Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri On November 17, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated their guidelines in their Policy Manual regarding what type of discretion the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should use in adjudicating status application adjustments. Typically, in order to get approval for adjustment of his/her/their immigration status, the applicant must show their eligibility and prove that an exercise of discretion in favor of his/her/their application is warranted. Whether discretion is positive or negative depends on how the USCIS balances and weighs the different
Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. Much has been said about the hostile policies of the Trump administration toward undocumented immigrants. While the issue probably receives less attention, the Trump administration also has not proceeded favorably with legal immigration alternatives. Specifically, based on U.S. Citizenship and Investment Services (USCIS) updated data issued on August 7, H-1B and L-1 petition denials and requests for evidence (RFEs) have increased during the Trump administration. During the first 3 quarters of the current October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019 fiscal year (through June 30, 2019), USCIS denied
Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. Government positions on immigration issues are often expressed in ideological or political terms. However, more practically, it is the authorization of funds that actually implements these government positions. For example, “Build the Wall” is just a political argument; unless funds are actually authorized to build a wall at the southwest border, the government will not actually construct any wall. The importance of funding authorization by the government is exemplified by the action of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to move $271 million, including $155 million from the Disaster Relief Fund
Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. The Trump administration has proposed many new anti-immigration policies against undocumented immigrants in the United States. However, a traditional approach to limit undocumented immigrants in the United States is to conduct a raid of a business where undocumented immigrants are known to be working and arrest them. The Trump administration is also willing to use this traditional method of restricting undocumented immigrants in the United States, as on August 7, the largest workplace immigration raids in the United States in at least a decade resulted in 680 arrests. These workplace
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
Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. The anti-immigration policies of the Trump administration have especially harsh consequences when applied to migrant families. This point is especially true when these policies are applied to migrant children. As another example of the adverse policies of the Trump administration toward migrant children, on August 21, the Trump administration announced a final rule to change the Flores settlement and allow the longer detention of migrant children. The Flores settlement arose from the 1997 case of Flores v. Reno.
Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. While it is often asserted that immigration programs can involve “life or death” consequences, this argument is especially applicable to the “medical deferred action” program. The “medical deferred action” program allows immigrants to remain in the United States for two-year periods if they can prove extreme medical need. Many of the immigrants covered by the “medical deferred action” program came to the United States through a visa or other permitted status for a period of time and are requesting to stay beyond this period of time to receive necessary medical treatment.
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
Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. Much has been written about the impact of the anti-immigration policies of the Trump administration regarding undocumented immigrants. However, it appears that the Trump administration is now seeking also to attack legal immigration. On August 12, the Trump administration announced a final “public charge” rule which can materially reduce legal immigration. Finalizing proposed regulations that were issued on October 10, 2018 (and received more than 260,000 public comments), this final “public charge” rule (published in the Federal Register on August 14) amends U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations concerning
Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. While the Federal judiciary often has been viewed as the best hope to protect immigrant rights against the anti-immigration policies of the Trump administration, concern has been expressed about whether the Supreme Court can in fact serve in this role. The argument is that the recent appointments of Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court by President Trump will give the Supreme Court a conservative bent that will cause it to support the anti-immigration policies of the Trump administration. As one decision that appears to support this argument,