A 6/22/18 letter from DOS to Senator Van Hollen on the impact of Presidential Proclamation 9645 (Travel Ban 3.0) on the processing of U.S. visas. Letter includes information about the number of applicants from impacted countries who have applied for visas and those who have been cleared for waivers.
Written statement from Matthew T. Albence, executive associate director of the ERO division of ICE, for the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Oversight of Immigration Enforcement and Family Reunification.”
On 7/30/18, Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent HHS a letter to express concern regarding the procedures and standards HHS is employing to make reunification eligibility decisions and request a briefing focused on this concern.
On 7/20/18, over 150 members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives sent a letter to ICE expressing concern that detained parents who had been separated from their children have limited telephone access and were being forced to pay exorbitant out-of-pocket fees to contact their children.
USCIS sent a letter to Congress on proposed regulations related to B-1/B-2 visas, stating that the proposed revisions will clarify the criteria for according B-1 or B-2 nonimmigrant classification as well as a review of existing policies related to “B-1 in lieu of H-1/H-3.”
On 7/17/18, a bipartisan group of 63 U.S. Representatives sent a letter to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and DOS Secretary Mike Pompeo in support of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) and requesting an explanation for the decline in refugee admissions during FY2018.
On 7/6/18, USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna provided an update to Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) on USCIS opinion that members of Congress have the best information to know the “right “number of H-2B visas needed to support American businesses without harming American workers.
On 6/28/18, Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee requested that the administration respond to questions about the inception and implantation of family separation policy, as well as the level of coordination between relevant agencies.
On 6/26/18, a bipartisan group of House Representatives sent a letter to DHS and DOL urging to allocate additional H-2B visas pursuant to the FY2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act (P.L. 115-141), noting that the 15,000 H-2B visas released in May did not meet the labor needs of seasonal employers.
On 6/7/18, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Patty Murray (D-WA) led 38 of their Democratic Senate colleagues in demanding that the President end its policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S. border.
On 6/5/18, several members of Congress sent a letter to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and IRS Acting Commissioner David Kautter condemning the recent worksite immigration enforcement operation conducted in Bean Station, Tennessee.
On 5/31/18, House Democratic Leaders sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding that the Trump administration immediately cease its policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
On 5/23/18, U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) led a group of their Senate colleagues in a letter to the Attorney General urging the DOJ to uphold Matter of A-B-, which provides protections for LGBTQ asylum seekers who are fleeing persecution.
On 5/16/18, Congresswomen Mia Love (R-UT) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) led a bipartisan group of 130 members of Congress in urging Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to maintain the current regulation granting work authorization to certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrant workers.
On 4/27/18, Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) led an effort to urge Senate Appropriators to reduce funding for the Administration’s “reckless immigration enforcement operations” for FY2019. Twenty-one Senators signed the letter.
On 4/27/18, Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV) led an effort to increase oversight of ICE’s detention practices and policies, including language that would require the release of pregnant women apprehended by or transferred to ICE. Sixteen senators signed the letter.
On 5/8/18, top Senate and House Democrats wrote a letter to the Inspector General requesting an investigation into the allegations that DOJ has targeted candidates and withdrawn or delayed offers for immigration judge and BIA positions based on their perceived political or ideological views.
The written remarks of the Attorney General Jeff Sessions for a 4/25/18 hearing before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee where he states that, out of deference to the Committee, he has ordered that there be no pause to the Legal Orientation Program while a review is being conducted.
On 4/19/18, Senators Van Hollen (D-MD), Murphy (D-CT), and Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to Acting DOS Secretary John Sullivan and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen requesting further information regarding the processing of waivers for individuals impacted by Travel Ban 3.0.
On 4/18/18, 22 Senate Democrats wrote a letter to Attorney General Sessions regarding the termination of the Legal Orientation Program (LOP) and the Immigration Help Desk Program (ICH). They note that the decision undermines due process protections for immigrants who cannot afford an attorney.
On 4/19/18, 105 House Democrats wrote a letter to Attorney General Sessions regarding the termination of the Legal Orientation Program (LOP) and the Immigration Help Desk Program (ICH). They note that the DOJ has contradicted the express direction of Congress and undermined due process.
