Shortly after President Donald Trump was sworn into office on January 20, 2017, the United States Senate voted to confirm John F. Kelly as the fifth Secretary of Homeland Security by a vote of 88-11. Now-Secretary Kelly was sworn into office later on the same day. In his new capacity, Secretary Kelly will oversee the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
In significant news, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate to cut off funding to the United Nations until it reverses the recent anti-Israel Security Council vote. You may read the text of the “Safeguard Israel Act” here. The text of the legislation includes several poignant critiques of the United Nations resolution along with an appropriately severe response.
On January 9, 2017, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued an Amicus Invitation No. 17-01-09. This means that the Board is asking for amicus – “friend of the court” – briefs on a specific issue. Amicus Invitation No. 17-01-09 is about the “material support bar.” Briefs are due by February 8, 2017.
On January 5, 2017, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued Amicus Invitation No. 17-01-05, asking for briefs on the issue of whether the federal offense of misprision of a felony under 18 U.S.C. 4 is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and on the collateral issue of the possible retroactive effect of a ruling. Briefs are due by February 6, 2017. In this article we will offer a brief overview of the issues and what the Board wants interested members of the public to address in amicus curiae (“friends of the court”) briefs.
On December 23, 2016, the new fee schedule for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) forms went into effect. In accordance with the new fee schedule, the USCIS released new editions of affected USCIS forms. On December 29, 2016, the USCIS announced that it would accept prior versions of the affected forms, with the exception of the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, until February 21, 2017. However, if an application is filed on an older version of the form, the application must still be filed with the new filing fee. The USCIS nevertheless encourages applicants to use the new editions of the affected forms even if filing prior to February 21, 2017. Forms that were filed or postmarked before December 23, 2016, are unaffected.
On December 23, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule in the Federal Register that removed the regulations underlying the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) program. In this article, we will examine what the NSEERS program was, what the repeal means, and how it may affect the immigration plans of the incoming Trump Administration.
Earlier today, I drafted a long blog post about President Obama’s betrayal of Israel and of American values at the United Nations. After finishing my post, I came across a very interesting op-ed on the same issues by the Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick, titled “Our World: Obama’s war against America.” In this post, I will examine some the salient points in Glick’s op-ed, and offer my thoughts as an addendum to my main blog post.
On December 23, 2016, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, abstained from a vote to condemn Israel “settlements” in the West Bank. As a result of this dereliction of conscience, the United States allowed a virulent anti-Israel resolution to pass the United Nations Security Council. The effect of this position is to make the policy of the United Nations – and the outgoing administration of President Barack Obama – that all Israeli “settlements” and “settlers” in so-called “Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967” illegal. To be clear, it is now the position of President Obama that Israeli settlements in the Jewish Quarter of the Jerusalem’s Old City are illegal. In this article, I will examine the contents of this disgraceful resolution that President Obama supported and allowed to pass, reasons why President Obama’s final betrayal of Israel should surprise no one, and how President-Elect Trump, the unified Republican Congress, and the Israeli Government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be able to respond after President-Elect Trump takes office on January 20, 2017.
In this article, I would like to highlight a particularly absurd anti-Semitic incident from the United Nations in September of 2016. Although it pales in comparison to the actions of the United Nations on the first day of Hanukkah on the 23rd of September, it will provide us with a useful template for understanding the United Nations’ pathological hatred of the Jewish state and its people. After reading this article, please see my full article on President Obama’s disgrace at the United Nations, and my thoughts on where the United States under a President Trump and a unified Republican Congress can go after the country is finally rid of President Obama in the White House.