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This category includes articles written by CLINIC staff.

New USCIS memo denies access to non-adversarial affirmative asylum procedures for many vulnerable children

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a memo on May 31, 2019 curtailing access to important asylum protections for many child asylum seekers. The memo goes into effect on June 30, 2019 and will be applied to any cases decided by USCIS on or after that date. It directs asylum officers to conduct an “independent factual inquiry” to determine whether an applicant was under 18 and unaccompanied at the time of filing the I-589 asylum application and thus entitled to certain asylum protections for unaccompanied children. This differs from the previous policy that directed asylum officers to accept a prior unaccompanied child determination made by the federal government, provided that determination had not been rescinded before the application was filed.

Analysis: DHS Issues Remain in Mexico Policy and Guidance

The Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, released its new Migrant Protection Protocols, or Remain in Mexico Policy, on Jan. 24. The new policy sets out procedures to return asylum-seekers to Mexico to wait while their asylum case is pending in the U.S. immigration court system. There are still many unanswered questions about this effort to thwart asylum seekers, but this is what we know so far.

Surveys find Catholic institutions making strides for immigrant integration, but receiving communities still showing resistance

Although Catholic institutions “remain extraordinarily robust,” their future success “will increasingly depend on immigrants and their progeny,” concluded a report by the Center for Migration Studies of New York, based upon two surveys: one among Catholic social and charitable institutions and one among parishes and Catholic schools.

What is Form AR-11?

Filing a change of address with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is a simple but important task for foreign nationals who are in the United States. According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 265(a), "each alien required to be registered under this title who is within the United States shall notify the attorney general in writing of each change of address and new address within ten days from the date of such change and furnish with such notice such additional information as the attorney general may require by regulation." Any non-citizens, including permanent residents, who reside in the U.S. should use Form AR-11, the Alien’s Change of Address Card, to report their change of address within 10 days of moving to the new address.

USCIS site visits for religious workers

An important part of the immigration process of sponsoring international religious workers to the United States involves a site visit from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This required visit is used to verify elements of the petition filed by the sponsor, including sponsor and beneficiary information, and work location. Site visits may occur with advance notice or without any notice. A successful site visit allows the sponsor to qualify for expedited processing when filing I-129 petitions for a nonimmigrant religious worker, also known as premium processing.