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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Friday, June 28, 2024

Biden snaps at Trump over immigration lies

President Biden lost his patience with former President Trump’s falsehoods on immigration in Thursday’s debate, after trying to direct the topic toward the failed bipartisan Senate border deal. “Everything he says is a lie,” Biden said during the event held by CNN in Atlanta. “Every single one.” Biden’s pivot came as Trump repeated a litany of falsehoods on immigration, based on the idea that the Biden administration purposefully opened the border. “He decided to open up our border, open up our country to people that are from prisons, people that are from mental institutions, insane asylum, terrorists,” Trump said. Trump also leaned into making a link between crime and immigration — a key claim for Republicans ahead of November’s election — making a generalized assessment of immigration based on isolated crimes. Most research has shown the presence of immigrants tends to lower crime rates because immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than native-born citizens. A Cato Institute paper published Wednesday confirmed prior research that immigrants on average commit fewer murders than natural-born citizens. The paper analyzed Texas Department of Public Safety data and found the conviction rate for immigrants lacking documentation in the state was lower than the rate for natural-born citizens every year from 2013 to 2022. Trump said the United States had become a “rat’s nest” and added that “we have the largest number of terrorists coming into our country right now, all terrorists, all over the world, not just in South America, all over the world,” Trump said. He disparaged Biden’s claim that Congress should act to give the executive greater powers and resources to control the border, arguing that “he didn’t need legislation, because I didn’t have legislation, I said close the border.” Trump also compared migrant living conditions — which he falsely labeled as “luxury hotels” — to conditions for unhoused veterans. “He has killed so many people at our border by allowing all of these people to come in, and it’s a very sad day in America,” Trump said. That’s when Biden lost his patience, delivering one of his strongest lines in a debate that started shaky for the president. “Everything he says is a lie. Every single one,” Biden said. But Biden segued to respond to Trump’s quip about veterans, dropping the immigration topic. Trump, however, did not let the topic go. He raised immigration or the border in response to most other questions. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Cordero-Garcia v. Garland - filed June 27, 2024

Immigration Law A conviction under California Penal Code §136.1(b)(1) qualifies as an aggravated felony for which the term of imprisonment is at least one year under 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)(S). Cordero-Garcia v. Garland - filed June 27, 2024 Cite as 2024 S.O.S. 19-72779 Full text click here >http://sos.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0624//19-72779.

USCIS Celebrates Independence Day 2024 and Continues Its Commitment to Naturalization

WASHINGTON— U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will celebrate Independence Day this year by welcoming approximately 11,000 new citizens in more than 195 naturalization ceremonies between June 28 and July 5. These ceremonies demonstrate our government’s commitment to welcoming immigrants and promoting the benefits of U.S. citizenship for all who are eligible. In fiscal year 2023, USCIS welcomed 878,500 new U.S. citizens. So far in FY 2024, USCIS has welcomed 589,400 new citizens and made significant progress in reducing our naturalization pending queues. “At USCIS we are privileged to administer the Oath of Allegiance to thousands of new citizens during the Independence Day holiday,” said USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou. “These new citizens add diversity and character to our great nation, and we are committed to helping all who are eligible to experience the freedoms and liberties we enjoy as U.S. citizens.” Every July 4, we celebrate the day the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence in 1776, declaring the 13 American colonies a new nation: the United States of America. USCIS has a proud tradition of commemorating this momentous occasion by hosting special Independence Day-themed naturalization ceremonies across the globe. Through these ceremonies, USCIS will honor and recognize the commitment and contributions of our newest U.S. citizens. This year’s Independence Day activities will include special naturalization ceremonies across the country, including close to our nation’s capital. On July 4, Deputy Assistant to the President Blas Nuñez-Neto will participate in a ceremony at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Additional Independence Day ceremonies will be held across the country, including at Battleship New Jersey, Gateway Arch National Park in Missouri, and Fort Clatsop, Lewis & Clark National Historic Park, in Oregon. For additional venues, please view a list of highlighted 2024 Independence Day-themed ceremonies. USCIS reaffirms its commitment to making the naturalization process accessible to all who are eligible. Since the beginning of the Biden-Harris administration, USCIS has taken a number of steps to support implementation of Executive Order 14012: Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans. USCIS is raising awareness of the contributions naturalized citizens make to the United States through the Outstanding Americans by Choice initiative and providing $12.6 million in grants to immigrant-serving organizations, including the open application period for the Citizenship and Integration Training Academy, a new competitive funding opportunity. We have also expanded the Citizenship Ambassador initiative, which helps to amplify immigration information and assistance to many more communities. Additionally, USCIS has continued our support of U.S. military members, veterans, and their families by streamlining the naturalization process and providing dedicated support and specialized services to assist the military community, including dedicated pages on our website, a special Military Help Line for service members, fee waivers on most applications, and special handling of military naturalization applications. After each naturalization ceremony, USCIS encourages new U.S. citizens to share their naturalization stories and photos on social media using the hashtag #NewUSCitizen. For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on  X (formerly Twitter) Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

