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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. USCIS to Take Action to Address Asylum Backlog

    by , 01-31-2018 at 01:02 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Agency Will Focus on Processing Recently Filed Applications

    WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the agency will schedule asylum interviews for recent applications ahead of older filings, in an attempt to stem the growth of the agency’s asylum backlog.

    USCIS is responsible for overseeing the nation’s legal immigration system, which includes adjudicating asylum claims. The agency currently faces a crisis-level backlog of 311,000 pending asylum cases as of Jan. 21, 2018, making the asylum system increasingly vulnerable to fraud and abuse. This backlog has grown by more than 1750 percent over the last five years, and the rate of new asylum applications has more than tripled.

    To address this problem, USCIS will follow these priorities when scheduling affirmative asylum interviews:



    1. Applications that were scheduled for an interview, but the interview had to be rescheduled at the applicant’s request or the needs of USCIS;
    2. Applications pending 21 days or less since filing; and
    3. All other pending applications, starting with newer filings and working back toward older filings.
      Additionally, the Affirmative Asylum Bulletin issued by USCIS has been discontinued.

      “Delays in the timely processing of asylum applications are detrimental to legitimate asylum seekers,” said USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna. “Lingering backlogs can be exploited and used to undermine national security and the integrity of the asylum system.”


    This priority approach, first established by the asylum reforms of 1995 and used for 20 years until 2014, seeks to deter those who might try to use the existing backlog as a means to obtain employment authorization. Returning to a “last in, first out” interview schedule will allow USCIS to identify frivolous, fraudulent or otherwise non-meritorious asylum claims earlier and place those individuals into removal proceedings.

    For details on how we will schedule interviews, go to our Affirmative Asylum Interview Scheduling page.

    For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), and Facebook (/uscis).
    - USCIS -
  2. Sources Shared on Twitter: A Case Study on Immigration

    by , 01-29-2018 at 09:40 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Media contact: Hannah Klein, 202-419-4372, hklein@pewresearch.org



    Sources Shared on Twitter: A Case Study on Immigration
    An analysis of 9.7 million tweets reveals news organizations played the largest role in which content was linked to compared with other information providers

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 29, 2018) – As news organizations battle charges of “fake news,” compete with alternate sources of information, and face low levels of trust from a skeptical public, a new Pew Research Center study suggests that news outlets still play the largest role in content that gets shared on Twitter, at least when it comes to one contentious issue in the news: immigration.

    Approximately one year after President Trump signed an executive order that restricted entry to the U.S. by people from certain countries, the analysis, which aims to better understand the types of information sources that users of one popular social media platform might encounter about a major national policy issue, finds that news organizations played a far larger role than other types of content providers, such as commentary or government sites.

    Researchers identified all English-language tweets on the topic of immigration during the first month of the Trump administration, Jan. 20 – Feb. 20, 2017, that included at least one external link. Any site that was linked to at least 750 times during this period was included in the study. This resulted in 9.7 million tweets that contained links to 1,030 sites.

    Roughly four-in-ten (42%) of these sites were legacy and digital-native news organizations, defined in this study as News Organizations, entities that showed evidence of original reporting in their most prominent articles. Legacy news organizations accounted for twice as many sites as digital-native news organizations: 28% of all sites compared with 14%. The prominent role news organizations played in discussions about immigration on Twitter is underscored by the frequency with which these sites were shared: fully 75% of the tweets analyzed in this study contained links to them.

    The study also finds little clear evidence that “fake news” sites were a major factor in the information stream on Twitter around immigration. Although verifying the accuracy of all reporting was beyond the scope of this study, researchers found that few of the 1,030 sites had attributes associated with sites that create “made-up” political content. Overall, only 18 sites – just 2% of all sites included in this study – were found on at least one of three widely circulated “fake news” lists created by external organizations. Additionally, the majority (94%) of News Organizations sites were established before 2015, suggesting they were not created solely for influence during the 2016 election.

    “While the study does not directly address the broader question of fake news entities’ influence on the public, or examine who is sharing what types of sites, it does shed light on the degree to which consumers are exposed to different types of information providers on a policy issue debated in the news,” said Director of Journalism Research Amy Mitchell.

    In addition to News Organizations, another roughly three-in-ten sites (29%) linked to during this time wereOther Information Providers, which focus on current events and public affairs, such as nonprofit/advocacy organizations, digital-native commentary/blog sites or government sites.

    To get a sense of the degree to which the most linked-to content providers outwardly specified an ideological orientation, researchers analyzed the “about” pages on the official websites and social media profiles of sites in the News Organizations and Other Information Providers categories. Just 14% of these sites clearly specified a conservative or liberal ideological orientation. Sites were about equally as likely to specify their ideology to be conservative (9%) as liberal (5%).

    Even fewer sites stated that their mission is to produce news and information not being covered by traditional media or politicians – which researchers coded as “anti-establishment orientation.” Only 8% of News Organizations and Other Information Providers sites declared an anti-establishment orientation. Digital-native news organizations (14%) were about three times more likely to use anti-establishment language than legacy news sites (4%). Digital-native commentary/blog sites, at 19%, were the most common of all sites to declare an anti-establishment orientation.

