On September 26, 2017, the U.S. Department of State issued an alert explaining that it has been informed by the Latvian Ministry of Welfare that it is still missing post-adoption reports from U.S. families who adopted children from Latvia. The Latvian government asked the DOS to “stress the importance of post-adoption report submission to adoption service providers and adoptive families.”
In Executive Order 13767, President Donald Trump directed the U.S. Attorney General to assign immigration judges to detention facilities. The DOJ began to implement this provision of Executive Order 13767 shortly after its issuance on January 25, 2017. In the press release, the DOJ states that its Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has released statistics on the impact of the immigration judge surge.
On March 3, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) temporarily suspended premium processing for all H1B petitions. Over the next few months, the USCIS gradually resumed premium processing for certain types of H1B petitions. On October 3, 2017, the USCIS resumed premium processing for H1B extension of stay petitions and by effect, premium processing for all H1B petitions. This post includes all of the articles we published about the suspension of H1B premium processing.
On September 28, 2017, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a press release on the result of its “Operation Safe City.” The ICE explains that Operation Safe City was a four-day operation that “focused on cities and regions where ICE deportation officers are denied access to jails and prisons to interview suspected immigration violators or jurisdictions where ICE detainers are not honored.” The four-day operation resulted in 498 arrests of individuals in 42 counties for violations of the Federal immigration laws. The ICE stated that it prioritized aliens with criminal convictions. It added that individuals with active Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) were not targeted for arrest.
On September 19, 2017, the Department of Justice (DOJ) published a press release titled “United States Files Denaturalization Complaints in Florida, Connecticut and New Jersey Against Three Individuals Who Fraudulently Naturalized After Having Been Ordered Deported Under Different Identities.” All three cases in the press release concern individuals who are alleged to have procured naturalization by concealing that they had previously been deported under different identities. The DOJ explains that the cases were referred to it by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as a part of “Operation Janus.”
On September 28, 2017, Andrew Restuccia and Eliana Johnson published a report at Politico stating that U.S. Representative Michael McCaul of Texas is no longer in contention to be the next Secretary of Homeland Security. McCaul, the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, was believed to be a leading candidate for the post.
In the early months of the Trump Administration, there have been reports of dramatic increases of individuals crossing the U.S.-Canada border to seek asylum in Canada. On September 27, 2017, Brian Freeman of Newsmax reported that “some 7,000 asylum seekers from the U.S. have reached Canada in the last two months alone…” In response to the surge of asylum seekers from the United States crossing the border to Canada, the Canadian government is, according to Freeman’s report, attempting to send the message that those who cross the U.S.-Canada border in this manner may face deportation to their countries of nationality. Furthermore, the Canadian government made clear that “someone who has been denied asylum in the U.S. … is unlikely to receive it in Canada.”
On September 27, 2017, Politico Magazine posted an interesting title on the progress of the Department of Justice (DOJ) initiative to reallocate Immigration Judges to the U.S.-Mexico border. Since the issuance of President Donald Trump’s January 25, 2017 Executive Orders, the DOJ has sent immigration judges on projected short-term assignments to the border. The purpose of this reallocation of judicial resources was to process cases at the border expeditiously, ostensibly, to reduce the significant backlog of cases in the immigration court system that originate at border crossings. The Politico story suggests that the results of the new program have thus far been suspect.
On September 26, 2017, Sophia Tareen of the Associated Press reported that the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) had upheld a decision granting asylum in the United States to Amos Yee, a teenage blogger and a national and citizen of Singapore. Yee, now 19, had been a political blogger in Singapore. Yee’s commentary on Islam and Christianity was derided by some in Singapore as being offensive. Furthermore, Yee also posted blogs and videos that were critical of political figures in Singapore. Yee was arrested for his political commentary in 2015 after making a video that was harshly critical of former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew shortly after he had died.