MADNESS IN MARCH:
It’s a rite of spring each year: March Madness. 68 college basketball teams become 32, then 16, then 8, then 4, and finally the winner takes all. It’s a time for victories, tears and reflections.
For Joanne Boyle, head coach of the University of Virginia women’s basketball team, her team’s second round loss in the tournament was not just the end of their season. It was the end of her tenure with the university. Joanne resigned for a singularly-important reason: to secure her adopted daughter’s immigration.
Joanne adopted her now 6-year old daughter Ngoty, from Senegal in 2016. She was awarded legal custody of the orphanage-bound child in 2014, and was able to obtain a temporary US visitor visa to provide urgent medical care. According to news reports, Ngoty remained in the US for ongoing treatments, eventually overstaying her visitor visa.
This case should be simple: Ngoty is the adopted daughter of a United States citizen.
At midnight on January 20, 2018, the United States Federal Government effectively closed for business. This occurred because Congress failed to agree upon and pass an appropriations bill that pays for government-funded programs and activities.
Essential workers will continue business as usual; however, some nonessential employees have been told to stay home until further notice.
How does this shutdown affect the immigration community?
|UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES (USCIS)|
|Most applications and services with USCIS are fee-based; in other words, applicants pay a fee when filing the various forms. As such, they are funded, and are not affected by a shutdown.|
Forms will be accepted as normal, and applicants should continue to attend all scheduled interviews.
However, USCIS has confirmed that the following processes have been affected:
|UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE (DOS)||As with USCIS,|
On January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. His campaign speeches were fraught with promises of swift and drastic changes to US immigration policy – the famous wall, rollbacks of “chain migration” and a limit on foreign workers.
Although his wall has yet to be funded or built, and touted legislative changes have yet to occur, President Trump has made good on many of his plans to rein in immigration. He has accomplished this through a variety of orders, policies and memorandum, and likely through mandates made through his staff. Immigration advocates are calling this the “silent wall.”
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT HOW 2017 CHANGED THE FACE OF IMMIGRATION
On December 4, 2017, the United States Supreme Court allowed President Trump’s Travel Ban 3.0 as it’s called to proceed while appeals are pending. In other words, the Court said that the travel ban can be enforced immediately while the courts continue to sort out the legal options.
THE HISTORY —
Presidential Proclamation 9645 was issued on September 24, 2017 and took full effect on October 18, 2017. However, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a preliminary injunction which allowed citizens of the named countries to continue to enter the United States if they could show a “bona fide connection” to a relative or business.
SCOTUS SPEAKS UP —
This most recent decision essentially reverses that approach, and allows enforcement of the ban as written and issued.
SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR YOU, YOUR FAMILY OR YOUR EMPLOYEES?
|Chad||The following visa categories may not be issued: B-1,|
On September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of the program commonly known as DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Implemented as an Executive Action by President Obama in 2012, DACA provided temporary protected “status,” employment authorization and limited travel authorization to nearly 800,000 children and young people.
President Trump ran on a platform of immigration enforcement, and sadly it is not surprising that the DACA program has been eliminated; yet we all feel a deep sense of sadness at having to deliver the news to our clients, their families, and the employers that have come to rely on DACA recipients.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
The Department of Homeland Security has released the details of the wind-down, which will occur in phases. Here are the important highlights:
- No new applications for DACA will be accepted after September 5, 2017. They will be rejected and returned to sender.
As we reported in our most recent BLOG post, President Trump signed 3 immigration-related Executive Orders during his first week of office. The last few days have been a whirlwind of information and misinformation. The landscape also seems to changing on an almost-daily basis.
Here is our most recent round-up of positions and clarifications of the US State Department, US Department of Homeland Security, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
US STATE DEPARTMENT MATTERS:
– The DOS Visa Office confirmed that despite the executive order, the majority of interview-waives cases can still proceed. These include those applicants under age 14 and over age 79 (INA section 222(h)(1)(A)) and those applicants who seek the same visa category within one year of the most-recent visa’s issuance and/ or expiration (INA section 222(h)(1)(B)).
– The DOS Bureau of Consular Affairs confirmed provisional revocation of all valid immigrant and nonimmigrant visas held by nationals of the seven named countries.
By now, nearly every news outlet is reporting that newly-inaugurated President Trump has signed three (3) Executive Orders/ Actions this week. While the headline-grabbing and infamous border wall is an easy lead-off for the 5:00 news, the Executive Orders/ Actions had widespread impact on removal actions and priorities, especially along the Southern border of the United States, and admission of Muslims from around the world.
What Is an Executive Order?
Before we delve into the newly-penned orders, let’s begin with a fantastic overview of what they are and are not. Our friends and colleagues at Robert Reeves Law Group in Los Angeles put together a great summary:
Are you back? OK then, let’s proceed with the task at hand. Here is our initial breakdown of the Executive Orders. Many of the provisions will likely be subjected to judicial review as federal lawsuits are filed; but for now, these orders are new “law.”
If you are a night owl, you stayed up late to see the TV networks declare Donald J Trump the election winner. Even if you turned off the TV early, you awoke to the phrase some hoped to hear but few honestly expected… President-Elect Trump. Regardless of your political leaning, all involved in immigration will acknowledge one thing: we are in for a heck of a ride ahead.
Our office has already received several calls and emails, all wondering how the outcome will affect them, their families and their employees. It is still early in the game, and most of the information we can provide is an educated guess. But we will attempt to break down what matters most to you. Grab a cup of coffee and perhaps a snack.. this may be long.
The New Face of the Federal Government:
While the electoral map seems to show a clear Republican swing,
On October 27, 2016, national news outlets announced that Adam Crapser will soon be removed from the United States back to his native country of South Korea. With over 235,000 removals in FY2015, and similar numbers expected for FY2016, why is Adam’s story unique?
Adam is an International Adoptee who has spent 36 of his 39 years of life in the US.
Adam was born in South Korea and placed into an orphanage outside of Seoul with his biological sister. Within a handful of months, he and his sister were on their way to the United States as the adopted children of US citizens. Although privacy laws protect Adam’s files and exact details, we assume that Adam and his sister immigrated to the United States as IR-3 or IR-4 immigrants;
On July 22, 2015, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced plans to expand the I-601A Provisional Waiver program. The announcement was met with cheers from most within the immigration community. Then we all waited.. and waited… and waited for DHS to review the public’s comments and publish the final rule. On July 29, 2016, that announcement finally came. But what does it really mean to you?
In the Beginning: Unlawful Presence and The Three and Ten Year Bars.
Imagine yourself the recipient of a perfectly-made homemade cookie. The cookie is gooey and chocolatey, and comes from Grandma’s secret recipe. Now imagine that Grandma’s gift comes with a condition: you must first step outside on the patio to get it.