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Young unaccompanied migrants at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley, in Donna, Texas on February 25, 2021.

Calling a nationwide injunction on ICE’s COVID-19 response “sweeping” and unwarranted, a divided Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel on Wednesday ended requirements for ICE to adopt policies to protect vulnerable immigrants from COVID-19 at 250 U.S. detention centers. Read more»

The legal dispute dates back to January 2019, when the ACLU sued seven federal agencies for refusing to release records on their use of social media monitoring tools.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection cannot withhold information on its rules for authorizing agents to use fake identities and non-government accounts to spy on social media users, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. Read more»

Chad Wolf, the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary and the Assistant Secretary for Strategy, Policy, Analysis, and Risk, US Department of Homeland Security.

A federal judge on Wednesday permanently abolished Trump-era changes to H-1B visa rules that businesses and universities complained would make it harder to hire and recruit highly skilled foreign workers and students. Read more»

In a major blow to Apple’s business model, a federal judge ruled Friday that the technology giant can no longer stop app developers from telling users how to sidestep its App Store and pay developers directly for subscriptions and other services. Read more»

In a concurring opinion, Judge Watford said that while he agrees the petitioners in this case should have pursued other remedies before seeking judicial review, he suggested the DEA’s position on cannabis may be on shaky ground the next time a truly ripe challenge comes before the court.

The 9th Circuit on Monday refused to make the federal government reconsider its position that cannabis is a dangerous drug - though one member wrote that while this case was not ripe for review, the government may soon be forced to reconsider its stance. Read more»

For the second year in a row, the West faced massive amounts of smoke transport and dangerous long-duration, poor air quality events.

Climatologists forecast a 70% chance that La Niña conditions will return for a second year in a row this winter, which could bring some rain for coastal areas of the Northwest and more dry conditions for the Southwest. Read more»

A Ninth Circuit panel seemed to agree the court was entitled to take action to protect detainees from Covid-19 infection, despite the government’s argument that no Covid-19 cases were reported when the court order was issued. 'At the time there weren’t proven Covid cases because they didn’t test people,' U.S. Circuit Judge Marsha Berzon said.

A U.S. appeals judge said the lower court was “micromanaging” two detention centers by deciding which immigrants should be released on bail to reduce Covid-19 spread instead of letting ICE make the calls. Read more»

Calcium deposits on the rock formations at Lake Mead, the largest reservoir on the Colorado River, show the impact of lingering drought on water levels. Hydrologists fear the reservoir will drop to the level at which no water can be released – a situation known as 'dead pool.'

Climate change is pushing the western United States and northern Mexico toward an extreme long-term drought that could be worse than any in recorded history, scientists revealed in a new study published in the journal Science Thursday. Read more» 1