Notes from Listening Session with USCIS

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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Update: FOIA Production on Fee Waiver Policy & Practice

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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Litigation update in ASISTA v. Albence

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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ASISTA Denounces Racism, Misogyny, and Violence

In the wake of the killing of eight people in Georgia earlier this week, we at ASISTA are heartbroken and determined as ever to fight the toxic combination of white supremacy and misogyny that fuels this violence. Eight lives were tragically and violently taken, of whom seven were women and six were of Asian descent.…

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Litigation Update: Harmful DOJ Rule Enjoined

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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Important Policy & Practice Updates

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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ASISTA opposes harmful proposed DOJ rules

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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ICYMI (In Case You Missed It): Sharing Important Policy Updates

A lot has happened in the past week! We’ve compiled a short list of important updates to help you keep track.  Expansion of Filing Flexibility Important Update on Blank Space Policy Litigation Policy Manual Changes EOIR Comment Opportunities-deadlines December 28th Issuance of Final Regulations on Asylum, Admin Closure, and more 1. Expansion of Filing Flexibility: On December 18, USCIS…

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Policy Update: Two New Final Rules Weaken Access to Immigration Relief

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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New Practice Advisory: Insight into USCIS’s Application of the “No-Blanks” Policy to U-Visa Petitions

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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ASISTA Opposes Harmful Proposed Rule Expanding Biometric Collection & Surveillance

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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Updated Practice Advisory: Status of USCIS Fee Rule

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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