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Recently in Immigration Law Category

When the Trump administration announced its 'zero tolerance' policy on illegal border crossings, it explicitly acknowledged it may separate immigrant children from their parents. And when those separations started, the outrage and lawsuits soon followed. Since then, immigration officials have begun the process of re-uniting families in response to several court orders requiring reunification and the release of children from detention within 20 days.

It may be hard to keep up with all the latest legal developments and policy reversals, so here are three recent updates on reunification efforts for immigrant families.

What's Happening to Pregnant Women in ICE Detention?

ICE detention centers have come under fire recently for their treatment of families, most notably for separating young children from their parents. But in a little publicized situation, families-to-be are suffering an equally devastating situation. Pregnant women are miscarrying in these detention centers, and are not getting adequate prenatal care before, during, or after these miscarriages.

For children who have been abandoned, abused, or neglected by one or both of their parents, United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services offered a special process to obtain a green card and seek lawful permanent residence in the U.S. Called a Special Immigrant Juvenile classification, it applied to undocumented and unmarried children under 21 years old who had been separated from or hurt by their parents.

But recent policy changes have many at-risk immigrant youth wondering about their status. Here's what you need to know.

Citing federal immigration law that 'exudes deference' to the president and allows him 'broad discretion to suspend' the entry of noncitizens into the United States, the Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump's much-maligned Muslim travel ban this morning. Several federal courts had blocked multiple versions of the ban from going into effect, citing "significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus driving the promulgation of the Executive Order" that "plainly discriminates based on nationality" in violation of federal law.

But the Supreme Court ruled that the government demonstrated "a sufficient national security justification" for restricting entry from travelers from Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad, and Somalia. But the case isn't quite closed just yet: The Court reversed the injunction issued by the Ninth Circuit that temporarily blocked the government from enforcing the travel ban, and sent the case back to the lower courts "for such further proceedings as may be appropriate." So, what does that mean and what comes next?

'We're going to have strong, very strong borders but we are going to keep the families together,' President Trump said in the Oval Office today. 'I didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.' After defending the policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border for weeks -- even asserting it was required under immigration law -- Trump reversed course and signed an Executive Order aimed at keeping families together during detention.

Still, the administration reiterated its "zero-tolerance" policy for illegal immigration, which tasks government prosecutors to charge illegal immigrants with federal crimes, and detain them in federal facilities while their cases are being resolved, rather than simply deporting them. "We are keeping a very powerful border and it continues to be a zero tolerance," Trump said. "We have zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally." So, what does the new Executive Order mean?

In one of the many, many tweets attempted to address outrage at his administration's policy of separating and detaining children and families of immigrants at the border, President Donald Trump yelled, "CHANGE THE LAWS!" Trump didn't specify which laws, specifically, he wanted changed, adding to confusion and speculation about immigration laws and policies when it comes to children and families.

In an effort to hopefully clarify which laws apply to those attempting to immigrate and those seeking asylum, and the policies put in place by the Trump administration that separate immigrant children from their parents, here is a roundup of our posts on the topic.

As many people undoubtedly know, the U.S. citizenship and naturalization process can be fraught with complicated paperwork, legal requirements, filing fees, and a whole lot of waiting. The time it takes to gain citizenship can seem interminable. But is there a time by which you must apply for citizenship, or risk losing your opportunity?

Here's a look:

Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a 'zero-tolerance policy' for illegal entry into the United States, under which immigration enforcement officials would forcibly separate immigrant children from their parents. "If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law," Sessions said at the time. "If you don't like that, then don't smuggle children over our border."

Last week, a federal judge said that policy is "brutal, offensive, and fails to comport with traditional notions of fair play and decency," and found that it may be unconstitutional.

Can Your Immigration Case Get Reopened?

With the campaign of Donald Trump, illegal immigration took center stage during the run up to the 2016 presidential election. With controversial speeches about a border wall and increased deportations, the debate reached new levels of fervor. And with President Trump in office, that debate rages on. 

Now, the latest battle on the immigration warfront has many undocumented immigrants worried that their previously-closed immigration cases will be reopened.

Although the U.S. department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement was only created in 2003, it feels like it's been around forever. Perhaps that's due to its impact on immigrants and their families. ICE has stepped up its detention and deportation efforts over the past couple years, with immigration arrests rising 30 percent in 2017 over the previous year. Those arrests have occurred at courthouses, schools, and even hospitals.

And there has been no shortage of stories involving people, including sheriff's officers and even school principals, threatening to call ICE on people they think may be illegal immigrants. So, what should you do if someone threatens to call ICE on you or or someone you know?