Law Offices of George Giosmas

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Hollywood Florida Immigration Law Blog

Lawsuit aims to stop expanded deportation rules

Migrants who have been in the United States for less than two years could be deported without seeing a judge according to a new Trump administration policy. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and others have filed a lawsuit asking that the new expedited powers policy not go into effect. The suit claims that it could lead to citizens in Florida or elsewhere being deported by mistake. In 2000, a woman was deported to Jamaica despite being a United States citizen.

The woman had just returned home from visiting relatives when she had been taken into custody. If the policy is allowed to stand, migrants caught anywhere in the country could be deported without due process. Currently, only those found within 100 miles of the border can be deported without going to court first. Furthermore, the current policy only applies to those who have been in the country for less than two weeks.

Even noncriminal undocumented immigrants face arrest, deportation

The past few years have been particularly unpredictable for many nonresidents living in the United States. The current administration has ratcheted up immigration enforcement. This has led to many more headlines about raids, arrests and deportations.

Some officials have suggested this crackdown is targeting undocumented immigrants that have a criminal past. A new analysis, however, found that is not the case. Arrests of noncriminal undocumented immigrants have risen dramatically – and in Florida more than anywhere else.

Asylum seekers sent across the border to Mexico

Some Florida residents may have heard about a new policy that involves sending asylum seekers back to Mexico to await a decision on their fate. Thousands of people have been sent back across the border. Many are from Cuba and Central America, while others are from Peru and Cameroon.

Migrants are being sent to Tamaulipas state, which has a high incidence of gang activity, kidnapping and other violence. The U.S. State Department warns against travel in the area. Asylum seekers who are fearful of their safety are leaving the area or camping near a downtown bridge because the National Guard and police are there. There are shelters in the town that are far from capacity, but the word spreading among migrants is that the shelters are full. Others said they were not informed of a shelter's existence or of how to get there.

White House suffers setback in immigration battle

Florida residents who are following the legal battles over President Trump's attempts to stem the flow of Central American migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border may be aware that the administration's attorneys had an eventful day on July 24. In the morning, a federal judge in Washington, D.C. chose not to block a rule that would require migrants to file their asylum claims in a third country rather than continuing to the United States. In the afternoon, a judge in San Francisco issued a preliminary injunction order that temporarily suspends the controversial rule.

Immigrant advocacy groups including the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union are behind the lawsuits challenging the rule. President Trump says the rule, which was announced on July 15, is needed to address a crisis at the southern border that is being fueled by waves of immigrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador seeking asylum in the United States. The president claims that the vast majority of their asylum claims are bogus. The White House is expected to appeal the ruling.

Some officials call for refugee admissions to be slashed

There may be fewer refugees in Florida and the rest of the country if the Trump administration has its way in 2020. Reportedly, one official at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services wants to cut the number of refugees allowed into the country to zero. Other suggestions from the Department of Homeland Security range from 3,000 to 10,000. This is substantially less than the roughly 95,000 refugees the country has accepted every year since 1980.

Admission of refugees has already dropped significantly under the Trump administration. The administration has sought to prevent asylum seekers from Central America from entering the country, and the admissions target overall has been set at 30,000. This is the lowest number the program has ever seen.

New asylum rule set to take effect

Effective July 16, immigrants who passed through another country prior to reaching Florida or other states are no longer eligible for asylum. According to the Department of Homeland Security, 5 to 40% of immigrants seeking asylum in the past decade have failed to pass the credible fear test. Research from Syracuse University also found that the number of asylum denials increased in 2017. Attorney General William Barr said that the new rule will decrease what he called "forum shopping" by economic migrants.

He also said that it is a burden to detain and process hundreds of thousands of migrants. The rule would apply to both adults and children who are traveling alone. Each month, thousands of individuals attempt to make the journey from their home countries in Central America to Mexico. From there, they attempt to cross into the United States and seek protection from the violence in their countries of origin.

What is a removal proceeding?

When a person has entered the United States illegally, they may be at risk of extradition. Removal proceedings, commonly known as the deportation process, are used to determine whether or not a foreign national will be expelled from the U.S.

Removal proceedings occur when an individual has been discovered illegally residing in the United States.

Immigration detention policy halted by federal judge

Florida residents are likely aware that immigration has become one of the nation's most contentious political issues. President Trump has referred to the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border as a crisis, and many of the measures he has taken to address the problem have been criticized by his opponents and challenged in the courts by civil rights groups. One such case was argued before a federal judge on July 2, and the outcome was another setback for the Trump administration.

The judge ruled that detaining asylum-seeking migrants until their cases have been completed violates the U.S. Constitution. The ruling effectively halts a policy put into place by Attorney General William Barr in April. The judge also criticized the policy because it allows Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to detain asylum seekers after they have been released on bail. According to the judge, this could lead to indefinite detention.

Humanitarian bill approved by the House

Florida residents may have heard about the controversy over conditions that migrants face after entering the United States. The House voted to approve a bill that would send $4.5 billion to border states as a humanitarian gesture. However, it is unlikely that the president would sign such a bill into law. It is also uncertain whether the Senate would approve the same version of the bill that the House passed.

Both the House and Senate must pass an identical piece of legislation before it can go to the president for his approval. The House will go on recess for 11 days starting on July 4, so there is little time for debate on the matter if it is to be passed quickly. Both Nancy Pelosi and President Trump have said that the bill is about helping the children who are currently in detention centers.

Trump delays immigration raids for 2 weeks

President Trump had planned on ordering a series of raids aimed at finding and deporting immigrants throughout the country. However, he sent a Twitter message on June 22 saying that the raids had been delayed for two weeks. He said that lawmakers from Florida and throughout the country would have time to work out issues related to immigration at the border with Mexico. The president said that if efforts were unsuccessful, the raids would eventually take place.

According to a report in the Washington Post, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would have targeted up to 2,000 families for deportation. The president believes that there are a number of loopholes that should be closed in an effort to keep undocumented migrants out of the country. President Trump has claimed that fixing the asylum system would put an end to what he described as a crisis at the border.