When Immigration Matters

Trump Administration Seeks Additional Time to Reunite Families Separated at Border

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Mon, Jul 09, 2018 @ 12:09 AM

On June 20, 2018, President Trump issued an executive order which, on its face, appeared to reunite immigrant children with their parents from whom they had been separated at the border.  In reality, the executive order has created additional chaos and revealed the incompetence, disarray and lack of leadership in the current administration.  Initially, the administration indicated that it would reunite all children younger than 5 with their families by a July 10, 2018 deadline. Yet, just one day after that announcement, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar notified the public that the administration would not meet that deadline and that it needed an extension. Sarah Fabian, an attorney for the Justice Department, explained that the administration does not know where over 20% of those young children are because their parents were released from ICE custody. In a status hearing with United States District Court Judge Dana Sabraw of the Southern District of California, government lawyers stated that they would only be able to reunify about half of the 100 children under the age of 5 by the court mandated deadline of July 10. The lawyers also admitted that they could not locate the parents of 38 migrant children under the age of 5.  The parents of 19 of the children  have been released from custody into the United States and their whereabouts are unknown.  The parents of the remaining 19 children have been deported. 

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Trump's Travel Ban Upheld by US Supreme Court

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Mon, Jul 02, 2018 @ 10:53 AM

On June 24, 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Trump v. Hawaii to uphold a travel ban from seven predominantly Muslim countries:  North Korea, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Venezuela. The 5-4 ruling by the Court is the first substantive decision on a Trump administrative policy and sends a strong message that Trump has expansive powers under immigration law to protect national borders.  Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts stated that the president had ample statutory authority to make national security judgments in the realm of immigration. Roberts argued that the ban wasn’t anti-Muslim because it was “facially neutral” and that it was within the president’s legitimate exercise of his power to defend the United States through immigration courts.  “The sole prerequisite,” Roberts wrote, “is that the entry of covered aliens’ ‘would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.’  The president has undoubtedly fulfilled that requirement here.” Roberts explained that Trump had ordered an evaluation of every country’s compliance with the risk assessment and then issued his findings. “Based on that review, the president found that restricting entry of aliens who could not be vetted with adequate information was in the national interest.”  Roberts argued that although the ban applies to five countries with Muslim majority populations, “that fact alone does not support an inference of religious hostility.” Those countries contained only 8% of the world’s Muslim population.

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Trump's "Zero Tolerance" Policy Executive Order: Where are We Now?

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Wed, Jun 27, 2018 @ 1:01 PM

President Trump’s executive order on immigrant children seeks a balance between his “zero tolerance” policy for families crossing the border and ending the practice of separating children from their parents.   The June 20, 2018 executive order came after growing criticism of Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, which calls for prosecution of all immigrants who come to the United States illegally. Trump’s policy required parents and children travelling together to be separated.  Parents were referred for prosecution and taken into federal custody.  Children were taken to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, which placed them with sponsors (e.g., family members) or sent them to shelters or foster homes.  Under Trump’s executive order, parents will now be detained alongside their children.  Although Trump claims that the executive order adequately addresses the fervent public criticism about his immigration policy, the order raises new and unsolved issues.

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The Possible Rescission of the H-4 Visa Rule

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 @ 7:00 AM

The Trump administration recently reconfirmed its intent to rescind the H-4 visa rule on employment authorization to certain spouses of H-1B visa holders.  Under a rule introduced by the Obama administration in 2015, the spouses of H-1B holders who are waiting for green cards are eligible to work in the United States on H-4 dependent visas.   The H1-B visa is a non-immigrant visa that permits companies in the United States to employ foreign workers in its specialty occupations. The visas are valid for three years and can be renewed for another three years.  The program is popular in the tech community and has its greatest impact on foreigners from South Asia. 

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Sessions’ Decision Leaves Thousands of U.S. Asylum Claims in Doubt

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Mon, Jun 18, 2018 @ 6:17 PM

On June 11, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered federal judges to stop granting asylum to the tens of thousands of applicants who claim to be fleeing their countries due to domestic abuse and gang violence. Sessions determined that refugee or asylum status should be limited only to those individuals who can establish that the persecution they are suffering in their country of origin is based on their membership in a “particular social group” with a “common immutable characteristic.”  Sessions asserted that, in the majority of cases, victims of domestic violence or gang related persecution did not constitute membership in such a group.  

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The History of DACA

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Wed, Jun 06, 2018 @ 11:15 PM

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an American immigration policy that allows some individuals who were brought to the United States illegally as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit in the United States.  It is important to note that DACA provides temporary residency, it does not provide a path to citizenship for its recipients.  According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you may request DACA if you:

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Have 1500 Children Gone Missing Because of Trump’s Immigration Policy?

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Wed, May 30, 2018 @ 6:13 PM

Over the past week, the news has been flooded with horrifying allegations that Trump’s immigration policy has forced the separation of immigrant children from their parents at the border and that 1500 of these children have been “lost.” It is imperative that we acknowledge that these are really two different issues that have become conflated: (1) are 1500 children really missing; and (2) did Trump’s immigration policy cause these children to go missing?  Recent reports claim that the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) has lost track of up to 1500 immigrant children and there have been allegations that these children were forcibly separated from their parents at the border. Outrage over the treatment of children taken into custody at the Southwest border has prompted people to flood social media with tweets and calls to action with the hashtags #Wherearethechildren and #MissingChildren.   But how accurate are these claims circulating online?  Is Trump’s new immigration policy the cause of these missing children?  What is really going on?

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MEMORIAL DAY: A Time to Reflect on This Great Nation and The Soldiers Who Made The Ultimate Sacrifice

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Mon, May 28, 2018 @ 12:26 PM

Although Memorial Day has become associated with barbecues, beach trips, department store sales and the beginning of summer, it is actually a somber day of remembrance to honor the men and women who have died in service of our nation. It is a day to take pause from the busyness of our own lives and pay tribute to those who gave their lives to protect the freedoms that we currently enjoy.  It is a time to reflect on the wonderful privileges that we have been afforded by this country and the sacrifices that so many men and women have made to truly make America the greatest country in the world.

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Karen-Lee Pollak Quoted in TechHQ About H-1B Restrictions Motivating Tech Talent to Move to Canada

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Thu, May 17, 2018 @ 11:46 AM

H-1B visas are becoming harder to get, forcing local businesses to set up shop in Canada - who has a more friendly program for tech and high skilled workers.

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Potential Changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Wed, May 16, 2018 @ 2:38 PM

In 1990, Congress created the EB-5 Program to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign entrepreneurs.  In 1992, Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the Regional Center Program.  The USCIS determines whether a business is eligible for treatment as a Regional Center based on the business’proposal for the promotion of economic growth. Under these programs (“EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program”), foreign entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21) are eligible to apply for green cards if they: (1) make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States ($1,000,000 for a basic business or $500,000 for a business located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), i.e., a rural area or area with high unemployment); and (2) plan to create or preserve at least ten full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. 

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