ISIS Smuggling Reports Create Border Firestorm Before Trump, Biden Debate

n the eve of the year's first presidential debate, a new media firestorm has been ignited over reports that 400 migrants crossed the U.S.-Mexico border with the aid of a human smuggling network linked to terror group ISIS. Immigration is bound to be a core topic of discourse when President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump on Thursday night face off in the first of two one-on-one debates. The event, which will be televised and hosted by CNN, will take place unusually early in the election cycle and without a studio audience. Trump and other Republicans have condemned Biden's border policies amid a surge in encounters at the southern border since he took office, while the incumbent president has accused Trump of deliberately attempting to make the issue worse by blocking a bipartisan border security bill earlier this year. On Wednesday, CNN and NBC reported on the identification of 400 migrants who were purportedly smuggled over the border by a network affiliated with ISIS, with both networks citing anonymous U.S. officials. Border Firestorm Trump Biden Border Debate ISIS Signs for Thursday's debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, which will be hosted by CNN, are pictured in Atlanta on Wednesday. A new media firestorm erupted on the eve of the... More ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP NBC reported that 150 of the 400 had been arrested, while the whereabouts of 50 are currently unknown. An official told the network that Immigration and Customs Enforcement hopes to arrest the missing migrants once they are found. Sign up for Newsletter NEWSLETTER The Bulletin Your Morning Starts Here Begin your day with a curated outlook of top news around the world and why it matters. Enter your email address I want to receive special offers and promotions from Newsweek By clicking on SIGN ME UP, you agree to Newsweek's Terms of Use & Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time. There has been no indication that the smuggled migrants are affiliated with the terror group themselves, with one official telling CNN that the "purpose of the network was to smuggle people, not bring in terrorists." Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also told reporters during a press conference on Wednesday that claims of there being "400 migrants with ISIS ties" were "incorrect." For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Latino Data Hub Action Lab Launched for Advocacy and Policymaking Efforts

A new program announced Monday by the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Institute (UCLA LPPI) and Arizona State University Center for Latina/os and American Politics Research (CLAPR) is hoping to “revolutionize advocacy and policymaking across the United States by equipping Latino leaders with cutting-edge data analysis tools and skills,” organizers said in a release. The Latino Data Hub (LDH) Action Lab welcomed its initial cohort on Tuesday. Held in Tempe, Arizona, 16 policy advocates and community leaders worked with the LDH Action Lab curriculum to learn tools and skills essential for data-driven decision-making. Using the latest U.S. Census data across critical policy areas like health, education, housing and employment, organizers noted that the LDH program “sharpens data analysis and visualization skills and helps participants translate these insights into practical projects that catalyze meaningful change.” The cohort will continue to meet virtually throughout the year. “The Latino Data Hub Action Lab in Arizona represents a significant step forward in our efforts to empower Latino leaders nationwide,” Rodrigo Dominguez-Villegas, director of research at UCLA LPPI, said. According to Dr. Angie Bautista-Chavez, an assistant professor at ASU's School of Politics and Global Studies, better access to data means more possibilities for impactful change in communities. “This cohort of fellows, with and alongside many other advocates and leaders, work year-round to serve and advocate on behalf of Latinx, Native, Black, Asian, Muslim, Queer, immigrant, rural, and low-income communities across Arizona,” Bautista-Chavez said. “For me, this institutional collaboration is an example of how researchers and universities can leverage their positions and resources to bring further support and investments to those working on the ground to make our cities and states —and the United States at large— more inclusive.” The LDH Action Lab is partly supported by JPMorgan Chase and a $1 million grant it gave to UCLA LPPI in 2022. The inaugural cohort of the Latino Data Hub Action Lab. (Credit/UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Institute) Groups Share Immigration Expectations for First Presidential Debate On Wednesday morning, several immigrant rights and Latino advocacy groups held a virtual press call about the contrasts they expect to see during the June 27 presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. The Latino Newsletter attended the call and shared live tweets about the session, which featured America’s Voice, NILC Immigrant Justice Fund, The Immigration Hub, FWD.us and Latino Victory Project. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

