A federal judge in Texas is expected to rule within days – to a few weeks – on a case that will determine the fate of DACA and 640,000 immigrants brought to the country as children illegally. While the Biden administration has vowed to secure a pathway for citizenship for these people, many anticipate that DACA will be ruled unlawful, resulting in recipients being stripped of their protection from deportation and work permits. Texas and eight other states are asking the court to end DACA, arguing the program is unconstitutional. The first hearing was in December, but the judge did not issue an immediate ruling.
On Tuesday, the First Circuit found that searches of cellphones and other electronic devices at the U.S. border do not require a warrant or probable cause and can be used to search for contraband. The court ruled in favor of ICE and CBP, finding that the government’s security interests are at their peak when dealing with people crossing the border and outweigh privacy concerns. The case was initially brought by the government and ACLU of Massachusetts in November 2019, where the trial court found that a simple search of devices required reasonable suspicion. The 1st Circ. overturned that holding, saying the trial judge’s finding was too narrow.
DOS announced that certain business travelers, investors, treaty traders, academics, students, and journalists may qualify for national interest exceptions (NIEs) under the presidential proclamation covering travelers from the Schengen Area, U.K., and Ireland.
A Texas court extended the temporary restraining order enjoining the government from executing a 100-day pause on removals. Judge Drew Tipton said that he found it necessary to extend his order, which was set to end yesterday, while the case continues to be litigated, citing potentially “irreparable” harm to Texas, which brought the lawsuit if the administration is allowed to put its moratorium into effect.
Biden sent a comprehensive immigration reform bill to Congress shortly after being sworn in to office, proposing overhauls to key parts of the country’s system that would include a pathway to citizenship for many. The proposed legislation, titled the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, provides a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants, includes additional funding for border technology, and aims to address the root causes of migration in Central America. The bill would also seek to overhaul aspects of the legal immigration system by expanding certain visa programs, such as providing dependents of H-1B visa holders work authorization and preventing children from aging out of the system.