    Read the report: http://www.journalism.org/2018/01/29...n-immigration/

    For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Hannah Klein at hklein@pewresearch.org or202-419-4372.

    Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does not take policy positions. The Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. Subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters or follow us on ourFact Tank blog.
  3. ICE arrests 46 in Western New York Operation

    by , 01-24-2018 at 09:11 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    ICE arrests 46 in western New York operation targeting criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants, and other immigration violators

    BUFFALO, N.Y. – A Jamaican national arrested in Albany, New York, who has prior convictions for possession of a weapon, loaded firearm, four counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, and larceny is among 46 foreign nationals taken into custody during a five-day operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in western New York, targeting at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants, and other immigration violators.

    Of those arrested during the operation, which was spearheaded by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), 23 offenders, or 50 percent, had prior criminal convictions. Of the 23 non-criminal immigration violators, four are fugitives and six illegally re-entered the country after being deported.

    Criminal convictions of those arrested included: felony grand larceny, firearms possession, drug possession, child endangerment, abuse, driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, and forgery.

    Among those arrested were:

    • A 39-year-old Mexican male with convictions for two counts of illegal entry, driving while intoxicated, and a protection order for domestic violence. He will remain in ICE custody pending the outcome of his removal proceedings.
    • A 23-year-old Guyanese male with convictions for driving while ability impaired and harassment, following his arrest for menacing with a weapon. He will remain in ICE custody pending the outcome of his removal proceedings.
    • A 53-year-old United Kingdom male with convictions for two separate convictions for felony grand larceny. He will remain in ICE custody pending the outcome of his removal proceedings.
    • A 49-year-old Vietnamese male with convictions for theft, burglary, abuse, and menacing, following his arrest for menacing with a weapon, child endangerment, and criminal possession of a weapon. He will remain in ICE custody pending the outcome of his removal proceedings.
    • A 46-year-old Guyanese female with convictions for forgery and larceny. She will remain in ICE custody pending the outcome of her removal proceedings.


    The operation, which concluded Jan. 12, targeted public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including individuals who re-entered the country after being removed, other immigration violators, and immigration fugitives ordered deported by federal immigration judges.

    “Operations like this one demonstrate ICE’s continued focus on the arrest of dangerous criminal aliens as well as those who enter the United States illegally,” said Thomas Feeley, field office director for ERO Buffalo, which covers 48 counties in western, central and northern New York State. “Illegal aliens will not find safe harbor in New York.”

    Some of the individuals arrested during this week’s enforcement action will be presented for federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Those not being criminally prosecuted will be processed for removal from the country. Individuals who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country.

    The arrestees (35 men and 11 women) included nationals from 16 countries including Guatemala, Cuba, Mexico, Thailand, Somalia, Jamaica, United Kingdom, Ecuador, Israel, Trinidad & Tobago, Canada, Honduras, Belize, Guyana, Sierra Leone and India.

    ICE deportation officers conduct targeted enforcement operations every day in locations around the country as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect the nation, uphold public safety, and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls.

    During targeted enforcement operations ICE officers frequently encounter additional suspects who may be in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. Those persons will be evaluated on a case by case basis and, when appropriate, arrested by ICE.

    ICE continues to focus its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy. However, as ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan has made clear, ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.


    Last Reviewed/Updated: 01/23/2018








  4. Re-Registration Period Now Open for Salvadorans with TPS Ending in September 2019

    by , 01-18-2018 at 12:17 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under El Salvador’s designation who want to maintain their status through the effective termination date of Sept. 9, 2019, must re-register between Jan. 18, 2018, and March 19, 2018.

    Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documents, have been published in the Federal Register and on uscis.gov/tps.

    All applicants must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Applicants may also request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by submitting a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, at the time of filing Form I-821, or separately at a later date.

    Both forms are free for download on USCIS’ website at uscis.gov/tps.

    USCIS will issue new EADs with a Sept. 9, 2019, expiration date to eligible Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs. Given the timeframes involved with processing TPS re-registration applications, however, USCIS recognizes that not all re-registrants will receive new EADs before their current EADs expire on March 9, 2018. Accordingly, USCIS has automatically extended the validity of EADs issued and currently valid under the TPS designation of El Salvador for 180 days, through Sept. 5, 2018.

    On Jan. 8, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen determined that the statutory conditions supporting El Salvador’s TPS designation on the basis of an environmental disaster are no longer met. Secretary Nielsen made her decision to terminate TPS for El Salvador after reviewing country conditions and consulting with appropriate U.S. government agencies. To allow time for an orderly transition, she also delayed the effective date of the termination for 18 months from the current expiration date of March 9, 2018. As a result of the delayed effective date, El Salvador’s TPS designation will end on Sept. 9, 2019.

    Salvadorans with TPS may wish to consult with qualified immigration attorneys or practitioners about their eligibility for another immigration status or benefit, or whether there is any other action they may want to take regarding their individual immigration circumstances.

    For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), and Facebook (/uscis).

    - USCIS -
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