the opposite happened. The time it took for an application increased and had the worst efficiency scores USCIS has seen in a long time. It took 46% longer to complete a case. This disrupted the lives of many applicants, agencies, businesses, and families who depended on USCIS to lawfully work in the USA.
The new policies that went into effect after the recent public charge rule forced officers to spend a lot more time on petitions and applications which also contributed to their low productivity.
- USCIS must become more transparent.
USCIS projected the $1.2 billion dollar shortfall in its proposed fee rule back in November of 2019, the same exact amount they’re asking Congress for now.
Despite their projected shortfall and its own lagging productivity, USCIS proposed to transfer $100 million in funding to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the same proposal. A diversion maybe?
USCIS needs to provide more evidence of their internal accounting, including detailed expenditure data, information on per-officer productivity, and the recent growth of its fraud detection directorate.
Despite USCIS attempts to increase investigations and funding to detect application fraud, USCIS has not proved that fraud non-existent within its own walls of the immigration system.
In an excellent academic article, researchers at UC Davis summarize trends in US immigration over the last quarter.
H-1B. On April 1, 2009, USCIS made H-1B visas available for FY10. There were far fewer employer requests than the 163,000 received in five days in April 2008 for FY09 visas. Some 65,000 H-1B visas, plus 20,000 for foreigners who have earned Masters and Doctorates from US universities, are available each year to profit-making employers. There is no cap on the number of H-1B visas available to nonprofit universities and research labs.
USCIS reported 32,500 requests for the 65,000 general H-1B visas in the first five days of April 2009, and almost 20,000 requests for the 20,000 for advanced degrees.
USCIS in March 2009 reported that the top recipient of H-1B visas in FY08 was Infosys Technologies, which had 4,560 H-1B petitions approved. Like Infosys, six of the top 10 users of the H-1B program were outsourcing firms that bring foreign workers into the US, usually from India, and move them from firm to firm. The largest US-based user of H-1B visas in FY08 was Microsoft, which received 1,035. The list of leading H-1B employers in FY08 was similar to that in FY07 and earlier years.
The title of the article is, “Labor: Recession, H1-B.”
In their analysis, the economic downturn in the US is changing strong recent trends in professional and technical immigration, and is illuminating long-standing arguments between immigrant-rights groups, large technical employers, and technology worker groups who make accusations of ageism and failed regulation leading to unfair hiring practices in high-tech industries.
I recommend reading the entire article.
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