Asylum Seekers who Fear Domestic Abuse or LGBTQ Persecution Ineligible for U.S. Asylum

Asylum seekers can no longer seek asylum in the U.S. citing fears of domestic abuse, gang violence or fear as a LGBTQ individual .  On June 11, 2018, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions referred a Board of Immigration Appeals case to himself and issued a decision stating members of particular “social groups,” including domestic violence victims and LGBTQ individuals cannot file a petition for asylum.  He reversed an immigration appeals court ruling that granted it to a Salvadoran woman who said she had been sexually, emotionally and physically abused by her husband (Matter of AB-, 27 I&N Dec. 227 (A.G. 2018)).

Asylum, the right to remain in the country,requires proof that an immigrant faces persecution because of his or her race, religion, nationality, political views or membership in a particular social group. It includes private abuses that the home government is unable or unwilling to control. (more…)

Five Ways Trump Successfully Cut Immigration Benefits

“When it comes to putting immigrants on a path to deportation, it doesn’t seem to matter how long they’ve been here, the conditions they fled in the first place, the contributions they have made or the impact on their families, employers and communities, or the fact that they’ve had legal status for years and years,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a progressive immigration reform advocacy group.  “The bottom line seems to be this: get ready to get out; this is especially true if you are from what the president calls ‘shithole countries,’ ” he added.  The termination of special protection programs show that Trump and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen are “intent on driving millions of immigrants out of the country.” 

#1: DACA

In September 2017, Trump ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the decision directly affected around 690,000 so-called Dreamers — immigrants who arrived in the country illegally as minors who were given an employment card and deportation protection.

The 690,000 pre-enrolled DACA recipients can currently maintain and renew their two-year permits thanks to a federal court order against Trump’s move to end the program. But uncertainty over the program’s future has created a slew of other issues for the program’s beneficiaries.

#2: TPS

Under Trump, the Department of Homeland Security has announced the end of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 260,000 Salvadorans, 60,000 Haitians, 5,000 Nicaraguans and a few hundred Sudanese.  Salvadoran TPS has been renewed every 18 months since 2001, after two earthquakes hit the country.  TPS allows citizens of countries that are going through man-made or natural disasters to live and work in the United States.

#3: ICE

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the federal government’s top immigration law enforcement agency.  Under Trump, the agency has become “unshackled,” allowing it to prioritize for deportation immigrants who were deemed out of bounds by previous administrations.  ICE can no longer use prosecutorial discretion to stop or pause deportation so the deportee can remain united with his U.S. citizen spouse or minor child.  Trump implementation of the Criminal Alien Program also denies bond to permanent residents facing criminal cases (even though not convicted and simple charged with deportable offense).  Trump has also placed new performance matrix on immigration judges creating unattainable timeframes for completing an immigration case resulting in a deportation mill at the immigration court.

#4: USCIS

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the agency that grants visas, permanent residency and citizenship to foreign applicants.  Under Trump, USCIS Director Francis Cissna changed the agency’s mission statement, removing references to the United States as a “nation of immigrants” in favor of language about “protecting Americans.”

USCIS is considering a proposal to tighten the rules on foreign citizens’ use of tax breaks and welfare programs, said Tyler Houlton, a spokesman for Homeland Security.  If the White House approves the proposal, foreigners on visas or with permanent residency could be barred from using popular tax breaks, like the earned income tax credit or public health subsidies.

#5: Refugees and travel ban

Trump issued an executive order in January 2017 banning the entry of citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries to the United States.  The so-called travel ban was blocked by three courts using Trump’s public statements as evidence that it unfairly targeted Muslims.  But after each reversal in court, the administration released a new set of rules to impose a travel ban that could pass constitutional muster.  The Supreme Court is scheduled to permanently rule on the travel ban’s constitutionality in early May 2018.

(more…)

U.S. Supreme Court Reject Trump request to block DACA – DACA Renewals will Continue

(CNN) February 26,2018 – The Supreme Court announced it will stay out of the dispute concerning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for now, meaning the Trump administration may not be able to end the program March 5 as planned.

In an order, the justices declined a request from the Trump administration to review a lower court opinion that temporarily blocked the government’s effort to end the program.