The newest deciders: Almost 2 million women have become U.S. citizens since the 2020 election

When Becky Insook Kim immigrated to the United States from Korea in 1995, she was a 37-year-old mother of two who soon had a job as a cashier at a cleaner’s in Souderton, Pennsylvania, about 35 miles north of Philadelphia. “In her head, she thought she would have a better job and more opportunities,” said Alice Min, Kim’s adult daughter. Min interpreted for her mother, who spoke Korean during a recent interview. “She had to work 16-hour shifts to just provide food for our family. And it was more struggles than what she thought.” The 19th thanks our sponsors. Become one. Drag is free speechAdvertisement In March — nearly 30 years after she first came to the United States — Kim became a U.S. citizen. This election cycle will mark her first as an eligible voter, and she plans to vote in Texas, where she resides. “She is very excited to raise her voice as a U.S. citizen,” Min said of her mother’s voting plans. “She still cannot believe that she is a U.S. citizen.” In a pivotal election year where the presidential contests in some battleground states may be decided by a few thousand votes, the turnout of eligible immigrant women voters — some of whom say they’re mindful of how immigration policy is being debated — could decide the outcome of the rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. Immigrant voters are not monolithic, but they have also shown more support for the Democratic Party. And the Democratic Party has generally in recent years had more immigrant-friendly policies. Biden announced plans this month to reduce deportations of the spouses of U.S. citizens and to let some immigrants who arrived here as children to more quickly receive work visas. Biden has also supported some Trump-era restrictions on asylum seekers at the U.S.- Mexico border. Trump, who was recently convicted of 34 felony counts related to falsified business records tied to the 2016 election, has promised to deport millions of undocumented immigrants if he’s reelected. He has also attempted to spread disinformation about noncitizen voting in federal elections, which is virtually nonexistent. More from The 19th Debbie-Mucarsel-Powell listens as people ask questions into a microphone at a coffee shop during a meet and greet. In South Florida, a Democrat’s pitch links abortion, immigration and freedom The future of abortion in Florida could hinge on Hispanic voters The Amendment: Presidential Debate Bingo with 19th News Politics Editor Terri Rupar Newly naturalized citizens like Kim are a growing share of the American electorate — since the 2020 election, an estimated 3.5 million immigrants have become naturalized U.S. citizens. Fifty-five percent, or nearly 2 million people, are women. An impromptu network of immigrant women leaders have been credited with helping their communities with citizenship services. But the reason for the gender gap may come down to who is able to complete the lengthy naturalization process. “The main reason there are more women naturalizing than men is there are more women eligible to naturalize than men, because there are more legal immigrants who are women,” said Jeff Pastel, a senior demographer at the Pew Research Center. In addition, immigrant men appear to be deported at a higher rate than immigrant women, in part because they’re arrested at a higher rate. “The big thing is, who’s allowed to get to the finish line?,” said Nancy Flores, deputy director for the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), a national organization that promotes immigration equity in policy and is promoting a campaign to register more newly eligible immigrant voters ahead of the November election. She has seen firsthand how women are propelled to the head of their households because of deportations that target their spouses and partners. “That does pull people into being more active and saying, ‘I’m not OK with just becoming a green card holder. I need to ultimately become a citizen,’” Flores added. These are not new motivations. When Obdulia Alvarez applied for citizenship more than 20 years ago, she was a single parent with two young daughters. One of those children was Flores. Alvarez immigrated to the United States from Mexico, the top country of origin for newly eligible voters. After a brief stint in California, she brought her children to rural Wisconsin. She knew quickly she wanted to become a U.S. citizen. “I was thinking of my kids,” Alvarez said on her reasoning. “I was thinking, ‘I need to get my citizenship. I have to vote.’” Alvarez said that since her first visit to a polling place as an eligible voter in the late 1990s, she has tried to never miss an election. She also encourages people who attend her church to get out and vote. Naturalized citizens are less likely to register to vote than U.S.