Immigration news today 12 February 2024

Here are some recent U.S. immigration news, an essential source to keep you up to date with changes and opportunities that may affect your life.

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Table of Contents


Visa Bulletin March 2024

Immigration Today - February 9, 2024

The March 2024 Visa Bulletin, published by the U.S. Department of State, provides crucial information on immigrant visa availability. This monthly bulletin ranks visas according to family-based petitions, employment and the diversity visa program, updating priority dates based on applicants' country of origin. It includes final action dates for visa issuance and application filing dates. It is an essential guide for the National Visa Center (NVC) and U.S. embassies or consulates, as well as for USCIS in adjudicating Applications to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The bulletin also provides information on the expiration of specific categories such as religious workers (RS) and Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) for U.S. Government employees abroad.

New USCIS data shows progress on customer experience, employment-based immigration and humanitarian mission

USCIS - February 9, 2024

In 2023, USCIS, led by Ur M. Jaddou, processed a record 10.9 million cases, reducing the backlog by 15%. The agency eliminated the backlog of naturalization applications, decreasing processing time to 6.1 months and naturalizing more than 878,500 citizens. It implemented technologies to improve the customer experience and issued more than 192,000 employment-based immigrant visas, extending the validity of Employment Authorization Documents to five years. USCIS also supported humanitarian initiatives, interviewing more than 100,000 refugee claimants and handling more than 52,000 asylum cases, in addition to assisting in legal processes for the safe and orderly processing of individuals under the Biden-Harris administration.

USCIS claims a 15% backlog reduction in Green Card and other visa applications

La Opinión - February 9, 2024

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has achieved a significant 15% reduction in immigration processing backlogs, including Green Card, naturalization and work visa petitions. Under Ur M. Jaddou's leadership, USCIS resolved more than 10 million pending cases, highlighting a decrease in the average processing time for naturalization applicants from 10.5 to 6.1 months. The agency has responded to global crises with humanitarian relief and implemented technology solutions to improve the customer experience. These advances are part of President Joe Biden's executive order to improve legal immigration processing and strengthen employment-based migration. USCIS has also coordinated with the Department of State to issue more than 192,000 employment-based immigrant visas and has extended the validity of the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to five years, benefiting adjustment of status applicants and persons in vulnerable status.

ERO New Orleans focuses on operation targeting 123 non-U.S. citizen criminals

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - February 12, 2024

ICE's Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) New Orleans arrested 123 fugitives during a month-long enforcement operation. Between Jan. 1 and Jan. 31, ERO New Orleans conducted targeted operations with the assistance of law enforcement partners in Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Louisiana, arresting noncitizens identified as threats to public safety or border security. The operation focused on removable fugitive noncitizens and removable noncitizens who pose a danger to citizens, immigrants and visitors in the nation's communities. The criminal convictions of the noncitizens included rape, statutory rape, child abuse, illegal possession of a firearm, drug trafficking, money laundering, aggravated assault, and robbery. The arrestees will remain in ICE custody pending removal.

Fate of dreamers returns to Senate with three-country relief plan

Telemundo News - February 11, 2024

Three Democratic Senators, Alex Padilla, Catherine Cortes Masto and Dick Durbin, have announced an amendment to protect dreamers in the aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. This proposal includes a path to citizenship for young people who came to the United States as children and are currently in immigration limbo. Despite the lack of Congressional action, which leaves these young people in constant fear of deportation, there is hope for progress with the next scheduled vote in the Senate.

For this reason a young man lost his student visa in the U.S. and now must go to prison.

La Opinión - February 11, 2024

Moctar Ahmadou Gouroudja Ahmadou, a 26-year-old from Niger, lost his U.S. student visa and was sentenced to 78 months in prison for illegally transporting and possessing a firearm. Ahmadou entered the U.S. on March 24, 2016 on an F-1 nonimmigrant visa to study at North American University. He violated the terms of his status by handling and firing a gun at a shooting range in Texas, renting a handgun, and purchasing ammunition for a rifle. In addition, he was involved in a firearms safety and shooting manipulation course. His behavior prompted an investigation by several federal agencies, which found that he had also violated other laws and associated with persons associated with terrorist activities.

