The GAO released testimony to the House Subcommittee stating that federal agencies and their partners have implemented certain measures designed to ensure integrity in the refugee resettlement referral process but need to further strengthen applicant screening and assess fraud risks.
On 10/25/17, Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and 39 other senators sent a letter to Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke, demanding clarity on the use of DACA recipients personal information for enforcement purposes. The senators requested a response by 11/8/17.
Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) wrote a bipartisan letter to President Trump urging him to extend the DACA renewal application deadline to 1/4/18. The Senators cited concerns with applicants ability to seek legal counsel, pay the fee before the 10/5/17 deadline, and more.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) urged DHS to extend the DACA renewal deadline to 1/5/18 due to nearly a third of those eligible to renew having not submitted their renewals as of 9/27/17. They also requested DHS to provide guidance to ICE and CBP to ensure DACA recipients are not targeted.
The White House submitted a report to Congress on proposed refugee admissions for FY2018, including a proposed FY2018 ceiling of 45,000. Report also included overviews of U.S. refugee policy and affirmative asylum processing, and information on the refugee admissions program for FY2018.
On 9/25/17, a group of 34 bipartisan senators urged President Trump to increase the refugee admissions goal above the proposed 50,000 for FY2018, stating that “welcoming properly vetted refugees is both a moral imperative and enhances America’s leadership and credibility abroad.
On 9/25/17, 38 Democratic senators sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke requesting an extension of the 10/5/17 deadline for DACA renewals due to several major hurricanes that made landfall in the United States.
On 9/11/17, a bipartisan group of 116 House members called on Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke to renew the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Honduras and El Salvador. There are approximately 200,000 Salvadorans and approximately 61,000 Hondurans who currently hold TPS.
On 9/5/17, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) issued a statement following President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA. The Senator voted for the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S.744), and is willing to work with Trump to pass similar legislation.
Following the rescission of DACA, Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) called on the President to focus on deporting criminals, not separating families. He went on to urge his colleagues to support the RAC Act (H.R. 1468), which he introduced earlier this year, and bring it to a floor vote.
On 9/5/17, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) released a statement following President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA. She called on Congress to pursue a measured approach that addresses the situation of Dreamers, secure the border, and modernize our legal immigration system.
On 9/5/17, Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) released a statement on President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA. He called on Congress to pursue immigration reform as a permanent, legislative solution that will allow Dreamers to stay legally. Kinzinger is a co-sponsor of the RAC Act (H.R. 1468).
On 9/5/17, Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) called on Congress to work together on fair, rigorous, and bipartisan legislation that addresses the uncertainty facing Dreamers. Representative Upton is a co-sponsor of the BRIDGE Act (S.128) and the RAC Act (H.R. 1468).
On 9/5/17, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) called on Congress to pass permanent, stand-alone legislation that ensures Dreamers are able to stay, finish their education and continue to contributing to society. Flake is a co-sponsor of the Dream Act (S.1615), BRIDGE Act (S. 128), and the SAFE Act (S.127).
On 9/5/17, Representative Dave Reichert (R-WA) condemned the repeal of DACA, stating, “Punishing these individuals for a crime they didn’t commit is not in the American DNA…. Congress must work towards a long-term immigration solution that… allows all individuals to pursue the American Dream.”
On 9/5/17, Representative Roger Marshall (R-KS) released a statement following President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA. He called on Congress to use legal, legislative avenues to assist Dreamers, secure the border, and develop a workable visa program for America’s farmers.
On 9/1/17, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wrote a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), agreeing that Congress should act and urging him to meet with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other House Democratic leaders to discuss a comprehensive legislative solution for Dreamers.
On 9/5/17, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released a statement in response to the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA. Senator McCain condemned the administration’s decision to end DACA, and called on his colleagues to devise and pass comprehensive immigration reform, including the DREAM Act.
On 9/5/17, Representative Darrell Issa (R- CA) responded to the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA. The Representative called on Congress to “immediately put political posturing aside and let this be a catalyst to achieve long-overdue reforms in this important area of concern.”
On 9/5/17, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) released a statement in response to the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA. The Senator called on her colleagues to protect DACA recipients by voting on the DREAM Act “as soon as possible.”
On 9/5/17, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) released a statement in response to the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA. The Representative called on members of Congress to debate and vote on the DREAM Act, which was introduced by Ros-Lehtinen and Roybal-Allard on 7/26/17.
On 9/5/17, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) responded to President Trump’s announcement to end DACA, stating he hopes Congress will be able to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers.
On 9/5/17, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) released a statement in response to the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA. The Senator will introduce legislation to provide a fair path for Dreamers to earn legal status and called on Congress to work across the aisle to protect DACA recipients.
On 9/5/17, Senator James Lankford (R-OK) responded to President Trump’s announcement to end DACA, stating, “We as Americans do not hold children legally accountable for the actions of their parent. In the coming months, Congress must address this issue."
On 9/1/17, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) released a press statement urging President Trump to protect DACA. The Senator also urged Congress to come together and pursue a meaningful immigration reform that will secure our borders, provide a workable path forward for Dreamers, more.
On 8/22/17, six Republican members of Congress called on President Trump to maintain the protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for the current recipients. They also called on the President to support the Recognizing America’s Children Act (H.R. 1468).
On 8/1/17, Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) along with a group of 154 House Democrats called on President Trump to maintain and legally defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
On 7/25/17, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus sent the House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) a letter urging him to not approve a rule that would add $1.6 billion for the construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall in the “minibus” defense spending bill.
On 7/27/17, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) and Minority Whip Dick Durbin (IL) along with 40 Democratic senators called on President Trump to protect Dreamers by using his executive authority to the greatest extent possible to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
On 7/24/17, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) requested that DHS Secretary John Kelly detail the agency’s efforts to follow federal law requiring that those seeking asylum be given the opportunity to appear before an immigration judge.
On 7/21/17, members of the Congressional Border Caucus sent a letter to House Appropriators expressing their opposition to the FY2018 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, which funds the construction of a wall along the southern border.
On 7/18/17, a group of 26 senators sent a letter urging Department of State Secretary Rex Tillerson and Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to extend Temporary Protection Status (TPS) to the approximately 320,000 recipients from ten designated countries.
On 7/12/17, Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Committee, Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), issued a statement opposing the committee’s markup of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Bill for FY2018.
On 7/17/17, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) urged House Appropriators to reject increased funding for ICE and CBP, in particular increased funding for immigration detention and ICE and Border Patrol agents.
On 7/17/17, Chair Judy Chu (D-CA) of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) urged her colleagues to reject the House Homeland Security Appropriations Bill for FY2018, which would create a mass deportation force, build a border wall, and tear families apart.
On 7/10/17, leaders of the of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus urged ICE to collect and publish data on its facilities and detainee populations in an accessible and public way.
Statement from DHS for a hearing investigating gang membership as well as its nexus to illegal immigration, before the Senate Judiciary committee, including information on the treatment of unaccompanied children. Between FY2012 and FY2016, ICE removed a total of 10,188 UACs from the United States.
On 6/22/17, nineteen senators sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Appropriations requesting a reduction in funding for President Trump's detention beds and deportation force, and asked that no funding be made available for a wall along the southern border.
A 5/24/17 letter from Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to DHS and the Securities and Exchange Commission requesting a review of “potentially fraudulent statements and misrepresentations” by Qiaowai Group and the U.S. Immigration Fund and their involvement with the EB-5 investor visa program.
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.”
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.
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.