TASK FORCE INFORMATION:
>> Our next meeting will be held via Zoom on January 10, starting at 7:15pm. Zoom invitation to be sent next week. At 7:30 we will be joined by Alissa Weinberger, a staff attorney from MetroWest Legal Services, who has provided direct representation to clients focusing on humanitarian-based forms of immigration relief such as Asylum, family issues, naturalization and removal defense. She will also tell us how Task Force members may be of assistance to that office. (You need not be an attorney to do so.).
>> During the next 3 “From the Chair “newsletters, I will include a refresher prepared by the Congressional Research Service detailing the authority of the three major components lodged in the Dept of Homeland Security (DHS): Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). You can find the first entitled ”USCIS: Authorities and Procedures “ date December 20, 2021 at https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/LSB/LSB10671 Let me know if you find this helpful.
>> Many of you may be aware of a committee within your faith community, or social group, that is or will be sponsoring an Afghan Evacuee family. If the committee chair will send me notices of the status of that committee or wishes to have a notice posted in this newsletter, please have them contact me. I will be glad to do so. Sharing information among these local groups could prove useful to all.
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION NEWS
>>CNN reports that Biden to Make 20,000 Additional Guest-Worker Visas Available This Winter amid Labor Shortages: The Biden administration will make an additional 20,000 seasonal, guest-worker visas available for the winter season for the first time. DHS has previously upped the number of available visas for the summer season, which is among the busiest for bringing in workers, citing labor shortages. Monday’s announcement of 20,000 visas in addition to the 33,000 visas made available for people employed the first half of the fiscal year, October 1 to March 31. Of the additional visas, 6,500 are reserved for nationals of Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. SEE: https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/20/politics/biden-labor shortage/index.html?utm_campaign=HubSpot-AILA8-12-21-2021&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_iKoyZPlJA3g31xVwy7CpNLLH2z2iZoJBs2dylM8ljx63GErcJlLyTJDcWkVyiH_-do8kX
>> Associated Press: DHS Agents to Test Use of Body Cameras. Agents with an investigative unit of DHS will wear body cameras for the first time as part of a six-month pilot program that will focus on the costs and benefits of using the technology in federal law enforcement. The cameras will be used during the test by 55 members of the SWAT-like special response teams at Homeland Security Investigations in Houston, Newark, New Jersey, and New York. (SEE ALSO the following story)
>> Washington Post reports that agents with Homeland Security Investigations push to break away from ICE, saying negative reputation hurts their work. File under “If the shoe fits” SEE: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/hsi-ice-split/2021/12/28/85dc6c66-61ad-11ec-8ce3-9454d0b46d42_story.html
The unanswered question for 2021: A friend sent me a cartoon that showed a doctor talking to an unvaccinated patient in the ICU: “If you don’t trust doctors and science to keep you from getting sick, why are you clogging up hospitals trusting them to cure you?”Have a happy , healthy and safe New Year