Welcome news

The question of what constitutes “a particular social group” for purposes of asylum is one of the most difficult and vexing in immigration law.

The U.S. government on Wednesday ended two Trump administration policies that made it harder for immigrants fleeing violence to qualify for asylum, especially Central Americans. Attorney General Merrick Garland issued new instructions to immigration judges to stop following the Trump-era rules that made it tough for immigrants who faced domestic or gang violence to win asylum in the United States.

Welcome news

Bristol County Jail is considered among immigration practitioners to be the worst immigration detention facility in New England. And Hodgson is the New England version of Sheriff Arpaio.

The closures in Massachusetts and Georgia are part of a broader Biden administration plan to overhaul the immigration system.

Two dysfunctional systems

Since the start of the year, much of the world?s attention was focused on two trials on opposite sides of the world. In one, a brave truth-teller was persecuted by a vengeful administration after stirring up his patriotic followers in protest against tyranny. In the other, Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate.

There is no bottom

“Refugees are the most thoroughly vetted group to enter the United States. In addition to a screening by the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees, the federal government conducts its own vetting process involving multiple law enforcement, national security and intelligence agencies, including fingerprint and biometric security checks, as well as medical screenings. The entire process can take more than two years. …

“In the 40 years since the program was established, no refugee who has entered the country through the resettlement program has killed anyone in a terrorist attack in the United States. Significantly more refugees have been turned away than admitted every year — even before the historically low caps. …

“Refugee resettlement will not survive another four years under this administration. The loss of this program would have major ramifications for America’s international relationships, not to mention the thousands of people seeking refuge. If the nation’s reckoning with race is a mirror into its ideals on justice and equality, then refugee resettlement is the testing ground for our ideals.”