FROM THE CHAIR
November 1, 2021
TASK FORCE INFORMATION:
>> Our next meeting will be held via Zoom on Monday, November 8 at 7:30PM. Our guest speaker will be our own member, Rinaz Mala, who will tell us of her travels thru the immigration morass to receive her green card. A Zoom invitation will be sent towards the end of the week. (ADDENDUM: Rinaz’s presentation was taped and will be available shortly.). And while I think of it, our web site contains a wealth of information too: https://www.immigrationneedham.org
>> The tape of last month’s meeting (10/11/21) that featured Xan Weber from the International Institute of New England can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/642762623 (Password: fp). Ms Weber’s presentation provided a wealth of information about resettlement details of Afghans.
>> I have a request for your financial support, probably the first I have made since I became the president of the Task Force. We have 155 of you on our email list. As you know we do not charge dues. All donations are tax deductible since we are a 501C3 charitable corporation. All donation from this appeal will be earmarked for the Afghan support program. How much should you give? That is up to you. But please consider the money you spent on Halloween candy or costumes; or the dinner you will enjoy at a restaurant this weekend; or the cost of your weekly gym membership, as a guide.
Your donation will be used for food, rent, to purchase clothing and other necessities.
In addition to the International Institute of New England, I have received a letter from Temple Beth Shalom’s (Needham) Refugee Resettlement Initiative. The Temple is sponsoring an Afghan Refugee Family, which has arrived last week. In addition to cash that would be used to help pay for rent,
“… we are looking for volunteers with significant daytime availability to join our team of drivers and companions for medical appointments, haircuts, grocery shopping, and more. This is a challenging
but rewarding project. Anyone who is interested will need to complete detailed volunteer paperwork, participate in a volunteer training, learn about and adhere to “best practices” and most importantly,
be flexible and comfortable navigating in situations with a limited ability to communicate. At this time, we are asking that volunteers only sign up if they truly have availability during daytime hours.
Anyone who is interested can contact me at email@example.com to discuss further.”
Please make your donations payable to the Needham Area Immigration Justice Task Force (or “NAIJTF”) and mail it to Bill Okerman, Treasurer, 100 Meetinghouse Circle, Needham, MA 02492. Be certain to include your address so an acknowledgment of your donation can be sent for your tax records. You should also be aware that we do not share our mailing list. Also indicate to which program you wish your donation directed.
Thank you in advance for your generosity. (ADDENDUM Our treasurer Bill Okerman reported that he had received $1055.00 in donations as of Nov 8th! THANK YOU to all who donated. If you have not yet donated, Bill will continue to accept your checks.)
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION NEWS
>> The Biden Administration has announced it was re-opening the Haitian Reunification Parole Program for family members of certain US Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents. The Program is by invitation only. The full announcement from Dept of Homeland Security can be found at: https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/humanitarian-parole/the-haitian-family-reunification-parole-hfrp-program
>> President Biden issued a determination on October 8, setting the refugee admissions ceiling for FY2022 at 125,000. The determination also provides regional ceilings. SEE: https://www.state.gov/the-presidential-determination-on-refugee-admissions-for-fiscal-year-2022/
>> The Hill is reporting that the Biden administration’s Family Reunification Task Force has reportedly reunited 52 families that were separated under former President Trump, up from just seven families in June. SEE: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/576157-biden-task-force-has-reunited-52-families-separated-under-trump?utm_
>> Buzzfeed News reports that a Trump-era policy that allows ICE officers to arrest and rapidly deport certain undocumented immigrants without access to a judge was suspended by the Biden administration. SEE: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/hamedaleaziz/expedited-removal-trump-immigrant-policy-suspended?origin=web-hf&utm_campaign=HubSpot-AILA8-10-15-2021&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=171244147&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–Qq35n8EG65UgT-0rdRbHFdyLk4OIutzwE9ph7M9zw55B4OG7lz_Z6Bh3s6CklN-A5f9WNSK74RvEuzaKFBCuEo9emUw&utm_content=171244147&utm_source=hs_email
>> The Hill is reporting that the Biden administration told the courts late Thursday that it plans to reimplement the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy in mid-November if it can get buy-in from Mexico. The move comes after an initial victory by Texas and Missouri in a lawsuit that argued the Biden administration too hastily withdrew the policy, under which the United States transported 70,000 asylum-seekers to Mexico to await a determination in their case. SEE: https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/department-of-homeland-security/576893-biden-to-reimplement-trumps-remain?userid=323460&utm_campaign=HubSpot-AILA8-10-15-2021&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=171244147&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9CDVA0tpQNa4mz5rOonhWYot7ycJ8dFfZ_Uq3Li5xmqYINrJ6brwro-3UUtd3aI1kYoIm_0MWbc45mkl7YmJqtO1oMfA&utm_content=171244147&utm_source=hs_email
>> Justice Department eliminates Trump-era case quotas for immigration judges.
