On 5/25/17, 40 members of Congress sent a letter to DHS requesting an immediate investigation into claims that individuals fleeing violence and persecution have been denied the opportunity to apply for asylum or other forms of humanitarian protection at ports of entry along the border.
Written testimony of Inspector General John Roth before a House subcommittee hearing on visa overstays, stating that the results of the OIG audit revealed that DHS’ information technology (IT) systems do not effectively support ICE visa tracking operations.
On 5/8/17, the Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Senator Feinstein (D-CA) and Senate Immigration Subcommittee Ranking Member Dick Durbin (D-IL) issued a statement in response to ICE’s decision to discontinue a bipartisan policy of issuing stays of removal for private immigration bills.
On 4/26/17, a bipartisan group of 16 senators sent a letter urging DOS Secretary Rex Tillerson and DHS Secretary John Kelly to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitian nationals, which is set to expire on 7/22/17.
The Department of Labor responds to a letter from Senator Grassley and colleagues regarding H-1B workers and their potential impact on American workers. DOL notes that the OIG is creating a MOU to share data between OFLC and OIG via DHS VIBE and OFLC will provide DOS with access to iCERT.
In response to the 3/19/17 “60 Minutes” episode “You’re Fired,” seven congressmen requested DHS and DOL respond to several questions outlining what actions the agencies are taking to address the issue of H-1B visa abuse after the episode investigated businesses that laid off American workers.
On 5/4/17, a bipartisan group of 17 members of Congress, led by Senators Shaheen (D-NH) and Lankford (R-OK), sent a letter to DOS and DHS, regarding the current administration of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
DHS Secretary John F. Kelly provided written testimony for a 2/7/17 House Committee on Homeland Security hearing entitled “Ending the Crisis: America’s Borders and the Path to Security,” discussing the Executive Orders, border security and enforcement, and interagency and international cooperation.
On 3/24/17, a bipartisan group of 10 members of the Florida congressional delegation, including Senators Marco Rubio (R) and Bill Nelson (D), sent a letter urging DHS Secretary Kelly to extend TPS to Haitian nationals.
On 2/8/17, Representative José Serrano (D-NY) and 38 other House members sent DHS Inspector General and CRCL a letter, urging them to investigate the enactment of Executive Order 13769, entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” at ports of entry.
On 3/15/17, Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL) and 32 other House members sent President Trump a letter requesting he rescind the section of EO Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, which directs the federal government to withhold federal funds from “sanctuary” jurisdictions.
DHS Inspector General John Roth provided written testimony before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, highlighting a number of recent reviews related to USCIS systems for processing immigration benefits and ELIS. USCIS concurred with most recommendations.
Written statement from Carol C. Harris, Director of Information Technology Acquisition Management Issues before a House Subcommittee on the USCIS Transformation Program cost increases and schedule delays and program management challenges that have contributed to increasing risks to the new system.
On 3/10/17, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), along with eight other senators, signed a letter calling for President Trump to rescind his Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.”
Written testimony from the GAO before the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, which provides information regarding its work reviewing proposed project investments in Targeted Employment Areas (TEA) and the proportion of petitioners who invested in a rural or high unemployment TEA.
On 2/8/17, Senator Dick Durbin (D-NV) called on Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Chairman of the Immigration Subcommittee, to hold a series of hearings on President Trump’s immigration and refugee executive orders that were signed in January 2017.
DHS Secretary Johnson sent a 12/30/16 letter to Congress regarding the use of personal identifying info of DACA applicants, stating, “DHS has consistently made clear that information… would be safeguarded from other immigration-related purposes…these representations… must continue to be honored.”
On 12/2/16, a bipartisan group of representatives urged the House leadership to reinstate the H-2B returning worker exemption in the Continuing Resolution that is being drafted to fund the government. The H-2B returning worker exemption expired on 9/30/16.
On 10/12/16, New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand urged the Department of State and Department of Homeland Security to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to eligible Haitian nationals in the wake of Hurricane Matthews and the ongoing cholera epidemic.
On 10/13/16, in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthews, twelve Senators urged Department of State Secretary John Kerry and Secretary Jeh Johnson of the Department of Homeland Security to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitian nationals.
On 10/5/16, more than 50 representatives urged President Obama to reconsider the resumption of non-criminal deportations to Haiti in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. They also asked for undocumented Haitians to be ensured full and fair asylum hearings and effective assistance of counsel.
On 9/26/16, twelve U.S. senators urged DHS Secretary Johnson to ensure that the review process of DHS’s use of private immigration detention centers be transparent and include input from outside experts. The senators also shared their concerns of the inadequate conditions of detention facilities.
