NEW STUDY SHOWS ICE IS NOT TARGETING SERIOUS CRIMINALS

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. In defending his immigration policies, President Trump often argues that his purpose is to deport “criminals” (“bad hombres”) from the United States.  Notwithstanding this rhetoric, a new study reveals a different result. The study, from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), released on July 19, shows that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is in fact not targeting serious criminals. The TRAC study states that “the latest data from the Immigration Courts through June 2019 shows only 2.8 percent of recent Department of Homeland Security (DHS) filings based deportability claims

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES NEW RULE TO SIGNIFICANTLY RESTRICT ASYLUM PROTECTION FOR MOST CENTRAL AMERICAN MIGRANTS

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. The Trump administration has taken various actions to restrict the inflow of immigrants from Central America at the U.S. southern border.  Many of these immigrants assert asylum claims to attempt to enter the United States. In probably its most forceful action to limit immigration from Central America, on July 15, the Trump administration announced a new rule to significantly restrict asylum protection for most Central American migrants. Specifically, under the new rule (published in the Federal Register to be effective July 16), subject to 3 limited exceptions, asylum seekers who pass

FEDERAL JUDGE RULES TRUMP CANNOT USE CERTAIN DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FUNDS TO BUILD BORDER WALL

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. One of the common occurrences concerning President Trump’s immigration plan has been a declaration by a Federal judge that a specific immigration policy of President Trump is unlawful.  One of the key components of President Trump’s immigration plan is his intent to construct a wall on the United States-Mexico border. However, again, on May 24, a Federal judge declared that a specific immigration policy of President Trump is unlawful – this time blocking the use of certain Department of Defense funds to build the United States-Mexico border wall. June 17, 2019

NINTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S “REMAIN IN MEXICO” PROGRAM

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. In the face of continuing anti-immigration policies from the Trump administration, it has been the judicial branch of the Federal government (the courts) that immigrants have often relied upon to protect immigrant rights.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in particular, has issued various decisions in defense of immigrant rights. However, even the Ninth Circuit is not a guarantor of a “pro-immigration” decision, as evidenced by its May 7 opinion upholding President Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols program (known as the “Remain in Mexico” program). Based

LACK OF COMPETENT INTERPRETERS IN FOREIGN INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES CREATES PROBLEMS IN US IMMIGRATION COURTS

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. Have you ever heard of Q’anjob’al, Mam, and K’iche’?  Probably not. They are 3 languages indigenous to the country of Guatemala.  What makes them significant for United States immigration law purposes is that they have become 3 of the 25 most common languages spoken in US immigration courts in recent years.  The lack of competent interpreters in Q’anjob’al, Mam, and K’iche’, and other foreign indigenous languages, is creating significant problems in the US immigration courts. Many of the migrants who have come to the United States in recent years are

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

“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

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

ICE ARRESTS MORE THAN 280 AT TEXAS BUSINESS IN LARGEST WORKPLACE RAID IN A DECADE

Written by: Taher Kameli, Esq. Can you imagine having a typical day at your workplace before being suddenly arrested for criminal conduct by the US government?  Probably not, but such was the fate of more than 280 employees of CVE Technology Group, a technology repair company, located in Allen, Texas (a suburb of Dallas), on April 3.  These employees were arrested by a unit of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for working in the United States unlawfully. According to Katrina W. Berger, a special agent in charge for ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in Dallas, “Our focus is the criminal investigation. . .