Detentions in Batavia
Above, immigration attorney Bob Graziano talks about the current problems with the immigration systems and steps the incoming Biden administration can take to address these. The right to seek asylum, which is a human right, has been undermined by the Trump administration's policy to treat Mexico and Guatemala as "safe third countries" and requiring asylees to apply there first, instead of allowing people to apply at the U.S. border. In terms of refugees that have been processed abroad for resettlement, for example by the U.N. Refugee Agency, Trump has slashed the numbers from 85,000 under Obama to 15,000 for this year. Under Obama, immigration cases were prioritized and focus was supposed to be on deporting people with violent criminal records, meaning those who had family here and whose only so-called crime was unlawful entry or overstaying their visas had the opportunity to have their cases "administratively closed." Under Trump these cases were reopened and people were deported. One of the most egregious policies was the separation of children from their parents. Most of these issues, which were the result of administrative policy and executive orders, can be undone by the Biden administration. However, Congress has to enact comprehensive immigration reform to address the problem of what to do with millions of people who lack authorization and how to grant them access to legal status. Bob Graziano recently wrote an open letter to ICE about clients of his. One was deported during a two-hour window even though ICE knew Graziano was filing for a stay of deportation. In the other case a woman was detained, even after she had won two of her immigration hearings. The letter is embedded below.