Several States File a Lawsuit Against National Emergency for Border Wall Funding

Published on: Feb 19, 2019, Last Edited: Feb 19, 2019 | Tags: Border Security, Green Card, USA Visa, USA Immigration

President Trump declares a national emergency to get his border wall built

In trying to avoid another Federal government shutdown, President Donald Trump has invoked his emergency powers to bypass Congress. He will divert up to $3.6 billion from Pentagon military funding towards the construction of the border wall with Mexico, a move that he justifies by declaring that the US is threatened by criminal gangs, people traffickers and drug smugglers entering the States illegally. 

The border wall was a central plank of the president’s 2016 election campaign and it is with an eye on his core supporters for the 2020 presidential elections that he is keen to see his pledge fulfilled. He originally promised to make Mexico pay for the wall and although he has failed to achieve this aim, he still insists there is no alternative to a wall to prevent the threat to the US of the “invasion“ of illegal immigrants and the rise in violent crime and drugs. 

His opponents dispute his claims, pointing to the figures that show immigration is currently at its lowest for almost 16 years. They also declare that most narcotics discovered by the police are found to have been brought into the US through the legal ports of entry. 

On Monday, February 18th 2019, A lawsuit was filed by 16 states, led by California, with participation from at least three Texas landowners and an environmental group. The lawsuit claims that diversion of public funds would reduce the available amount for impacted states as well as infringe on the property rights of landowners, and would violate the constitution, as it is Congress that has the power to allocate funds for border security spending. Opponents of the Border Wall National Emergency state that President Donald Trump is abusing presidential powers. President Trump has declared that he expected legal action and that the case would likely go all the way to the Supreme Court but believes that ultimately the courts will side with his administration. 

Changes in waiting time for green card applications

The US Visa Bulletin for February outlines some changes in wait time for green card applications for both EB (employment-based) and FB (family-based) categories. 

  • Chinese applicants in almost all EB categories are still facing longer delays than those from other countries with a waiting list. 
  • Indian EB-2 category applicants are now weeks behind those on the EB-3 category. This is because of internationally lower levels of demand for EB-3 workers which increases EB-3 numbers for Indian employees. Demand for Filipino employees in this category is also currently lower than the target. 
  • Mexico is still the only country whose waiting lists in the FB category continue to stagnate, with both siblings and children of US citizens unable to move forward. All other categories are making some progress. 
  • The date for filing for Filipino siblings of F-4 category US citizens has jumped forward by nearly one year in order to increase demand and encourage these applicants to push forward with their cases. 

If you’re waiting for a green card, it’s important to keep all your documents ready so that you can apply as soon as a green card becomes available to you. If you miss your opportunity of applying, you could find yourself facing a retrogression( being backtracked) in the next visa bulletin. 

Families are still being separated at the US-Mexican border as claims filed for cruel treatment

Texan immigration advocates say that children are still being unlawfully separated from their parents at the border. 

The zero-tolerance policy of the Trump administration caused outrage last summer as harrowing scenes of distressed infants being torn from grieving mothers were viewed around the world. During May and June 2018, the administration followed a zero tolerance policy and separated thousands of children and parents during an attempt to crack down on illegal immigration. 

President Trump put an official end to the harsh policy in June 2018. However, evidence is coming to light that families are still being torn apart and that the government is also struggling to reunite many children who are still being held in detention centres with their parents. 

The zero-tolerance policy saw children forcibly removed from their families without being given any information and in some cases without even the chance of saying goodbye. Now, in the latest of a series of legal challenges against the administration, eight families are now suing for monetary compensation of $6m, on the grounds of lasting trauma to their children and the “inexplicable cruelty” of the policy. 

The administration admits to separating 2,600 minors from their parents, although the government's own review states that thousands more were already affected before the policy was officially acknowledged.

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