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  1. ACLU’s lawsuit may force Trump to stop granting asylum applications. By Nolan Rappaport

    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to prevent his domestic abuse decision from being used for credible fear determinations in expedited removal proceedings.

    Sessions is trying to eliminate the need for asylum hearings on applications that are based on improper persecution claims. These meritless cases are contributing to an immigration court backlog crisis. If he is prevented from doing this by issuing precedent decisions to provide guidance on how asylum cases are supposed to be handled, the administration will resort to more extreme measures.

    The United States does not have to grant any asylum applications. Asylum is discretionary, and the Supreme Court has held that the president can suspend the entry of aliens into the United States when he finds that their entry “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

    The court declined to decide whether “some form of inquiry into the persuasiveness of a president’s finding is appropriate.” It seems unlikely, however, that the court would reject a president’s finding that discretionary asylum grants should be suspended until the immigration court backlog crisis is brought under control because allowing the backlog to continue is detrimental to the interests of the United States.

    This would not leave asylum seekers without a way to avoid persecution. Withholding of removal is available too and it is mandatory when eligibility has been established. The main difference in eligibility requirements is that asylum just requires a well-founded fear of persecution, and withholding requires the applicant to establish that it is more likely than not that he will be persecuted.

    But withholding does not entitle aliens to remain in the United States. It just prevents them from being deported to a country where they will be persecuted.

    The backlog crisis.


    Published originally on The Hill.

    Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.

    Updated 08-13-2018 at 04:22 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. PERM Book Practice Tip - Maintenance of Status in PERM Cases By Joel Stewart, Editor PERM Book III

    by , 08-13-2018 at 03:24 PM (Joel Stewart on PERM Labor Certification)
    Before beginning a PERM case, an employer must always check the immigration history of the foreign national to confirm that he or she is eligible to receive permanent residency, and whether the applicant may expect to apply by Adjustment of Status or by Consular Processing.
    Focus must be placed on determining that the foreign national has always maintained status in the United States – whether it by as a temporary visitor for pleasure, business, as a student or in an authorized category of work.
    In addition to the Resume and Diplomas of the foreign worker, it is recommended to ask the worker to provide a time line to prove maintenance of status.
    This can be done by establishing an unbroken line of authorized stay and status in the US, and by confirming that the applicant has not worked without authorization by proving the monthly income from the time of first entering the United States.
    The issue of maintenance of status is more acute for visitors and students who rely entirely on funds from abroad. They should be prepared to provide all their income during stays in the United States – whether by credit cards from abroad, bank transfers, cash brought legally into the US, gifts, or other lawful receipts of valuable goods or services.
    While the word “work” is not defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act and is only obliquely referred to in the regulations and other guidance, it should be construed to mean an exchange of services for valuable consideration.
    There are nuances such as persons paid abroad while on business trips to the US or entrepreneurs who may be on US soil managing their business abroad by phone or internet. These persons would not be “working” without authorization in the US, but, even so, they may be violating their status. Examples of these nuanced situations are abundant. The one that comes to mind is the Hong Kong Tailor who may enter the US as a visitor to take measurements but may not sew or manufacture the clothing in the US.
    If the applicant is found to be ineligible for adjustment of status, an interview for permanent residency should be held in the US Consulate abroad. It is not a basis for ineligibility to have failed to maintain status in the US, however, it untruthful statements regarding same in connection with an adjustment of status application would create a new ground of ineligibility in the category of fraud or misrepresentation.
    For someone in student status, there are two lines of inquiry to determine eligibility for adjustment of status:

    1. Has the individual been studying full-time, the whole time? This is determined by creating a time line of documents in chronological order. The schools use form I-20 to show that the student is in status. The I-20’s have start and end dates, and the dates of all the I-20’s should be uninterrupted back to back. Furthermore, the time in student status had to be full-time. Granted, the schools are allowed some flexibility to define “full-time.” It’s usually a number of hours per week or a number of credits per semester. The student must provide us with this documentation to prove that she has maintained her student status.
    2. The second line of inquiry is whether the student has supported herself with her own funds, or whether she is working illegally. When someone is here from a country which has a bad exchange rate with the US, and the student has been here a long time, it is natural for the examiner to imagine that illegal work may be involved. The way to prove legal source of support, a monthly budget should be prepared. After establishing the budget, it is then necessary to show where the funds came from each month to pay for the expenses in the budget.

