Immigration Blog

Wendy Barlow's picture

USCIS Posts Ellis Island Documentary

On April 26, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), with the support of the National Park Service, released a documentary video titled “USCIS and the Legacy of Ellis Island”. The video examines the story of Ellis Island when it was an immigration processing center from 1892-1954, with first-hand accounts from those who worked there. The documentary also connects the legacy of Ellis Island to the mission of the current USCIS.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

Visa Bulletin for May 2018

On April 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the Visa Bulletin for May 2018. The May 2018 Visa Bulletin contains dates for filing and application final action dates for beneficiaries of approved family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant visa preference petitions in that month. On April 16, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determined that beneficiaries of approved family-sponsored preference petitions must use the filing dates from the May 2018 Visa Bulletin in order to determine whether they are eligible to apply for adjustment of status, whereas similarly-situated beneficiaries of approved employment-based petitions must use the later final action date. In this article, we will examine the relevant charts and the important news and notes from the May 2018 Visa Bulletin.

Eliza Grinberg's picture

Acting Director of ICE Thomas Homan to Retire

On May 1, 2018, the acting Director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Thomas D. Homan, announced his retirement from federal service. His retirement will not take effect until June because he agreed to the request by Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen that he remain for an additional month in order to assist with transition planning. Homan’s resignation is especially notable because President Trump had nominated him on November 14, 2017, to become the permanent Director of ICE.

Wendy Barlow's picture

Mike Pompeo Sworn in as 70th Secretary of State

On March 31, 2018, Mike Pompeo was confirmed by the United States Senate by a vote of 57-42 as the 70th U.S. Secretary of State. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) is responsible for visa issuance abroad and plays a significant role in many immigration programs, making the Secretary of State a highly significant figure in immigration law. In this post, we will discuss Secretary Pompeo's background and some of his previously articulated positions on immigration policy.

Eliza Grinberg's picture

New Immigration Judge Sworn In to Serve on Arlington Immigration Court

On April 23, 2018, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) announced the swearing in of a new immigration judge at the Arlington Immigration Court in Virginia.

Wendy Barlow's picture

ICE Increases Arrests of Applicants at Interviews for Marriage-Based Immigrant Visas

On April 19, 2018, the New York Times published an interesting article titled “A Marriage Used to Prevent Deportation. Not Anymore.” The article discusses situations in which individuals with outstanding final orders of removal seek immigrant visas based on bona fide marriages to U.S. citizens. The article suggests, based on individual accounts and testimony from immigration attorneys, that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been arresting an increasing number of such individuals when they appear for interviews related to their immigrant visa petitions with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Eliza Grinberg's picture

USCIS Assists in Two Significant Immigration Fraud Prosecutions

On April 20, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a news release detailing how its Los Angeles Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) unit assisted in the investigation and ultimately successful prosecution of two immigration fraud perpetrators. In this post, we will examine both of the immigration fraud cases discussed in the news release.

Eliza Grinberg's picture

Russian Tourists Affected by Slow Visa Processing

On April 22, 2018, the Washington Post published an interesting article titled “Frustrated at visa holdup, Russians give up on American vacations.” The article quotes several prospective Russian visitors to the United States who are struggling to procure tourist visas. Due to the closure of the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg and consular staff reductions throughout Russia, the article explains that the next available visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow “is in 250 days’ time.” This is compared to the situation one year ago, where the article noted that “obtaining a U.S. tourist visa could take less than a week.”

Alexander J. Segal's picture

CBP Reports Sharp Increase in Apprehensions/Inadmissibles at SW Border in March 2018

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported a sharp rise in March of 2018 in both the number of individuals apprehended along the Southwest border and the number of individuals determined by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to be inadmissible at the Southwest border. The numbers in both categories were higher than in previous months of the current fiscal year and the combined numbers were more than triple the number of apprehensions/inadmissibles in March 2017. We will review the relevant statistics in this post.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

DOS Reviews Japanese Laws Affecting Certain Intercountry Adoption Cases

On April 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) stated that it is currently reviewing Japanese law regarding the transfer of custody of a child without a court order. The DOS stated that the transfer of custody of a child without a court order “may affect a child’s eligibility for an adoption-based visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act.”

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