The court’s order means the case will continue in the lower courts and DACA renewals can continue. (more…)

DACA Deportation – Federal Judge Rules Trump Cannot End #DACA

By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times – Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A federal judge in New York ruled Tuesday that the government must fully restart the Obama-era DACA deportation amnesty and accept brand new applicants as well as renewals, throwing a potential wrench in the ongoing debate over the fate of “Dreamers” on Capitol Hill.

Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis said the administration does have the power to revoke DACA, but it must give a sound reason for doing so — and the Homeland Security Department’s September 2017 rationale fell far short of what is required in that regard.

He becomes the second judge to rule President Trump’s aides bungled the phaseout — but his decision is the most wide-ranging, ordering the government to not only allow those already in the program to renew their applications but also ordering the government to accept new applications.

“The question before the court is thus not whether defendants could end the DACA program, but whether they offered legally adequate reasons for doing so,” wrote Judge Garaufis, a Clinton appointee to the court. “Based on its review of the record before it, the court concludes that defendants have not done so.”

The judge said the Trump administration can still rescind the program in the future if it does it the right way.

And he said the administration doesn’t have to approve any specific DACA applications. But it must begin to process applications again.

Trump Immigration Framework = End Chain Migration + End Visa Lottery + Border Wall + Legal Status for DACA

No bill or legislation has been introduced by the Trump administration and no legislation has been signed into law.  All you have heard is a whole lot of talk on immigration.  The one page outline introduced by the Trump administration proposed a long path to citizenship for 1.8 million DACA (or young immigrants who entered the U.S. before age 15) in exchange for a massive border package, cut to chain migration, and complete elimination of the diversity visa.  The language in this one page outline is very vague and gives very few details.

Border Wall

The one page outline proposes massive increases in enforcement dollars including a $25 billion “trust fund” for a “border wall system,” as well as additional funds for the Department of Homeland Security’s other enforcement activities. The bill would also expand the use of a fast-track deportation process, known as expedited removal, to remove those who overstay their visas.

Visa Lottery

Secondly, the framework criticizes and eliminates the diversity visa lottery program, claiming it is a program “riddled with fraud and abuse and does not serve the national interest.” Although the framework states that it would reallocate those visas to reduce the lengthy backlogs in the family-based and high-skilled employment-based categories, it is unclear how exactly it would be done.

End Chain Migration (aka Family Immigration)

The framework also proposes drastic cuts to legal immigration, in what could be a 50 percent decrease in green cards issued annually. These cuts to legal immigration are accomplished in two ways. First, it redefines the nuclear family by only allowing U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor only their spouse and minor children, ending the visa categories that allow them to reunite with adult children, siblings, and parents.

In other words, U.S. Citizens and lawful permanent residents would no longer be able to file an immigration petition for brother/sister, adult children (over age 21) or parents under Trump immigration framework.

The issue really comes down to is restricting immigration. Immigration restrictionists want to see lower total numbers of immigrants coming in to the U.S. – even if that means targeting legal immigration vehicles like the family visa programs. Currently, family-sponsored immigration tools account for 65% of new legal immigrants to the U.S. every year, so restricting use of the tool would dramatically reduce immigration numbers.

The reality is that 2018 is a mid-term election year and Republicans will NOT be on-board to grant 1.8 million DACA immigrants legal status even if it means cutting chain migration (family immigration).  Again, immigration is FEDERAL LAW and laws start out as proposed bills that get introduced into Congress and must pass by majority vote and then get signed into law by a President. None of the above has happened – no bill, no legislation, no voting, no signing. (more…)

Judge Blocks Trump’s Plan to End DACA

On January 11, 2018, A California federal judge issued a nationwide injunction to prevent the Trump administration from proceeding with its plan to roll back or end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, allowing its beneficiaries to reapply for work authorization and deportation protection.

The Trump administration announced the move to end DACA program last September with a planned end for early March. DACA protected young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children from deportation.  The judge said a nationwide injunction was “appropriate” because “our country has a strong interest in the uniform application of immigration law and policy.”

“It is important to remember, however, this is temporary relief by a single federal district court judge, it should not take the pressure off of Congress to do the right thing and enact a permanent solution for these young people,” said Karen Tumlin, legal director of the National Immigration Law Center, which advocates for rights of immigrants.

