In no particular order here are some items you may find interesting:
As you all know events change from moment to moment regarding the pandemic. By the time you read this email, some items may be obsolete.
Should the Task Force hold a VIRTUAL MEETING on April 13th? ONLY IF I receive an RSVP from a significant number will we try to set up a ZOOM conference.
If any of you wish to suggest a group to receive assistance from the Task Force in these troubling times, PLEASE send me an email ASAP, identifying the group, your involvement with it, detail what the group does and why we should support it.
On March 19th, CNN Reported: “While Americans are adjusting to life under pandemic precautions, the Trump administration has overseen a dozen sweeping changes to immigration laws in the span of a week. The Department of Justice closed immigration courts and postponed hearings. Guatemala suspended its asylum agreement with the US. Immigration and Customs Enforcement adjusted its enforcement priorities, focusing on those who pose a public safety risk. ICE also said it will not carry out enforcement operations at or near health care facilities, except in “extraordinary circumstances.” And, refugee admissions have been paused. While some of these changes are temporary and in line with other public health measures, they also align with restrictionist policies that Trump officials have struggled to put into practice.”
CLOSINGS AT USCIS:
As of 3/18 at 9:06am, DHS has announced, in part,
“To protect our workforce and to help mitigate the spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in our communities, effective immediately, USCIS is suspending all routine face-to-face services
with applicants at all of our offices, including all interviews and naturalization ceremonies.
All USCIS field offices, asylum offices and Application Support Centers (ASCs) will not provide in-person services until at least April 1. This includes interviews, naturalization ceremonies and
biometric collection appointments. However, we will continue to provide emergency services during this time. If you have an emergency service request, please contact the USCIS Contact Center.
USCIS field offices will send de-scheduling notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments impacted by this closure. We will send de-scheduling notices to naturalization
applicants scheduled for naturalization ceremonies. All applicants will be rescheduled when USCIS resumes normal operations. …”
REMAIN IN MEXICO:
The U.S. Supreme Court stayed the district court’s preliminary injunction, pending the timely filing and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari, thus allowing the Migrant Protection Protocols, commonly known as the Remain in Mexico policy, to remain in effect in California and Arizona. For more on the Supreme Court’s decision, see this article in The Hill. (https://thehill.com/regulatio
Axios reports that public charge changes at USCIS and DOS could supercharge the Trump administration’s efforts to keep out immigrants who the government believes might one day use certain tax-funded social safety nets. Even before the new public charge ruletook effect, DOS was denying visas on related grounds 19 times more than at the end of the Obama administration. SEE: https://www.axios.com/public-c
VIDEO HEARINGS FOR IMMIGRANT CHILDREN:
The Associated Press reports that this week, the Trump administration expanded the use of video hearings for immigrant children, having dozens of them held in Houston appear before a judge based in Atlanta. Advocates believe the effort could portend a nationwide expansion of video courts to process immigration claims of children in U.S. government custody. SEE: https://apnews.com/949b18d10a7
DHS and HHS are trying to figure out what to do with detainees. Stay tuned!
PRESIDENT’S PROCLAMATION REGARDING TRAVEL FROM EUROPE:
Penn State Law School has published a fact sheet on the Proclamation barring entry of foreign nationals from Europe. See the attachment below.
METRO WEST IMMIGRANT SOLIDARITY NETWORK:
See attachment below explaining what the organization is.
RIAN (Formerly the Irish International Immigration Center) Has published a notice that may be of interest to you. See below.