Immigration Law

USCIS Announces Semi-Annual Cap Met for H-2B Visas

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services just reported that, as of January 26, 2015, the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the first half of fiscal year (FY) 2015 has been reached. H-2B Visas are issued to temporary non-agricultural workers from foreign countries every year. The program enables employers having difficulty finding employees for positions available at their firms to fill them with workers from overseas that have the requisite skills for the job. January 26, 2015 was…

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Half of the States Seek Injunction to Halt President’s Executive Order

Attorneys for the State of Texas went in to federal court this week to argue that President Obama’s executive action on immigration, announced last November, is illegal and that immigration officials who enforce the new measures will be breaking the law. Along with about half of the states, the attorneys for the large border state had the opportunity for oral argument in the U.S. District Court in Brownsville, Texas which itself resides on the southern border with Mexico.…

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DHS Funding Bill Intending to Block Obama’s Immigration Measures Fails

The United State Senate failed for the second time to pass a bill funding the Department of Homeland Security which also contained provisions which would undo President Obama’s executive order issued last November regarding immigration. This bill, passed originally by the House of Representatives as a means to reverse the President’s directives opening up the opportunity for many undocumented immigrants to stay and work in the United States on a temporary basis, did not secure the…

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N.Y.C Issues Municipal IDs for City’s Residents Including Undocumented Immigrant

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio just announced a municipal identification card program which offers all residents regardless of immigration status a form of ID that is valid for interactions with city government and law enforcement agencies. The card will be accepted as valid primary identification at some city banks and credit unions, city government buildings, schools and hospitals that require photo ID. Supporters of the program believe it will serve as a model for other cities…

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Bill in the House Unlikely to Roll Back Executive Actions on Immigration

Since President Obama announced his executive order in November of last year deferring deportations for certain groups of undocumented immigrants now in the country and allowing them to apply for temporary work permits, the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives has not been bashful about expressing its views on the move. Calling it an illegal overreach by the executive branch of government, various members of the majority caucus in that legislative body have promoted various…

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Cancellation of Secure Communities Gives Some Immigrants A New Chance

Among the directives advanced by President Obama’s executive order issued in November of last year was the termination of the Secure Communities program. When hatched in 2008 during the previous administration, Secure Communities connected local and state police departments across the country with federal immigration enforcement. As Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents became aware that certain undocumented immigrants were charged with any crimes, misdemeanors or felonies, ICE would issue a detainer to the local law…

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Police Chiefs & Sheriffs’ Groups Back Legality of Obama’s Immigration Order

Prior to last week’s hearing in Texas where attorneys for half of the country’s states asked a federal judge to find that President Obama’s executive order pertaining to immigration is illegal, two national police chiefs' associations and 27 individual police chiefs and sheriffs filed a brief supporting its legality. The amicus (friend of the court) brief was signed by the police chiefs of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia and Denver, and the sheriffs of Dallas County…

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Travelling Away from the United States as a Permanent Resident

Immigrants to America who have achieved permanent residence status can travel abroad but those leaving for lengthier periods, particularly over one year, may face difficulties reentering the United States at the end of their travels. Those permanent residents going overseas will need to present a passport from their country of citizenship or their refugee travel document. The foreign country to which the resident is travelling may have additional visa requirements. When returning to the country, they…

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Obama’s Executive Order Seeks to Keep People with LPR Status with Family Members

One of the lesser discussed aspects of President Obama’s unilateral initiative to reform the country’s immigration system involves the component which affects individuals currently enjoying or applying for lawful permanent resident status (LPR). Under current law, there are many situations in which family members get separated from the individuals who are American citizens or who have already achieved LPR status under American law. The executive order the President announced in November of last year addresses this…

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Making Permanent Residency Actually Permanent For Family Members

While many immigrants come to the United States to marry their American husband or wife, those spouses who have been married for less than two years at the time immigration authorities officially bestow legal status, may merely obtain conditional permanent residency. Federal immigration law sets this initial durational limit on the practice of gaining permanent residency through marriage as a means to deter people from using the institution of matrimony strictly as a pretext to become…

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