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July 2015 Archives

Judge orders release of detained immigrant families

South Carolina residents may be interested to learn about a judge's ruling on the families that are being held at three immigration detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania. On July 24, a federal court judge in California ordered the Obama administration to release 1,700 parents and children from the facilities. According to the judge, the families in the detention centers are being forced to live in deplorable conditions.

Court rules immigration status not relevant in FLSA suit

South Carolina workers may be interested in a recent ruling in a New York lawsuit involving the Fair Labor Standards Act and claimed wage and hour violations. In the case, the employer sought copies of the plaintiffs' immigration documents, tax returns and the name of their current employer in order to defend against the case.

Some families to be released from detention centers

South Carolina residents may be interested to know that on July 13 it was announced that the Obama administration began to release immigrant women and children who were in detention. The women and children were allowed to remain in the U.S. while they seek approval to remain in the country.

New immigration bills target "sanctuary cities"

Undocumented immigrants in South Carolina who have been arrested for crimes could be subject to stricter immigration laws if Congress passes two new bills. The Stop Catch and Release Act and the Criminal Alien Deportation Act would make it easier for the Department of Homeland Security to deport foreign-born individuals who are facing criminal charges.

Immigrant detainees sue over $1 per day wages

In a case that may be of interest to South Carolina residents, nine immigrants who were held in a Denver facility while awaiting deportation proceedings are suing the private company that confined them, claiming they were paid just $1 a day for their labor and threatened with solitary confinement. On July 6, a circuit court judge declined a request from the defendant, GEO Group Inc., to dismiss the federal lawsuit.

Amended petitions required for some H-1B employees

South Carolina employees working under H-1B visas may want to pay careful attention to new requirements if they have moved to different work locations since first receiving their visas. The previous understanding of employers was that moves were acceptable as long as copies of labor condition applications for affected employees were posted at the new sites. However, a new binding ruling by a division of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has deemed this understanding to be incorrect.

Appeals possible for immigrants with poor legal representation

Immigrants encountering legal difficulties in South Carolina may not be aware that such issues could be based on poor representation. However, the Supreme Court has made it possible for such situations to be evaluated a second time if legal errors have contributed to a negative outcome. Those who are unfamiliar with the English language could be vulnerable to dishonest individuals or to those who are not ideally suited to represent them. However, this Supreme Court decision has allowed for the needs of such foreigners to be observed.

ICE announces new guidelines for transgender detainees

Immigration authorities in South Carolina will now have to take gender identity into account when determining where to house transgender detainees. On June 29, U.S. immigration officials announced that they would begin housing transgender women with female populations. An 18-page memo containing new guidelines aimed at protecting transgender detainees has been issued.

Afghan who quit training granted asylum

South Carolina residents were mesmerized by the story of three officers of the Afghanistan National Army when they were found attempting to flee the United States to Canada from a military training museum in September 2014. One of the three was just granted asylum after a long legal path.

Obama administration eases detention center rules

South Carolina residents may be aware the federal immigration detention centers set up in 2014 by the Department of Homeland Security have been widely criticized by both lawmakers and advocates. The centers were established when a large number of immigrant families crossed the border between Mexico and the U.S. Conditions in the centers, which are located in Texas and Pennsylvania, have been described as unsafe and abusive. The Obama administration has been acutely aware of these criticisms, and a new policy was announced on June 24 that will make it easier for some immigrant families to secure their release.

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