TASK FORCE INFORMATION:
>> If you have a suggestion for a guest speaker at one of our upcoming meetings, please send me his/her information.
>> If you would like to help the Metrowest Legal Services by researching country conditions for asylum seekers, please contact me. A training session will be scheduled. You need not be an attorney. Tabby is also exploring how to assist refugees, asylees and undocumented to qualify for Mass Health coverage – stay tuned.
>> The International Institute has produced a video of a webinar held this week ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0hZ4NlTC2s ) of its activities in resettlement of Afghan Evacuees. The side bar on the page also has several additional videos that may be of interest to you.
>> AXIOS reports a Scoop: White House plans expedited resettlement for Afghan refugees. SEE: https://www.axios.com/biden-afghan-refugee-fast-track-qatar-afghanistan-57d744d0-7bf9-4ab1-a947-6be7a23a1102.html
. .>> US News reports Massachusetts Expected to Resettle 2,000 Afghan Evacuees. SEE: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/massachusetts/articles/2022-01-24/massachusetts-expected-to-resettle-2-000-afghan-evacuees?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=88b7eb64-e579-4af0-8f24-0eeff4d2c935 (This is a short article well worth reading )
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION NEWS
>> The Dept of State announced that it will re-start refugee processing this week. The hiatus was necessary to accommodate the influx of Afghan evacuees. This short article is very informative . SEE: https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2022/01/10/politics/refugee-united-states/index.html
>> State Department Waives Fees for Immigrants Denied Visas Due to the Muslim Ban. Under the new rule, an immigrant may reapply for a visa without paying the fees if they were refused a visa under the Muslim Ban or refugee ban. The rule is an important and practical step to right the wrongs of the Muslim Ban and increase accessibility for immigrant visasSEE: https://immigrationimpact.com/2022/01/21/state-department-waives-visa-fees-muslim-ban/?emci=b31e7feb-147b-ec11-94f6-c896650d4442&emdi=4897c11f-5d7c-ec11-94f6-c896650d4442&ceid=9900747#.YfGphC-B0Ut
>> The ACTION NETWORK sent the following: Immigrant justice and racial justice are deeply intertwined. Longstanding state and local involvement in deportations discourages immigrants from seeking medical care, and prevents immigrant victims and witnesses from seeking police and court protection. Many immigrants—and their children—fear that seeking help from local authorities will result in deportation and family separation. That’s why we need the Safe Communities Act. Send an email to the Joint Committee on Public Safety about why it’s time to pass the SCA
>> The New York Times reports that on January 11, the Supreme Court heard arguments on whether immigrants detained for long periods of time while fighting deportation are entitled to hearings to decide whether they may be released on bond as their cases move forward. The court’s answer to the question, which it considered in two cases, will affect thousands of immigrants detained for many months while their cases are decided by immigration courts facing long backlogs.
>> AILA has prepared a short flier regarding how to protect permanent residency (green card status) and what types of acts could make the resident removable.
>> Roll Call reports The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which routinely spends more on federal lobbying than any other organization, plans to push lawmakers and the Biden administration to expand legal immigration this year, CEO Suzanne P. Clark said Jan 11th. SEE: https://www.rollcall.com/2022/01/11/u-s-chamber-plans-to-fight-for-immigration-against-overreach/ (This is quite an interesting article because the Chamber had been generally opposed to many immigration reform issues in the past.)
>> Market Watch reports on how COVID-19 has impacted immigration and the U.S. labor market. Due to increased restrictions on immigration and travel, the net inflow of immigrants into the United States has essentially halted for almost two years. By the end of 2021, there were about two million fewer working-age immigrants living in the United States than there would have been if the pre-2020 immigration trend had continued unchanged.
>> CNN reports Immigration Court backlog (1.5 million cases) is nearly the size of Philadelphia’s population! SEE: https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/18/politics/immigration-court-backlog/index.html For a detailed analysis, TRAC has also published a report ( https://trac.syr.edu/immigration/reports/675/ ) detailing the backlog history.