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Federal Judge Blocks Biden’s Immigration Enforcement Order

Plus: U.S. speeding up asylum processing at the border, Biden devotes $500 million to Afghan refugee needs

Deanna Garcia

Aug 20, 2021

President Joe Biden speaks to the press.

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U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton of Texas blocked one of the Biden administration’s immigration enforcement priorities, which ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to focus only on arresting individuals with serious criminal records. The Biden administration sent out two memos to ICE to shift their priorities earlier this year, with both saying officers would need approval from a supervisor before detouring from the priorities. In a 160-page ruling, Tipton argued agents can’t be required to prioritize some groups of undocumented immigrants over others. Texas and Missouri argued the priorities would delay ICE agents’ attempts to arrest immigrants with criminal histories. The Hill  

In other federal immigration news…

U.S. Speeding Up Asylum Processing

The Biden administration announced it plans to modify and speed up asylum processing along the southern border. The administration published a proposed rule Wednesday that would allow asylum officers, instead of backed up immigration courts, to evaluate requests for U.S. humanitarian protection. This new plan will place asylum seekers in expedited deportation proceedings to have their cases heard by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services asylum officers if they have a credible fear of being persecuted in their home country. The USCIS officers will also authorize eligible migrant adults and families for asylum. According to Biden administration officials, the policy overhaul will allow the government to quickly provide refuge to asylum seekers who qualify for it and deport those who don’t. CBS News 

Biden Dedicates $500M to Afghan Refugee Needs

Biden announced his administration will put $500 million in an emergency fund for “unexpected urgent” refugee needs, including the needs of Special Immigrant Visa applicants. The U.S. is getting ready to start evacuating thousands of Afghan SIV applicants who worked for the U.S. government and currently face retaliation from the Taliban. The White House said these new funds, released under the 1962 Migration and Refugee Assistance Act, would help with “unexpected refugee and migration needs” for “persons at risk as a result of the situation in Afghanistan.” The funding can go to nongovernmental organizations and agencies, Biden’s memo said. The Guardian



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