Featured Immigration News

Important Information

2017 Sees Slow-Moving Processing Times for U.S. Citizenship Applications

November 28, 2017|Contributed by: Jennifer Howard

Becoming a United States citizen is a memorable and meaningful experience—one that brings with it the right to obtain a U.S. passport to travel internationally and to seek protection and assistance from the U.S. government when abroad, the ability to serve on a jury when summoned, the ability to...

The Current State of Trump’s Travel Ban

November 28, 2017|Contributed by: Courtney Sommer

On November 13 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling allowing the Trump administration’s travel ban to proceed in part. A Hawaii federal judge had previously blocked the newest travel ban from going into effect, but the 9th Circuit held that the Trump administration could limit the...

TPS to Terminate for Haitians

November 27, 2017|Contributed by: Courtney E. Butler, Esq.

On November 20, 2017, Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke announced her decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) for Haitians.  The decision will take effect 18 months before the Haitian TPS designation terminates on July 22, 2019. DHS made its...

Happy Thanksgiving

November 22, 2017|Contributed by: Aaron C. Hall, Esq.

It’s no secret that Thanksgiving 2017 comes at a time of great challenge and incredible distress for many immigrants and their families.  The anti-immigrant rhetoric and scapegoating continually flowing out the Trump Administration is matched by its harsh and restrictive policies.  The...

Updated Guidance on USCIS Solution to Erroneous DACA Rejection Notices

November 17, 2017|Contributed by: Alexander D. McShiras, Esq.

As most people are aware, on September 5, 2017 the Trump administration announced that DACA will be rescinded on March 5, 2018. Applicants with DACA had until October 5 to deliver their renewal applications to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS received reports that the...

New Agricultural Guestworker Bill Proposed

October 30, 2017|Contributed by: Courtney E. Butler, Esq.

On October 23, 2017, Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced a new bill, the Agricultural Guestworker Act (H.R. 4092), which would replace the current H-2A agricultural worker program with an H-2C visa program.  This new program would be a temporary agricultural guestworker program that...

Somebody’s Watching Me: DHS to Collect Social Media Data from Immigrants

October 30, 2017|Contributed by: Jennifer Howard

On September 18, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published an announcement in the Federal Register that it would begin collecting the social media data of immigrants in an effort to “more effectively screen those coming to the country.” This new system went into effect on...

Naturalization Applications Surge Under Trump

October 27, 2017|Contributed by: Aaron C. Hall, Esq.

The New York Times reports that even though naturalization applications generally spike during presidential election years and then fall after the election, the volume of applications received by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for 2017 will be greater than during the...

Trump Reneges on Deal by Demanding Funding For Wall and Dramatic Limits on Legal Immigration in Exchange for DACA

October 16, 2017|Contributed by: Alexander D. McShiras, Esq.

At a White House dinner on September 13, President Trump came to an agreement with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer regarding the future of DACA. The leaders agreed, in principle, to a deal that would lay the foundation to legalize the immigration status...

DACA IS SCHEDULED TO END NOW WHAT?

September 13, 2017|Contributed by: Alexander D. McShiras, Esq.

In approximately 6 months, on March 5, 2018, the Trump administration is rescinding the DACA program. By now, more details have come out regarding the implementation and repercussions of this decision. Pending Legislation in Congress The good news is that there is legislation pending in...

In Her Words: How DACA Opened Doors for Johana

September 7, 2017|Contributed by: Aaron C. Hall, Esq.

Contributed by Joseph Law Firm client Johana Mejias-Beck: We moved to the United States of America to have a life that our home country of Venezuela could not provide.  The political instability, political coercion, the violence, and constant insecurity was something my parents did not want for...

The End of DACA, At Least For Now

September 5, 2017|Contributed by: Courtney Sommer

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today that the Trump Administration is rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA was created through a memorandum in 2012 which gave individuals who entered the United States as children the ability to work—and sometimes...