-born citizens, according to research published in 2016. Among the reasons: fear, a lack of information and language barriers. But the same 2016 research concluded that once newly eligible voters are registered, they vote at similar rates to U.S.-born citizens. Flores believes another reason women are becoming naturalized citizens at a higher rate is because women tend to lead community outreach that helps people with immigration and citizenship services. Flores said that creates a loop in which they’re more likely to have the information they need to begin the lengthy application process. “We’re seeing that a lot of them are really the ones that are kind of taking leadership and saying, ‘Naturalization has transformed my life. I really kind of want to pay it forward,’ Flores added. “So we’re seeing a lot of these wonderful ‘community navigators’ becoming citizens themselves and then also being part of cohorts that are then getting deputized on naturalization and going out there in the community.” Fabiola Landeros smiles as a news camera films an interview behind her. She wears a blue shirt with a raised fist on it that reads "El Centro." Fabiola Landeros does community outreach for the organization El Centro in September 2023 in New Mexico. (FELIPE VAZQUEZ) It’s how Fabiola Landeros, a community organizer in New Mexico, began her citizenship journey. She was connecting immigrants with citizenship services through an organization called El Centro — but she was not a U.S. citizen. A single mother to three children, Landeros said it was her kids who persuaded her to reconsider her immigration status. “My kids turned to me and they were like, ‘Hey mom, when are you going to become a U.S. citizen? The work that you do, we see that many organizers are targeted. And the last thing we want is for you to get deported,’” she recalled, noting that noncitizen organizers can inadvertently get on the radar of immigration officials. The conversation set Landeros into action. She became a naturalized citizen in 2019 — in time for her to vote alongside her oldest, who was 18 at the time. She brought along her two younger kids to the polling place. She said she hasn’t missed an opportunity to vote since then. “I wanted to make sure that they see the importance of going in and voting,” she said. The issues propelling immigrant women to vote this election varies. For Kim, it’s wage equity. For Alavarez, it’s “a better government.” Landeros said immigration is a top issue for her, and she wants politicians to stop scapegoating immigrants. Sign up for more news and context delivered to your inbox, daily Email you@example.com Subscribe I agree to the terms “It motivates me when I hear people that are really talking about real plans to work with immigrants, undocumented communities, that they really want to do something to make sure that the people that are already living here as immigrants or refugees or asylum seekers, have a chance, to have a pathway to citizenship,” she said. “The system right now, it doesn’t work for communities.” The effort by NPNA to register newly eligible immigrant voters — they’re targeting the estimated 3.5 million naturalized citizens since the last presidential election — includes partnerships with organizers on the ground in several battleground states. “This is a voting bloc that uniquely has earned their citizenship,” Flores said. “When we look at a community that has to work toward something, there are always the superheroes that help to make that happen, that help to pull the community in that direction. Women have certainly played a pivotal role in that. We’re seeing it in the numbers, we’re seeing it in the advocacy, we’re seeing it in the community.” For more information, visit us athttps://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

