In important news, the parties in Dilley Pro Bono Project v. ICE reached a settlement in proceedings before the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The settlement agreement helps ensure that pro bono attorneys for detainees at two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities will be able to facilitate telephonic mental health examinations for their clients in a timely manner.
On August 16, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a notice in the Federal Register (FR) titled “Termination of the Central American Minors Parole Program.” As the name indicates, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Elaine Duke, terminated the Central American Minors (CAM) Parole Program. The termination is effective immediately.
On August 14, 2017, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) announced that it swore in nine new immigration judges to fill vacancies on seven immigration courts. The nine new immigration judges brings the size of the immigration judge corps to 334. The EOIR stated in the news release that it is using a new streamlined hiring process to reach the maximum authorized number of 384 immigration judges.
On August 10, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report showing that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spent more than $5,000,000 on polygraph exams for job applicants who had already admitted to disqualifying criminal acts and/or drug use prior to the polygraph exams.
On August 9, 2017, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued the September Visa Bulletin. On August 10, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determined that those seeking adjustment of status in the family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant visa preference categories must use the final action dates instead of the more generous filing dates. The September Visa Bulletin represents the last Visa Bulletin of FY-2017. In this article, we will examine the final action dates for both the family-sponsored and employment-based preference cases. We will also examine the DOS’s news and notes included with the September Visa Bulletin.
On August 8, 2017, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) released a document titled “Return to Rule of Law in Trump Administration Marked by Increase in Key Immigration Statistics.” The document includes a few interesting statistics from the immigration courts for the period spanning from February 1, 2017 to July 31, 2017.
In July of 2017, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report titled “REFUGEES: Actions Needed by State Department and DHS to Further Strengthen Applicant Screening Process and Assess Fraud Risks.” We have access to the public version of the report which includes all material not deemed sensitive. The 82-page report contains a detailed analysis of the entire refugee screening process and recommendations for the Departments of State (DOS) and Homeland Security (DHS) for improving the vetting process with regard to national security and fraud detection. In this article, we will briefly summarize the report’s findings and conclusions. Those who are interested in delving deeper into the issues should study the report in its entirety.