On 9/27/16, a group of senators urged DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to release families that have been detained for prolonged periods at Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania, unless there is compelling evidence that they pose a specific public safety or flight risk.
On 6/8/16, Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) led 24 Senate Democrats in urging the President to end the deportation raids targeting Central American families and unaccompanied minors; and consider designating Guatemala, and re-designating El Salvador and Honduras for TPS.
Written testimony from Sarah Saldana, Director of ICE, for the 4/28/16 hearing “Criminal Aliens Released by the Department of Homeland Security” before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, where she discussed ICE enforcement and removal operations.
Testimony of DHS Inspector General John Roth before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on the security of U.S. visa programs, discussing USCIS progress in transforming its paper-based processes, human trafficking, the Visa Security Program, and the EB-5 program.
AILA testimony from Executive Director Benjamin Johnson submitted to the Senate subcommittee on immigration and the national interest committee on the judiciary for a 3/16/16 hearing titled, “Impact of High Levels of Immigration on U.S. Workers.”
In a 2/25/16 letter to USCIS, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) expresses his concern that some users of the H-1B visa are being allowed to “shoehorn workers into existing cap-exempt categories” thus undermining the integrity of the H-1B visa.
The GAO issued testimony before the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security, discussing DHS efforts to deploy resources on the southwest border and measure the effectiveness, as well as DHS efforts to develop performance goals and measures for achieving situational awareness and border security.
Statement of Juan P. Osuna before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, for a 2/23/16 hearing titled: “The Unaccompanied Alien Children Crisis: Does the Administration Have a Plan to Stop the Border Surge and Adequately Monitor the Children.”
A 2/11/16 letter from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson express concern over the Priority Enforcement Program.
A 1/21/16 Senate letter to President Obama demanding that the administration stop immigration home raids against Central American children and their families; and consider designating Guatemala, and re-designating El Salvador and Honduras for temporary protected status.
On 12/13/15, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) expressed concerns with the dual nationality provision contained in the House-passed Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 (H.R. 158).
On 12/14/15, Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) urged Congressional leaders to consider changes to Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 (H.R. 158) prior to its inclusion in the omnibus appropriations bill.
On 12/11/15, 33 representatives, including those who voted for the House-passed visa waiver bill, urged Congressional leaders to make improvements to bill before considering it in the Senate or as part of the omnibus appropriation bill.
On 12/10/15, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) released a statement on his amendment that prohibits the U.S. government from barring any individual from entering the country based on their religion, after it was adopted by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
On 12/4/15, 96 House Representatives sent a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) opposing any riders that would block, defund, or limit refugees from seeking to find safety in the U.S. Additionally the members ask the Speaker to increase funding for vetting and placement of refugees.
Written testimony from Leon Rodriguez, Director of USCIS, for a hearing on “Oversight of USCIS before the House Judiciary Committee on Immigration and Border Security” on 12/9/15. He discussed executive actions, the refugee admissions program, improving customer service, FDNS, TPS, EB-5, and more.
Written testimony from Juan P. Osuna, Director of EOIR, for the 12/3/15 “Oversight of the Executive Office for Immigration Review” before the House Committee on the Judiciary, where he discussed the current state of the courts, IJ hiring, agency organization, leveraging technology, and more.
In a letter to the Senate majority and minority leaders, Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), Bob Corker (R-TN), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) opposed the reauthorization of EB-5 Regional Center program as part of the appropriation bill for FY2016.
Written testimony from Leon Rodriguez, Director of USCIS, for the 10/27/15 “Examining the Syrian Humanitarian Crisis from the Ground (Part II) hearing. Mr. Rodriguez discussed refugee resettlement case processing, security checks, and the refugee admissions pipeline.
On 4/27/15, Senator Claire McCaskilll (D-MO) requested that the DHS OIG review the process DHS used to modify an existing contract with the City of Eloy, Arizona for management of an ICE facility to extend to management of the Dilley detention facility by a private prison company.
In a 9/15/15 letter to USCIS, Senator Grassley expresses his concern with the 8/17/15 USCIS memo on L-1Bs, stating “…I have concerns relating to the intent of the memo, substance of the memo, as well as process by which the changes described in the memo are going to be implemented.”
Letter from Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee Bennie Thompson (D-MS) to ICE Director Sarah Saldaña expressing concern regarding recent ICE actions restricting access to counsel and providing misinformation to detainees at the family detention centers in Dilley and Karnes, TX.
