Weekly News Round-up: Week of July 29, 2019


Trump administration extends Syrian TPS status, protecting seven thousand from deportation. In a piece of good news, the administration decided on deadline, at end of day 01 Aug 19, to extend temporary protected status to seven thousand Syrians living in the United States. Had they not extended, those Syrians would have been left with the option of voluntarily going back to Syria—a country still embroiled in civil war—or risking deportation. Their status is now protected for the next 18 months.

Immigration dominates Democratic presidential debates. Immigration and the border were key points in the two debates this week. Candidates’ policies diverged on whether crossing the border illegally should be a civil offense rather than a criminal offense.  As Human Rights Firsts’ Eleanor Acer explains, it’s important to remember that decriminalization does not mean open borders.

Trump Administration continues to separate children from parents. On Tuesday the ACLU asked a federal judge to block the White House from separating migrant children from their parents. According to court documents, over nine hundred children have been separated since the practice was ordered to be stopped last year. Families are being separated for “highly dubious allegations of unfitness,” according to the ACLU. Examples include separating a four-year-old boy from his father because the man had a speech impediment that prevented him from satisfactorily answering questions and a one-year-old separated from her father because he did not change her dirty diaper while she slept.

DOJ restricting asylum claims—family no longer a Protected Social Group.  Attorney General William Barr issued a decision that will restrict the ability of migrants to claim asylum on the basis of being a member of a nuclear family targeted for persecution.