Today, the Urban Justice Center’s Domestic Violence Project (DVP) released internal U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) records revealing the rushed implementation and devastating impact of USCIS’s “no-blanks” policy, which purports to empower USCIS to reject U-visa petitions, among other immigration applications, solely because they contain blank answer fields.... Over the past nine months, USCIS has utilized the no-blanks policy to reject properly-filed U-visa petitions for trivial and nonsensical reasons, such as when the “middle name” field in a U-visa petition is left blank because the crime victim has no middle name.
NY SenateOn April 12, 2018, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed a piece of legislation that will afford more protection to survivors of domestic violence from their abusive partners who have access to guns. The legislation cures a loophole that requires abusers to surrender all firearms, not just hand guns and also extends the waiting period for background checks from a mere three days to ten days. The bill also expands the list of "serious" crimes to include some misdemeanor offenses.
Governor Cuomo expanded Executive Order #170 to require that ICE agents present judicial warrants to make arrests inside NY state facilities. Note, this does not extend to courthouses. The Order also provides that state officers and employees are not permitted to inquire as to an individual's immigration status unless necessary to determine eligibility for a program, benefit or to disclose to information to federal immigration authorities for purpose of federal civil immigration enforcement unless required by law.
The Trump administration announced on September 5, 2017, that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be phased out over six months, ending on March 5, 2018. Since that time, Congress has been unable to pass a bill that would provide permanent relief to Dreamers and DACA recipients. However, there have been legal challenges to the way that the Trump administration is attempting to end the program. Learn more here.