The GAO issued testimony for the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration hearing on immigration courts with scenarios for restructuring EOIR’s immigration court system and how EOIR manages and oversees the immigration courts, including hiring and performance assessment.
On 4/17/18, four House Democrats wrote a letter to Attorney General Sessions regarding allegations that the DOJ may be violating federal law by blocking the hiring of much needed immigration judges based on ideological and political considerations.
On 4/17/18, all Democratic members of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees wrote a letter to the Attorney General expressing their opposition to DOJ’s recent termination of the Legal Orientation Program and the imposition of numeric case quotas for immigration judges.
On 4/5/18, eight Senate Democrats wrote a letter to Thomas Homan, ICE Acting Director, opposing the policy that ended presumptive release for pregnant women in immigration detention. The letter mentions the demonstrated lack of capacity to provide sufficient support for pregnant detainees.
On 3/30/18, a bipartisan group of congressional representatives sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielson and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, requesting immediate action on providing H-2B cap relief in light of provisions included in the FY2018 omnibus spending bill.
On March 26, 2018, 25 Senate Democrats signed a letter to Chairman Cochran and Vice Chairman Leahy of the Senate Appropriations Committee urging them to include robust funding for programs that support refugees and other vulnerable migrant populations in FY2019 appropriations.
On March 16, 2018, 118 House Democrats wrote chairs and ranking members of three different appropriations subcommittees explaining the need to maintain robust funding for programs that support refugees for FY2019.
On March 16, 2018, the United States Commission on Civil Rights wrote a letter to Thomas Homan, Deputy Director of ICE, regarding recent immigration enforcement actions inside of courthouses. The commission urged ICE to stop these practices and classify courthouses as sensitive locations.
On March 13, 2018, a bipartisan group of Senators sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) requesting that H-2B cap relief be included in the FY2018 omnibus package.
On March 5, 2018, 15 members of Congress sent a letter to DHS Secretary Nielsen urging her to reconsider the agency’s proposal to revoke eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B workers.
On 3/13/18, Chairs of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the Congressional Black Caucus signed a letter urging the House and Senate Leaders to reject funding increases for Trump’s mass deportation agenda in the 2018 omnibus appropriations bill.
On March 7, 2018, 18 House Republicans signed a letter to the DOJ, the DOL, and ICE urging them to participate in pending litigation or issue guidance to oppose the claims of several lawsuits. The lawsuits were filed against Contract Detention Facilities for paying detainees $1 per day for labor.
On March 12, 2018, Representative Brendan Boyle (D-PA) led a letter urging USCIS Director Francis Cissna to reverse the change to the USCIS mission statement that removed the phrase “the promise of the United States as a nation of immigrants.” The letter was signed by 19 members of Congress.
On 1/31/18, Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) sent a letter to DOS Secretary Rex Tillerson and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen demanding clarity regarding the processing of waivers for individuals impacted by Presidential Proclamation 9645 (Travel Ban 3.0).
On 1/12/18, 11 House Republicans signed a letter asking Speaker Ryan to bring legislation to the floor to protect Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries. The letter references the important contribution of TPS holders on the nation’s economy and especially the construction industry.
On 2/21/18, the Democrats of the Committee on Small Business Committee published a report on the economic impact of DACA. The report demonstrates the important role that DACA recipients play in macroeconomic contributions, tax contributions, consumer spending power, and entrepreneurship.
On 2/12/18, 33 U.S. senators sent a letter to DHS Secretary Nielsen, calling for an end to family separation and the reversal of policies that obstruct the ability of those seeking humanitarian relief to pursue protection or result in the needless separation of parents and children.
On 2/12/18, the Congressional Black Caucus wrote a letter to President Trump expressing their opposition to the President’s immigration proposal. They specifically rejected the proposed elimination of the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.
On 2/8/18, House minority leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and James Clyburn (D-SC) wrote a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) requesting he assure the scheduling of a vote on a DACA bill. They mentioned that Democrats have supported a budget agreement to keep the government open.