    In summary, if the foreign worker is not eligible for adjustment of status, he or she should still be able to apply for permanent residency by asking for an interview in the US Consulate abroad, since unauthorized employment and other kinds of failure to maintain status cause the applicant to be statutorily ineligible to adjust status in the USA.
  3. Letters of the Week: August 13 - August 17

  4. Double Standard Toward Melania Trump's Parents' "Chain Migration" is not the Only Stench of Immigration Hypocrisy in Trump/Miller Era. Roger Algase

    In my August 10 Immigration Daily comment, I wrote about the stench of hypocrisy in Donald Trump's venomous attacks on family immigration by labeling the estimated 40 million mainly non-European parents, adult children and siblings of US citizens who have legally immigrated to the US in the past half century as "criminals" who "do not love America" and came here through "horrible chain migration"., even as Melania Trump's white parents, who by all indications, came to the US the same way, have now attained their US citizenship.

    Now, even Melania Trump's own parents' lawyer, Michael Wildes, is calling Trump's vicious and delusional attacks on extended family immigration "unconscionable.", as Trump continues his utterly delusional attacks on this visa, such as the following:

    "The chain is like a disaster. You bring one person in, you end up with 32 people."

    As I have pointed out in previous comments, even strong immigration opponents such as Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies have pointed out that numbers such as these are totally impossible under current law. They are pure presidential fantasy, without the remotest relation to reality, and are invented purely to dehumanize non-white legal immigrants as people who are coming into the country uncontrolled, i.e. "infesting" or "invading" America, to use Trump's language from recent speeches at his rallies.

    One rather doubts that the president and first lady are spending much time talking about where to find space for her parents' "32 relatives."

    But Trump administration hypocrisy is not limited to Trump's in-laws' method of immigration, which Trump has had no problem with when his own white family members use it but acts as if it will destroy America when brown people do.

    See, POLITICO, August 13:

    Stephen Miller is an Immigration Hypocrite. I Know Because I'm his Uncle

    In this powerfully written op-ed, Miller's own uncle condemns Miller for promoting bigoted immigration policies which would have not only prevented his own Jewish ancestors from immigrating to the US at the turn of the 20th century, but might have led to their being wiped out in Czarist Russia.

    This appalling, shameless, example of immigration hypocrisy on Miller's part creates a stench which makes Donald Trump's own hypocrisy smell like fine perfume by comparison.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 08-13-2018 at 08:51 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs


    by , 08-12-2018 at 09:46 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Maria Schneider

    The USCIS requires Healthcare Worker Certificates, sometimes called Visa Screens are required for foreign-born healthcare workers who will be employed in the US in the following professions:

    • · Nurses (including LPNs, vocational nurses, and RNs);
    • · Physical Therapists;
    • · Occupational Therapists;
    • · Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists;
    • · Medical Technologists or Clinical Laboratory Scientists;
    • · Medical Technicians or Clinical Laboratory Technicians; and
    • · Physician Assistants.

    A valid Visa Screen must be provided to the USCIS when the healthcare worker applies for entrance to the US, change of status, extension of status, or adjustment of status (a green card application). In light of the USCIS’s new policies regarding the issuance of Requests for Evidence (RFE), Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), and Notices to Appear (NTA), healthcare workers are advised to not let their Visa Screens expire.

    In the past, if an H-1B extension was filed without a valid Visa Screen, the USCIS would generally send an RFE to request it. Under the new USCIS new policies, the lack of a valid Visa Screen would be grounds for immediate denial. Further, with the new NTA policy, if the healthcare worker’s I-94 has expired at the time of the denial, the worker could be put into deportation proceedings immediately.

    MU strongly advises healthcare workers to timely renew their Visa Screens so that they can continue to maintain their immigration status and their ability to work in the US.

    Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at and You can also visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinknedIn.
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