Awareness - June 13, 2022 - We Welcome

Awareness - June 13, 2022

Summit of the Americas yielded commitments from leaders on migration cooperation

Last week as the Summit of the Americas met in Los Angeles, leaders from 20 countries announced a migration deal that focused on promoting stability and “regular pathways” in countries of origin, transit, and arrival, facilitating humane migration management, coordinating emergency response among nations, and committing to a shared approach to “reduce and manage irregular migration.”

Among other commitments made at the Summit, President Biden has agreed to take 20,000 refugees from Latin America in the next 2 years and to increase the number of seasonal workers from Haiti and Central America by 11,500. Mexico agreed to accept 20,000 temporary workers, Canada agreed to take 4,000 refugees from the Americas by 2028, and Spain also agreed to increase the number of migrants given work authorization. 

In conjunction with the Summit, the Biden administration also committed $331 million to fight insecurity in Latin America and the Caribbean, and Vice President Harris announced $1.3 billion in private sector commitments to invest in development in Central America. This commitment is in addition to the $1.3 billion announced in December 2021, bringing total investment to $3.2 billion. The Biden administration also announced  a new initiative to address human smuggling which has resulted in the arrest of nearly 2,000 smugglers in the last 8 weeks. The US has sent over 1,300 personnel to locations throughout the Western Hemisphere and has invested over $50 million under this new initiative so far.

Significant court rulings could have far reaching impacts on immigrants

Several significant court rulings have been issued in the last week with immigration implications. On Friday a US District judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration’s rule on ICE priorities, alleging that the September 2021 memo was “arbitrary and capricious” and that the rule failed to follow the Administrative Procedures Act. The guidelines in the memo prioritized deportations of immigrants found to pose a national security or public safety threat, but Judge Tipton ruled that Secretary Mayorkas did not have the authority to issue such guidelines and that they placed a burden on agents and officers. This is the 2nd court challenge faced by the priority guidelines memo – the memo was formerly struck down by a federal judge in Ohio, but that decision was reversed by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Supreme Court also heard cases related to immigration, and issued a ruling last Wednesday that CBP agents cannot be sued for accusations of civil rights violations. In the case of Egbert v. Boule, the court found that it was not within the purview of the court to review such lawsuits, instead claiming that the court should, as Justice Gorsuch wrote, “forthrightly return the power to create new causes of action to the people’s representatives in Congress.”

Today the Supreme Court concluded that federal courts lack the power to grant relief to classes of immigrants, but instead could only issue decisions on an individual basis. In her dissent from the majority opinion, Justice Sotomayor wrote, “In a great many cases, the inevitable consequence of barring classwide injunctive relief will be that those violations will go unremedied, except as to the few fortunate enough to afford competent collateral counsel or to secure vigorous pro bono representation.” 

Also on Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that immigrants are not entitled to bond hearings while being held for long periods of time for their cases. 

DACA has been in place for 10 years

This week marks the 10 year anniversary of the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA) policy. As the policy faces court challenges and an upcoming hearing on July 6th, a group of DACA applicants who have been in limbo under its current legal status have filed for relief in court. Under Judge Hanen’s ruling last year, those already protected under DACA could continue filing their renewal applications, but the applications of new applicants were barred from being processed. These new applicants are left in limbo and unable to obtain legal work authorization while they wait. 

This week, Dreamers and immigration advocates are amplifying the message that it is past time for a permanent solution for DACA recipients and other Dreamers. You can use this action link to add your voice to those calling for a legislative solution for Dreamers.