New era of semiconductor manufacturing clashes with dated immigration laws

Semiconductor manufacturing jobs are coming back to the U.S. in a big way thanks to the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act. President Joe Biden said as much in a speech last April announcing new semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Syracuse, New York. “We took action to make sure these chips were made in America again, creating tens of thousands and I mean tens of thousands of good-paying jobs,” he said. That’s an estimated 42,000 new permanent semiconductor positions and many tens of thousands of additional temporary jobs, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association. While some may consider it a good problem to have, filling those roles in manufacturing and engineering may be a challenge. Marketplace Hosted by Kai Ryssdal Marketplace LATEST EPISODES How about those new tariffs? Jun 26, 2024 Why so miserable? Jun 25, 2024 Breaking Ground: Red Lake Nation’s solar-powered future Jun 24, 2024 “We are on the order of tens of thousands of jobs short of filling these when the facilities themselves are ready to come online,” said John Cooney, vice president of global advocacy and public policy for the semiconductor industry association SEMI. While the U.S. is playing catch up to build up the American-born workforce for those roles, he said immigrants will play a vital role in filling gaps. “We rely heavily on the H-1B program across the industry,” he said. The H-1B visa program is a lottery system for educated foreign workers in specialized fields. It’s a lottery because there are far more applicants than the 85,000 visas that are available each year. Latest Stories on Marketplace Social Security cuts are inevitable by 2035 unless lawmakers act A lot less rainbow in stores this Pride month Why taxpayers keep footing much of the bill for new sports stadiums Intel engineer Harshad Surdi was among the more than 400,000 applicants awaiting an answer this spring. It was his last shot at the H-1B after graduating a couple years ago. “It was definitely a huge worry,” he said, “I’ve spent almost a decade in this country doing good research. You know, blood, sweat and tears went to all this. Whatever future I expected out of my time in the U.S. kind of hangs in balance in this visa lottery system.” Lucky for him, Surdi did get an H-1B for this upcoming year. But that doesn’t mean his visa woes are behind him. Like many semiconductor engineers, he’s from India, and is facing a growing backlog to get his permanent residency or green card. “I’ve seen many, many, many people who are disheartened by this and are now just giving up hope,” he said. He’s seen workers move to Europe or Canada because of visa issues. And he’s considered that option — but he’d rather stay in Portland where he can snowboard, rock climb, buy a house and settle down. “I do want to build a life in the U.S. because my job is here, I really like it here,” Surdi said. “But there’s uncertainty of if I can stay in the U.S. — it kind of hinders me in making any long-term plans.” The demand for semiconductor workers is increasing. But the visa cap isn’t much different than what it was when the H-1B category was created under the Immigration Act of 1990, when the max number of visas was set at 65,000. The only significant, lasting change to the cap happened in 2004 when 20,000 additional visas were added specifically for foreign students graduating with advanced degrees from U.S. universities. Despite the stagnant visa cap, U.S. employers have sponsored visas for foreign workers at a growing pace. That mismatch between visas available and the number of applications has become more extreme in the last decade. In 2014, roughly 70% of H-1B visa applications were approved. For the 2025 fiscal year, the grant rate was less than 20%, according to a CATO Institute analysis of government data. Immigration attorney Sandra Sheridan Reguerin, of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, has tracked how that’s impacted a major semiconductor employer she works with. For her client, the number of rejected visa applicants who are in their final year of eligibility for the H-1B has been increasing in recent years. “Even just of those that are at their last-ditch effort, only about 37% of those are getting the visas so the remainder of that, which is 63%, they (employers) have to figure out what to do with these people,” she said. Semiconductor employers could move them to other countries — some workers may decide to go back to school to extend their stay and others may qualify for other kinds of temporary visas. But it all interferes with company operations. “That investment went into that talent. And now it’s kind of disrupting the work,” she said. While the U.S. government may be investing in a new era of semiconductor manufacturing, the immigration laws supporting that workforce still face 20th-century limitations. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

