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  1. Use of ICE Detainers: Obama vs. Trump

    by , 09-21-2017 at 07:57 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Syracuse University's TRAC:

    The latest case-by-case Immigration and Customs Enforcement data reveal that its use of detainers, commonly called immigration holds, began to increase last year well before either the election or inauguration of Donald Trump. Once President Trump assumed office, detainer usage rose rapidly. By March 2017, the second full month of the Trump Administration, ICE recorded preparing 13,971 detainers - up 31.7 percent from January's level.

    Against a longer time frame, the number of detainers issued in March of 2017 is still slightly lower than during March of 2014. It is also only half the level of six years ago (March 2011) when ICE detainer usage peaked. See Figure 1.




    Click here for the full report.
  2. Federal Criminal Prosecutions Fall Under Trump

    by , 09-21-2017 at 07:26 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Isn't it ironic... don't ya think?

    The top two charges are immigration crimes: 08 USC § 1326 - Reentry of deported alien, and 08 USC § 1325 - Entry of alien at improper time or place; etc.

    Via Syracuse University's TRAC:

    Despite tough talk on cracking down on crime from the President and from Attorney General Sessions, actual criminal prosecutions and convictions secured by federal prosecutors have dropped. The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during the first ten months of FY 2017 the government reported 86,537 new criminal convictions. If this activity continues at the same pace, the annual total of convictions will be 103,844 for this fiscal year.

    According to the case-by-case government records analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, this estimate is down 12.3 percent over the past fiscal year when the number of convictions totaled 118,384. Compared to five years ago when there were 151,129 criminal convictions, the estimate of FY 2017 convictions is down 31.3 percent. And new filings of federal criminal prosecutions are similarly down.



    Click here for the full report.

    Updated 09-21-2017 at 07:29 AM by MKolken

  3. Passport Day at the Buffalo Passport Agency on October 14th

    by , 09-20-2017 at 01:49 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    FYI:

    Buffalo Passport Agency
    U.S. Department of State

    Passport Day on Saturday, October 14

    The Buffalo Passport Agency is hosting a special passport day on Saturday, October 14 as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Passport Awareness Month.

    This year, the State Department’s public awareness campaign focuses on the benefits of getting a U.S. passport card and how both products (the passport book
    and card) are great forms of photo ID. The event on Saturday is a convenient way to apply for the first time or renew your passport.

    Day: Saturday, October 14
    Time: 10:00am – 3:00pm
    Location: 111 Genesee Street, Suite 101
    Buffalo, NY 14203

    Payment: Credit card, personal check, exact cash (no change is given)

    Applicants may choose routine service (4-6 weeks) or expedited service (2-3 weeks). Expedited service costs an additional $60. Applicants will be seen on a
    first come, first serve basis and no appointment is necessary.

    For information on passport forms and fees, or to learn more about Passport Awareness Month, visit Travel.State.Gov.

    For media inquiries please contact:
    Kristine Knapp
    716-855- 6005
    BuffaloCS@state.gov
  4. MU’S MARIA SCHNEIDER AUTHORS ALABAMA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS NEWSLETTER ARTICLE

    by , 09-20-2017 at 09:16 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    Maria Schneider, MU’s Senior Associate, recently authored an article for the Alabama Association of Realtors Newsletter.

    Schneider’s article focused on immigration updates under the Trump Administration pertinent to those buying and investing in real estate. The article outlined recent legislative proposals and executive actions, and how these would affect real estate brokers, agents, buyers, and sellers. Schneider closed the article by outlining visa options available for investors in the United States.

    The Alabama Association of Realtors is the largest statewide organization of real estate professionals in Alabama. Members of the Association work as real estate professionals in the sale, lease, appraisal, and development of residential, rural, and resort properties throughout the state of Alabama. The Association is the official voice and advocate of Alabama’s multi-faceted real estate industry and provides members continuing education, public policy advocacy, annual meetings and conferences, as well as several other services.


    Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com and www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook, Twitter and LinknedIn.
  5. New Rule Spells Potential Trouble for Asylees

    There’s a new State Department rule in town about misrepresentation, and it could signal trouble for certain asylum seekers and others who enter the country on non-immigrant visas and then seek to remain here permanently or engage in other behavior inconsistent with their visas.