On 2/8/18, 75 members of Congress signed a letter to Secretary Neilson to express their concern for the Department of Homeland Security’s involvement in the separation of immigrant families. The letter requests for an immediate clarification of policies and practices relating to family separation.
On 12/5/17, Representatives Scott Taylor (R-VA) and Dan Newhouse (R-W) issued a press statement on the letter 34 Republicans sent to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on the urgency of putting a permanent solution for DACA on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives before the end of 2017.
On 12/5/17, Representatives Scott Taylor (R-VA) and Dan Newhouse (R-WA) were joined by 30 Republican members of Congress in calling on Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to pass a permanent legislative solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients before the end of the year.
On 11/21/17, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) along with ten senators urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to bring the bipartisan Dream Act (S. 1615) to the Senate floor for consideration before the holidays.
On 11/16/17, 20 senators requested that DHS, DOS and the HHS answer questions about the effects that the president’s Executive Order issued on 10/24/17 is having on the refugee program, including the prevention of refugees from being reunited with their families in the U.S.
On 11/15/17, 24 Senators wrote to Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke to express their concern that DHS had rejected DACA renewal applications received after the deadline due to USPS processing delays. The Senators urged that DHS reverse its decision and allow individuals to resubmit applications.
The GAO released testimony to the House Subcommittee stating that federal agencies and their partners have implemented certain measures designed to ensure integrity in the refugee resettlement referral process but need to further strengthen applicant screening and assess fraud risks.
On 10/25/17, Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and 39 other senators sent a letter to Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke, demanding clarity on the use of DACA recipients personal information for enforcement purposes. The senators requested a response by 11/8/17.
Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) wrote a bipartisan letter to President Trump urging him to extend the DACA renewal application deadline to 1/4/18. The Senators cited concerns with applicants ability to seek legal counsel, pay the fee before the 10/5/17 deadline, and more.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) urged DHS to extend the DACA renewal deadline to 1/5/18 due to nearly a third of those eligible to renew having not submitted their renewals as of 9/27/17. They also requested DHS to provide guidance to ICE and CBP to ensure DACA recipients are not targeted.
The White House submitted a report to Congress on proposed refugee admissions for FY2018, including a proposed FY2018 ceiling of 45,000. Report also included overviews of U.S. refugee policy and affirmative asylum processing, and information on the refugee admissions program for FY2018.
On 9/25/17, a group of 34 bipartisan senators urged President Trump to increase the refugee admissions goal above the proposed 50,000 for FY2018, stating that “welcoming properly vetted refugees is both a moral imperative and enhances America’s leadership and credibility abroad.
On 9/25/17, 38 Democratic senators sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke requesting an extension of the 10/5/17 deadline for DACA renewals due to several major hurricanes that made landfall in the United States.
On 9/11/17, a bipartisan group of 116 House members called on Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke to renew the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Honduras and El Salvador. There are approximately 200,000 Salvadorans and approximately 61,000 Hondurans who currently hold TPS.
On 9/5/17, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) issued a statement following President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA. The Senator voted for the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S.744), and is willing to work with Trump to pass similar legislation.
Following the rescission of DACA, Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) called on the President to focus on deporting criminals, not separating families. He went on to urge his colleagues to support the RAC Act (H.R. 1468), which he introduced earlier this year, and bring it to a floor vote.
On 9/5/17, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) released a statement following President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA. She called on Congress to pursue a measured approach that addresses the situation of Dreamers, secure the border, and modernize our legal immigration system.
On 9/5/17, Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) released a statement on President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA. He called on Congress to pursue immigration reform as a permanent, legislative solution that will allow Dreamers to stay legally. Kinzinger is a co-sponsor of the RAC Act (H.R. 1468).
On 9/5/17, Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) called on Congress to work together on fair, rigorous, and bipartisan legislation that addresses the uncertainty facing Dreamers. Representative Upton is a co-sponsor of the BRIDGE Act (S.128) and the RAC Act (H.R. 1468).
