>> For those of you may have missed our October 11th meeting at which we received a fantastic briefing from International Institute of New England, a tape is available at https://vimeo.com/642762623
>> Should we hold a meeting on December 13th?  Please let me know as soon as possible.

>> The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice has published “Employment Information Regarding Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Holders and Parolees  SEE:  https://www.justice.gov/crt/page/file/1445236/download
 >> The Immigration Law Center, located in Malden published an informative paper explaining what MA can expect from the +/- 950 Afghan evacuees expected to be resettled in MA.  SEE: https://www.ilctr.org/immigration-explainer-afghan/
>> The Star Tribune reports the perspective of John T. Medeiros, chair of the Minnesota-Dakotas Chapter of AILA, on his recent experience coordinating help for Afghan refugees in the region. He recounts a recent call with fellow immigration lawyers where they found that there have been 17,000 humanitarian parole applications, $9.8 million in fees, six adjudicators working on processing the applications, and nearly zero applications have been processed. SEE:  https://www.startribune.com/were-still-failing-afghan-allies-why-no-outrage/600112459/?utm
>>  This is frightening:   CNN reports that the Biden administration is considering sending some of the Afghan evacuees at a U.S. military base in Kosovo back to Afghanistan if they cannot clear the intense vetting process to come to the United States, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the matter.  SEE: https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/18/politics/camp-bondsteel-afghans/index.html?utm_campaign=HubSpot-AILA8-11-18-2021&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=184560321&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9CS_1BUepXdIkv2hcxkhsP67-ODee99f9PoIO50nsxyU8O3aX-9VIznCRAoWXLfULIZToIY_ITPJnhhrjN0yusv6HQ&utm_content=184560321&utm_source=hs_email
>> USCIS issued a Policy Alert on Nov 12th entitled “Clarifying Guidance on Military Service Members and Naturalization”. It states in part:  Current or former members of the U.S. armed forces who serve honorably for any period of time during specifically designated periods of hostilities may be eligible to naturalize. In accordance with the statutory provisions, some former members of the U.S. armed forces who served during designated periods of hostility and were honorably discharged but are not LPRs may be eligible to naturalize under INA 329 even if currently residing outside of the United States.  For the full report see: Current or former members of the U.S. armed forces who serve honorably for any period of time during specifically designated periods of hostilities may be eligible to naturalize. In accordance with the statutory provisions, some former members of the U.S. armed forces who served during designated periods of hostility and were honorably discharged but are not LPRs may be eligible to naturalize under INA 329 even if currently residing outside of the United States. The full report can be found at: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/policy-manual-updates/20211112-MilitaryNaturalization.pdf
>> For years immigration advocates have urged the Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) to use alternative programs other than detention for those awaiting immigration court hearings.  The Hill published an interesting article on November 12th indicating ICE now monitors 136,026 immigrants, but the program in no panacea.  SEE:  https://thehill.com/policy/technology/581125-record-number-of-immigrants-funneled-into-alternative-detention-programs.  Interestingly the same company that manages the detention facilities also manages the alternative program.
 >> TRAC reported that  as of Oct 1, 2021 ICE still detains 22,129 of whom 75.6% have no criminal record SEE: https://trac.syr.edu/immigration/quickfacts/
>>WOW,  is this a change in attitude!  EOIR rescinded a policy memorandum, stating that pro bono legal services should be facilitated as much as practicable in court. The memo states that immigration  courts should create pro bono committees and that Immigration Judges are encouraged to be flexible, especially in scheduling, with pro bono representatives.
>> TRAC (Transactional Records Access Clearing House is a non-profit run by Syracuse University) reported that the Immigration Court had 49,817 new cases filed across the country in October, but only completed 21,154 cases.  Thus, the current backlog is now 1,486,495.  Boston alone has 78,267 cases on its active docket.  NY leads the country with a backlog of 112,831 cases.  The average number of days to complete a case across the country from date of filing to completion is 1,008 days (i.e. 2 years, 9 months!!)  Boston thankfully is near the bottom at 814 days (2 years, 3 months).  The worst completion rate is in IL at 1,404 days.  For the full report see:  https://trac.syr.edu/phptools/immigration/court_backlog/court_proctime_outcome.php
>> If you are interested in immigration cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, the American Immigration Council has published a quick summary. SEE:  https://immigrationimpact.com/2021/11/18/supreme-court-immigration-cases-2021/?emci=e61db5a9-8149-ec11-9820-c896653b26c8&emdi=1a628cca-dd4a-ec11-9820-c896653b26c8&ceid=9900747#.YZqH8S-B0Ut
>> AILA has issued a one page flyer summarizing who is qualified for DACA relief. SEE:  https://www.aila.org/File/Related/flyer-daca-pdf.pdf
>> There is a possibility that the government could shut down at midnight on Dec 3d.  I thought you might be interested in what would be the consequences for immigration related agencies.  AILA published a fact sheet that can be found at  file:///Users/gerryapple/Desktop/government-shuts-down-2021-edition.webarchive
>> The American Immigration Council has published a fact sheet entitled, “Immigrants in the United States”. It is well worth printing out and keeping handy so the next time you attend a cocktail party, you will have facts to counter what you may hear to the contrary.  SEE:  https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/immigrants-in-the-united-states
>> CBS News reports that the U.S. government is set to launch an operation to send court documents to 78,000 migrants who were not processed for deportation after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization this year. Beginning today, U.S. immigration authorities will dispatch packets of legal documents that will instruct migrants to show up to court hearings before immigration judges, who will determine whether the new arrivals will be allowed to stay in the country. SEE:  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/u-s-to-send-deportation-case-notices-to-78000-migrants-who-were-not-fully-processed/?utm
>> As many of you know, the Biden Administration’s Family Reunification Task Force launched a new return process available to families who were forcibly separated by U.S. border officials between January 20, 2017 – January 20, 2021.  In 2018, under Trump’s Zero Tolerance Policy, the U.S. government ripped over 5,500 children from the arms of their families and parents with no plan to reunite them or track them after the separation. Hundreds have still not been reunited—some almost four years after being separated. To inform and support families in accessing this process, KIND (Kids In Need of Defense) established a help desk to provide free information, including certain legal information and assistance with referral resources and registration.  If you want the full article, send me an email.