    The State Department has a long tradition of blocking visas for people facing persecution (if you don't believe me, Google "Breckinridge Long").

    To understand the problem, we first need to talk a bit about non-immigrant visas (“NIV”). To obtain an NIV, you have to promise to comply with the terms of that visa. One common NIV requirement is that you must intend to leave the U.S. at the end of your period of authorized stay (some NIVs are exempt from this requirement, most notably the H1b and the L, which are known as "dual intent" visas). Another common NIV requirement is that the visa-holder should not work in the U.S. without permission. If you breach these requirements, there are often—but not always—immigration consequences.

    For example, up until the rule change, if an alien entered the U.S. on a B or F visa, or on the Visa Waiver Program, and then filed to “adjust status” (i.e., get a green card) within 30 days of arrival, the alien was presumed to have had an “immigration intent” at the time of entry, and thus USCIS would assume that she lied about her intention to leave the U.S. at the end of her authorized stay (in government-speak, this is called a misrepresentation). If she violated her status between 30 and 60 days after arrival, USCIS might still decide that she misrepresented her intentions when she got the visa (this was known as the 30/60 day rule). If she filed for the green card on day 61 or beyond, she would generally be safe. There are exceptions and caveats to all this, but you get the picture.

    Enter the new rule, which appears in the State Department’s Field Adjudications Manual (at 9 FAM 302.9-4(B)(3)):

    [If] an alien violates or engages in conduct inconsistent with his or her nonimmigrant status within 90 days of entry… you [the consular officer] may presume that the applicant’s representations about engaging in only status-compliant activity were willful misrepresentations of his or her intention in seeking a visa or entry.

    This change specifically affects people applying for visas at U.S. consulates, but it seems likely that USCIS could adopt the rule as well, which would mean that people who come to the United States on certain NIVs and who engaged in “non-status-compliant activity” within 90 days of arrival will be presumed to have lied in order to obtain their visas. All this means that the 30/60 day rule is dead, at least so far as the State Department is concerned, and probably for USCIS as well.

    This is all pretty boring and confusing, you say. What does it have to do with asylum seekers?

    The issue is, if a person comes to the United States and applies for asylum within 90 days of arrival, he might be considered to have lied about his “immigration intent” in order to obtain a U.S. visa. In other words, requesting asylum (and thus asking to stay permanently in the United States) is not consistent with coming here on most NIVs, which require that you promise to leave the U.S. at the end of your authorized stay.

    This problem is not just academic. I’ve recently heard from a colleague whose client came to the U.S., won asylum, and obtained a green card. But when the client applied for citizenship, USCIS accused him of a “misrepresentation” because he entered the country on an NIV and then sought to remain here permanently through asylum. This example comes amidst several cases—including one of my own—where USCIS seems to have pushed the boundaries of the law in order to deny citizenship to asylees. It also seems part of a larger pattern to "bury lawyers and their clients in requests for more and more documentation, and clarification on points that were already extremely clear in the initial filing."

    I should note that the above examples are not related to the new State Department rule (probably), though if USCIS implements a similar rule, it would potentially expose many more asylees (and other USCIS applicants) to the same fate.

    It’s a little hard to understand what USCIS is trying to do here, or why they are doing it. For one things, there is a waiver available to refugees and asylees who commit fraud (the waiver forgives fraud and allows the person to remain in the United States). Also, when a person fears persecution in her country and qualifies for asylum, low-grade misrepresentations are routinely forgiven. So the likelihood that any asylee would ultimately be deported for having lied to get a visa is close to zero. In other words, USCIS can delay the process, and cause these asylees a lot of stress and expense, but in the end, they will remain here and most likely become U.S. citizens (eventually).

    Perhaps this is the Trump Administration’s implementation of “extreme vetting.” If so, it’s more appearance than substance. It looks as if something is happening, but really, nothing is happening. Except of course that USCIS is mistreating people who have come to the United States and demonstrated that they have a well-founded fear of harm in their home countries. So—like a Stalinist show trial—such people will admit their “misrepresentations” (in many cases, for the second, third or fourth time), go through the hassle, stress, and expense of the waiver process, and then end up staying here just the same.

    It’s too bad. USCIS can do a lot of good—for immigrants and for our national security. But unfortunately, their current path will not lead to improvements in either realm.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com
    Tags: asylum, fraud, uscis Add / Edit Tags
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