Written testimony by USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez for a Senate Committee on Judiciary hearing titled “Oversight of the Administration’s Misdirected Immigration Enforcement Priorities: Examining the Impact on Public Safety and Honoring the Victims.”
Written testimony of DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson for House Committee on the Judiciary hearing titled “Oversight of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on 7/14/15. Johnson discussed border security, family detention, and executive actions.
Statement by John Roth, Inspector General for DHS, at a 6/17/15 House hearing titled “A Review of the President’s Executive Actions on Immigration.” Testimony focused on the results of OIG’s audit of DHS’s use of prosecutorial discretion data.
A 6/1/15 letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson from 33 senators stating, “the prolonged detention of asylum-seeking mothers and children who pose no flight risk or danger to the community is unacceptable and goes against our most fundamental values.”
A 5/11/15 letter to Secretary Jeh Johnson from 39 members of Congress, requesting that DHS adhere to the November 2014 enforcement priorities, stating that ICE failed to apply, or inconsistently applies, mandated exceptions and, in some cases, even targeted individuals outside the priorities.
On 5/13/15, Representatives Luis V. Gutiérrez (D- IL), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) issued a statement calling on DHS to end its family detention policy after a new set of actions was announced by ICE.
On 5/14/15, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) issued a statement in reaction to ICE’s family detention announcement, stating “The Administration’s efforts simply do not go far enough and are an unacceptable response to adequately address the grave concerns of detaining women and children.”
On 5/15/15, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) reacted to the ICE family detention announcement, stating “…the proposed reforms are not enough. Ending family detention is the only answer. Detaining mothers and their children who are fleeing extreme poverty, persecution, abuse and violence is unacceptable...”
A 5/27/15 letter from 136 members of the House of Representatives to DHS, calling for an end to family detention, stating “We believe the only solution to this problem is to end the use of family detention.”
A 4/9/15 letter from Senator Sessions, Durbin, and others to DOJ, DHS, and DOL, requesting an investigation into the claim that Southern California Edison used the H-1B guest worker program to replace U.S. workers.
A 2/25/15 hearing in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on, “A Review of the Department of Homeland Security’s Policies and Procedures for the Apprehension, Detention, and Release of Non-Citizens Unlawfully Present in the United States.”
AILA statement submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee for the 12/10/14 hearing on " Keeping Families Together: The President’s Executive Action On Immigration And The Need To Pass Comprehensive Reform."
A 11/17/14 letter from Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) to President Obama supporting his decision to use his well-established executive authority to fix our broken immigration system.
A 10/27/14 letter from 32 House Democrats, led by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), to President Obama opposing expansion of the family detention system, citing concerns with the no-bond/high-bond policy, the disparity in credible fear interview rates, and the lack of child care in the facilities.
A 10/16/14 letter from ten Senate Democrats, led by Senator Leahy (D-VT) to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson opposing the expansion of the family detention system, specifically the Dilley family detention facility planned for Texas.
A 7/23/14 letter from Speaker Boehner (R-OH) to President Obama arguing that it will be difficult to make “progress on this issue without strong, public support from the White House for much-needed reforms, including changes to the 2008 [TVPRA] law.”
A 7/10/14 letter from Senators Hirono (D-HI), Gillibrand (D-NY), Heitkamp (D-ND) and Feinstein (D-CA) called on President Obama to humanely address the surge of unaccompanied children at the southern border and consider the humanitarian and legal rights of the unaccompanied children.
A 7/9/14 hearing in the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee, “Challenges at the Border: Examining the Causes, Consequences, and Responses to the Rise in Apprehensions at the Southern Border.”
A 7/2/14 letter from Representative Issa (R-CA), signed by 32 of his Republican House colleagues, offering suggestions to President Obama on how to curtail the humanitarian crisis at the southern border, including telling him to end deferred action for childhood arrivals.
DHS written testimony of DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson before the House Committee on Homeland Security on DHS efforts to address the recent rise in number of unaccompanied children and others crossing border in Rio Grande Valley.
A 3/24/14 letter from Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) to Department of Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson with recommendation to decrease prolonged immigration detention, including the use of bonds or conditional parole and the definition of custody for mandatory detention.
AILA statement submitted to the Subcommittee on Homeland Security of the Committee on Appropriations of the U.S. House of Representatives Hearing on the Department of Homeland Security fiscal year 2015 budget.
On January 30, 2014, House Republicans released their standards for immigration reform. The standards include enforcement, reforming the legal immigration system, and addressing the undocumented immigrant population.