Asylum Denial Rates Continue to Climb

Despite the partial court shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, this year immigration jud­ges managed to decide the second highest number of asylum decisions in the last two de­cades. The rate of denial continued to climb to a record high of 71.6 percent, up from 54.6 percent during the last year of the Obama Administration in FY 2016. See Figure 1. This is an excerpt of a report by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. You can see the full report here.

The injustice of our current system is obvious in this graph.

America has long been a beacon of hope for those fleeing persecution but the policies of the current administration have dimmed that beacon.

Ignorance and lies will not stand the test of truth and we all must speak that truth. It is up to us to recognize our common humanity with others and to stand up for due process of law and human rights. KIAC will continue to support our immigrant sisters and brothers and vigorously represent them.

in memory of mariano matias mendoza

We honor the memory of one of our community leaders who was taken from us too soon due to COVID-19.

Mariano and his brother Prudencio
Mariano and his brother Prudencio

Our Family Services Director, shares this: “Mariano Matias Mendoza immigrated to the US from Guatemala decades ago. He became fluent in English, his third language along with his native Mayan language Mam, and Spanish. He became a point-person and influencer among his fellow immigrants in Bremerton and beyond, and helped connect many people to housing, employment, healthcare and legal assistance. He was particularly instrumental in building trust between KIAC and our Guatemalan neighbors and he interacted frequently with KIAC’s co-founder, Martitha May.
I got to know him over the past few years because he often worked as a driver and translator, bringing people to appointments and connecting them to services they might not have known about. He supported others even as he sought a better life for himself and his family. He is greatly missed by those who knew him and those whom he impacted.” The Kitsap Sun published this article about Mariano and his legacy: https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/2020/08/08/bremerton-covid-coronavirus-deaths-leader-guatemalan-community/3324940001/

DACA denied – USCIS is defying our courts

Support DACA

On Friday, July 17, a U.S. District Court Judge ordered the administration to restore DACA to its “pre-September 5, 2017” status. This means that people with DACA can renew their status AND that people can apply for DACA for the first time.

We all celebrated this decision until we found that the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) was defying the court order and refusing to accept new DACA applications. This means that hundreds of young people who have been denied access to DACA and thought the door was now open, have had it slammed in their faces.

We call on this administration, which prides itself on following the rule of law, to do just that – obey the court’s order and open the door to these DREAMERS who deserve to apply for DACA.

Serving our sisters and brothers in the immigrant community

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