The Latest: Refugee Admissions Into US to Resume

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESSOCT. 24, 2017, 10:54 P.M. E.D.T.

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/10/24/us/politics/ap-us-trump-refugees-the-latest.html

WASHINGTON — The Latest on the end of the Trump administration's refugee ban (all times EDT):

10:45 p.m.

Refugee admissions into the U.S. will resume under new, stricter screening rules, but nationals from 11 countries believed to pose higher risk to U.S. national security face even tougher scrutiny.

U.S. officials are refusing to identify the 11 countries, but say refugee applications from those nations will be judged case-by-case.

President Donald Trump issued his new order on refugee screening Tuesday as the administration's four-month ban on refugee admissions expired.

Refugees already face an extensive backlog and waiting periods that can take years. Additional screening will likely lengthen the wait.

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6:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is again allowing refugees to be processed for entry into the United States following the expiration of 120-day worldwide ban on such admissions.

But refugees who want to come to the U.S. will be subject to additional screening.

Trump has signed an executive order directing relevant government agencies to resume refugee processing. The administration says more in-depth review is needed for refugees from 11 countries believed to pose a higher risk to national security. That review period will last 90 days.

Administration officials would not identify the 11 countries, but they say refugee cases from those nations will be judged on a case-by-case basis.

The refugee restrictions come in addition to Trump's broader "travel ban" on all immigrants from several countries. Courts have repeatedly blocked that policy

1:55 p.m.

The Supreme Court has dismissed a case about President Donald Trump's 120-day worldwide ban on refugees now that the ban has expired.

The Trump administration is planning to unveil new screening procedures soon.

The justices' order on Tuesday wipes away a lower court ruling that found problems with the refugee ban and a temporary pause on visitors from six mostly Muslim countries. A new travel policy that applies to six countries with Muslim majorities already has been blocked by lower courts.

The matter could return to the high court. But for now, the justices have stepped away the controversy without ruling on the legality of the administration's actions.

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8:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump's 120-day worldwide ban on refugees entering the United States is ending as his administration prepares to unveil new screening procedures.

A State Department official says the refugee suspension ended Tuesday, the date set in Trump's executive order. The Homeland Security Department, the State Department and other U.S. agencies have been reviewing the screening process for those seeking to enter the country as refugees, in line with Trump's "extreme vetting" policy for immigrants.

The official says new steps to "further intensify" screening procedures will be announced shortly. The official wasn't authorized to comment by name and requested anonymity.

The refugee restrictions were in addition to Trump's broader "travel ban" on all immigrants from several countries. Courts have repeatedly blocked that policy.

Trump administration threatens judicial independence

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

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October 13, 2017
LaRia Land, Communications Outreach Manager
lland@cliniclegal.org | 301-565-4812

Trump administration threatens judicial independence

SILVER SPRING, Maryland – The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. is alarmed by a Justice Department proposal to impose quota-driven evaluations for immigration judges, threatening to undermine the impartiality and effectiveness of the immigration court system.

“The Justice Department’s quota-driven proposal is an unprecedented overreach by the executive branch into the traditional authority of judges,” said Jeanne Atkinson, executive director at CLINIC.

As reported by the Washington Post Oct. 12, the Justice Department “intends to implement numeric performance standards to evaluate Judge performance.”

“The proposal raises serious concerns about the fundamental separation of powers inherent in the American system of justice. If this plan is implemented, it would constitute an attack by the administration on the integrity of our immigration courts,” Atkinson said. “It shows a lack of basic respect for the rule of law. To restrict judges from fully evaluating critical evidence in cases—effectively denying people a fair trial—flies in the face of the foundational tenets of the American legal system."
 
“The opportunity to present your case before an immigration judge is a fight for your life and your family’s safety,” said Michelle Mendez, manager of CLINIC’s Defending Vulnerable Populations program who also serves as faculty for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. “While the government prioritizes a focus on clearing the statistical backlog of cases for immigration judges, creating a quota-driven court system is the wrong approach, and one that the Framers unequivocally rejected as they created a country that would be an enduring beacon of hope for the persecuted.”

