US Immigration Law & Policy
Articles, Videos, Podcasts, etc.
Biden Looks Towards Immigration Legislation His First Day in Office
President Joe Biden's immigration legislation will include new protections for children migrating from Central America, including the return of an Obama-era program that lets children apply for refugee or asylum status in the United States from their home countries. The bill is far from a sure thing as they will need at least nine GOP votes to pass it. Read more here: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1255167
Matter of J-J-G-, (BIA 2020) The Board of Immigration Appeals Makes Extreme Hardship Burden Higher
Matter of J-J-G-, 27 I&N Dec. 808 (BIA 2020) (1) The exceptional and extremely unusual hardship for cancellation of removal is based on a cumulative consideration of all hardship factors, but to the extent that a claim is based on the health of a qualifying relative, an applicant needs to establish that the relative has a serious medical condition and, if he or she is accompanying the applicant to the country of removal, that adequate medical care for the claimed condition is not reasonably available in that country. (2) The Immigration Judge properly determined that the respondent did not establish eligibility for cancellation of removal because he did not demonstrate that his qualifying relatives will experience hardship, including medical, economic, and emotional hardship, that rises to the level of exceptional and extremely unusual. There is a lot of language in this decision that is going to make it much more difficult to get cancellation of removal after the Board's decision in March 2020.
Hot Topics in Immigration
Touro Immigration Law Society Federal Immigration Judge Segal, Local Immigration Attorneys, Professor Brooks, Professor Roig, Professor Shankar. Discussion of immigration law in the COVID post Trump era
Judge Rules Wolf not Lawfully Appointed & Blocks New Asylum Rules
https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/09/14/politics/judge-chad-wolf/index.html Judge rules Chad Wolf likely unlawfully serving as Homeland Security secretary and temporarily blocks some asylum restrictions. Judge rules Chad Wolf likely unlawfully serving as Homeland Security secretary and temporarily blocks some asylum restrictions according to CNN.
A federal judge in Maryland on Friday ruled that Chad Wolf is likely unlawfully serving as acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and temporarily barred the Trump administration from enforcing new asylum restrictions on members of two immigration advocacy groups, according to court documents. "In sum, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs are likely to demonstrate (former acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin) McAleenan's appointment was invalid under the agency's applicable order of succession, and so he lacked the authority to amend the order of succession to ensure Wolf's installation as Acting Secretary," Judge Paula Xinis' 69-page ruling said.
Xinis also wrote that "by extension, because Wolf filled the role of Acting Secretary without authority, he promulgated the challenged rules also 'in excess of...authority,' and not 'in accordance with the law.'"
The preliminary finding that Wolf is likely unlawfully serving in his position came as a part of temporarily blocking two asylum rules while the lawsuit over those rules is heard. The case is ongoing.
CNN has previously reported that the Government Accountability Office found that Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli, the senior official performing the duties of deputy secretary, were appointed as part of an invalid order of succession. President Donald Trump tweeted that he would officially appoint Wolf to take over the role on a permanent basis. Wolf's nomination was formally ss
Wolf has been at the forefront of a host of issues like immigration, civil unrest and the coronavirus pandemic response, and as a result, has come under criticism for his actions. During Wolf's tenure, the department has been marked by a focus on the border wall, a fight with New York over Global Entry and more recently, a deployment of federal officers to Portland, Oregon, in opposition to local officials.
Last month, a coalition of 20 state attorneys general and 10 cities and counties challenged the Trump administration's new rules that they argued limited access to employment authorization for asylum seekers, according to a statement from New York Attorney General Letitia James' office. "The first rule would require asylum seekers to wait a year before applying for employment authorization, and bar many from obtaining authorization at all. The second rule would eliminate the longstanding requirement that employment authorization applications be processed within 30 days, thus allowing such applications to sit untouched indefinitely," James' office said. Court documents state the new rules took effect in late August. Xinis found that DHS "completely sidestepped this critical impact of the new rules" and "never wrestled with the fundamental implications of deferring or denying advance work authorization."
"Substantially limiting approval of work authorization for bona fide asylees will inevitably affect their ability to afford the costs of seeking asylum, including hiring legal counsel," Xinis wrote.
Xinis' order granted injunctive relief to only members of Casa de Maryland, Inc. (CASA) and Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP), two of the lawsuit's plaintiffs that the judge found to have "demonstrated associational standing at this stage," finding the relief "both proper and necessary to avoid irreparable harm."
The organizations have approximately 100,000 and 4,000 members each, according to the judge's order.
What if I've been stuck outside the US & my LPR card is about to expire or it's been a year?
