DACA: An Inadequate Protection Under Constant Threat

By Taher Kameli and Chathan Vemuri   In 2012, then-President Barack Obama provided a crucial piece of legal protection for residents who unlawfully arrived in the United States as children in the form of the policy known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.[1] By executive action, President Obama provided these residents (or “Dreamers”) a two-year shield from deportation despite not having citizenship or lawful permanent residence.[2] Under the DACA policy, these residents are able to obtain work permits, health insurance offered by employers, afford an education, and pursue higher education.[3] Depending on the state, Dreamers

Senate Bill 667 Sent to Governor Pritzker Would Improve Trust Between Undocumented Immigrants and Local Law Enforcement

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.[1] 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,

Supreme Court Rejection of GOP Attempt to Legally Defend the Trump Expansion of the Public Charge Rule is a Welcome Yet Insufficient Development

By Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri   In a further demonstration of the Biden era Federal Government’s rejection of Trump-era restrictive changes to US immigration policy, the US Supreme Court turned down an attempt from several Republican states to defend the Trump-era expansion of the public charge rule.[1] Under the Trump administration’s rule, immigrants were denied the use of several public benefits such as Medicaid and food stamps.[2] Furthermore, they were required to prove that they had enough means to not rely on government assistance in the future.[3] Such a policy had the effect of

Biden Reverts Naturalization Test to 2008 Version

Biden Reverts Naturalization Test to 2008 Version

Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri In another reversal of Trump-era immigration policy, the Biden administration struck down the revised naturalization civic test implemented on December 1, 2020, replacing it with the older 2008 version of the test that had been in force up till that time.[1] This was done as part of President Biden’s February 2 Executive Order on “Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration System.”[2] The USCIS will go back to the 2008 test as of March 1, 2021, although there will also be an interim period during which both tests will be

President Biden Withdraws Trump’s H-4 EAD Proposal

President Biden Withdraws Trump’s H-4 EAD Proposal

Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri Among the many changes to Trump’s hardline immigration policies pursued by the Biden administration during his first two weeks in office, President Biden’s latest action has been to withdraw a proposed rule of the Trump administration concerning H-4 EAD holders.[1] Under the proposed rule (which was introduced in 2019[2]), the H-4 EAD program would have been rescinded, preventing spouses of H-1B visa holders from getting paid employment in the U.S.[3]   Nevertheless, this has brought great relief to spouses of H-1B visa

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

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

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

Trump Administration Intends to End In-Person Interpreters

Written by Taher Kameli & Chathan Vemuri  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 immigrationHowever, 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

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

DACA Program Reinstated by New York Federal Court Order

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

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

Deadlines Disrupting Migrant Children to Stay Legally

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 migrant children 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 oversees US immigration courts, set up new deadlines by which migrants in certain cases must file an application with the immigration court to stay in the

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

Trump Administration's Makes changes to Public Charge Rule

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