EOIR Final Rule Drastically Increasing EOIR Filing Fees and How That May Impact Asylum Seekers, Undocumented Children and Other Vulnerable Groups

On January 19, 2021, a Final Rule issued by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) will become effective that will “increase the fees for those EOIR applications, appeals, and motions that are subject to an EOIR-determined fee, based on a fee review conducted by the EOIR.”[1] These fee increases apply to Forms EOIR-26, 29, 40, 42A, 42B, 45 and motions to reopen or reconsider before the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge (OCIJ) and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).[2] This Rule was first Proposed back on February 28, 2020 by the Department of Justice.

Trump Extends April and June Visa Bans to March 31, 2021

Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on December 31 of 2020, extending the bans on certain immigrant and non-immigrant visas that were previously banned as per his proclamations on April 22 and June 22 of 2020, respectively.[1] Although these orders were supposed to expire on December 31 of 2020 itself, the President invoked the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on jobs in late 2020 to justify protecting US workers by continuing both of the bans.[2]While the ban would primarily hurt applicants for the H-1B visa, it would

ACLU Sues DHS, et al., Over Cellphone Tracking of Immigrants

Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri A recent source of controversy in the Trump Administration’s typically hardline approach to illegal immigration concerns the surveillance of social media by Homeland Security Investigations to track down immigrant activity, violations, and First-Amendment-protected expression disapproved of by authorities that lead to detention and deportation.[1] This has entailed searching and gathering information from electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, thumb drives, and cell phones.[2] Searching these devices and using tools to unlock encrypted information on these devices of those coming near the US border with

U.S. Senate Passes the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (S.386)

Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri   EB-5 and other professional green card applicants can finally breathe a sigh of relief while going through the application process. Last week, on December 2, 2020, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed bill S.386, known as the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act.[1] If approved by the President (whoever that will be), it would be of immense benefit to green card applicants of different categories, for it would remove the “caps on the number of immigrants who can be approved for permanent residency permits (“green cards”)” and help clear

Corporate Transparency Act

Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri The creation of anonymous corporations for illicit purposes such as money laundering, the sale of pirated and counterfeit goods, human trafficking, and the drug trade has been a source of great concern for the U.S. government.[1] These corporations are used to hide stolen assets and are without clearly identified owners, making it difficult to hold anyone to account.[2] A range of groups have called for legislation demanding transparency from newly formed reporting corporations to hinder the creation of these anonymous shell corporate structures used to

Trump administration intends to end use of in-person interpreters at certain immigration hearings

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 of in-person interpreters at certain immigration hearings. This action was

Obama-era DACA Program Reinstated by New York Federal Court Order in Vidal v. Wolf

Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri In what counts as a severe blow to the Trump administration’s revamped immigration system in its final month, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued an order to reinstate the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) to its pre-Trump administration status.[1]   Before President Trump tried to end it in September of 2017, DACA served to permit young immigrants without legal status but had been brought over as children, to live and work legally in the U.S.[2] This was

District Court for the Northern District of California Strikes Down H-1B Regulations for Violating APA

Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri As noted before on this blogsite, on October 8, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security issued an interim final rule that was meant to revamp the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa program.[1] Called Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program, this interim final rule changed the definition requirements for “specialty occupations,” among other aspects, in order to make applications for the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa more challenging.[2] The overall purpose behind the changes was to decrease reliance on the H-1B program and encourage employers to look more to

Department of Justice Prepones Deadlines for Filing Stays on Deportation, Potentially Disrupting Attempts of Migrant Children to Stay Legally in the Country

Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri In what came as a shock to immigration attorneys and clients applying to stay in the US and halt deportation proceedings, the Department of Justice imposed new deadlines for stay applications that critics say have left attorneys and clients in a mess.[1] Last week on November 24, 2020, the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which overseas US immigration courts, set up new deadlines by which immigrants in certain cases must file an application with the immigration court to stay in the United States within

Trump Administration’s Public Charge Rule denying green cards to immigrants that need food stamps or other public benefits.

Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri Over the past year, immigration activists have steadfastly opposed the Trump Administration’s changes to the Public Charge Rule, which denied green card applicants who would likely use various types of public assistance, such as Medicaid, food stamps, and housing vouchers.[1] Legal challenges have been especially persistent, with the first wave of lawsuits leading to a hold placed on the policy by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which was in turn reversed by the Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote in January 2020.[2] Concern was