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Immigration Blog

New ICE Detention Standards May Stop Detainee Marriages

January 30, 2020|Contributed by: Aaron C. Hall, Esq.

ICE recently released the 2019 National Detention Standards for Non-Dedicated Facilities, making significant changes to detention standards that had been in place for about two decades.  The revisions lower oversight requirements and strip safeguards meant to ensure adequate medical care.  One change that has gotten less attention is to the policy regarding detainee requests to get married in detention.
Standard 2.10(II)(D) of the new detention standards says that ICE will review and approve detainee marriage requests on a “case-by-case” basis. 

Trump Administration Prohibits “Birth Tourism”

January 29, 2020|Contributed by: Shana D. Velez

On January 24, 2020, the regulations that govern B non-immigrant visas (tourist visas) were amended to specifically exclude travel for the “primary purpose of obtaining United States citizenship for a child by giving birth to the child in the United States.”  The regulations now permit an overseas consular officer to deny a tourist visa to anyone if they have reason to believe that the person is traveling for that primary purpose.
While consular officers were advised not to specifically ask all female applicants if they are pregnant and/or if they plan to give birth to their child in the United States,

Supreme Court Stays Injunction on Public Charge

January 27, 2020|Contributed by: Zachary New

On January 27, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote “stayed,” or effectively ended, the nationwide injunction barring the Government from implementing new public charge rules – rules which are meant to prevent the admission of certain immigrants who are or who are likely to become dependent on public benefits in the United States.  As Justice Gorsuch recounts in his concurrence, on October 10, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security began the process of creating this new rule,

New Rule Proposed to Further Restrict Asylum Eligibility

January 6, 2020|Contributed by: Zachary New

In line with the Trump administration’s mission to restrict eligibility for asylum, on Thursday, December 19, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security, home to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Department of Justice, home to the immigration courts, issued a joint statement of proposed rulemaking, signaling the potential creation of new draconian restrictions on asylum eligibility.
This new rule would make any individual ineligible for asylum in any of the following circumstances:

They have been convicted of a felony under federal,

ICE Begins to Work with HHS to Deport Sponsors of Unaccompanied Minors

January 2, 2020|Contributed by: Shana D. Velez

The Department of Health and Human Services, the agency that cares for unaccompanied minors who cross the border, has begun providing information to ICE to initiate removal proceedings for those individuals who do not qualify to sponsor children in HHS custody.  Since the “Zero Tolerance” policy of the Trump Administration, HHS has increased scrutiny of potential sponsors to whom unaccompanied minors would be released from custody.  Fingerprints and biometric information of potential sponsors are routinely collected and,

USCIS Updates Policy on when “Unlawful Acts” can Lead to Naturalization Denial

December 30, 2019|Contributed by: Aaron C. Hall, Esq.

On December 13, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated the section of its policy manual dealing with “unlawful acts” that can prevent the agency from finding that an applicant has the required good moral character to be approved for naturalization.
The new guidance states that an “act is unlawful if it violates the criminal or civil law of the jurisdiction where it was committed.”  For an unlawful act to be used against an applicant,

TPS Automatically Extended for Six Countries through January 4, 2021

December 2, 2019|Contributed by: Jennifer Howard

On November 1, 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the automatic extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) validity for the following countries:

El Salvador;
Haiti;
Nicaragua;
Sudan;
Honduras; and
Nepal.

At this time, TPS beneficiaries do not need to take any action to re-register or to renew their Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). Rather, such individuals may show their current EAD and a copy of the Federal Register Notice (below) to employers to demonstrate they have valid employment authorization and to explain that their TPS-Related Documentation has been auto-extended through January 4,

Class-action Lawsuit for Government to Provide Free Mental Health Treatment for Families that were Separated

November 26, 2019|Contributed by: Jennifer Wadhwa

Earlier this month, a federal district court judge in California ordered the federal government to provide free mental health screenings and treatment for parents and children who were traumatized after being forcibly separated at the border following the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance family separation policy. Under the policy, in just one month, 3000 children, “some as young as 18 months old and 100 less than four years old” were forcibly separated from their parents and scattered across the U.S.

USCIS Policy Manual Update: No Need to Wait for Immigration Judge to Affirm USCIS Termination of CLPR Status Before New Adjustment

November 26, 2019|Contributed by: Aaron C. Hall, Esq.

On November 21, 2019, USCIS announced changes to its policy manual related to applications for adjustment of status for those whose conditional lawful permanent resident (CLPR) has been terminated by USCIS.
A noncitizen can gain CLPR status based on marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident where they have been married for less than two years at the time of admission—or based on an immigrant investor (EB-5) visa.
A CLPR is generally ineligible to adjust status on a different basis.

DACA at the Supreme Court – The Last Stop Before Dreamers Leave Legal Limbo

November 20, 2019|Contributed by: Zachary New

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was first implemented by President Obama in 2012 to give individuals who were brought to the United States as children, so called “Dreamers,” an opportunity to have legal status, work authorization, and a sense of security that they would not be targets of immigration enforcement efforts by ICE, albeit in two year increments requiring an expensive application with strict eligibility requirements.  As of September 4, 2017, there were nearly 700,000 active recipients of DACA in the United States.

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