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  1. AFTER LONG DELAYS CISSNA SWORN IN AS DIRECTOR OF USCIS; NIELSEN NOMINATED FOR DHS

    by , 10-19-2017 at 01:29 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    To little fanfare, L. Francis Cissna was finally sworn in as Director of the USCIS. Pres. Trump originally nominated Cissna in April. There was little news coming out of Washington explaining the delay in Cissna’s appointment. The lack of information led to plenty of speculation about the delay. Cissna served in various capacities within the Department of Homeland Security, most recently as the Director, Immigration Policy within the DHS Office of Policy,

    Delayed appointments are nothing new for this administration. The DHS has been without a leader since Secy. Kelly became Pres. Trump’s Chief of Staff in July. The administration finally nominated Kirstjen Nielsen earlier in October, more than two months since Secy. Kelly’s promotion.

    Axios did not have favorable reporting on Ms. Nielsen,

    “Nielsen is not a beloved figure at DHS; just as she wasn't inside the White House. She has a very sharp-elbowed approach to doing business and doesn't command anywhere near the respect that her predecessor, Kelly, did, according to more than half a dozen sources who've worked with her.”

    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.
  2. ICE Increasing its ICE Inspections by 4 to 5 times Current Level

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law
    Click image for larger version. 

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    In a speech to the Heritage Foundation on October 17, Tom Homan, Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said he has instructed Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the investigative unit of ICE which conducts I-9 Inspections/Audits, to increase "by four to five times" worksite enforcement actions in 2018.

    Homan also stated, "We've already increased the number of inspections in worksite operations, you will see that significantly increase this next fiscal year." Homan said HSI’s goal is to remove the "magnet" drawing people to enter the US illegally.

    Homan’s statement was not unexpected given the Trump Administration’s increased enforcement of other aspects of immigration enforcement. Although earlier in 2017, ICE stated it had not increased the number of I-9 Inspections/Audits from the last year of the Obama Administration, it was just a matter of time before increases occurred. I have been warning employers and employer associations of the strong likelihood of increased I-9 Inspections/Audits.

    When worksite enforcement actions (I-9 Inspections/Audits) increase by four to five times, we could see over 6,500 I-9 Inspections/Audits per fiscal year. This would be more than double the number that the Obama Administration conducted in any year.

    Additionally, in marked contrast to earlier I-9 Inspections/Audits, Homan said "We're going to detain and remove the illegal alien workers" as “that is our job.” Furthermore, Homan stated ICE is going to strongly prosecute employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrant workers, in addition to deporting their undocumented workers.

    Over the past 10 years, when ICE has found undocumented workers at an employer’s worksites through analysis of employer’s I-9 forms, it would issue a Notice of Suspect Documents to the employer. It then instructed the employer to notify these workers and give them the opportunity to provide “newer and better documents” to prove their work authorization. If workers did not do so, ICE instructed employers to terminate those employees or face penalties for knowingly employing undocumented workers. However, ICE never went to the worksites to detain those workers who did not have valid work authorization. Interestingly, many undocumented workers thought ICE would detain them so they quit when their employer stated ICE said their documents did not establish work authorization.

    This increased step of detaining undocumented workers at an employer’s worksites had been anticipated due to the fact it is an easy method to vastly increase individuals for deportation. It will be interesting to see at what point ICE raids the employer to detain workers on the Notice of Suspect Documents – at the time of its issuance or after the employees have attempted to provide new documentation.

    For a review of ICE Inspections and how to conduct an internal I-9 audit in advance of an ICE inspection as well as other employer immigration compliance issues, I invite you to read my new book, The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, which is available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0997083379.
  3. Trump's fast-tracked deportations may be only solution to backlog. By Nolan Rappaport




    © Getty

    An alien who seeks admission to the United States without valid documents can be sent home without a hearing, and, this does not apply just to aliens at the border. An undocumented alien may be viewed as “seeking admission” even if he has been living here for more than a year.

    But for immigration purposes, words mean whatever the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) says they mean.

    Section 235(a)(1) of the INA says that an alien who is in the United States but has not been “admitted” shall be viewed as an applicant for admission for purposes of this Act. And section 101(a)(13) of the INA says that the terms "admission" and "admitted" mean a lawful entry into the United States after an inspection and authorization by an immigration officer.

    This makes it possible for DHS to use expedited removal proceedings to deport undocumented aliens who already are in the United States without giving them hearings before an immigration judge, which is necessary now because the immigration court is experiencing a backlog crisis.


    As of the end of August 2017, the immigrant court's backlog was 632,261 cases, and the immigration court has only 330 immigration judges. The backlog is getting larger every year because the judges are not even able to keep up with the new cases they receive each year.

    Read more at http://thehill.com/opinion/immigrati...al-solution-to

    Published originally on The Hill.

    About the author. 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.






  4. New Deportation Cases of Unaccompanied Children Plummet Under Trump

    by , 10-18-2017 at 05:53 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Syracuse University's TRAC:

    These detailed case-by-case Immigration Court records trace court proceedings on removal orders sought by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for unaccompanied children (UAC) who have been apprehended by the agency. The data, current through August 31, 2017, was obtained and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) under the Freedom of Information Act.

    The surge in unaccompanied children attempting to enter the country peaked during FY 2014 when there were 56,691 new child cases filed in the Immigration Court. More recently, in FY 2016, there were 48,401 new juvenile cases. This year has seen new UAC court cases plummet. During the first eleven months of FY 2017 court records show only 21,398 new cases.

