USCIS ANNOUNCES PUBLICATION OF NEW RULE THAT SIGNIFICANTLY REVISES EB-5 PROGRAM

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. Under the EB-5 program, immigrants who invest $500,000 in a project located in a “targeted employment area” (generally rural areas and areas with high levels of unemployment) (“TEA”) that creates 10 full-time jobs generally can qualify to receive a green card, and permanent lawful resident status, in the United States.  As the EB-5 program has been popular, the announcement in January, 2017 that new regulations would be issued concerning the EB-5 program drew significant attention.  After well over 2 years, the wait for these new regulations is finally over. On July 23, U.S. Citizenship and

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION INTENDS TO END USE OF IN-PERSON INTERPRETERS AT CERTAIN IMMIGRATION HEARINGS

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq.  At one time, the famous words associated with the Statue of Liberty – “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” – truly exemplified the attitude of the US government toward immigration.  However, under the Trump administration, these words would appear to describe the immigration policies of another country, as the Trump administration takes action on a regular basis to restrict the rights of immigrants. This point was evidenced again by the news that the Trump administration intends to end the use

US VISAS NOW REQUIRE SOCIAL MEDIA INFORMATION FROM APPLICANTS

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq.  It is good advice to be careful with what you post on your social media accounts because you do not want to be later embarrassed about it.  In the past, this advice has often been given to job applicants. Apparently, this advice should also now be given to foreigners seeking US visas.  Effective May 31, 2019, US visa applications will now require social media information from applicants. This new rule, outlined by the US State Department in March, 2018, requires visa applicants to disclose their social

THIRD CIRCUIT RULES DRIVING UNDER INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA IN VIOLATION OF PENNSYLVANIA LAW IS REMOVABLE OFFENSE

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq.  In the face of Congress’ general inability to reach consensus and enact immigration legislation, and President Trump’s anti-immigration policies, immigrants have turned to the judiciary, in particular, the Federal courts, to protect immigrant rights.  However, the Federal courts cannot be viewed as a guaranteed safeguard for immigrant rights in each case. This point was made clear in the May 28 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in the case of Sambare v. Attorney General of the United States,

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

FEDERAL JUDGE RULES TRUMP CANNOT USE CERTAIN DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FUNDS TO BUILD BORDER WALL

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. One of the common occurrences concerning President Trump’s immigration plan has been a declaration by a Federal judge that a specific immigration policy of President Trump is unlawful.  One of the key components of President Trump’s immigration plan is his intent to construct a wall on the United States-Mexico border. However, again, on May 24, a Federal judge declared that a specific immigration policy of President Trump is unlawful – this time blocking the use of certain Department of Defense funds to build the United States-Mexico border wall. June 17, 2019

PRESIDENT TRUMP PRESENTS NEW IMMIGRATION PLAN

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. For most of the last 20 years, politicians in the United States have discussed the concept of “comprehensive immigration reform” – what most people think of as the adoption of a complete overhaul of the US immigration system, dealing with all of increased border security, illegal immigrants already in the country, future legal immigration rules, and other immigration law-related matters, all in 1 sweeping piece of legislation.  The fact that this issue is still being discussed in year 2019 evidences that no “comprehensive immigration reform” legislation has yet been

FOURTH CIRCUIT JOINS NINTH CIRCUIT IN RULING THAT TRUMP’S EFFORTS TO RESCIND DACA WERE IMPROPER

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an immigration program established by President Barack Obama in 2012 generally to permit undocumented immigrants who came to the United States before the age of 16 to avoid deportation and receive work permits for a period of 2 years, renewable upon good behavior.  President Donald Trump has sought to rescind DACA. On May 17, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals joined the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (which had ruled on November 6, 2018) in ruling that President Trump’s efforts

NINTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S “REMAIN IN MEXICO” PROGRAM

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. In the face of continuing anti-immigration policies from the Trump administration, it has been the judicial branch of the Federal government (the courts) that immigrants have often relied upon to protect immigrant rights.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in particular, has issued various decisions in defense of immigrant rights. However, even the Ninth Circuit is not a guarantor of a “pro-immigration” decision, as evidenced by its May 7 opinion upholding President Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols program (known as the “Remain in Mexico” program). Based

ISRAELI NATIONALS NOW ELIGIBLE FOR UNITED STATES E-2 VISA

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. Given the hostile, anti-immigration policies of the Trump administration, the immigration news recently coming from the United States generally involves some additional restriction on immigration rights.  As a result, it is noteworthy when the Trump administration takes action that can permit more foreigners to come to the United States. Such is the case with the April 11 announcement that Israeli nationals can now qualify for the United States E-2 visa. The U.S. Embassy in Israel stated, “The U.S. Embassy in Israel is pleased to announce the implementation of