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Irvine Immigration Law Blog

Credible fear claim rejections on the rise

One thing that has a very big impact on asylum seekers who are facing expedited removal is what happens in their credible fear review. Generally, in order to pursue an asylum claim, individuals facing expedited removal have to be found to have a credible fear of facing persecution if they were to return to their home country.

The initial review of whether a person meets the credible fear standard is done by an asylum officer. If the officer rejects a person's credible fear claim, the finding can be appealed to an immigration judge. What a judge decides in such a review generally cannot be further appealed.

“Ineligible” parents try to get kids back amid chaos

There are still hundreds of immigrant parents who still need to be reunited with an estimated 650 children well after the deadline set by federal judge has passed. Some have even been deemed “ineligible” to get their children back. One reason for this is that officials believe they were smuggling children for profit. Other reasons include the child had been traveling with relative other than the parent; or they are the parent has a criminal record or has been caught trying to enter the country before by ICE. Some are given no reason at all.

Some “ineligible” parents remain in detention despite having been confirmed as parents by DNA testing, while others now have been returned to their country of origin and continue fight to reunite with their children.

Judge rules federal government violated Flores settlement

A California-based federal court judge ruled the government must get parental consent before giving psychotropic drugs to detained immigrant children. The July 31 order sided with advocates for the detained children and laid out a number of specific expectations for their treatment while in government-run detention centers.

U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee agreed with advocates who argued the government centers violated a 1997 settlement which details the treatment of immigrant children while in government custody.

Reuniting 430 deported parents with their children

The challenge of reuniting separated children and parents is still a long way from complete despite a federal judge’s deadline. However, this issue will be even more difficult for officials as they attempt to find the 430 parents deported while their children remain detained here in the U.S.

There are a number of important issues and hurdles that these families will face. We will briefly outline some of them:

Los Angeles clinic prepares for ICE

Doctors have a Hippocratic Oath to provide medical care to those in need. Hospitals and healthcare facilities here in the U.S. carry that tradition on through a variety of actions, including providing emergency care regardless of immigration status.

Now with rumors of ICE raiding hospitals and the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy, there is concern that some are not seeking medical treatment because they fear that they will get picked up and deported. Some also have voiced concerns about having their personal information attached to medical records that can be accessed by government agents.

What you should know about the new criticism of ICE

The debate over the role of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is heating up. The “Abolish Ice” movement, started as a battle cry of progressive activists, has now reached the main stage of our political theater.

This seemingly simple demand has raised several questions. Here is what you should know to stay informed on this controversial topic.

ICE is now targeting undocumented immigrants via text

If you’re an undocumented immigrant in the U.S., you’ve probably been on edge since Trump took office—announcing targeted action to deport anyone without the requisite permissions to live here. You may have an immigration lawyer on standby. Perhaps you and your family have made a plan of action, in case you’re ever approached by federal authorities. What you may not have prepared for, however, is for immigration officials to text you.

There have been a growing number of reports of undocumented immigrants receiving unusual texts from people claiming to represent the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The texts are often urgently worded, and they may encourage the recipient to meet them at a specific, informal location. There have also been reports of such texts directing recipients to non-government-affiliated websites.

Supreme Court upholds Muslim travel ban

The Supreme Court closes out its session with a ruling on Tuesday, June 26 of one of the most controversial cases before the bench this year. The divided bench ruled 5-4 to uphold President Donald Trump’s immigration travel ban against predominantly Muslim countries, viewing it as a valid exercise of the executive branch’s authority. The court also didn’t view singling out Muslims as religious persecution in the face of national security concerns.

The ruling reverses a series of lower court decisions that deemed the travel ban as illegal or unconstitutional. It also hands a major victory to Trump, who followed through on a campaign promise by first trying to initiate the ban a week after taking office.

Confusion on the border after Trump reversal

The president signed an executive order on June 20th that has reversed course on separating migrant parents from their children. This is good news for the families seeking a better way of life. However, the abrupt change has left officials scrambling to come up with solutions to reunite families while sorting what “zero tolerance” means in light of the policy shift.

Reuniting families

Justice Department asks for delay of DACA injunction

Texas and six other states (none of which are California) have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration seeking to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the 2012 program created by the Obama administration to protect 700,000 young immigrants who entered the country from being deported.

Now in early June of 2018, the Justice Department responded to Texas’ request for an injunction in its challenge to DACA. The states (the others are Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia) claim that the program was unlawful because the administration overstepped its authority. They now want to immediately cancel all DACA permits because they are unlawful and not issue any new ones. This would effectively kill the program, phasing it out within two years.

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber