Feb
14

The Revised Visa Bulletin: Tempering Your Expectations

The Revised Visa Bulletin: Tempering Your Expectations

The debate around comprehensive immigration reform has long had many detractors decrying earned legalization as “amnesty” for people who should instead head “to the back of the line.”

What is little understood is exactly what is meant by “the line;” who is eligible to wait in it; and how infinitely long this line can be.  Surprising to many is the fact that not every intending immigrant can simply jump into the line.  Currently, aside from certain humanitarian-based cases such as asylum, U Visas or Temporary Protected...

Feb
14

When Is a Conviction a Crime of Violence - the evolving interpretation of 18 USC Section 16

Challenging the Use of 18 U.S.C. § 16(b) in Deportation Proceedings.

The Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984 (ACCA) is a federal law that provides sentence enhancements for felons in possession of a firearm, if the felon has three or more previous convictions for a “violent felony.” The term “violent felony” includes any felony that “involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.” 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B). This portion of the definition, known as the “residual clause,” is unique in that it is not focused on the elements of a conviction...

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...

Dec
27

Proving Extreme Hardship - Holding the Government to a Standard of Law

Extreme Hardship doesn’t have to be so hard.  On October 7, 2015, USCIS shared its draft "extreme hardship" policy memo, created with the goal of better defining the standard applied to various types of waivers.  The draft memo was happily received more than ten months after President Obama announced the endeavor with various other, more popular strides like the expansion of DACA and proposed creation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or “DAPA.”

An extreme hardship waiver may be required where someone has been in the US unlawfully for more...

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...

Nov
29

The Investment Subsidiary and the E visa

It is well known that citizens of certain countries may enter the United States to establish a trade relationship with their home country or to invest in the United States.  Few people, however, know that companies can establish the same relationship as the individual investor.  This novelty in the law allows for some very flexible opportunities and creates the capacity to move personnel quickly from abroad into the United States.

The E visa has two categories: the E-1 visa for treaty traders and E-2 visa for treaty investors.  Both are temporary, nonimmigrant visas for individual 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

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
1

Immigration Courts Must Consider Conditional Parole as an Alternative to Bond

In recent years, Immigration Judges (“IJs”) have universally denied requests for conditional parole under section 236(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”). IJs countrywide read this statutory provision to mean that a minimum $1,500 bond is required for releasing a detained immigrant. As a result of this interpretation, many indigent and low-income immigrants stay locked up in detention facilities because they could not afford to pay monetary bonds. Many of these individuals do not pose any public safety concerns, and alternative release conditions would...

Oct
11

New Rules, More Planning - the need to act now for H-2Bs in 2016

H-2B Temporary Visas Changes Make Now the Time to Act

Employers can seek to hire foreign nationals from certain countries to perform nonagricultural labor of services in the United States through the H-2B program.  H-2B visas can be issued for both skilled and unskilled labor in the United States, although H-2B visas are more typically issued for the landscaping, construction, and tourism and hospitality industries. 

In April 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) and Department Homeland Security published new regulations that made many changes to the H-2B program.  These changes make

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