“We’ve Got Your Backs”: Denver City Council comes through for the City’s Immigrant Population

August 30, 2017|Contributed by: Jennifer Howard

On August 28, 2017, the Denver City Council voted unanimously to pass the Public Safety Enforcement Priorities Act, a bill that will both increase public safety and help protect immigrants from deportation. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is expected to sign the bill this week, stating in a recent...

Deportations for DACA Youth, Amnesty For Sheriff Joe Arpaio

August 29, 2017|Contributed by: Aaron C. Hall, Esq.

Reports last week indicated that President Trump was likely to end DACA, the program giving protection from deportation for those brought to the United States as children. At the same time that these youth are poised to lose all protection and face deportation by ICE, the President who famously...

BALCA Issues Key Decision on PERM Labor Certification Application

July 27, 2017|Contributed by: Courtney E. Butler, Esq.

On July 17, 2017, the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (“BALCA”) issued a key decision regarding PERM labor certification applications, or Form 9089. Section H.14 of Form 9089 requires a petitioning employer to list “specific skills or other requirements” of the job.  In Matter...

The Dream Act of 2017

July 26, 2017|Contributed by: Courtney Sommer

On July 20 two United State Senators, one Republican and one Democrat, introduced the Dream Act of 2017. If it becomes law, the Dream Act would grant permanent resident status on a conditional basis to individuals who entered the United States as children. Specifically, the law would grant status...

USCIS Increases The H2-B Cap By 15,000

July 24, 2017|Contributed by: Alexander D. McShiras, Esq.

On July 19, 2017, the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor published a final rule increasing the numerical limit (“cap”) on H-2B nonimmigrant visas by up to 15,000 additional visas through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2017. These visas are available only to American businesses which attest...

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Travel Ban Case, Revives Limited Version of Ban While Case is Pending

June 27, 2017|Contributed by: Aaron C. Hall, Esq.

In an order dated June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the government’s appeal of two lower court decisions blocking President Trump’s executive order banning travel from six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and suspending the U.S. refugee program for 120 days. In the...

Supreme Court Issues Pivotal Decision Concerning Denaturalization

June 26, 2017|Contributed by: Courtney E. Butler, Esq.

On June 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued a key decision for those facing denaturalization – it narrowed the grounds on which naturalized citizens can have their citizenship revoked.  The case centers around Divna Maslenjak, an ethnic Serb born in what is now Bosnia and...

Gender-Based Distinction for Acquiring U.S. Citizenship through Parents Held Unconstitutional

June 15, 2017|Contributed by: Courtney Sommer

Until just a few days ago, individuals born abroad to U.S. citizen parents faced different standards in acquiring their U.S. citizenship depending on whether their mother or their father were U.S. citizens. Under section 309 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), if you were born abroad...

The Impact of Mathis v. United States

July 13, 2016|Contributed by: Koby L. Polaski, Esq.

In the wake of our disappointment over the Supreme Court’s decision regarding DAPA and the extension of DACA, the Court issued another, much more favorable opinion. In Mathis v. United States, decided on June 23, 2016, the Supreme Court grappled with the categorical approach as it applies to the...

USCIS Parole Program for Filipino World War II Veterans

June 27, 2016|Contributed by: Jennaweh Hondrogiannis, Esq.

On June 8, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting applications from certain family members of Filipino World War II veterans to enter the United States on a discretionary grant of parole, so that they may wait inside the United States for a visa to become available...

Additional Invitations Issued Under the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program

June 21, 2016|Contributed by: Courtney E. Butler, Esq.

In early June, USCIS announced that it is sending a third round of invitations to apply for the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program.  The HFRP Program allows certain eligible United States citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents who have filed I-130 petitions for family members in...

Immigrant Action Orlando Launched After Tragic Mass Shooting

June 21, 2016|Contributed by: Alexander D. McShiras, Esq.

In the focus on terrorism and the political ramifications of the recent mass shooting in Orlando on June 12, 2016, a very important story has been glossed over by the mass media. The shooting happened at Pulse nightclub on Latino night. Among the people who frequent the club are many immigrants-...