CNN is reporting that the Justice Department is ending the use of case quotas for immigration judges that became a point of contention during the Trump administration for undercutting judges’ authority and discretion. AILA has been fighting against the quotas since they first came out, issuing this policy brief in 2017. The quotas are among the top concerns AILA has been raising in its high level meetings with Biden’s DOJ leadership. SEE: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/10/20/politics/immigration-judges-quotas/index.html?utm_campaign=HubSpot-AILA8-10-20-2021&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=173089062&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_suZHUgfuC_O25iAxnwAL6ROzNLr-fH64Gdbn5xfoj-AOD9eLw-4TUkyaUmuqiO0l04ubE6paFG2jXncm4NhunUj1cCA&utm_content=173089062&utm_source=hs_email
>> The White House issued a memo stating that as of November 8, 2021, the United States is moving away from country-by-country restrictions and adopting an air travel policy that relies primarily on vaccination. This proclamation governs the entry into the United States of noncitizen nonimmigrants — that is, noncitizens who are visiting the United States or otherwise being admitted temporarily — traveling to the United States by air. It suspends the entry of unvaccinated noncitizen nonimmigrants, except in limited circumstances, and it ensures that the entry of unvaccinated noncitizen nonimmigrants is consistent with applicable health and safety determinations made by the Director of the CDC, including a requirement that, where appropriate, such individuals agree and arrange to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon their arrival.
>>Not good news for comprehensive immigration reform: Bloomberg reports that Senate Democrats have abandoned plans to achieve a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants as part of President Biden’s economic agenda, and instead are pursuing a proposal that would provide temporary deportation protections. The measure would provide temporary immigration parole status to millions of undocumented immigrants, which would allow them to stay lawfully in the United States and to apply for work permits. SEE: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-25/democrats-want-immigration-deportation-shields-in-economic-plan?utm_campaign=HubSpot-AILA8-10-26-2021&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&_hsenc=p2ANqtz—ndF4dtZJt8GuvUfDszS6itFrgP3RV9jL-lI6tsjEfFQ9XkJtH1ivmyHea_dYX46nlP3o
>> Some good news to balance the bad: DHS issued a memo on ICE and CBP enforcement in or near protected areas, stating that enforcement actions should not restrain a noncitizen’s access to essential services, such as food, water, or medical attention. The memo lists protected areas and exceptions to use of the guidance and is effective immediately. This is a significant change in policy from the Trump Administration policy that gave no discretion to officers. See the Memo for the full list of “protected areas”. https://www.ice.gov/doclib/news/guidelines-civilimmigrationlaw.pdf
>> The Hill reports that the Biden administration is weighing the possibility of paying migrant families separated at the border under the Trump administration roughly $450,000 per person. DOJ, DHS, and HHS are all considering settlements in lawsuits filed on behalf of those families, which could result in payments of nearly $1 million a family. SEE: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/578993-biden-administration-considering-payments-to-migrant-families?utm_campaign=HubSpot-AILA8-10-29-2021&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=176634879&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_A3OqzeD0q6T4OrETzuqh7qZtrOcsRI5X_-XhDCnQVA4tZI9W9W0QGuhPqF9ldlExUTpI_i-O1d6kIGYYgKhWB4djqww&utm_content=176634879&utm_source=hs_email
>> Congressional Research Service (CRS) reported on “metering,” which limits the amount of asylum seekers processed daily on the southwest border. The study focuses on Al Otro Lado v. Mayorkas conflicting with Title 42. The report recommends Congress clarify the framework governing inspection of immigrants seeking admission. The full report can be found at https://sgp.fas.org/crs/homesec/LSB10295.pdf
>> CRS reports on the Visa Waiver Program, including information on current policy, goals of the VWP, opposition to the program, qualifying criteria, arrival and departure inspections, and more. Go to: >> Rising Border Encounters in 2021: An Overview and Analysis The American Immigration Council has published an extensive report on apprehensions at the southern border. It is fact-based from data published by Customs and Border Protection. The Report is well worth reading and will provide data to counter statements by others that we have an open border since Biden became president. SEE: https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/rising-border-encounters-in-2021?emci=84d02d5c-6333-ec11-9820-c896653b26c8&emdi=383804f6-d234-ec11-9820-c896653b26c8&ceid=9900747
>> An excellent question! Why are children representing themselves in immigration court? Sarah Burr is former assistant chief immigration judge in charge of the New York City Immigration Courts, one of the busiest courts in the country. Read her opinion piece published in THE HILL at https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/578076-why-are-children-representing-themselves-in-immigration-court?amp&utm_campaign=HubSpot-AILA8-10-25-2021&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=174965367&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_kUOSP7FbEBpluEIrU-hWyrICwRtU0DmGzc-NNOI8mzYHjZNQ5bxYkF6JUHOMCWx5rZABL6yBw9tPjPkLHE83-MViLqQ&utm_content=174965367&utm_source=hs_email
>> Volunteers wanted!
1. MIRA’s next Citizenship clinic is scheduled to be in person on Friday, November 12th between 9:00am-3:30pm. They are currently looking for volunteers to greet, intake, and provide materials to its clients. If you are interested email with the subject line “Citizenship Clinic”. Lunch will be provided! You need not be an attorney to assist in tis project.
2. Temple Beth Shalon needs volunteers to assist with an Afghan family sponsored by the Temple. Contact Sarah Keselman for further information (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Newsletter From the Chair November 1, 2021
FROM THE CHAIR