Unraveling misinformation about the bipartisan immigration bill. - February 8, 2024

A bipartisan immigration and foreign aid reform bill, facing significant opposition from Republican leaders such as Donald Trump, was introduced by a group of senators on February 4 and failed in the Senate on February 7. The $118 billion bill sought changes to border policy, including the construction of border barriers, expansion of detention centers, and hiring of more immigration agents and judges. It sought to speed up the asylum process and increase the level of evidence needed to obtain asylum. It also proposed more funding to combat fentanyl and human trafficking, and allocated funds for Ukraine and Israel. The bill was misinterpreted on some key points, such as the erroneous claim that it would accept 5,000 illegal immigrants a day. Emergency border authority would be automatically triggered if there is an average of 5,000 or more migrant encounters per day for seven consecutive days, or 8,500 encounters in a single day. The proposal would also have given President Biden the authority to quickly deport many of those who cross illegally in search of asylum.

How Trump's pressures have pushed Biden to toughen his approach to immigration to the max

Telemundo - February 10, 2024

Under pressure from Donald Trump, President Joe Biden has proposed the biggest immigration restrictions in years on the border with Mexico. The White House is seeking to cut the asylum system and increase immediate migrant returns, in exchange for approval of military aid for Ukraine. Biden, who initially promised a more humanitarian approach to refugees and asylum seekers, has backed away from these promises due to increased irregular border crossings and political pressure. The White House proposal, focused on restricting the right to asylum, faced opposition in the Senate, where almost all Republicans voted against it, evidencing a significant shift in U.S. immigration policy.

Louisiana governor plans to send 150 National Guard members to the southern U.S. border

Los Angeles Times February 9, 2024

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry announced the deployment of 150 state National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas following the collapse of a border security deal in Congress. Landry joins other Republican governors in this initiative, describing the situation on the border as an "emergency." He criticized the federal government for its handling of immigration and asserted that states will act in the absence of an effective federal immigration policy. Members of the Louisiana National Guard, whose deployment will begin in March, will not have authority to detain migrants, but their presence reflects a growing state effort to address immigration on the southern border.

Mayorkas denies responsibility for border crisis

Telemundo News - February 11, 2024

Alejandro Mayorkas, the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, denied having responsibility for the border crisis. In an interview, he stated that the Biden administration is trying to implement measures to handle the situation, although they face legal obstacles and lack of support, as in the case of the "Stay in Mexico" policy. Mayorkas also criticized Republicans in the House of Representatives for not supporting a bipartisan border security bill. His handling of the crisis has been questioned, and a congressional vote on his impeachment is scheduled.

Immigrant crossings at Texas border decrease, increase in Arizona and California

La Opinión - February 10, 2024

Immigrant crossings at the Texas border have decreased significantly, while Arizona and California have seen an increase. In December, the Border Patrol recorded close to 250,000 apprehensions at the southern border, but in January, this figure was cut in half. In Texas, especially between Del Rio and Ciudad Acuna, daily crossings of undocumented immigrants decreased from 2,300 to 200. This change is attributed to the reinforcement of the border by the National Guard and the actions of the Mexican government in collaboration with the United States. However, in Tucson, Arizona, and San Diego, California, daily apprehensions of immigrants increased to 1,816 and 1,213 respectively, making them the busiest areas for people attempting to enter the United States.

Some 1,000 people are crossing the Arizona and California borders into the U.S. every day.

Univision News - February 10, 2024

The U.S. Border Patrol reports that approximately 1,000 people cross into the United States daily at the Arizona and California borders. 60% of these apprehensions occur in the Tucson and San Diego sectors, taking advantage of gaps in the border fence. This phenomenon highlights the challenges in immigration management and border security.

Shocking increase in Mexican asylum requests reported in the U.S.

Univision News - February 10, 2024

Asylum claims by Mexicans in the United States have increased by 564% in the last year. Many of these applicants are fleeing organized crime in Mexico, seeking a safer and more stable life in the U.S. This increase reflects the intensifying violence in Mexico and the growing need for international protection.

Anniversary of Operation "Nica Welcome" and continued unjust detentions in Nicaragua

United States Department of State - February 9, 2024

On February 9, 2023, the United States welcomed 222 political prisoners released by Nicaragua, including human rights defenders, presidential hopefuls, political activists, clergy, journalists, students, and members of civil society and business groups. One year later, Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo continue to unjustly detain and force into exile those who seek to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms in Nicaragua. The United States, along with the international community, condemns these efforts to silence the voices of the Nicaraguan people and reiterates its call on Nicaraguan authorities to restore the full exercise of political and civil rights for all Nicaraguans.

One year after 222 Nicaraguan opponents were banished to the U.S.

Voice of America - February 10, 2024

One year ago, 222 Nicaraguan opponents were exiled to the United States. Many of them continue to live in difficult conditions, facing illness and family separation. This anniversary highlights the complex circumstances of political exiles and the challenges they face abroad.

