USCIS SAYS CERTAIN CHILDREN OF U.S. GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AND U.S. ARMED FORCES MEMBERS BORN OVERSEAS ARE NOT AUTOMATICALLY U.S. CITIZENS

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq While one can easily criticize many of the anti-immigration policies issued by the Trump administration for their substantive positions, to the extent that government policy consistency is beneficial, you cannot fault the Trump administration for lack of general consistency on immigration issues.  Whatever the immigration issue, from migrant rights to green card rights to citizenship rights, the Trump administration will generally consistently adopt the position on the issue that restricts, and is adverse to, such migrant rights, green card rights, or citizenship rights. As another example of the Trump administration’s generally consistent

INCOMING HARVARD FRESHMAN TURNED AWAY FROM ENTERING US BY US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. Throughout the country, many young adults are excitedly commencing their college years as freshmen.  For those attending top-ranked schools, such as Harvard University, this excitement is probably even greater.  However, in at least one case, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has turned this excitement into disappointment, as on August 23, incoming Harvard freshman Ismail B. Ajjawi was turned away from entering the United States by CBP. Ajjawi is a 17-year old Palestinian resident of Tyre, Lebanon.  He arrived at Boston’s Logan International Airport as an accepted member of Harvard’s

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES NEW RULE TO SIGNIFICANTLY RESTRICT ASYLUM PROTECTION FOR MOST CENTRAL AMERICAN MIGRANTS

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. The Trump administration has taken various actions to restrict the inflow of immigrants from Central America at the U.S. southern border.  Many of these immigrants assert asylum claims to attempt to enter the United States. In probably its most forceful action to limit immigration from Central America, on July 15, the Trump administration announced a new rule to significantly restrict asylum protection for most Central American migrants. Specifically, under the new rule (published in the Federal Register to be effective July 16), subject to 3 limited exceptions, asylum seekers who pass

ICE INTENDING TO ASSESS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN FINES ON SOME UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Trump administration wants to take adverse action against undocumented immigrants. The latest such example is in the area of financial penalties. Following an executive order by President Trump, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is intending to assess thousands of dollars in fines on some undocumented immigrants. Shortly after taking office, on January 25, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order authorizing “the assessment and collection of all fines and penalties that the Secretary is authorized under the law to assess and collect from aliens unlawfully present

FEDERAL JUDGE BLOCKS ICE FROM MAKING COURTHOUSE ARRESTS OF UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS IN MASSACHUSETTS

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. Given the anti-immigration policies of the Trump administration, it would not be wrong to characterize Federal judges as the “BFF” of immigrants in the United States.  On numerous immigration issues, the decisions of Federal judges have been critical to safeguard the rights of immigrants and restrict the actions of the Trump administration.  Another example of a Federal judge protecting the rights of immigrants occurred on June 20, with the decision of U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani to block U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) from making courthouse arrests of undocumented immigrants

ILLINOIS BECOMES FIRST STATE TO BAN PRIVATE IMMIGRATION DETENTION CENTERS

It has been said that in the face of Congress’ general inability to reach agreement on immigration issues, and President Trump’s anti-immigration policies, only the judicial branch of government appears to be available to protect immigrant rights. However, such statement ignores another part of our overall government system – the states. That the states can support immigrant rights was evidenced on June 21 when Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed a bill under which Illinois became the first state to ban private immigration detention centers. The bill, HB 2040 (the “Private Detention Facility Moratorium Act”), provides, “Detention requires

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION CUTS SERVICES FOR MIGRANT CHILDREN IN US SHELTERS

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq.  Would it surprise you that the Trump administration has once again acted to restrict the rights of immigrants?  Probably not. Would it surprise you that in this instance the rights are those of immigrant children, and that the action by the Trump administration has been described as illegal?  Again, unfortunately, probably not, as there appears to be no limit to the reach of the policies of the Trump administration against immigrants. The above comments relate to the decision of the Trump administration to cut educational, recreational, and

USCIS ISSUES 2018 STATISTICAL ANNUAL REPORT

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq.  It would be reasonable to think that an “annual report” would be issued on a yearly basis.  However, unfortunately, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had not issued an annual report on its benefits and programs for roughly a decade.  Finally, on May 31, USCIS issued “2018 USCIS Statistical Annual Report”, covering the activities and operations of USCIS from fiscal year 2014 through fiscal year 2018. In releasing the 2018 Statistical Annual Report, USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna (who just announced his resignation, effective June

ICE SETS RECORD FOR ARRESTING UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS WITHOUT A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. Some records, such as winning the most Super Bowls or scoring the most points in an NCAA college basketball game, receive universal praise.  Other records garner a more mixed reaction. Such is the case with the recent news that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) set a record in December, 2018 by arresting the highest percentage of undocumented immigrants with no criminal background.  Specifically, 36.5 percent of the undocumented immigrants arrested by ICE in December, 2018 had no criminal record – the highest such percentage since ICE started categorizing arrests in

FEDERAL JUDGE STOPS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S “REMAIN IN MEXICO” PROGRAM

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. The US government consists of 3 branches – an executive branch (the President and his administration), a legislative branch (the Congress), and a judicial branch (the courts).  Because of the anti-immigration policies of President Trump and his administration, and the general inability of Congress to reach agreement on immigration legislation, it has largely been left to the courts to protect immigrant rights.  This point was again evidenced on April 8 when Federal District Court Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco issued a preliminary injunction against and stopping President Trump’s Migrant Protection