Immigration Updates

Latest Updates: August 9, 2019

There are two major immigration rule changes causing confusion and fear for immigrants in the United States. The first new rule took effect on July 16, 2019.  The Trump Administration issued this intending to drastically restrict asylum eligibility for thousands of people seeking safety in the United States.  The new rule bars a person from applying for asylum in the US if they traveled through Guatemala or Mexico and did not apply for asylum in those countries before seeking asylum in the US. There is very little exception to this policy (only applicable for victims of severe human trafficking), even unaccompanied children would be effected by this rule. However, there is opportunity to submit written comments opposing this new rule until August 15, 2019, you can do so by clicking here . In the meantime, the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a federal lawsuit,East Bay Sanctuary el al. v. Barr , seeking to have the new rule declared illegal and permanently stop its implementation. If the new policy is allowed to stand, it will certainly bar most asylum seekers from accessing the asylum system in the United States.  
Secondly, on July 23, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a new notice in the Federal Register that significantly expands the use of expedited removal (deportation) to include anyone who entered without inspection and who has been in the US for less than two years. Since 1996, it has only been applied to immigrants encountered by DHS within 100 miles of the border and within 14 days of entering the US. Under this new expanded rule, anyone who is questioned by DHS officials ANYWHERE within the US will need to prove they are not subject to expedited removal. The real effect of this new rule means that even US citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPR) might be subjected to having to prove they should not be included. If you would like to submit a written comment opposing this new rule, prior to September 15, 2019, you can do so by clicking here.


Update:  ICE Raids (July 15, 2019)

Several media outlets have reported that the Trump administration is planning to launch a series of raids starting this Sunday (July 14) to Thursday (July 18, 2019).  The media reports that immigration raids will hit multiple cities, more than the ones that were initially reported to be targeted including the following cities:  Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, and San Francisco. They are targeting immigrants with final orders and unaccompanied children who have “aged out”.  They have expanded their targets and this would increase the possibility of arresting ‘collateral’ individuals, leading to ICE arresting individuals they encounter who may not have legal status.  Although Iowa cities have not been identified as target cities, we know that ICE actions continue to take place and it may even ramp up during this period.  We encourage all communities and our faith communities to do what we can to provide resources and comfort for those that may be impacted by these ICE actions/raids.  We understand this alarming news continues to stoke fear and anxiety among our immigrant communities across this state.  We will partner with allies to help families understand their rights and provide important information so they are prepared. 

It is a delicate balance in making sure accurate information is shared but at the same time we do not inadvertently increase the fear already felt but rather to ask people to take appropriate action. Now is the time to put these plans into action; below are concrete you and your community members can do to help. 

Catholic Charities’ immigration attorneys provide affordable legal services to help reunite families by assisting them in navigating the immigration system and advocating on their behalf. We assist with paperwork for green card and citizenship applications, family and visitor visas, deferred action for childhood arrivals, temporary protected status, violence against women act, and other family-based immigration legal services.

Catholic Charities’ Immigration Attorneys provide FREE legal consultations and presentations. For more information,                        call (319) 364-7121.  


»Immigration and Taxes – Click Here

  Inmigración e Impuestos Haz Clic Aquí


»Harmful Immigration Policies and What You Can Do To Help Click Here


»Holiday Guide: Sharing Why You Care About Refugees and Immigrants – Click Here


»Migrant Caravan: How You Can Learn More and Act Click Here


»Increase Deportation Risks for Immigrants under New Immigration Policies: Immigrants Can Be Deported as a Result of Denied Immigration Applications Click Here


»Summary of Proposed Changes to Public Charge Determination – Click Here


»Family Separation at the Border – Click Here


»Immigration Bill SF-481, signed April 10, 2018 – Click Here 


»DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Information – Click Here