USCIS Sued by Thirteen Muslim Plaintiffs Because of Unlawful Delay of Citizenship Applications

May 23, 2016|Contributed by: Alexander D. McShiras, Esq.

On May 18, 2016 thirteen Muslim plaintiffs sued United States Citizenship and Immigration Services pursuant to 8 U.S.C. Section 1447(b) and the Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”) for significant delays in the adjudication of each plaintiff’s application for citizenship (Form N-400). The...

Obama Administration Plans New Wave of Deportation Raids

May 17, 2016|Contributed by: Koby L. Polaski, Esq.

In January, we reported an operation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to apprehend and deport undocumented immigrants across the United States. The January raids represented a large-scale effort to deport families fleeing violence in Central America. In our January blog, we outlined our...

USCIS Announces Proposed Fee Increases

May 5, 2016|Contributed by: Jennaweh Hondrogiannis, Esq.

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a proposed rule that would increase fees charged by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for certain immigration and naturalization benefit requests. This proposal comes as a result of a comprehensive fee review conducted by USCIS which...

President Trump’s First 100 Days: DACA Rescinded and Muslims Banned from Visiting U.S.

May 5, 2016|Contributed by: Aaron C. Hall, Esq.

Against all expectations at the start of the primary process, Donald J. Trump has now sealed up the Republican nomination for President of the United States. He will face the Democratic nominee, likely Hillary Clinton, in the general election in November. Trump has long been promising to solve...

U Visa Backlog Reaches All-Time High

April 21, 2016|Contributed by: Koby L. Polaski, Esq.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced this month that, as of the first quarter of fiscal year 2016, it had 108,623 U visa applications pending. This number indicates that USCIS currently has more U visas pending than it did in all of fiscal year 2015. The governing regulations...

Electronic Passports Now Required for Waiver Travelers

April 19, 2016|Contributed by: Linda Shindler

Effective April 1, 2016, individuals who are eligible for admission to the United States on the Visa Waiver Program have been required to have an electronic passport, or e-Passport.  All others will be required to apply for a visa to enter the United States. An e-Passport has in it a chip...

Potential Outcomes After Supreme Court Oral Argument on DAPA: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

April 19, 2016|Contributed by: Aaron C. Hall, Esq.

What’s at Stake? On Monday, April 18, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in United States v. Texas, the case which will decide whether the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and the expansions of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. ...

Donald Trump’s Modeling Agency Broke Federal Immigration Laws

April 13, 2016|Contributed by: Alexander D. McShiras, Esq.

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL, DONALD TRUMP PLEDGES TO END RAMPANT H-1B PROGRAM ABUSE DESPITE THE FACT THAT TRUMP’S MODELING AGENC Y PROFITED FROM THIS PROGRAM BY EXPLOITING FOREIGN WORKERS. The H1-B program has become a lightning rod during the 2016 presidential campaign. Donald Trump, the...

The Debate Continues over the Issuance of Driver’s Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants in Colorado

April 4, 2016|Contributed by: Jennaweh Hondrogiannis, Esq.

In 2013, Colorado passed the “Colorado Road and Community Safety Act,” which permits undocumented immigrants who live and pay taxes in Colorado to obtain a driver’s license. The purpose of the Act is to make Colorado roads and communities safer by ensuring that all drivers are properly...

Undocumented Immigrants Pay Substantial State and Local Taxes

March 31, 2016|Contributed by: Courtney E. Butler, Esq.

On February 24, 2016, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy released a 50-state study titled “Undocumented Immigrants’ State and Local Tax Contributions.” The study found that the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States pay $11.64 billion in state and...

ICE Raids and Your Rights

January 22, 2016|Contributed by: Joseph Law Firm

Starting in the beginning of January 2016, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents began an operation to apprehend and deport undocumented immigrants across the United States.  These raids target adults and children who crossed the southern U.S. border within the previous year, and...