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

EL PASO IMMIGRATION COURT ACCUSED OF “CULTURE OF HOSTILITY” TOWARD IMMIGRANTS

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. A recent report by the American Bar Association described the US immigration courts as “facing an existential crisis . . . irredeemably dysfunctional and on the brink of collapse”.  Besides requiring a major overhaul for inefficiency, the US immigration courts may suffer from another fundamental problem – bias against immigrants. This point was made in an administrative complaint filed yesterday by the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association with the US Department of Justice with respect to the El Paso, Texas Service Processing Center immigration court. According

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

DIFFICULTIES FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS SUBJECT TO TRUMP’S “REMAIN IN MEXICO” PROGRAM FINDING EFFECTIVE LEGAL REPRESENTATION

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. There are many difficulties that asylum seekers to the United States face in trying to achieve effective legal representation.  Language barriers and the financial burden of paying legal fees to a knowledgeable, experienced immigration attorney are just 2 of the problems that asylum seekers must confront.  However, those asylum seekers to the United States subject to President Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols program (known as the “Remain in Mexico” program) must address additional special difficulties in obtaining effective legal representation. Since late January, pursuant to the “Remain in Mexico” program, the

“PUBLIC CHARGES” – INCREASINGLY USED BY THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO SUPPORT VISA DENIALS

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. There seems to be no end to the arguments being used by the Trump administration to restrict immigrant rights.  An increasingly used strategy by the Trump administration is to argue that a visa should be denied because the immigrant would become a “public charge”.  Based on how the Trump administration interprets the term, “public charge”, an increasing number of immigrants, especially Mexicans, are being denied visas to the United States. “Public charge” is a term used by U.S. immigration officials to refer to a person who is considered primarily dependent

FEDERAL COURT VICTORY FOR ABUSED, ABANDONED OR NEGLECTED MIGRANT CHILDREN

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. When you think of abused, abandoned or neglected migrant children, you probably feel some sense of humanitarian concern.  Unfortunately, it is fair to say that the Trump administration does not issue immigration policies that prioritize such concern.  Consistent with its general intention to prevent immigration to the US, the Trump administration recently acted to deny immigration rights to certain abused, abandoned or neglected migrant children.  However, on March 15, a Federal District Court Judge ruled against this Trump administration policy and in favor of the immigration rights of certain abused, abandoned

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S PLAN TO CLOSE USCIS OVERSEAS OFFICES WILL CREATE MORE BACKLOGS

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. If you live in a foreign country and have had an issue under the US immigration laws, have you ever used the services of a local office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in your foreign country?  This local USCIS office may have helped you with a family visa request, an international adoption, a refugee application, or some other matter. Unfortunately, this convenient and accessible support in your foreign country will no longer be available to you under a recent plan announced by the Trump administration. Last

TRUMP EXTENDS RIGHTS OF LIBERIAN IMMIGRANTS TO STAY IN US FOR 1 YEAR

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. It is not often that we associate President Trump with immigration rights.  However, yesterday, the President did act in favor of 1 group of immigrants.  President Trump extended the rights of Liberian immigrants who had protected Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) status to stay in the United States for an additional 1 year. Because of a civil war in Liberia, Liberian immigrants were first granted temporary protected status to live and work in the United States without deportation by President George H.W. Bush in 1991.  In 1999, when this temporary protected

DACA FLIGHT ATTENDANT DETAINED FOR MORE THAN A MONTH FROM RE-ENTERING UNITED STATES

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. Selene Saavedra Roman has lived in the United States for 25 years (since she was 3), is a graduate of Texas A&M, is married to a US citizen, has no criminal record, is trying to obtain permanent resident status, and left the US for purposes of her job as a flight attendant.  Does it seem reasonable to detain a person such as Ms. Roman from re-entering the US when she returns to the US in connection with her job?  While the answer to this question should be no, unfortunately, because Ms. Roman’s US immigration rights are