On 9/5/17, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) called on Congress to pass permanent, stand-alone legislation that ensures Dreamers are able to stay, finish their education and continue to contributing to society. Flake is a co-sponsor of the Dream Act (S.1615), BRIDGE Act (S. 128), and the SAFE Act (S.127).
On 9/5/17, Representative Dave Reichert (R-WA) condemned the repeal of DACA, stating, “Punishing these individuals for a crime they didn’t commit is not in the American DNA…. Congress must work towards a long-term immigration solution that… allows all individuals to pursue the American Dream.”
On 9/5/17, Representative Roger Marshall (R-KS) released a statement following President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA. He called on Congress to use legal, legislative avenues to assist Dreamers, secure the border, and develop a workable visa program for America’s farmers.
On 9/1/17, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wrote a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), agreeing that Congress should act and urging him to meet with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other House Democratic leaders to discuss a comprehensive legislative solution for Dreamers.
On 9/5/17, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released a statement in response to the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA. Senator McCain condemned the administration’s decision to end DACA, and called on his colleagues to devise and pass comprehensive immigration reform, including the DREAM Act.
On 9/5/17, Representative Darrell Issa (R- CA) responded to the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA. The Representative called on Congress to “immediately put political posturing aside and let this be a catalyst to achieve long-overdue reforms in this important area of concern.”
On 9/5/17, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) released a statement in response to the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA. The Senator called on her colleagues to protect DACA recipients by voting on the DREAM Act “as soon as possible.”
On 9/5/17, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) released a statement in response to the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA. The Representative called on members of Congress to debate and vote on the DREAM Act, which was introduced by Ros-Lehtinen and Roybal-Allard on 7/26/17.
On 9/5/17, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) responded to President Trump’s announcement to end DACA, stating he hopes Congress will be able to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers.
On 9/5/17, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) released a statement in response to the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA. The Senator will introduce legislation to provide a fair path for Dreamers to earn legal status and called on Congress to work across the aisle to protect DACA recipients.
On 9/5/17, Senator James Lankford (R-OK) responded to President Trump’s announcement to end DACA, stating, “We as Americans do not hold children legally accountable for the actions of their parent. In the coming months, Congress must address this issue."
On 9/1/17, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) released a press statement urging President Trump to protect DACA. The Senator also urged Congress to come together and pursue a meaningful immigration reform that will secure our borders, provide a workable path forward for Dreamers, more.
On 8/22/17, six Republican members of Congress called on President Trump to maintain the protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for the current recipients. They also called on the President to support the Recognizing America’s Children Act (H.R. 1468).
On 8/1/17, Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) along with a group of 154 House Democrats called on President Trump to maintain and legally defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
On 7/25/17, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus sent the House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) a letter urging him to not approve a rule that would add $1.6 billion for the construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall in the “minibus” defense spending bill.
On 7/27/17, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) and Minority Whip Dick Durbin (IL) along with 40 Democratic senators called on President Trump to protect Dreamers by using his executive authority to the greatest extent possible to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
On 7/24/17, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) requested that DHS Secretary John Kelly detail the agency’s efforts to follow federal law requiring that those seeking asylum be given the opportunity to appear before an immigration judge.
On 7/21/17, members of the Congressional Border Caucus sent a letter to House Appropriators expressing their opposition to the FY2018 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, which funds the construction of a wall along the southern border.
On 7/18/17, a group of 26 senators sent a letter urging Department of State Secretary Rex Tillerson and Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to extend Temporary Protection Status (TPS) to the approximately 320,000 recipients from ten designated countries.
On 7/12/17, Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Committee, Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), issued a statement opposing the committee’s markup of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Bill for FY2018.
On 7/17/17, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) urged House Appropriators to reject increased funding for ICE and CBP, in particular increased funding for immigration detention and ICE and Border Patrol agents.
On 7/17/17, Chair Judy Chu (D-CA) of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) urged her colleagues to reject the House Homeland Security Appropriations Bill for FY2018, which would create a mass deportation force, build a border wall, and tear families apart.
On 7/10/17, leaders of the of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus urged ICE to collect and publish data on its facilities and detainee populations in an accessible and public way.
