Immigrants

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

For immigrants and refugees seeking asylum, receiving proper medical evaluations before entering the United States could be lifesaving - especially for victims of torture.

Republicans who might have been leery of supporting the bipartisan Dream Act got a more conservative-friendly option this week in the form of a new bill dubbed the SUCCEED Act (Solution for Undocumented Children through Careers, Employment, Education and Defending our nation).

The Trump administration plans to cap the number of refugees the U.S. will accept next year at 45,000. That is a dramatic drop from the level set by the Obama administration and would be the lowest number in years.

The White House formally announced its plans in a report to congressional leaders Wednesday, as required by law.

The number of refugees the U.S. admits has fluctuated over time. But this cap is the lowest that any White House has sought since the president began setting the ceiling on refugee admissions in 1980.

The Supreme Court has taken two cases involving President Trump's controversial travel ban off its calendar, after the White House issued a revised and expanded ban. The justices ordered both sides to file new briefs over whether parts of the issue are now moot.

"The cases are removed from the oral argument calendar, pending further order of the Court," the justices wrote in an order issued Monday.

Parties in the two cases — Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project and Trump v. Hawaii — have until next Thursday, Oct. 5, to file their briefs.

The Trump administration is updating its travel ban, just hours before it was set to expire. In a proclamation signed by President Trump on Sunday, the travel restrictions now include eight countries, a couple of which are not majority-Muslim, as had been the case with all the nations in the original ban.

Conservatives are livid after President Trump appeared to have made a deal with Democrats in order to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program — claiming he is abandoning his base and the stringent immigration platform he campaigned on.

Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

President Trump affirmed Thursday morning that a deal was in the works with Democrats that would protect some 800,000 DREAMers who could face deportation when DACA expires next year in exchange for "massive border controls."

It wasn't clear, however, whether a border wall would be part of an emerging pact, as Trump had seemed to suggest at one point.

Early Thursday, he told reporters: "The wall will come later, we're right now renovating large sections of wall, massive sections, making it brand new."

The U.S. Supreme Court will temporarily allow the Trump administration to block many refugees from six mostly Muslim countries without direct familial ties in the United States from entering this country.

In a brief order issued Monday, Justice Anthony Kennedy delayed implementation of a ruling issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last week that would have allowed entry to refugees with formal ties to resettlement agencies here.

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday evening that the Trump administration can't ban grandparents and other family members of citizens and legal residents from coming to the U.S. from six mainly Muslim countries.

The Justice Department downplayed the ruling, looking ahead to a higher-ranking court considering the case: "The Supreme Court has stepped in to correct these lower courts before, and we will now return to the Supreme Court to vindicate the Executive Branch's duty to protect the Nation."

5 Questions About DACA Answered

Sep 6, 2017

The Trump administration announced Tuesday it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, in six months if Congress doesn't find a more permanent solution.

Updated at 3:57 p.m. ET

The Trump administration Tuesday formally announced it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — also called DACA — putting an expiration date on the legal protections granted to roughly 800,000 people known as "DREAMers," who entered the country illegally as children.

President Trump issued a statement, saying, "I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws."

Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing back against the federal government.

On Monday, the city is filing suit against the Department of Justice, which announced it would withhold millions of dollars in police grant money from so-called sanctuary cities.

Emanuel is suing because he says new rules for a federal crime-fighting grant go against the Constitution and the city's values.

"Chicago will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate," Emanuel said.

The Supreme Court has upheld parts of a lower court order that had widened the definition of which citizens from the six Muslim-majority countries covered by the Trump administration's travel ban are still eligible to travel to the U.S.

The order issued Wednesday leaves in place the action of a U.S. District Court judge in Hawaii who broadened the definition of close family to include categories such as the grandparents and cousins of a person in the U.S.

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has filed a motion with the Supreme Court, asking for clarification of the justices' order upholding a version of the travel ban. The justices' order allowed the administration to restrict entry by people from six mostly Muslim countries, except for those who have what's judged to be a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States, including close family members.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

Young doctors in Western New York and around the country are in one of the most stressful periods of their careers.

The Supreme Court says it will decide the fate of President Trump's revised travel ban, agreeing to hear arguments over immigration cases that were filed in federal courts in Hawaii and Maryland and allowing parts of the ban that has been on hold since March to take effect.

The justices removed the two lower courts' injunctions against the ban "with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States," narrowing the scope of those injunctions that had put the ban in limbo.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

President Trump's administration filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday night seeking to reverse rulings by lower courts in Hawaii and Maryland that blocked a temporary ban on travel to the United States from six majority-Muslim countries.

The Trump administration says the Constitution gives the president "broad authority to prevent aliens abroad from entering this country when he deems it in the nation's interest."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is narrowing the scope of an executive order on so-called sanctuary cities.

A federal judge in California last month blocked a key part of that order, reasoning that the Trump administration had overstepped by threatening to yank federal money from those places.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

A 13-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit heard arguments on Monday over President Trump's revised travel ban, with judges repeatedly questioning the government's lawyer in the case about Trump's campaign call "for a complete and total shutdown" of Muslims entering the country.

Marches in support of worker rights and labor unions are taking place around the world Monday, dubbed "May Day." Here in the U.S., they're expected to draw larger than usual crowds due to President Trump's efforts to crack down on immigration.

In heavily Latino Los Angeles, where labor unions also hold big sway, community organizers spent much of the last weekend doing last minute planning and logistics, as well as peacekeeping training.

Nearly 100 days into his administration, President Trump has drastically reduced the flow of immigration, both legal and illegal, to the U.S. He's been able to accomplish that without any new legislation — and without many of his signature ideas solidly in place, including executive orders that have been put on hold by the courts and a proposed wall on the Mexican border.

Eileen Koteras Elibol

John Hockenberry of The Takeaway hosted a panel discussion Tuesday night in the WNED|WBFO studios. The conversation touched upon a number of subjects, though the centerpiece highlighted Buffalo's long relationship with immigration.


Updated 11:45 p.m. ET

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Trump administration cannot withhold federal funds from jurisdictions that limit their cooperation with immigration authorities, commonly known as sanctuary cities.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

New York State lawmakers have agreed upon a new $153 billion budget that is expected to be approved next week.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Daemen College played host Tuesday to a panel discussion on refugees, immigrants and President Donald Trump's policies concerning them.


Katie Park/NPR

A local economic development strategy has to include the area's growing immigrant and refugee population. That is according to the International Institute of Buffalo's Eva Hassett, speaking Thursday night at Medaille.

The Trump administration has appealed an order by a federal judge in Hawaii that indefinitely blocks the president's executive order restricting travel to the U.S. from six majority-Muslim countries and suspending the U.S. refugee program.

The state of Hawaii sued to stop the travel ban, arguing the president's policy violates the Constitution. U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson extended his nationwide order blocking the executive order while the lawsuit continues. The administration has asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to rule against Watson.

The Justice Department is following through on an executive order to withhold as much as $4.1 billion in federal grants from so-called "sanctuary cities," generally defined as places where local law enforcement limit their cooperation with federal authorities on immigration enforcement.

New York State is home to over 4.4 million immigrants and now a new initiative will guarantee them access to legal assistance.

courtesy Erin Heaney

Amidst the debate about immigration in the U.S., a recently-published report prepared by several research partners, including one from the University at Buffalo, challenges the claims that immigrants are a significant influence on the crime rate.


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