As usual, there have been many immigration policy updates this past week. Please see below for a brief summary of a few of those updates, as well as some upcoming ASISTA events. 

  1. Flexibility in Deadline Extension Last week, USCIS announced that it will extend its flexibility policy.  This policy will now apply to documents in which the issuance date listed on the request, notice or decision is between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.  For more information, see USCIS Response to COVID-19 here
     
  2. Challenges to Enforcement Executive OrderAs you may have heard, a judge in Texas has enjoined portions of Biden’s Executive Order on Enforcement and the related DHS guidance regarding the 100-day moratorium on deportations. Our partners at NIPNLG and La Resistencia have developed a fact sheet explaining what has been enjoined and what remains in effect.   Based upon our reading of this decision, we believe that the rescission of the 2018 Notice to Appear Memo from 2018 in effect. 
     
  3. New Circuit Court Decisions
    • New First Circuit Decision: This new decision Granados Benitez v. Wilkinson ruled that the BIA abused its discretion in refusing to reopen proceedings for a U visa petitioner who had been placed on the waitlist. Of note, the court found that Matter of Sanchez Sosa remains good law and that the Sanchez Sosa factors apply to motions to reopen where the purpose of the motion is to seek a continuance.  ASISTA and other amici were represented by Greenberg Traurig in support of the Petitioner in this case. Huge thanks to Petitioner’s counsel, Paige Austin and Phil Torrey! 
       
    • Ninth Circuit Decision: In the published decision, Kaur v. Wilkinson, the panel found that, “The BIA erred in imposing evidentiary requirements of ongoing injury or treatment beyond the sexual assault itself in order to show persecution. Kaur’s credible testimony about the attempted gang rape is sufficient to show persecution. Attempted rape by a gang of men, in broad daylight on a public street, is especially terrorizing because it powerfully demonstrates the perpetrator’s domination, control over the victim and imperviousness to the law. Requiring evidence of additional harms both minimizes the gravity of the sexual assault and demeans the victim. We grant Kaur’s petition for review and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.” (emphasis added)
       
  4. ASISTA joins important amicus efforts 
    • Last week, ASISTA and our partners submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the plaintiffs in the new litigation Centro Legal de La Raza, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services v. EOIR.  This case challenges EOIR’s new rule regarding administrative closure, and our amicus highlightis the harm that this rule places on survivor-based immigration cases. Read the brief here.
       
    • ASISTA was proud to join over 100 organizations nationwide as amicus on behalf of the respondents in the pending Supreme Court case of Pekoske v. Innovation Law Lab, et al. (previously, Wolf v. Innovation Law Lab, et al.) The government appealed the 9th circuit’s decision upholding an injunction against the continued implementation and expansion of Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). The amicus brief can be found here
       
  5. ASISTA’s 2-day training on March 17-18, 2021: Register now for ASISTA’s Legal Remedies for Immigrant Survivors, Introductory Series Part II: Preparing the Case. In Part II of our skills-based introductory seminar series, participants will learn to effectively prepare survivor-based petitions for immigration status. Participants will have the opportunity to practice these skills through interactive discussions and hands-on activities. This course is intended for legal advocates at agencies that serve domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, new immigration practitioners, and legal staff.  Register Today!

As always, thank you for all you do on behalf of survivors and their families.  

The ASISTA Team

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