Warning of possible migrant overcrowding at the U.S.-Mexico border

El Diario NY - February 11, 2024

Authorities and activists on Mexico's northern border are warning of a possible migratory saturation due to threats of border closures and immigration restrictions in the United States. Santiago Gonzalez, director of Human Rights in Ciudad Juarez, points out that the current situation is calm, but could change due to political uncertainty and changes in U.S. immigration policy. The shelters in the region have approximately 1,400 places available, but the arrival of migrants by air and other transportation platforms continues to be a reality. Ernesto Vasconcelo, a lawyer specializing in migration issues, criticizes the closure of legal channels to request political asylum, which has led migrants to seek irregular and dangerous alternatives. The region experienced an unprecedented migratory flow last year, with up to 6,000 migrants a day arriving at Mexico's southern border.

No migrant shelter in Mexico has conditions to receive them, report says

Telemundo News - February 10, 2024

The National Human Rights Commission in Mexico reports that shelters for migrants in the country present unsanitary conditions and overcrowding, which makes them inadequate to receive migrants. This report underscores the urgent need to improve the conditions of these spaces to guarantee the dignity and safety of migrants in transit or during their stay in Mexico.

Chicago launches 'New Neighbors' campaign to optimize resources amid immigration crisis

La Raza - February 9, 2024

Chicago has launched the 'New Neighbors' campaign to more effectively address the current immigration crisis. This initiative seeks to better coordinate volunteers and non-profit organizations working with city departments. With more than 13,000 immigrants in 28 active shelters, the campaign aims to help newly arrived migrants move out of temporary shelters and optimize available resources. Interested organizations can collaborate with the Office of Immigrant, Migrant and Refugee Rights and Chicago Cares for additional support and volunteer opportunities. The campaign reflects a community effort to manage the growing number of immigrants in the city.

New York ID misinformation that thousands of migrants are looking for

Telemundo News - February 10, 2024

A local identification card in New York has generated confusion among migrants, some of whom mistakenly believe it is equivalent to a green card. Misinformation has led to long lines of migrants waiting to obtain it. This case underscores the importance of providing clear and accurate information to migrant communities about their rights and available services.

15-year-old migrant charged with attempted murder for shooting tourist in New York City

La Opinión - February 11, 2024

Jesus Alejandro Rivas Figueroa, a 15-year-old Venezuelan migrant youth, was charged as an adult with attempted murder and other charges related to a shooting in Times Square, New York. Rivas Figueroa shot and injured a 38-year-old Brazilian tourist in an attempted robbery at a clothing and sneaker store. He subsequently fired two shots at a pursuing police officer. The incident was captured on surveillance video, which facilitated his identification and subsequent arrest. Rivas Figueroa, who arrived in the U.S. in September and was staying in a temporary shelter, was arraigned and will be held without bail. This case highlights the seriousness of crimes committed by minors and the legal consequences they face.

Migrant suspected of shooting tourist in Times Square to be put on trial

Telemundo News - February 11, 2024

A 15-year-old Venezuelan youth accused of shooting a Brazilian tourist in New York's Times Square is facing trial as an adult. The teenager, who arrived in the U.S. less than six months ago and was residing in a shelter, is charged with attempted murder, assault and attempted assault, and criminal possession of a weapon. Authorities were able to apprehend him through video evidence, ballistics and testimony. This case highlights the complex situation of young migrants in large U.S. cities.

Mother breaks down in tears during arrest of 15-year-old son accused of shooting in New York City

Univision News - February 11, 2024

In New York, a 15-year-old Venezuelan youth, Jesús Rivas Figueroa, was arrested and charged as an adult with attempted murder following a shooting in Times Square. The teenager, who arrived in the U.S. less than six months ago and was residing in a migrant shelter, was involved in a failed robbery at a sports store, where he wounded a Brazilian tourist. This incident has left the community in shock and has sparked a debate about the safety and integration of young migrants.

Juvenile shoplifts, shoots tourist, tries to flee across train tracks in New York City

Univision News - February 10, 2024

Jesus Alejandro Rivas, a 15-year-old boy, was arrested in New York after robbing a sports store in Times Square and shooting a female tourist. The incident led to a chase that ended with his arrest on the train tracks. This event highlights the security problems in tourist areas and the involvement of minors in serious crimes.

