Immigrants who have come to Texas seeking asylum might eventually be able to appeal a rejection under a new ruling although it will only take immediate effect in states under the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit. The initial test for asylum seekers is establishing a "credible fear" of returning to the home country. This is decided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers.
Spouses of H-1B visa holders in Texas may no longer be permitted to work if a rule change is successful. The change, which was first discussed in 2017, has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget from the Department of Homeland Security. From there, it may be returned to the DHS, or it might be submitted to the Federal Register for a public comment period of anywhere from 30 to 90 days.
The Supreme Court took no action on a case that may decide the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This program allows undocumented immigrants in Texas and other states to stay in the United States as long as they reported their status entered the country under the age of 16 by 2007. The Trump Administration intended to shut down the program in 2017, but a lower court ruling on the issue prevented them from doing so.
The Trump Administration has held more than 10,000 immigrant children in detention at facilities in Texas and other states along the border, and the treatment of these kids has come under major scrutiny. Several lawsuits allege that the administration did not meet the minimum standard of care, which requires the least restrictive environment possible. The plaintiffs claim that the government did this purposefully to punish immigrant families.
Many immigrants live in Texas, and those who have been waiting for their immigration hearings will have to wait longer. The government shutdown that began in December 2018 has forced immigration courts to cancel 42,726 hearings according to figures collected by the Transaction Records Access Clearinghouse.
Residents of Texas who have questions about immigration should be aware that credible fear asylum claims have climbed, according to research concerning the figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. From 2017 to 2018, claims of credible fear climbed 67 percent. Credible fear is the first step toward asylum and can be used when a person fears for his or her personal safety if he or she is sent home.
U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar refused to suspend his earlier ruling blocking the Trump administration from imposing new conditions on asylum seekers at the southern border, including the border with Texas. The Department of Justice had asked the federal judge to allow the administration to grant asylum only to those migrants who crossed the border with Mexico under new conditions imposed by Trump. However, the judge said that the administration had failed to meet its burden to show that its policy is legal under U.S. immigration law.
Many Texas residents are aware that a caravan of immigrants from Honduras has been traveling to the U.S. border over the past several weeks. About 3,000 of the caravan's members have now made their way to Tijuana, and reports indicate that many of them plan to seek asylum in the United States. President Trump has vowed to prevent this from happening, and he issued a presidential proclamation on Nov. 7 that would deny asylum to any individuals who cross the Mexican border illegally.
News outlets in Texas and around the country have been running stories about a caravan of several thousand migrants making its way through Mexico toward the United States. Many of the migrants progressing with the caravan say that they are fleeing violence in countries like Honduras and hope to claim asylum once they reach the U.S. border. This has made the asylum process a hot-button political issue in the run-up to the crucial 2018 midterm elections.
According to a report released in October by the U.S. Accountability Office, federal agencies have been in a state of chaos and confusion due to the Trump administration's immigration policies. These policies have had a major impact on immigrants coming through Texas and other border states. Officials from Homeland Security and Health and Human Services said that they did not plan for the influx of kids being separated from their parents. A different report from the DHS came up with similar results.