Immigration in the News – August 2021

TPS Registration Extension

The Department of Homeland Security has announced extensions of the registration periods from 180 days to 18 months for initial (new) applicants for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under the designations of Venezuela and Burma, and the redesignation of Syria.

Biden Continues Use of Title 42

The Biden administration is continuing the use of Title 42 to quickly turn back immigrants at the southern Border. Title 42 allows immigrants found at the border to be turned back immediately at the discretion of the border agent without going through the normal screening process. Unlike the Trump administration practice, Biden is not using Title 42 to turn back minors who show up at the border alone.

“Migrant Protection Protocols” Renewed by SCOTUS

The Supreme Court ruled that the Biden Administration must revive a Trump Administration decision mandating that some asylum seekers remain in Mexico pending court decisions. These “Migrant Protection Protocols” require that individuals who arrive at the southern border requesting asylum are given notices to appear in immigration court and sent back to Mexico, until they are told to return to a specific port of entry at a specific date and time for a court hearing.

Legal representation for these people is rare, believed to be less than 7.5% of individuals subject to MPP. The lack of counsel, combined with the dangers that individuals face in border towns, have made it nearly impossible for anyone subject to MPP to successfully win asylum.

Goddard College Offers to House Afghan Refugees

Goddard College has offered to house Afghan refugees at their Plainfield campus for at least two months this upcoming fall. This follows Governor Scott’s announcement to the White House and the state that Vermont welcomes refugees from war-torn countries. There are no clear plans to bring Afghan refugees to the state yet.

Countries Pledge to Accept Afghans After U.S. Military Departs

The United States and 97 other countries said they will continue to take in those fleeing Afghanistan after the U.S. military withdrawal. The joint statement notes that the Taliban have given assurances that people with travel documents clearing them to enter any of those countries could safely depart. But the international community has little influence over what takes place within Afghanistan’s borders. Many fear that the process of applying for visas and travel documents within Afghanistan will only identify those who wish to leave to the Afghan government.