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The clock is ticking for thousands of asylum seekers across the country who are looking for work permits. On August 25, new regulations will kick in that are designed to clamp down on the ability of asylum seekers to work while waiting for their cases to be adjudicated in the severely overburdened immigration courts. Currently, asylum seekers can seek work authorization 180 days after they apply for asylum. Under the new regulations, this wait period will now be 365 days. The regulations will also disqualify asylum seekers convicted of a “particularly serious crime” on or after August 25, among many other changes. Analysis from Margaret W. Wong & Associates (private law firm)
In other national immigration news…
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DACA Recipients Fight Back in Courts After Being Passed Over for Jobs
Recipients of Deferred Access for Childhood Arrivals say they are being turned away from large employers. David Rodriguez, a Venezuelan immigrant, was recently turned away from an internship at Procter & Gamble when he saw a question on a form asking “Are you currently a U.S. citizen or national, OR an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, OR a refugee, OR an individual granted asylum?” He told the company he was a DACA recipient, which is none of those things, and was still immediately rejected. He is now a plaintiff in a lawsuit that seeks to use civil rights law to prevent employers from turning people like himself away. The New York Times
International Students May Miss Out on Next Semester
International students who need an appointment at a U.S. consulate or embassy to complete their visa process may miss out on school due to the pandemic. Students hoping to attend school in the fall semester are getting nervous as consulates and embassies have been closed because of the pandemic. There is a backlog of applications and people waiting for interviews for a variety of visas. In Mexico, consulates in Monterrey, Guadalajara and Tijuana have begun accepting appointments for student visas again, but the backlog means students are still at a standstill. El Paso Matters
Muslims Forced to Eat Pork in ICE Detention
Since 2017, Muslim ICE detainees at the Krome immigration jail in Miami-Dade County have reported been served expired and rotten halal meals. More recently, detainees report repeatedly being served pork and pork-based meals during the pandemic, leaving them to either starve or violate their religion. The detainees’ report came from the Muslim Advocates, a civil rights organization. They, along with the legal advocacy organization Americans for Immigrant Justice and the law firm King & Spalding, sent a letter to ICE and DHS demanding an immediate remedy to the discriminatory treatment. Miami New Times
Meatpacking Plant Owners Had 12-Year Warning on Pandemic
For more than a dozen years, critical businesses like meatpackers have been warned that a pandemic was coming, according to ProPublica. Emergency planners had provided industry leaders with the exact consequences of a pandemic, such as the rampant absenteeism at processing plants possibly leading to food shortages. Experts had asked companies such as Smithfield, the world’s largest pork producer, to prepare for things. But it recently claimed the government’s recommendations were unreasonable, and went for a wait-and-see approach. ProPublica
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