June 14, 2021 ASISTA applauds USCIS’s policy alert announcing work authorization for U visa petitioners who present a bona fide case. This policy will help alleviate the myriad barriers that victims and their families face as a result of the significant processing delays in the U visa program.  Currently there are nearly 270,000 individuals with…

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On April 6, 2021, ASISTA hosted a listening session with USCIS representatives regarding recent trends and issues with fee waiver adjudications related to survivor-based protections including VAWA self-petitions, U and T visa relief. The notes from that listening session can be found below. If you continue to face additional problems with fee waiver adjudications, please…

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In January 2019, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on behalf of Grassroots Leadership requesting information on fee waiver adjudication policies and procedures for VAWA self-petitions, T visa and U visa Humanitarian programs.   Due to a lack of response, Grassroots Leadership, represented by TRLA, was a plaintiff in…

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ASISTA and Sanctuary for Families are excited to share that on March 18, 2021, Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer granted our joint motion to stay the proceedings in our ongoing lawsuit against ICE for 90 days subject to specific interim conditions.  ASISTA and Sanctuary for Families are represented by Protect Democracy and the Constitutional Accountability Center…

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On March 10, 2021, Senior District Judge Susan Illston from the U.S. District Court of Northern District of California granted a preliminary injunction in the case Centro Legal de La Raza et al v. EOIR et al, challenging the harmful DOJ rule severely limiting sua sponte motions in immigration court proceedings and curtailing the use…

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Dear partners,  The Biden-Harris Administration has already introduced important immigration policy reforms, including efforts that enhance protections for immigrant survivors. ASISTA welcomes these efforts, and we will be there each step of the way to help ensure a safer and more just America for survivors and for all immigrants. We are committed, as always, to keeping you informed…

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There have been many policy and practice updates over the last few weeks. We’ve compiled a short list of a few important updates to help you keep track.   Upcoming Closures USCIS temporarily suspends in-person services. USCIS announced Friday afternoon that it will temporarily suspend in-person services next Tuesday and Wednesday. USCIS issued the following notice: “U.S. Citizenship…

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On December 28, 2020, ASISTA submitted two comments in response to two proposed Department of Justice, Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR rules) which would limit access to relief for immigrants with matters in Immigration Court, including survivors. Defining “Good cause” for continuances: This new proposed rule severely limits motions to continue, which given the…

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Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a new rule that makes sweeping and devastating changes to asylum. This rule would deny the vast majority of asylum-seekers – including survivors of gender-based violence – the chance to make their case for protection, let alone to have a fair day…

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The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), ASISTA and the Domestic Violence Project (DVP) of the Urban Justice Center have published a new practice advisory based on new USCIS documentation obtained by FOIA litigation brought by Cleary Gottlieb on behalf of DVP.   This advisory contains a summary of the records USCIS released through the FOIA litigation , as…

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In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we are re-releasing our report, co-authored by Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) “In Harm’s Way,” that details how current federal policies are not protecting immigrants suffering from domestic violence. We can, and must, do better to give immigrants full protection from domestic violence. Read our report here ->…

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On October 13, 2020, ASISTA submitted a comment in response to USCIS harmful new proposed rule that would pose significant privacy, confidentiality and safety implications for immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual violence, human trafficking, and other gender-based abuses. The proposed rule would change, among other things: Drastically increase the types of biometric information collected…

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Over the last few week, there have been several updates that impact fee waiver practice. ASISTA has updated its fee rule advisory to provide additional background information and updates for agencies working with immigrant survivors and their families.

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On August 3, 2020, USCIS published the final fee rule which is set to go into effect on October 2, 2020. This new rule increases the fees for commonly used forms as well as limits the criteria for fee waivers. This advisory discusses the provisions of the rule most relevant to survivor-based formsof immigration relief…

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Date: April 23, 2020 Media Contact: Ahlam Moussa, ASISTA, ahlam@asistahelp.org ASISTA denounces President Trump’s new executive order temporarily limiting entry for individuals outside the US seeking permanent residency, as it only serves to sow hatred and create division. It needlessly separates families, including certain family members of survivors.  The United States is in the middle…

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by: Cecelia Friedman Levin, ASISTA Policy Director with Grace Huang, Policy Director, Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-based Violence Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order temporarily halting entry of certain individuals seeking to enter the U.S. on immigrant visas (as permanent residents) for 60 days. The order will be effective as of 11:59 pm ET…

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