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Obama Administration Weighs New Limits On Deportations

As the White House awaits a recommendation from the Director of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, in response to President’s Obama’s request that Johnson provide him with his options for curtailing deportations of undocumented aliens, a debate has ensued concerning how much authority the President has to act without Congressional involvement and what political effect any actions he may take may in fact have. The concern among the President’s advisers stem from statements made by Republican members…

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Mental Illness Not A Basis For Asylum

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision that a person subject to removal from the United States cannot assert mental illness as a basis for seeking asylum in order to avoid being sent to one’s home country. In the appeal, Berisha v. Holder, No. 13-3490 (Ct. App. 6th Cir. 2014), Mark Vasel Berisha, a native and citizen of Albania, sought to have the ruling of Board of Immigration Appeal (BIA)- which itself upheld the Immigration…

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USCIS Issues Update On DACA Renewals

On April 9, 2014 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued an update concerning DACA renewals.  DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Process, constitutes a procedure put in place in 2012 by the Obama Administration to address the issue of deportation of children who have spent most of their lives in the United States having been brought to the country through no fault of their own. DACA has been utilized by approximately 800,000 children. Those who…

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Qualifying For Release While Facing Removal

It was considered conventional wisdom that the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 ("IIRIRA") established that detention under this authority is mandatory, does not provide for the possibility of release on bond, and does not require that the Executive Branch at any time justify its conduct. But a ruling from the federal appellate circuit which reviews cases from district courts in New Jersey and neighboring states indicated in 2011 that, in some circumstances,…

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The Absolute Necessity Of Filing In The Correct Court

Volumes have been written about the distinctions between the federal and state court systems. Each system has its own jurisdictional requirements. Federal courts generally have more restrictions on the types of cases which they possess the authority to hear. A recent case from a United States District Court in New Jersey reiterates these limitations. The case involved a Honduran national who, all the way back in 1991, pled guilty to a drug offense in the Superior…

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USCIS Only To Accept Updated Version Of Form N-400 After May 4, 2014

The USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) have updated the Form N-400 which applicants must submit for naturalization in an effort to enhance the quality of the experience for those using the form. It should be noted the eligibility requirements for naturalization have not been altered and most of the information on the form is the same. But the revised form does possess several new features. First, the instructions and formatting have been improved.  The…

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Senegalese Woman And Husband Lose Appeal In Removal Case

A Senegalese woman and her husband who gained admission into the United States in 2000 and 2001 respectively, but have overstayed their visas, sought to prevent their removal from the country. The wife, Billo Fall, claimed that, because she feared that she and her daughters would be subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) if they returned to their home country, she should qualify for Convention Against Torture (CAT).  Ms. Fall claimed before the Immigration Judge hearing…

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Battle Over Enlist Amendment To Defense Appropriation Ensues

A Republican Congressman from California, Jeff Denham, has resumed his commitment to forge a path to legal status for undocumented aliens who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. The co-author of the ENLIST Act, Rep. Denham has once again sought to attach an amendment creating the Act to the annual defense appropriation act known as the NDAA, or National Defense Authorization Act. He faces opposition from his own party whose members claim that the bill authorizing…

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Problems With Immigration Services Computer Systems Partially Fixed

The U.S. Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (“EOIR) announced on May 19 that they had repaired “bugs in their computer systems which hindered or prevented immigration authorities from performing many of their duties.  They managed to get their computer systems running again after suffering a “catastrophic hardware failure that had plagued their case management system for deportation cases. In a prepared statement, however, they did note that the Executive Office for Immigration Review continues…

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Florida Legislature Passes In-state Tuition For Children Of Undocumented Aliens

The Florida Legislature just passed legislation allowing children of immigrants who came here as youths to pay in-state tuition rates to attend the state’s public colleges and universities. The passage of the bill which the governor intends to sign marks a shift for the state’s legislative bodies which, just three years ago, focused its attention towards enforcement issues when addressing immigration matters. Since that time, however, some parts of immigration laws passed by other states, such…

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