By Taher Kameli and Chathan Vemuri The Illinois legislature has forwarded a bill to Governor J.B. Pritzker that, if passed, would go far in strengthening trust between Illinois law enforcement and immigrant communities. The bill, known as Senate Bill 667, or, the Way Forward Act, restricts local law enforcement from working with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and close immigrant detainment centers across Illinois. Proponents of the Way Forward Act argue that the bill would improve trust between immigrants and the police so that there would be better cooperation between the two to help detect and deter crimes, without
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 tracking down immigrant activity, violations, and the First-Amendment-protected expression disapproved of by authorities that lead to detention and deportation. Recently, this has entailed tracking and gathering information from electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, thumb drives, and cell phones. For instance, searching these devices and using tools to unlock encrypted information on these devices of those coming
Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. In making arguments about immigration, it is often said (by both pro-immigration and anti-immigration advocates) that the immigration system is broken. Apparently, this statement may be literally true. A recent case highlights this issue, as a Federal court has barred U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from issuing certain detainers (arrest requests) based on deficient electronic databases. ICE’s “Secure Communities” program is believed to be responsible for 70% of all ICE arrests. A significant portion of those arrests arises from detainers issued solely on the basis of electronic databases. In
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
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
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 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.