Litigation Filed Over Administration Violating Civil Rights of Immigrants
In September, a civil rights lawsuit was filed to block the current administration from ending a deportation relief policy that allows some immigrants with serious medical conditions to stay in the United States in order to receive medical care. The lawsuit argues that the administration abruptly terminating the program is illegal. In addition, the administration announced that the Department of Homeland Security would begin to request social media information – including accounts and usernames used over the last five years – on any applicants who apply for immigration benefits and/or foreign travel to the U.S. According to the announcement, this information will be used to determine whether applicants “pose a security risk to the United States.”
Deportation Relief for Medical Conditions
Those who are affected by the deportation relief program being terminated include children from Africa, countries in the Caribbean, and those in Central and South America seeking treatment for serious illnesses, such as cancer. According to the statistics, the agency receives around 1,000 of these types of requests related to medical issues each year, most of which it recently did not approve. The lawsuit argues that the agency was arbitrary and capricious in its decision and, in doing so, violated the Administrative Procedure Act, as well as equal protection rights guaranteed by the US Constitution.
Homeland Security & State Department Collecting Social Media Usernames On Immigration & Visitor Applications
The announcement concerning the collection of social media information on immigration and visitor applications has understandably drawn a number of legal concerns, and has already come under fire in association with a Harvard student who was denied entry into the US based on information allegedly discovered during a US Customs and Border Protection Inspection because the student allegedly expressed “political points of view that opposed the US” in his social media accounts. As a result, his visa was revoked and he was sent back to Lebanon.
The updated data collection decision will affect a number of immigrant benefit programs, including applications for asylum and naturalization, Customs and Border Protection Forms for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, and visa updates and waivers. However, it is also important to note that this policy doesn’t just involve the Department of Homeland Security: The State Department is already requesting social media information from both non-immigrant and immigrant visa applicants.
Contact Our North Carolina Immigration Attorneys with Any Questions You Have About Immigration Legal Issues
Immigration legal issues are more contentious than ever, and ensuring that your case is handled by an experienced immigration attorney and that you are not unfairly (and illegally) discriminated against in the process is more important than ever, especially if you or your family rely on certain healthcare services here in the U.S. Contact our experienced North Carolina immigration lawyers at the Hauter Law Firm, PC today to find out more about our immigration legal services.