What prompted migrants' attack on New York cops: body camera video released

La Opinión - February 11, 2024

A body camera video reveals details of an attack by a group of migrants on police officers near Times Square, New York, on January 28. District Attorney Alvin Bragg presented the video, which shows the officers asking the migrants to stand down. One of the men, Yohenry Brito, was pushed against a building to be searched, which triggered a fight and the attack on the group of police officers. Seven people have been charged in connection with the incident, including Darwin Gomez-Izquiel and Yorman Revefron, for assault and tampering with evidence. The video has raised doubts about the initial police arrest and has led to a detailed analysis of the roles of each suspect in the aggression.

New video of police beating in New York revealed

Voice of America - February 10, 2024

A recent video released by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office shows the assault of two police officers in New York, fueling controversy over the bail law and support for migrants in the city. This incident highlights the tensions surrounding public safety and immigration policies in New York.

"It hurts my soul": this is how El Salvador bid farewell to Hispanic mother and daughter killed in Texas

Univision News - February 11, 2024

In El Salvador, the community is devastated by the tragic loss of Juana Medina and her daughter Nayeli, who were murdered in Texas. Juana, 55, and Nayeli, 23, had migrated to the U.S. in search of a better future. Their dreams were abruptly cut short, leaving behind a five-year-old orphan. The family, facing immense pain, struggles to obtain justice while facing the harsh reality of the return of their loved ones in coffins.

This business trains migrants in New York so they can get jobs

Univision News - February 10, 2024

In Brooklyn, New York, a non-profit cafeteria offers an eleven-week training program for asylum-seeking migrants, teaching them to work in the kitchens of prestigious restaurants. In addition to culinary skills, the program strengthens their command of English, facilitating their insertion into the job market. This initiative highlights the importance of the labor and cultural integration of migrants into U.S. society.


Mexican authorities rescue kidnapped U.S. citizen from the United States

Telemundo News - February 10, 2024

The Mexican Army rescued Joseph Buonincontri, a US citizen, who was kidnapped in Quintana Roo. The rescue, carried out in the middle of the jungle with Buonincontri blindfolded and handcuffed, highlights the security risks in certain regions of Mexico and the effectiveness of rescue operations in kidnapping situations.

More and more Latinos are becoming victims of wage theft, and Texas is one of the states where it is occurring the most.

Telemundo News - February 10, 2024

In Texas, wage theft has become a growing problem, especially affecting Latino workers in sectors such as construction and domestic service. Many of these workers, often undocumented, do not report for fear of retaliation. This phenomenon underscores the vulnerability of migrant workers and the need to protect their labor rights.

Texas treasure trove that sparked battle with plumber

Telemundo News - February 10, 2024

In San Diego, Texas, a small town of 4,000 people, a treasure was discovered in 1933 that decades later generated significant student scholarship. This fascinating story involves a plumber and a legal battle, highlighting the rich history and culture of the region.

Research reveals disturbing reading lag among students in California

Telemundo News - February 10, 2024

Research in California reveals that 6 out of 10 children cannot read by third grade, according to EdVoice. Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio has proposed a bill to address this educational crisis, highlighting the urgent need to improve early literacy.

Spanish-speaking soldiers: an alternative for the Ukrainian Army to keep replenishing its ranks

Univision News - February 10, 2024

The Ukrainian Army is recruiting Spanish-speaking soldiers, offering attractive economic incentives, especially for Colombian ex-military personnel. This strategy underscores the diversification of Ukraine's military recruitment and international involvement in the conflict.

Canonization of Argentine saint prompts embrace between Pope and Javier Milei

Telemundo News - February 11, 2024

At an intersection of religion and Argentine politics at the Vatican, President Javier Miley and Pope Francis met during the canonization of Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa, known as Mama Antula. This 16th century Argentine saint, famous for her care for the poor and promotion of Jesuit spirituality, received recognition that has become a source of pride for Argentina, especially for women. Miley, who had previously criticized the Pope, met privately with him, showing a gesture of reconciliation and mutual respect.


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News and information found on the Internet is of a general nature and should not be construed as specific legal advice for any individual, case or situation.

Anyone who has questions about U.S. immigration law, including whether or not a particular immigration law applies to his or her situation, should immediately seek advice from a licensed and experienced U.S. immigration attorney to determine his or her immigration legal options.

Avoid being victim of immigration fraud and never consult with notaries, immigration consultants, paper-fillers, multi-services and others. unlicensed persons to obtain immigration legal advice.

Nelson A. Castillo is an immigration attorney with more than 20 years of legal experience and author of La Tarjeta Verde: Cómo Obtener la Residencia Permanente en los Estados Unidos (Green Card: How to Obtain Permanent Residence in the United States). He is a former President of the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Westlake South Neighborhood Council of Los Angeles.

For information on how to schedule an immigration consultation with Dr. Castillo, click here. click here.