Immigration Blog

Eliza Grinberg's picture

Five New Immigration Judges Sworn in on February 8, 2018

On February 8, 2018, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) announced the swearing in of five new immigration judges. The five new immigration judges, who will sit on five separate immigration courts (Elizabeth Immigration Court; Atlanta Immigration Court; Portland Immigration Court; San Francisco Immigration Court; and Adelanto Immigration Court), were appointed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The investiture ceremony for the new immigration judges was held on February 8, 2018. We will list the five new immigration judges with brief biographical information.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

BIA Amicus Invitation No. 18-02-14: “Removability & Aggravated Felony Definitions”

On February 14, 2018, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued Amicus Invitation No. 18-02-14, titled “Removability & Aggravated Felony Definitions.” The purpose of the BIA Amicus Invitation is to invite interested members of the public to file amicus briefs with the BIA on the issues presented in the invitation. Responses to the BIA Amicus Invitation are due by March 16, 2018. We will review the issues presented in this post.

Wendy Barlow's picture

Indictments in Alleged P3 Visa Fraud Scheme

On February 8, 2018, a 15-count indictment was unsealed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York against three individuals – Stella Boyadjian, Hrachya Atoyan, and Diana Grigoryan (aka “Dina Akopovna”) for their roles in a multi-year visa fraud scheme involving the P3 visa program. The purpose of their visa fraud scheme was to bring Armenian citizens into the United States for profit. The 15-counts against the defends included “multiple counts of visa fraud and with conspiring to defraud the United States, commit visa fraud and illegally bring aliens into the United States.” Boyadjian and Grigoryan also face money laundering charges that are related to the visa fraud scheme. Boyadijian was also charged with identity theft.

Eliza Grinberg's picture

DOL Will Not Begin Releasing H2B Temporary Labor Certifications Until February 20, 2018

On February 7, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will not begin releasing H2B temporary labor certifications until February 20, 2018. This is “due to an unprecedented number of applications.”

Alexander J. Segal's picture

Strong Support for Israel's Right to Defend Itself from DOS and DOD

On February 9, 2018, the Israeli military intercepted an Iranian drone in Israeli airspace. In response, the Israeli Air Force struck the Iranian base in Syria from whence the drone had been dispatched. After an Israeli F-16 took damage in the raid, the Israeli military responded by striking twelve Syrian and Iranian positions in Syria. While the United States has always been Israel’s most significant international backer, its statements in support of Israel’s right to defend itself from attacks foreign or domestic have often been equivocal. Generations of Americans are have been accustomed to hearing pleas from the United States and others for calm on “both sides” whenever there is violence involving Israel, regardless of the initial aggressor or cause of the violence.. This language was not employed only with regard to Israel’s foreign wars, but also to its handling of domestic terror within its own borders With the history of U.S.-Israeli relations in mind, I was pleasantly surprised to see an unequivocal statement of support for Israel’s position from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), which has seldom been the U.S. agency most predisposed to stand with Israel. Furthermore, Secretary of Defense James Mattis also released a clear statement of support for the Israeli position.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

Archived Article: Overview of the Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin

Often, those in the third category face long wait times from the filing of an affirmative asylum application to the scheduling of an asylum interview. In order to give applicants in the third category an idea of when they may expect their asylum interview to occur, the USCIS publishes a monthly “Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin.” This article explains how the Bulletin works and how to use the Bulletin.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

DOJ Settles With Pro-Israel Group Over IRS Targeting Allegations

Here, I will post about an interesting conclusion to a non-immigration story. On February 1, 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it has entered into a settlement agreement with Z Street, a pro-Israel non-profit organization, over alleged improper targeting by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Alexander J. Segal's picture

My Thoughts on the DACA Legalization Debate

I regularly answer questions about immigration on several websites, including Quora. On January 31, 2018, I came across an interesting question that I felt warranted a long answer and, now, a blog post. The question read as follows: “Why does Trump plan to give citizenship to illegal immigrants over immigrants?” In this post, I explain why Congress should work with the White House to offer legalization and a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and other similarly situated individuals, but why this legislation must be accompanied by measures to increase border security and other structural changes to the immigration system.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

DHS Announces Refugee Screening Enhancements

On January 31, 2018, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has devised additional security enhancements for the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). These security enhancements are in response to the 90-day review ordered by President Donald Trump in his October 24, 2017 Executive Order 13815, which built off directives in his March 6, 2017 Executive Order 13780. In this post, we will briefly examine the DHS news release and explain what it means going forward.

Wendy Barlow's picture

Alex Azar Sworn in as New Secretary of Health and Human Services

After being confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 55-43, Alex Azar was sworn in as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in a ceremony at the White House on January 29, 2018. In this post, we provide notes on the Azar swearing in and what the HHS does in the immigration context.

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