The Biden administration’s acting attorney general, a longtime career official named Monty Wilkinson, took part in a controversial 2017 decision to remove a justice department (DoJ) lawyer in Texas who had raised concerns about migrant children who were being separated from their parents. Emails seen by the Guardian show that Wilkinson, who is expected to…

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State Dept. Suspends Iraqi Visas Over System Vulnerabilities 2 Immigration News State Dept. Suspends Iraqi Visas Over System Vulnerabilities

Law360 (January 22, 2021, 10:22 PM EST) — The U.S. Department of State on Friday temporarily suspended a refugee visa program for Iraqis who had previously worked in support of the U.S. government, saying it needed to address vulnerabilities uncovered during recent federal investigations.The 90-day pause to the Direct Access Program for U.S.-Affiliated Iraqis follows recent indictments of people involved in a scheme to steal records from the State Department’s system for processing refugee applications, specifically targeted at applications made under the program, according to the department.”We recognize the importance of assisting those who legitimately put their lives at risk to provide critical support to the United…

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Biden Raises Hopes For Flexibility For Immigration Judges 3 Immigration News Biden Raises Hopes For Flexibility For Immigration Judges

Law360 (January 22, 2021, 8:00 PM EST) — President Joe Biden’s immigration bill proposing a citizenship pathway for undocumented immigrants may provide other unexpected relief, with legal experts telling Law360 that immigration judges may get “groundbreaking” discretionary power after having their authority constrained for decades.On the day he was sworn into office, Biden sent to Congress a bill that would create a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants and clear work-visa backlogs.The bill also promised to “protect vulnerable individuals” by providing immigration judges with the discretion to review cases and grant relief. That possibility would be paramount for immigration judges, who have few avenues to provide…

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The D.C. Circuit on Friday affirmed the dismissal of a suit brought by a Thai restaurant and two of its chefs challenging a consular officer’s denial of visas to the workers, finding that a U.S.-Thailand treaty doesn’t overcome a doctrine barring courts from reviewing such decisions.

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Former President Donald Trump’s midnight pardon for former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon covers existing charges in his border wall fund fraud case, according to language released by the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday, but experts say it does not shield him from further prosecution — even in the same case.

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Key events Show 12.26pm EST12:26 Austin arrives at the Pentagon for the first time as defense secretary 11.41am EST11:41 Pelosi confirms article of impeachment will be sent on Monday 11.06am EST11:06 Austin becomes first Black defense secretary in US history after Senate confirmation 10.17am EST10:17 House will send article of impeachment to Senate on Monday,…

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ABA Urges Justices To End ​​​'Remain In Mexico' Policy 4 Immigration News ABA Urges Justices To End ​​​'Remain In Mexico' Policy

Law360 (January 22, 2021, 5:25 PM EST) — The American Bar Association renewed its call to end the “Remain in Mexico” program in a U.S. Supreme Court brief, telling the justices that affirming the policy would amount to “trampling” on multiple federal laws and legal ethics.The program, officially titled the Migrant Protection Protocols, requires asylum-seekers arriving at the southern U.S. border from countries other than Mexico to wait there, participating in their immigration hearings remotely from temporary “tent courts” near the border.Migrants face danger in the border towns where many have been forced to wait, and they are effectively blocked from accessing legal resources, including U.S. immigration…

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GOP Lawmakers Propose Major Immigration Restrictions 5 Immigration News GOP Lawmakers Propose Major Immigration Restrictions

Law360 (January 22, 2021, 5:15 PM EST) — In the face of President Joe Biden’s immediate moves to liberalize immigration pathways that had been curtailed under his predecessor, Republican legislators in the House have introduced a pair of bills seeking to codify major new restrictions on legal immigration.The GOP-sponsored bills would eliminate the diversity visa lottery, which allows up to 55,000 immigrants from underrepresented countries to come to the United States each year, and prevent anyone convicted of a crime from obtaining asylum.The measures, drafted by Reps. Bill Posey, R-Fla., and Bob Good, R-Va., were introduced Thursday, Biden’s first full day in office. Good’s bill, the asylum…

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Texas Seeks Block Of Biden's Deportation Freeze 6 Immigration News Texas Seeks Block Of Biden's Deportation Freeze

Law360 (January 22, 2021, 3:57 PM EST) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton made good on threats to sue the Biden administration over a newly implemented moratorium on certain deportations, accusing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Friday of violating an enforcement agreement with the state.In the lawsuit filed in Texas federal court, Paxton said that DHS failed to consult with the state before reducing its immigration enforcement activity there. According to Paxton, the move violated an agreement requiring the federal government to notify Texas 180 days before ceasing or reducing deportations.”In one of its first of dozens of steps that harm Texas and the nation…

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