Another week, another barrage of assaults on our immigration system. You don’t have to be an immigrant, an immigration attorney or a friend/loved one of an immigrant to be upset by these proposed changes. Included (and detailed below) are:

  • Increased and expanded biometrics collection – “DHS now proposes to expand biometric collection to include anyone who files or is “associated with” these requests including U.S. citizens and without regard to age. This will include all family-based petitioners and any spouses and children listed as derivative beneficiaries on family-based visa petitions.” Currently, only the immigrant seeking a benefit has been subject to biometrics collection. Are you ready and willing to share your very personal information with an Agency known for squandering resources and is built on 1970s technology?
  • Continuing to deny basic due process to asylum seekers. Under this proposed regulation, asylum applications and supporting must be ready to submit with 15 days of an applicant’s first hearing. The Immigration Judge will also be allowed to provide his/her own evidence as part of the record. Immigration Judges should be neutral and not be looking beyond what’s presented in determining a case. The only side they should be on is the side of justice (which is already questionable under their current placement under the Executive Branch).
  • Limiting international students from 60 countries to two years of higher education in our country AND prohibiting anyone from a country with a high “overstay” rate from coming into the US as an international student – “Rather than help the United States, these rules risk driving away the best and the brightest.” I see no reason for this sort of regulation to exist – except to further limit the legal means that people have to come to the United States – even temporarily.

Thanks to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) for sharing ways to make our voices heard.   Comments on DHS’s proposed rule on use and collection of biometrics are due October 13. Learn more about the proposal in this Immigration Impact blog post and this BuzzFeed News article, and use CLINIC’s model comment to easily submit a comment. Comments on EOIR’s proposed rule changing procedures for asylum and withholding of removal are due October 23. Use NIJC’s model comment to easily submit a comment speaking out against this proposal to strip due process rights from countless asylum seekers. Comments on ICE’s proposed rule establishing a fixed time period of admission for F, J, and I nonimmigrants are due on October 26. Learn more about the proposal in this Immigration Impact blog post and this fact sheet from PennState Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic. For more on the proposed rule and opportunities to oppose it, see this ECFMG advocacy toolkit and these NAFSA resources.

-Tracie