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By Felicia J. Persaud

News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Fri. Dec. 16, 2022: Why is it so hard to pass bi-partisan immigration reform even with a Democratic Congress? News of this dominated the immigration headlines across the US this past week. Here’s where things stand so far:

1: Negotiations in the Senate to forge a bipartisan compromise on U.S. immigration and border policy failed to gain enough traction to pass before the end of this session of Congress, dooming yet another effort to reform a system that has not been updated in decades, CBS News is reporting.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, an independent who until last week was a Democrat, and GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina had been discussing a potential deal that would have included the legalization of a subset of the millions of unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S., as well as certain measures aimed at reducing illegal crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border.

But Sinema and Tillis did not strike a deal that would have been able to secure the necessary 60 votes in the evenly divided Senate during the lame-duck session, three congressional officials said, requesting anonymity to describe the outcome of internal negotiations.

2: What End Of Title 42?

A federal judge has temporarily blocked the Biden administration from ending a Trump-era policy requiring asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Texas stayed the termination until legal challenges by Texas and Missouri are settled but didn’t order the policy reinstated. The impact on the program wasn’t immediately clear.

The decision comes as El Paso, Texas, and other border cities face a daily influx of migrants that could grow larger if separate asylum restrictions enacted under President Donald Trump end next week as scheduled.

Thursday’s ruling could prove to be a temporary setback for the Biden administration, which may appeal.

3: TPS For Haitians

The U.S. government last week broadened a program that allows certain Haitian immigrants to live and work in the country without fear of deportation.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, (DHS), said it would allow tens of thousands of additional Haitians to apply for Temporary Protected Status, (TPS), by moving up the program’s cut-off date. Previously, only Haitians who had arrived in the U.S. before July 29, 2021, were eligible for TPS. The new designation will allow those living in the country as of Nov. 6 of this year to apply for the program.

DHS also announced that the U.S. would push back the expiration date for the Haiti TPS program from Feb. 4, 2023, to Aug. 3, 2024. Officials stressed that Haitians thinking of coming to the U.S. illegally should not do so, as they would not qualify for the program and could face deportation.

4: Advocates File Lawsuit Demanding ICE Makes Immigration Bond Procedures Publicly Available on Website

The American Immigration Council, Immigrant Legal Defense, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and the National Bail Fund Network with its local bond fund members NorCal Resist, Prairielands Freedom Fund, and the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), have filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to compel U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to publish on its website guidelines and procedures explaining how the agency processes bonds for the release of individuals in detention.

The new lawsuit challenges ICE’s failure to provide the public with information about different aspects of the bond payment process, which leads to obstacles and delays for advocates, families, and friends attempting to pay bonds to free their loved ones. People who try to pay bonds often lack information about ICE offices’ hours of operation and forms of accepted payments, have encountered inconsistent payment rejections, and even have been racially profiled for additional questioning. Family members, advocates, and impacted individuals should have access to agency manuals and instructions relating to the posting, revocation, cancellation, and refunding of immigration bonds, the lawsuit says.

The writer is publisher of – The Black Immigrant Daily News.

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