CLINIC strongly opposes the Justice Department’s misguided plans to address historic backlogs in the immigration court system by imposing quotas that would shift judges’ focus away from fully evaluating cases involving human lives to unrealistic timelines and arbitrary numbers.

A selection of articles from the Daily Hampshire Gazette

Hello to the Welcome Home Community

As many of you know, yesterday President Trump rescinded his original Executive Order (travel ban) and replaced it with a new Executive Order that will go into effect on March 16, 2017.  The new EO, allows for more exceptions to the travel ban and eliminates Iraq from the list of designated countries who are banned from entry for 90 days.  However the ban of “Nationals of Countries of Particular Concerns” is as thinly veiled second attempt at blocking Muslim travel and/or settlement in the US.  

From the perspective of refugee reception and placement, this EO changes very little from the original travel ban.  Effective March 16, the order suspends travel of all refugees to the U.S. for 120 days.  After the 120 days, movement of refugees may continue only for those countries that have met the requirements of vetting to the satisfaction of DOS and DHS.
 

Additionally, the cap for refugee admissions has been slashed to 50,000 down from the 110,000 originally planned for FY2017.  The capping of the program at 50,000 halts the hopes and dreams of 60,000 refugee men, women and children who were well on their way through the extensive vetting process for US resettlement.  

In this moment there are many public policy experts, immigration lawyers, and agency directors who are combing through the order.   We will do our best to keep people informed as circumstances change and as we understand better what, if anything, we will be able to expect regarding the refugee families who have already been formally accepted and are awaiting travel.      

Peace,
Kathryn Buckley-Brawner
Executive Director
Catholic Charities Agency

A letter from Catholic Charities

Dear Friends:

All of us are keenly aware of the recent Executive Order (EO) signed by President Trump on January 27 that effectively suspends the entrance into our country of several categories of immigrants and indefinitely suspends the entrance of people from seven Muslim-majority countries. Circumstances surrounding the EO are changing day-by-day as advocacy groups, agencies, and organizations attempt to block the execution of the EO. Therefore, what is known today could change quickly.

This is what we know, so far. The EO does impact our Welcome Home Refugee Resettlement program for Northampton. The movement of all refugees is suspended for 120 days pending review of the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) application and adjudication process. Specifically mentioned is the prohibition of the processing and arrivals of Syrian refugees until it has been determined that Syrian resettlement to the U.S. is in alignment with the best interests of the United States. In addition, the number of refugees admitted to the United States in FY2017 is reduced from 110,000 to 50,000.

To date, Catholic Charities has provided assurances (a process that verifies that we accept a refugee case for reception and placement) for 18 individuals. Five of the individuals are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, three individuals from Bhutan, three individuals from Iraq, and seven individuals from Syria. They will remain as our assigned cases in the interim 120 days, but will not be allowed entry during that period. We will not have access to R&P funding or the two case management assistance grants until such time as the resettlement process resumes. However, our staffing will remain and be sustained by Catholic Charities funds.

Aside from continuing to prepare for the eventual arrival of our refugee families, we are asking all to sustain the resistance and outcry against this suspension and its ill-conceived and uncompassionate provisions. Time can be the damper of public outrage. What begins as front-page headlines can all too soon be relegated to back page news. Make noise publicly. Please, also remember that there are other refugees from countries like the Congo, Burundi, Bhutan, Ukraine, Moldova, and Ethiopia have been swept into this suspension. Originating from countries that pose not "threat" to ours and already much ignored (some of whom have spent the longest time in refugee camps) they have again become the forgotten in this conversation. Write or call your representatives and senators, write the Supreme Court justices, sign on to national petitions that oppose the EO -- and keep it up until we see results.

This and future newsletters will include links and other aids to keep us informed and active in our advocacy efforts.

Peace,
Kathryn Buckley-Brawner
Executive Director
Catholic Charities Agency