Statement from DHS for a hearing investigating gang membership as well as its nexus to illegal immigration, before the Senate Judiciary committee, including information on the treatment of unaccompanied children. Between FY2012 and FY2016, ICE removed a total of 10,188 UACs from the United States.
On 6/22/17, nineteen senators sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Appropriations requesting a reduction in funding for President Trump's detention beds and deportation force, and asked that no funding be made available for a wall along the southern border.
A 5/24/17 letter from Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to DHS and the Securities and Exchange Commission requesting a review of “potentially fraudulent statements and misrepresentations” by Qiaowai Group and the U.S. Immigration Fund and their involvement with the EB-5 investor visa program.
On 5/25/17, 40 members of Congress sent a letter to DHS requesting an immediate investigation into claims that individuals fleeing violence and persecution have been denied the opportunity to apply for asylum or other forms of humanitarian protection at ports of entry along the border.
Written testimony of Inspector General John Roth before a House subcommittee hearing on visa overstays, stating that the results of the OIG audit revealed that DHS’ information technology (IT) systems do not effectively support ICE visa tracking operations.
On 5/8/17, the Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Senator Feinstein (D-CA) and Senate Immigration Subcommittee Ranking Member Dick Durbin (D-IL) issued a statement in response to ICE’s decision to discontinue a bipartisan policy of issuing stays of removal for private immigration bills.
On 4/26/17, a bipartisan group of 16 senators sent a letter urging DOS Secretary Rex Tillerson and DHS Secretary John Kelly to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitian nationals, which is set to expire on 7/22/17.
The Department of Labor responds to a letter from Senator Grassley and colleagues regarding H-1B workers and their potential impact on American workers. DOL notes that the OIG is creating a MOU to share data between OFLC and OIG via DHS VIBE and OFLC will provide DOS with access to iCERT.
In response to the 3/19/17 “60 Minutes” episode “You’re Fired,” seven congressmen requested DHS and DOL respond to several questions outlining what actions the agencies are taking to address the issue of H-1B visa abuse after the episode investigated businesses that laid off American workers.
On 5/4/17, a bipartisan group of 17 members of Congress, led by Senators Shaheen (D-NH) and Lankford (R-OK), sent a letter to DOS and DHS, regarding the current administration of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
DHS Secretary John F. Kelly provided written testimony for a 2/7/17 House Committee on Homeland Security hearing entitled “Ending the Crisis: America’s Borders and the Path to Security,” discussing the Executive Orders, border security and enforcement, and interagency and international cooperation.
On 3/24/17, a bipartisan group of 10 members of the Florida congressional delegation, including Senators Marco Rubio (R) and Bill Nelson (D), sent a letter urging DHS Secretary Kelly to extend TPS to Haitian nationals.
On 2/8/17, Representative José Serrano (D-NY) and 38 other House members sent DHS Inspector General and CRCL a letter, urging them to investigate the enactment of Executive Order 13769, entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” at ports of entry.
On 3/15/17, Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL) and 32 other House members sent President Trump a letter requesting he rescind the section of EO Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, which directs the federal government to withhold federal funds from “sanctuary” jurisdictions.
DHS Inspector General John Roth provided written testimony before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, highlighting a number of recent reviews related to USCIS systems for processing immigration benefits and ELIS. USCIS concurred with most recommendations.
Written statement from Carol C. Harris, Director of Information Technology Acquisition Management Issues before a House Subcommittee on the USCIS Transformation Program cost increases and schedule delays and program management challenges that have contributed to increasing risks to the new system.
On 3/10/17, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), along with eight other senators, signed a letter calling for President Trump to rescind his Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.”
Written testimony from the GAO before the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, which provides information regarding its work reviewing proposed project investments in Targeted Employment Areas (TEA) and the proportion of petitioners who invested in a rural or high unemployment TEA.
On 2/8/17, Senator Dick Durbin (D-NV) called on Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Chairman of the Immigration Subcommittee, to hold a series of hearings on President Trump’s immigration and refugee executive orders that were signed in January 2017.