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Circuit Court Blocks Third Country Rule

It's the second loss for the policy that bars immigrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. if they didn't in other countries they passed through

Max Siegelbaum

Jul 08, 2020

WASHINGTON DC - CIRCA AUGUST 2019: ICE Immigration Customs Enforcement

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An Arizona circuit court has upheld a block on the Trump administration’s so-called third country rule, which bars migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. if they didn’t seek protection in Mexico or another country they passed through. The decision in the case follows a ruling from a federal court in Washington, D.C. which also struck down the July 2019 rule. The agencies failed to prove asylum seekers “have safe options in Mexico,” and that if they were denied elsewhere, were “not likely to have a meritorious asylum claim,” U.S. Circuit Judge William Fletcher wrote in the court’s opinion. Arizona Republic

In other national immigration news…

National Art Project Uses Skywriting Planes to Project Immigration Messages 

On the fourth of July, planes across the country sprayed messages into the sky over detention facilities, immigration courts, borders and other sites across the country, reading “CARE NOT CAGES”, “ABOLISH ICE” and “ESTOY AQUI.” The messages were part of In Plain Sight, an artwork by a coalition of 80 artists and activists, and will continue over the next few weeks. The collective was founded by artists Cassils and rafa esparza. “This is a humanitarian crisis. And it’s hiding in plain sight, thus the title. The idea is to really use the skywriting as a way of piercing through electoral politics, to focus on the fact that this is not a partisan issue,” Cassils said. The Guardian

Visa Lottery Winners Stymied by Trump Decree

Noha, an Egyptian engineer, won a visa lottery that randomly selects people from a pool of more than 14 million applications for about 55,000 green cards. But her hopes of moving to the U.S. were dashed last month when Trump extended a ban on green cards issued outside the U.S. to the end of the year, including the lottery’s visas, which are issued each year to people from underrepresented countries. Many recipients learned about their success a year ago, but had not completed the vetting process by the time American consulates closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Associated Press

Duolingo Founder Says Immigration Policies May Force the Company to Move to Canada

A founder of the popular language education app Duolingo indicated that the Trump administration’s harsh immigration policies could force him to move the company to Canada. “Unfortunately, if the US policies against (extremely qualified) immigration continue, we’ll be forced to move jobs (and inspiration) to Toronto,” Luis von Ahn wrote. Pittsburgh’s Mayor Bill Peduto echoed the sentiment. “Duolingo isn’t alone,” he said. “Pittsburgh’s economy depends on attracting brightest minds from around the world,” he wrote. “That’s why corporate leaders, universities, Mayors, hospitals, foundations and nonprofits are united in protecting the rights of immigrants and visa required to make Pittsburgh home.” The company said it is worth $1.5. billion and had plans to increase its workforce by 50 percent. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Pence Spokesperson Says Seeing Family Separation Firsthand to Create Compassion “Didn’t Work”

Katie Miller, the spokesperson for Vice President Mike Pence and former Department of Homeland Security spokesperson, was sent to the border to see family separations firsthand “to try to make me more compassionate.” “It didn’t work,” Miller said in a quote included in MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff’s new book on family separation. Miller is married to Steven Miller, the architect of Trump’s immigration crackdown. “My family and colleagues told me that when I have kids I’ll think about the separations differently. But I don’t think so,” she said. Business Insider

Max Siegelbaum

Co-executive Director of Documented




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