(more…)

Trump Administration Says Nearly 200,000 Salvadorans Must Leave U.S.

Nearly 200,000 people from El Salvador will have to leave the United States after living here for more than a decade, the Trump administration announced on January 8, 2018. U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials said that they were ending a humanitarian program, known as Temporary Protected Status (TPS), for Salvadorans who have been allowed to live and work legally in the United States since a pair of devastating earthquakes struck their country in 2001.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador will end on September 9, 2019. Salvadorans were the largest group of foreigners benefiting from temporary protected status, which shielded them from deportation if they had arrived in the United States illegally. The decision came just weeks after more than 45,000 Haitians lost TPS granted after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, and it suggested that others in the program, namely Hondurans, may soon lose them as well. Nicaraguans lost their protections last year.

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.

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Expanded Travel Ban on North Korea, Venezuela, etc.

According to the New York Times, starting next month, most citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea will be indefinitely banned from entering the United States – yet another unconstitutional #Trumptravelban.  Citizens of Iraq and some groups of people in Venezuela who seek to visit the United States will face restrictions or heightened scrutiny.

The new order is more far-reaching than the president’s original travel ban, imposing permanent restrictions on travel, rather than the 90-day suspension that Mr. Trump authorized soon after taking office.

Students on F-1 visa or investor with E-1/E-2 or L-1 visas who are already in the United States can finish their studies and employees of businesses in the United States who are from the targeted countries may stay for as long as their existing visas remain valid. People whose visas expire will be subject to the travel ban.

The proclamation imposes the most severe restrictions on Syria and North Korea, which Mr. Trump says fail to cooperate with the United States in any respect. All citizens from those countries will be denied visas to enter the United States once the proclamation goes into effect.

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.

FREE phone & in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

DACA Expiration – Steps going forward…

On Sept. 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced the orderly phase out of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that was initiated by President Obama.  Nearly 700,000 young immigrants who have no legal status in the U.S. benefit from DACA and have valid employment cards so they can work and attend college.  All DACA recipients have no criminal history and are law abiding young immigrants who entered the U.S. under the age of 15.  The Trump administration has indicated that he is willing to provide some protection to young immigrants but he wants Congress to pass a bill into law.  To date, no such legislation has been successfully passed into law and that is why President Obama executed an executive order implementing DACA.  Below are common questions about the DACA expiration.

Questions about DACA/Employment Card Phase-out:

  1. Can I renew my DACA before it ends in March 2018?  Yes, if your DACA expires between Sept. 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must receive your properly filed I-821D DACA renewal request on or before Oct. 5, 2017.
  2. What is my DACA expired before September 5, 2017 and I did not submit a renewal application? The DACA process is no longer available to you and you cannot file for renewal.
  3. What can I do is I lost my DACA employment card?  You can file to replace your lost DACA employment card.
  4. What will happen to current DACA holders?  Current DACA recipients will be permitted to retain both the period of deferred action and their employment authorization documents (EADs) until they expire, unless terminated or revoked. DACA benefits are generally valid for two years from the date of issuance.
  5. When DACA ends, will those cases be referred to ICE for enforcement/deportation? Information provided to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in DACA requests will not be proactively provided to ICE and CBP for the purpose of immigration enforcement proceedings, unless the requestor meets the criteria for the issuance of a Notice to Appear or a referral to ICE (such as criminal conviction or meeting other grounds for removal).  This policy may be modified, superseded, or rescinded at any time.
  6. Can DACA recipients apply for advance parole to travel outside the U.S.?  Effective September 5, 2017, USCIS will no longer approve any new Form I-131 applications for advance parole.  USCIS will administratively close all pending Form I-131 applications for advance parole under standards associated with the DACA program, and will refund all associated fees.
  7. What is breakdown of DACA expiration due to DACA phase-out?  From August through December 2017, 201,678 individuals are set to have their DACA/EADs expire. In calendar year 2018, 275,344 individuals are set to have their DACA/EADs expire. From January through August 2019, 321,920 individuals are set to have their DACA/EADs expire.

For more information on DACA expiration, contact Gail Law Firm:

Email: Gail@GailLaw.com

Phone: 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730

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Copyright © Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram, 2017. All Rights Reserved.