Immigration Blog

Government Brings Civil Denaturalization Charges Against Four Individuals

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On November 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the United States Government filed civil complaints in the District of Minnesota against four individuals who are alleged to have fraudulently procured U.S. citizenship. The individuals face potential civil denaturalization. In this article, we will examine the facts alleged in the complaints.

Natalia Veselnitskaya Denied Parole For Hearing in Prevezon Case

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An interesting case arose recently involving the denial of immigration parole for a prominent Russian lawyer seeking to represent a client in litigation in the United States. On November 3, 2017, Judge William H. Pauley III of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a memorandum and order in United States of America v. Prevezon Holdings, LTD, No. 13-cv-6326 (WHP) (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 3, 2017). A pre-motion conference in the case was scheduled for November 9, 2017. The memorandum and order of Judge Pauley concerned Prevezon’s request for him to order the Government to offer immigration parole to its attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, to participate in a hearing on November 9, 2017. In this article, we examine why Judge Pauley declined to order the Government to offer Veselnitskaya parole for the hearing.

Israeli Judoka Tal Flicker Triumphs Over Discrimination in Abu Dhabi Judo Competition

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From October 26 to 28, the “Abu Dhabi Judo Grand Slam” took place in the city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE, like the majority of Muslim-majority countries in the region, has no diplomatic relations with Israel and is outright hostile toward the Jewish people. Unsurprisingly, and despite warnings from the International Jewish Federation, the UAE decided to act in an egregiously discriminatory manner toward the twelve athletes competing for Israel at the international competition. The highlight of the event came from the talented judoka Tal Flicker, who competes in the under 66 kg division. Flicker captured Gold, but unsurprisingly, found himself standing under the flag of the International Judo Federation instead of Israel when he took to the top step of the podium. Adding to the disgraceful conduct of his hosts, the anthem of the International Judo Federation played instead of that of his own country. However, after triumphing over his opponents to claim Gold, Flicker triumphed over his hosts by singing his own Hatikava while the Judo Federation anthem played.

Thoughts on the Diversity Visa Lottery Debate

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On October 31, 2017, an Islamist terrorist named Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov perpetrated a heinous Islamist terrorist attack in lower Manhattan, murdering eight individuals. Saipov is a lawful permanent resident and native and citizen of Uzbekistan. He came to the United States along with numerous relatives as a winner of the diversity visa lottery in 2010. The diversity visa lottery, which allocates up to 50,000 visas per year for individuals from countries that are not well-represented in U.S. immigration, has been a consistent source of debate since its enacting legislation was signed in 1990. In this post, I explain why the diversity visas should be reallocated to individuals based on merit rather than based on nationality.

Immigration Aspects of New Trump Memorandum on Cuba Policy

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On June 16, 2017, President Donald Trump issued a memorandum to his administration titled “Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba.” On October 20, 2017, the memo was published in the Federal Register (FR) at 82 FR 48875. In this post, we will examine in brief the provisions of the memo that implicate U.S. immigration policy. We will also reference more recent and related developments involving immigration and Cuban nationals. Those who are interested in learning about what the memo has to say regarding U.S. policy toward Cuba generally, including on travel to Cuba, may read the memo as published in the Federal Register.

DOS Update on NIV Applications by Nationals of Russia and Turkey

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On October 19, 2017, representatives from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) asked a U.S. Department of State (DOS) liaison whether the DOS had designated alternative posts for nationals of Russia and Turkey to apply for nonimmigrant visas. In both cases, the DOS did not indicate that it had designated any posts for Russian and Turkish nationals. Instead, it stated that “[f]or [nonimmigrant visas], the absence of any designation of alternative posts generally allows applicants to apply wherever they are physically present.”

Supreme Court Dismisses Last Remaining Challenge to Executive Order 13780

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On October 24, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States dismissed the second of two challenges to provisions of President Donald Trump’s March 6, 2017 Executive Order 13780. The Trump Administration had appealed from an adverse decision in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Trump v. IRAP) and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Trump v. Hawaii). The Supreme Court’s decision to also vacate both lower court decisions in accord with Munsingwear is significant because, as a result, neither decision will have value as precedent going forward.

USCIS Releases New Policy on Treatment of Extension Petitions in Certain NIV Categories

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On October 23, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services released a new Policy Memorandum (PM-602-0151) titled “Rescission of Guidance Regarding Deference to Prior Determinations of Eligibility in the Adjudication of Petitions for Extension of Nonimmigrant Status”. The new Policy Memorandum instructs USCIS officers who are adjudicating extension petitions that they should apply the same level of scrutiny to extension petitions that they apply to initial petitions in certain nonimmigrant visa categories. This blog includes a link to our full article on the subject.

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