It’s been a good month for Klinke Immigration and a month of surprises when it comes to Immigration Law and Policy.

First, let’s look at the firm. We helped three clients become U.S. citizens, five clients became lawful permanent residents – including two who had been victims of crime, two clients had the conditions removed on their residency and two immigrant visas were granted – both after lengthy waiver processing. We’re grateful for every success and are honored that these clients let us be part of their journey.

Second, we had some big news just this past Friday out of the federal court system. A judge found that the administration cannot hold families and children in immigration detention indefinitely. Instead, the administration should release children as quickly as possible and no longer than 20 days.

Another ruling later in the day stated that ICE cannot use their database alone to ask local law enforcement to detain someone they believe is in the U.S. The judge said that the ICE database is known to have major flaws and bad data and that alone cannot be a reason to detain someone.

Finally, just before midnight, a federal judge said that ICE cannot implement their expanded expedited removal plans. ICE had wanted to change the program that allowed them to deport people in the United States without access to a judge. Under current rules, if ICE encounters someone in the U.S. within 100 miles of the border who they believe entered illegally within the last two weeks, they can issue an “expedited order of removal.” ICE had wanted to change this be nationwide and to allow them to deport anyone who couldn’t demonstrate that they were in the U.S. for at least two years. The judge saw that this had a series of unintended consequences – long term residents would be torn from their families, that the determination of who was legally or illegally in the United States was a question best left to our Immigration Court system.

We are a country of laws and justice. These three judges reminded ICE and the Trump Administration that everyone has rights and that they have to give due process to immigrants. And just as a reminder, seeking asylum by coming to the U.S. without a visa is perfectly legal. I’m not saying that ICE doesn’t have the right to deport or even detain people in the United States without permission, but when they do it, they have to do it under the law…or “do it the right way” as people like to say.

Of course, the news this month wasn’t all good. I think we were all dismayed by the extremely low cap that the Trump Administration put on refugees coming to the United States. The Administration announced that for Fiscal Year 2020, they would only accept 18,000 refugees. That’s 0.07% of the refugee population around the world. Compare this to where we were in 2017, when the cap was at 110,000. Refugees are deserving of our protection and compassion. They come to the United States with a variety of skills, they are extremely well-vetted, and are grateful for the chance to live their lives freely. Liming refugees hurts the soul of our country and people will suffer and die under brutal regimes. We will continue to fight for our refugee community and for those who work with refugees.

We’ll see what October has to bring…