Jan
29

The Mystery of the U Visa Wait Time Solved

The U.S. Congress created U non-immigrant status (the U visa) in October 2000 to help victims of certain crimes who have experienced extreme mental or physical abuse and were helpful to law enforcement of government in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.  The U visa bestows clear benefits, when granted: The applicant—and any qualifying family members included as the applicant’s derivatives—can work and reside in the United States lawfully for four years; but after having U visa status for three years, the Applicant can apply to become a lawful permanent resident...

Jan
29

Deportation by Speculation - the Rise of the Reason to Believe Charge

ICE has shown lately that it is becoming more willling to use any tool at its disposal to impact a removal proceeding.   One such trend has been the  notable increase in charging under section 212(a)(2)(C)(i) of Immigration & Nationalty Act.  This charge of removal or deportation is known by its standard, a “reason to believe” that an individual is knowingly involved somehow in drug trafficking.  This legal charge gives the government a powerful tool to try to keep a person in custody and bar him or her from staying in the United States.

In the bond and detention context, it is an...

Jun
28

Lessons Learned from the Department of State Hardware Failure

In the past two weeks, hardware computer problems halted the issuance of thousands of visas and passports at US consulates and embassies throughout the world.  As of yesterday, two thirds of consular posts are up and running again, sending visas and passports to anxious applicants.  For some, this presented a small inconvenience or had no effect at all.  Other families faced hardship, missing births of children and experiencing financial hardship with extended hotel stays. Thankfully, the Department of State was able to proceed with humanitarian or emergency requests on a case-by-case...

Sep
21

STEM and Extended OPT - forcing regulations for the future

D.C. Court Vacates STEM Rule, but Allows DHS to Remedy Problem - WLG Expects STEM Program to Remain Unchanged

In a decision last week, on August 12, 2015, a district court in Washington D.C. decided to vacate a 2008 rule by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that allowed an additional 17 months of work authorization to eligible Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) students in F-1 status.  A main issue in the lawsuit was whether DHS exceeded its authority by issuing the 2008 rule without notice and comment to the public.  DHS argued that it had good cause to...

Nov
29

Will Executive Action for Parents Ever Happen?

On November 10, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ordered to uphold an injunction against deferred action benefits for a broader group of students and parents of U.S. citizens. Over the last few days, I have spoken with countless people to clarify the confusion over the effect of the ruling, the future for the deferred action benefits, and the status of the first round of DACA benefits. So here is the breakdown:

First: The 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals 

In the summer of 2012 President Obama announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals “DACA”, or...

Nov
29

The Other Visa Cap Problem - the Annual U Visa Cap Injustice

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) is currently in the midst of distributing all of the 10,000 U visas which are available for fiscal year 2016. What we at Wilson Law Group have begun to call “U Visa Season,” begins on October 1 of each year, and is over by the New Year. It is during this period that the Vermont Service Center (VSC) allocates all of the 10,000 principal U visas that are available for that year. Applicants who have not received their U visas by the beginning of 2016 are relegated to wait at least one more year for their coveted visa.

U visas are...

Nov
29

Protection against Search and Seizure in Immigration Proceedings

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. In criminal cases, evidence discovered during an unreasonable search or seizure, such as during a warrantless arrest, can be suppressed in court. However, in civil cases, this “exclusionary rule” is generally not available.

The American legal system views immigration law proceedings civil matters. This was determined by the Supreme Court in the decision INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032 (1984). Because of this, the exclusionary rule usually cannot be used by respondents in immigration...

Feb
14

H-2B Visa Program Updates: Registration Currently Inoperative & Emergency Guidance

H-2B Visa Program Updates: Registration Currently Inoperative & Emergency Guidance

Wilson Law Group recently commented on the new 2015 H-2B Interim Final Rules and how they impact the H-2B program and employers, including a new requirement of registration, recruitment procedures, and the crucial need to navigate the various phases of the process with meticulous attention to detail to timelines and requirements.  The H-2B program is continually evolving, and now is moving towards paralysis.  

The H-2B registration process is not yet operational.  The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has not...

Apr
9

Justice Scalia's Death: What It Means for United States v. Texas

The Supreme Court of the United States is set to decide United States v. Texas, the case regarding the constitutionality of President Obama's new immigration policies, in June 2016. When Antonin Scalia---one of the nine Justices on the Supreme Court---passed away, the outcome of this monumental case became more uncertain.

President Obama proposed a new immigration policy in November 2014. The name of these programs is expanded DACA (expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Residents). These programs would allow...

Apr
8

The Latest Immigration Rumors - Truth v. Fiction

The past few months have been a busy time in the world of immigration law.  We know many people are struggling to filter truth from rumor.  In a climate like this, it can be hard to know what to believe and how to plan for the days ahead.  Here is what we know today, and possibly expect tomorrow under the current administration.   

The Travel Ban(s)

The Executive Orders addressing refugees and issuing visas has understandably caused a lot of confusion. The situation with this order is changing as litigation continues around the country to stop the travel ban(s) and at the moment the...

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