If you didn’t apply for a re-entry permit before leaving the United States you won't be able to get a re-entry permit now. You will need to apply for an SB-1 visa (also called a “returning resident visa”) at your nearest U.S. consulate or embassy before returning to the US. NOTE: You can also use a re-entry permit as a travel document if you can’t obtain a passport from your home country. Many countries will let you use a re-entry permit like a passport, and will stamp it with their visas and entry and exit stamps. Make sure to check whether the countries you intend to visit accept U.S. re-entry permits as valid travel documents. HOW TO APPLY FOR REENTRY PERMIT To apply for a re-entry permit, you must file Form I-131 (“Application for Travel Document”). This form collects details about your planned trip, your foreign travel since becoming a green card holder, and whether you’ve been properly filing US tax returns. MORE INFORMATION ABOUT RE-ENTRY PERMITS, ADVANCE PAROLE, AND TRAVEL DOCUMENTS.
USCIS Avoids Furlough
Well...looks like I was wrong and USCIS has been saved from furlough. CBS News Reports: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Tuesday announced it would abandon plans to furlough more than 13,000 employees next week, temporarily averting a scenario that would have crippled the processing of applications for green cards, work permits, U.S. citizenship and other immigration benefits. In a message to employees obtained by CBS News, Deputy USCIS Director for Policy Joseph Edlow said the agency was able to avoid furloughing nearly 70% of its workforce because its financial situation has "improved somewhat" since the spring, when the coronavirus pandemic fueled an unprecedented drop in petitions. Unlike most other federal agencies, USCIS is largely funded through the application fees it charges. Though applications have increased in recent weeks, Edlow said the agency is still projecting a budget shortfall heading into fiscal year 2021, which starts in October, and continues to require financial assistance from Congress. Read more at CBS NEWS
U.S. restricts work permits for asylum-seekers
The new rule beginning today, August 25, 2020, will require migrants to wait 365 days from the day they file their asylum petition before applying for work authorization, replacing the previous 150-day timeline. It also disqualifies asylum-seekers from being able to request work permits if they crossed the border illegally. The new rules limiting asylum applicant's eligibility for employment authorization takes effect today August 25, 2020. The first rule change, effective August 21, 2020, eliminates the requirement that USCIS must process employment authorization applications within 30 days of receiving the application. This rule change allows USCIS to adjudicate work permit applications for an indeterminate period of time, which will inevitably result in delays. The government claims this move will deter immigrants from filing “frivolous, fraudulent, or otherwise non-meritorious [asylum] claims.” But the rule change is more likely to force asylum seekers further into poverty and informal economies, thereby making it more difficult for them to meet their basic needs. The second rule change, effective today, August 25, 2020, severely restricts eligibility for work permits while simultaneously increasing the waiting time for work permits. This too will have dire consequences for asylum seekers struggling financially while their asylum applications remain pending. The new measures mandate the government to: Delay the issuance of work permits (EAD's) by more than doubling the waiting period to apply from 150 days to 365 days; Bar asylum seekers from receiving a work permit if they attempt to enter the United States without inspection on or after August 25, 2020, unless they qualify for very limited exceptions; Deny employment authorization for asylum seekers who file their asylum application after the one-year filing deadline, unless granted an exception; Prohibit employment authorization for applicants who have been convicted of certain crimes or who are “believed” to have committed a serious non-political crime outside the United States; Deny employment authorization applications if the underlying asylum application has experienced “unresolved applicant-caused delays,” such as a request to amend or supplement the asylum application or if the application is being transferred to a different asylum office due to a change in the applicant’s address; Automatically terminate an asylum seeker’s work permit without provision for renewal if an immigration judge denies the asylum case and the applicant does not appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) within 30 days, or if the applicant does appeal but the BIA denies the appeal; and Limit the employment authorization validity period to a maximum of two years. This applies to asylum applicants who want to renew their employment authorization based on an I-589 Asylum Application filed before this rule took effect. [This will be truly devastating for individuals who were granted Prosecutorial Discretion (PD) while in removal proceedings in order to avoid the risk of deportation, and have been living legally in the US for years renewing their employment authorization every 2 years based on there administratively closed asylum application.] More about new rule for asylum-seekers employment authorization card. NEW RULE: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-06-22/pdf/2020-13391.pdf
No Emergency Bill Has Prevented The USCIS Furlough
Despite the misleading information being posted all over the internet there has been no emergency bill passed to prevent the USCIS furlough from starting on September 1, 2020. The USCIS furlough is set to go forward as planned and in 6 days USCIS will be furloughing 75% of its staff.l Watch out for bogus headlines. They are click bait designed to get your attention and they are intentionally misleading. Official USCIS Website: www.uscis.gov