Asylum, Refugee and Other Humanitarian Relief

Spring 2016 marked the one-year anniversary of the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project with some impressive data to add a bit of hope to the still steady flow of immigrants across the border. The project’s one-year statistics paint a powerful picture of the work being done by volunteers and the limited formal staff at CARA.

Despite continued efforts by advocates, the government’s practice of detaining immigrant mothers and their children continues. CLINIC has been especially active in the national fight to eliminate large scale family detention centers. In late March 2015, CLINIC partnered with four other networks to form the CARA Pro Bono Project.Through this project CLINIC has been providing legal services for detained families while leading advocacy and litigation efforts to challenge unlawful asylum, detention, and deportation policies.

On February 20, 2015 the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia responded to the desperate pleas of detained Central American women and their children. The women had been found to have a credible fear of future persecution by an Asylum Officer or the Immigration Judge yet they remained detained on account of the U.S. government’s national security-based deterrence strategy of sending a message to other women and children considering fleeing to the United States for safety.

Father and Son

CLINIC has created a number of resources explaining the CAM program and which families may qualify:

 

Articles:

Document Production

Q.  Can you please clarify whether refugees, because they are statutorily exempt from having to pay the I-485 filing fees, are eligible to file an I-131 and/or I-765 at no additional charge when filed concurrently with an I-485 application to adjust status? Please also clarify whether a refugee may file an I-131 or I-765 at no additional charge after the I-485 initial filing, but while the I-485 remains pending.

Salvadorans who have already been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are eligible to live and work in the United States for an additional 18 months and continue to maintain their status.  The extension of TPS for nationals of El Salvador is effective from March 10, 2015 and through September 9, 2016.  Nationals of El Salvador who have been granted TPS previously must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period, which began on January 7, 2015 and will remain in effect through March 9, 2015.

Read about the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, see who are our new affiliates, and check the monthly Visa Bulletin.

On December 1, 2014, the Department of State launched a new in-country refugee and parole program for children residing in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Watch a free webinar to learn more about the process permitting certain parents in the United States to request that their children be admitted to the United States as refugees or granted parole. What are the eligibility requirements for a parent to apply? Which Central American children will be eligible? How does the process work?

Read about the government launching an overseas processing program for certain central american refugee children, find out who's accredited for the month, and see the study that indicates a significant percentage of unauthorized immigrants may be eligible for permanent status.

Learn more about the Haitian family reunification program to be implemented in 2015, peruse the FAQs on the USCIS updates to DACA, and meet our affiliate Mi Mujeres in this month's profile.

Read about the announcement Obama gave about in-country processing for Central American children. Also, check out this month's question corner to see if you know the answer.

On October 9, 2014 the Nebraska Service Center held a teleconference on refugee/asylee issues.  The following is a summary of the discussion.

 

I-765

Q. Can a refugee who has been to immigration court for a felony charge, but has not been removed from the U.S. because his homeland refuses to admit him, apply for authorization to work?   The latest official word on his documents is “voluntary departure.”

By Tatyana Delgado

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) recently issued a landmark decision that impacts domestic violence victims who are seeking asylum in the United States.  Asylum applicants must show that the persecution they have or will face is on account of one of five protected grounds: race, religion, national origin, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.  It is the last ground that has received the most interest and litigation.  

Topics include an update on the USCIS changes to a policy on medical examination reports and a network profile.

 By Susan Schreiber

 

What if your asylee client became deportable for conviction of a crime after adjusting status?  Can you client re-adjust under INA § 209(b), along with seeking a waiver under § 209(c)?   In Matter of C-J-H, 26 I&N Dec. 284, the Board said “no” because asylees who adjust status to lawful permanent residence no longer qualify as asylees.

The Department of Homeland Security has extended its designation of Haiti for TPS for 18 months.  The extension will begin on July 23, 2014 and last through January 22, 2016.  The 60-day re-registration period for those who currently have TPS began on March 3, 2014 and will end on May 2, 2014.  Those who are eligible and timely re-register will be granted an EAD with an expiration date of January 22, 2016.  In addition, the agency will automatically extend the validity of current EADs for six months, through January 22, 2015, for those who timely re-register.

Topics include notes from a NSC teleconference, a listing of BIA accreditations, and an article on provisional waivers.

By Allison Posner

On January 16, 2014, USCIS’s Nebraska Service Center (NSC) held a stakeholder engagement on issues related to processing of refugee and asylee petitions. Select questions and answers from the teleconference are below.  Please note that this teleconference was part of a series of informal monthly stakeholder calls held by the NSC.  If you wish to participate in the monthly calls, email CEO.NSC2@USCIS.DHS.GOV  with your contact information, and you will be added to the center’s mailing list.

 

By Allison Posner

The following are the unofficial minutes from a teleconference with the Nebraska Service center on February 13, 2014. Please note that this teleconference was part of a series of informal monthly stakeholder calls held by the NSC.  If you wish to participate in the monthly calls, email CEO.NSC2@USCIS.DHS.GOV  with your contact information, and you will be added to the center’s mailing list.

 

I-131 RP/RTD

BIA Addresses Asylum Grant as Admission

By Susan Schreiber

Held September 26th, 2013
USCIS may grant humanitarian parole to individuals to come to the U.S. for a temporary period of time because of emergency or humanitarian reasons. Who is eligible to apply? How is the application submitted?

In recent years, more than 24,000 people from over 100 nations have been granted asylum in the United States. Asylees have often suffered from persecution in their country of origin, forced migration, detention in the United States, and the uncertainty of the asylum adjudication process. Most confront systemic and bureaucratic barriers to resettlement and integration, and need well-coordinated and prompt social services to ease their transition.

Held on September 8, 2011

What if your asylee client has an error on his/her I-94 card?  Do you know how to get it corrected? What if Social Security won’t issue your asylee client a card?  What if an employer demands documentation from your asylee client that he or she doesn’t have? Documentation problems can impede asylees’ employment, access to public benefits, and integration.  

In 2000-2001, CLINIC published a series of reports on immigration issues based on numerous case studies. These are not current reports.

The reports identify, track, and examine the impact of our nation's laws and immigration policies on at-risk immigrants. They illustrate particularly compelling problems faced by immigrants, clear explanations of the law at the root of such problems, and other research.