    Click here for the full report.
  5. The Attorney General's Jaundiced--and Inaccurate--View of Asylum

    In a speech last week to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (the office that administers the nation's immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals), Attorney General and living Confederate Civil War monument, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, set out his views on the asylum system, asylum seekers, and immigration attorneys.
    Jeff Sessions speaks to an audience at the Executive Office for Immigration Review.


    Sad to say, Mr. Sessions described the asylum system in largely negative terms, and said not a word about the benefits that our country derives from offering asylum.

    While he views our asylum policy as "generous," and designed to "protect those who, through no fault of their own, cannot co-exist in their home country no matter where they go because of persecution based on fundamental things like their religion or nationality," Mr. Sessions feels that our generosity is being "abused" and that "smart attorneys have exploited loopholes in the law, court rulings, and lack of resources to substantially undermine the intent of Congress."

    Mr. Sessions also lambasts "dirty immigration lawyers who are encouraging their otherwise unlawfully present clients to make false claims of asylum providing them with the magic words needed to trigger the credible fear process."

    Indeed, Mr. Sessions believes that our asylum system is "subject to rampant abuse and fraud." Because the system is "overloaded with fake claims, it cannot deal effectively with just claims."

    First, it's quite sad that our nation's chief law enforcement officer would have such a jaundiced view of asylum. The idea that asylum is merely a generous benefit we offer to refugees, and that we receive nothing in return, is simply false. I've written about this point before, but it bears repeating. Asylum was created during the Cold War as a tool against the Soviet Union. We offered refuge to people fleeing Communism, and each person who defected to the West served as a testament to our system's superiority over our adversary.

    Now that the Cold War has ended, asylum still serves our strategic interests. It demonstrates our commitment to those who support and work for the values we believe in. It is tangible evidence that America stands with our friends. It gives our allies confidence that we will not let them down when times become tough. It shows that our foundational principles--free speech, religious liberty, equality, rule of law--are not empty words, but are ideals we actually stand behind.

    And of course, there are the asylees themselves, who contribute to our country with their energy, enthusiasm, and patriotism, often born of their experience living in places that are not safe, and that are not free.

    None of this came up during Mr. Sessions's talk. Perhaps he does not know how our nation has benefited from the asylum system. Or maybe he doesn't care. Or--what I suspect--he views asylum seekers as a threat to our security and a challenge to our country's (Christian and Caucasian) culture.

    The shame of it is that Mr. Sessions is demonstrably wrong on several points, and so possibly he reached his conclusions about asylum based on incorrect information.

    The most obvious error is his claims that "dirty immigration lawyers... are encouraging their otherwise unlawfully present clients to make false claims of asylum providing them with the magic words needed to trigger the credible fear process." Aliens who are "unlawfully present" in the U.S. are not subject to the credible fear process. That process is generally reserved for aliens arriving at the border who ask for asylum. Such applicants undergo a credible fear interview, which is an initial evaluation of eligibility for asylum. While this may be a technical point, Mr. Sessions raised the issue in a talk to EOIR, and so his audience presumably understands how the system works. That Mr. Sessions would make such a basic mistake in a speech to people who know better, demonstrates his ignorance of the subject matter (or at least the ignorance of his speech writers), and casts doubt on his over-all understanding of the asylum system.

    Mr. Sessions also says that our asylum system is "overloaded with fake claims." But how does he know this? And what exactly is a fake claim? In recent years, something like 40 to 50% of asylum cases have been granted. Are all those adjudicators being fooled? And what about denied cases? Are they all worthy of denial? There is, of course, anecdotal evidence of fraud—and in his talk, Mr. Sessions cites a few examples of “dirty” attorneys and applicants. But a few anecdotes does not compel a conclusion that the entire system is “subject to rampant abuse and fraud." I can point to anecdotes as well. I’ve seen cases granted that I suspected were false, but I’ve also seen cases denied that were pretty clearly grant-worthy. While I do think we need to remain vigilant for fraud, I have not seen evidence to support the type of wide-spread fraud referenced by the Attorney General.

    Finally, Mr. Sessions opines that "smart attorneys have exploited loopholes in the law, court rulings, and lack of resources to substantially undermine the intent of Congress." So court rulings undermine the intent of Congress? Any attorney who makes such a statement casts doubt on that lawyer’s competence and devotion to the rule of law, but when the Attorney General says it, we have real cause for concern. Thousands of federal court rulings—including from the U.S. Supreme Court—have interpreted our nation’s immigration laws (and all our other laws too). That is what courts do, and that is how the intent of Congress is interpreted and implemented in real-world situations. Attorneys who rely on court decisions are not “exploit[ing] loopholes in the law,” we are following the law.

    These are all pretty basic points, and it strikes me that when it comes to asylum, Mr. Sessions doesn’t get it. He seems not to understand the role of Congress, the courts, and lawyers in the asylum process. And he certainly doesn't understand the benefits our country receives from the asylum system.

    I’ve often said that President Trump’s maliciousness is tempered by his incompetence. With Attorney General Sessions, it is the opposite: His maliciousness is exacerbated by his incompetence. And I fear that asylum seekers--and our country’s devotion to the rule of law--will suffer because of it.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com.
    Tags: eoir, sessions Add / Edit Tags
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