Category: COVID-19

Upcoming webinar: “Immigration and Detention Centers/Comparative International Issues Surrounding COVID-19”

On November 4 from 12-1 pm EST, Program Director Sabi Ardalan will join Bill Alford, Jerome A. and Joan L. Cohen Professor of Law and Director of the East Asian Legal Studies Program, and Gerald Neuman, J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law, for a panel discussion on “Immigration and Detention Centers/Comparative…
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Urgent: submit your comments on new asylum rule today

The Trump administration has proposed yet another new rule that will be detrimental to the asylum system if it goes into effect. In this rule, the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security declare that any individual coming from or passing through countries with COVID-19 cases will be barred from asylum and withholding of removal protection. …
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Detained During COVID-19

This post was written by summer intern Antonella Portugal. Antonella is a rising senior at Brown University with a double concentration in Political Science and Public Policy. While much of the country has resumed business as usual, COVID-19 cases keep rising. The conditions in immigration detention centers have been criticized by advocates and government officials alike…
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New regulations could dismantle the U.S. asylum system – please take action!

On June 15, the Trump administration proposed regulations that attempt to eviscerate the asylum system, making it nearly impossible for people fleeing persecution to be granted humanitarian relief in the United States. These regulations radically depart from the statutory and internationally accepted refugee definition and impose new bars to asylum. The regulations would also worsen…
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Troubling proposed asylum rule released today

Today, the Trump administration released a new proposed rule that would ban those seeking asylum due to “public health concerns.” We at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program are deeply troubled by this latest attempt to deny asylum seekers their right to seek safety in the United States. The proposed rule aims to block asylum in…
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HIRC denounces Immigration and Customs Enforcement guidance on international students

On July 6th, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced new guidance regarding F-1 and M-1 student visas, modifying exemptions put in place this spring that had allowed students to take classes online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the new policy, international students who attend schools that are operating entirely online may not be allowed to remain in the United States.   On July 8th, the University filed a lawsuit to protect the…
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Amicus brief challenges public health asylum limits

HIRC Founder Deborah Anker joined Gerald L. Neuman, Co-Director of the HLS Human Rights Program, and other immigration and refugee scholars in submitting an amicus brief that challenges the Trump administration’s restriction of asylum procedures during the COVID-19 crisis.

Federal immigration office reopens: 7,000 residents waiting to take citizenship oath

“‘Our concern is that due to COVID-19 safety restrictions, USCIS will likely only be able to naturalize a handful of individuals at each ceremony,’ said Sameer Ahmed, clinical instructor at the Harvard program. ‘Given that the federal court previously held large-scale oath ceremonies for hundreds of individuals, we believe that the agency’s current effort will be unable to resolve the significant…
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With Oath Ceremonies Backlogged, U.S. Citizenship Benefits Are Out Of Reach For Thousands Of Mass. Residents

“Sameer Ahmed, an attorney and clinical instructor with Harvard’s Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, estimates nearly 7,000 Massachusetts residents — and more than 100,000 people nationwide — are still waiting to take the citizenship oath.”

HIRC and Project Citizenship Urge Federal Court To Conduct Naturalization Oath Ceremonies for Massachusetts’ Aspiring Americans

This morning, Project Citizenship and the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program sent a letter to Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor and Judge Rya W. Zobel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts requesting that the Court begin taking steps to ensure that as many Massachusetts residents as possible are able to…
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