>> You will be hearing a lot about humanitarian parole, especially as it applies to Afghans and possibly Cubans.  The American Immigration Council has published an enlightening Fact Sheet at:   https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/use-parole-under-immigration-law?emci=e61db5a9-8149-ec11-9820-c896653b26c8&emdi=1a628cca-dd4a-ec11-9820-c896653b26c8&ceid=9900747
>>  The Associated Press reports that, of the more than 28,000 Afghans who have recently applied for temporary admission into the United States for humanitarian reasons, only about 100 of them have been approved. USCIS has struggled to keep up with the surge in applicants to a little-used program known as humanitarian parole but promises it’s ramping up it’s 6 person staff to address the growing backlog.  SEE:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/thousands-of-afghans-seek-temporary-us-entry-few-approved/2021/11/19/42811054-48f6-11ec-beca-3cc7103bd814_story.html?utm_
>> The Safe Communities Act will have a hearing in the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security on December 1st.  The Coalition will be in touch next week with plans for written and oral testimony as well as a watch party. 

 >> MIRA will be holding a multi session virtual series of training during January and February.  If interested go to https://www.miracoalition.org/our-work/education-training/2021winterseries.Each session will be held from Noon – 1:00pm. There is a $15 fee for each session or $50 for all four sessions.  No prior experience necessary. Registration required.
 >> Miles 4 Migrants has an update for those of you who have unused airline miles.  See the latest newsletter at: newsletter@miles4migrants.org
>> Jen Muroff from the LWV sent thru the following information:  “Haitian Refugee support Numerous local organizations are welcoming and supporting Afghan refugees to Massachusetts. Haitian refugees also need our help. For those interested, please visit the Immigrant Family Services Institute, a Haitian-led organization based in Mattapan that supports Haitian refugee families resettling here. 

Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving

Gerry Rovner