Immigration Blog

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.

Eliza Grinberg's picture

DOJ Restricts the Use of Guidance Documents in Affirmative Civil Enforcement Cases

On November 16, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum on prohibiting the use of improper guidance documents. The memorandum assigned Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, the third highest ranking appointee in the Department of Justice (DOJ), to identify previously issued guidance documents that should be replaced. On December 21, 2017, Attorney General Sessions rescinded 25 guidance documents that had been issued over the past several decades. On January 25, 2018, Associate Attorney General Brand issued a memorandum titled “Limiting Use of Agency Guidance Documents In Affirmative Civil Enforcement Cases.” In this article, we will examine the contents of the Brand Memo and what it may mean going forward.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Hear DACA Case

On January 16, 2018, the Trump administration petitioned for a writ of certiorari before judgment in United States Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California. In this case, William J. Alsup, a judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, enjoined on several grounds the Trump Administration’s efforts to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Wendy Barlow's picture

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear "Travel Ban" Case

On January 19, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari in Trump v. Hawaii, one of the challenges to Presidential Proclamation 9645. more commonly known as the third version of the “travel ban.” This order means that the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case this term – possibly in March – and likely issue a decision by June. It is important to note that the travel restrictions in Presidential Proclamation 9645 are currently in effect in full due to the Supreme Court having previously stayed two separate injunctions against the restrictions.

Alexander J. Segal's picture

Release of 2018 HHS Poverty Guidelines

On January 17, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the new poverty guidelines. These new poverty guidelines became applicable on January 13, 2018. In the immigration context, the HHS poverty guidelines are applicable both in the public charge context and in the fee waiver context.

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