These 4 issues will likely define the Trump-Biden debate

President Biden and former President Trump will have a rare moment Thursday together onstage to make their cases for a second term before the many swing and "double-hater" voters they're targeting. Why it matters: The earliest-ever presidential debate on CNN could also be the first time many voters dial into the 2024 race and witness the two familiar candidates challenge each other's policy positions. With the second debate not scheduled until September, whatever happens Thursday night — sharp points, gaffes or stumbles — will reverberate for months. Because the internet does not forget. Here are some of the key issues that could come up during the debate: The economy Though the U.S. economy has seen inflation cool and hiring continue to boom, Americans have maintained negative views about the economy and even conflate rising prices with inflation. Biden has outlined a plan to increase taxes on wealthy and large corporations and to restore the child tax credit that expired in 2022. Trump has vowed to extend his signature tax cuts, which are set to expire next year. He has also discussed further reducing the corporate tax rate from the current 21%. (It was 35% before his 2017 tax bill.) Between the lines: Both Biden and Trump support tariffs on imports from China, though the former president has pitched raising tariffs much more aggressively. Biden's approach has been more targeted, zeroing in on specific industries. Earlier this year, Biden ramped up tariffs on products like Chinese steel, electric vehicles and batteries. Trump has a broader approach, floating ideas like a new 60% tariff on all Chinese imports and a 10% tax on all imports. Zoom in: Trump has even reportedly suggested using tariff revenue to replace the income tax — though experts see the idea as implausible. The intrigue: A group of 16 Nobel Prize-winning economists warned recently that Trump's economic policies would reignite inflation, Axios' Hans Nichols reported. Immigration Immigration has emerged as a top concern for voters, with Trump and Biden even hosting dueling visits to the U.S.-Mexico border earlier this year. Biden has faced Republican attacks that he's too soft on the border as the number of migrants crossing has surged since he took office. The president earlier this month issued a long-anticipated executive order designed to reduce illegal border crossings — his administration's most aggressive to date. (Reality check: It could face challenges to implementation.) Trump has floated the idea of deporting millions of undocumented immigrants if he wins a second term. Context: Biden's executive order relies on the same section of federal code that Trump used against immigration during his presidency — including his so-called Muslim ban and an attempt to ban asylum seekers. Trump encouraged Republicans to tank a bipartisan border deal earlier this year that would have enacted tough border restrictions — depriving Democrats of a key legislative win. Abortion rights Biden and other Democrats have sought to make abortion a defining issue of the 2024 race after the issue drove voters to the polls during the midterms. If appointed to a second term, Biden has vowed to codify the abortion-related protections of Roe v. Wade into federal law. Trump has said abortion regulations should be left to the states and denied that he'd support a national ban. He had previously suggested a national 15-week abortion ban could be "very reasonable." Earlier this year, Trump told TIME magazine that it is up to states if they decide to monitor women's pregnancies to determine if they've had abortions. Zoom out: Trump has repeatedly bragged about his role in overturning federal protections for abortions by appointing three conservative justices to the Supreme Court where they now hold a supermajority. Since the 2022 Dobbs decision, protecting abortion rights has won on the ballot in red and blue states. Foreign policy Since Biden took office, the U.S. has contended with wars in Europe and the Middle East, making foreign policy a key focus for whichever candidate wins the election. Biden has faced criticism from some members of his own party for his support for Israel over the course of the Israel-Hamas war, though he has increasingly clashed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the conflict has gone on. Trump has also repeatedly expressed support for Israel but has avoided publicly backing Netanyahu. Zoom in: Trump is an avowed NATO-skeptic who has long been critical of the alliance. Earlier this year, he suggested he would stand by Russia if it invaded a NATO ally. Reports suggest that Trump has privately said that he would end Russia's invasion of Ukraine by pressuring Kyiv to cede territory. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the majority of Ukrainians have opposed such proposals. Biden has been a strong supporter of Ukraine and NATO. The Biden administration has typically deferred to Ukraine when it comes to questions of peace talks, saying it will not pressure Kyiv to negotiate. Flashback: As president, Trump regularly disregarded the post-World War II international order the U.S. had helped create. He reportedly threatened to withdraw the U.S. from World Trade Organization and did successfully withdraw the U.S. from the UN Human Rights Council and the Paris climate agreement. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Progressives form 'Global Migration' caucus to reshape U.S. immigration debate

WASHINGTON — A trio of House progressives is forming a caucus aimed at reframing the national immigration debate away from controls on the southern border and toward fixing the root causes of migration to the U.S. The new Congressional Caucus on Global Migration will be co-chaired by Reps. Delia Ramirez, D-Ill., Greg Casar, D-Texas, and Sydney Kamlager-Dove, D-Calif. In a one-page memo, first reported by NBC News, the Democrats say families around the world are migrating at unprecedented levels “in search of safety and stability” because of a mix of global “violence, civil wars, human rights violations, democratic backsliding, economic exclusion, and climate instability." But rather than tighten the rules to shut out asylum-seekers, they instead propose to examine “the factors and conditions that displace or drive people to migrate” to the U.S. and craft domestic and foreign policy solutions that diminish the need for people to migrate. The caucus says it plans to hold quarterly actions, including “roundtables, briefings, special order speeches, shadow hearings [and] public toolkits,” to stir Congress to meaningful action. “We Democrats have done a terrible job in actually talking about immigration and actually talking about root causes of migration,” Ramirez said in an interview. “We’ve just been reactive and apologetic instead of actually moving in the direction that positions Congress to be an effective ally to global efforts that creates a safer, more equitable world where people don’t have to come to the U.S.” The new caucus, which counts 14 founding House members, comes as immigration has turned into a major liability for President Joe Biden during his re-election bid this year, prompting the White House and moderate Democrats to adopt some conservative proposals to tighten U.S. border and asylum laws. Former President Donald Trump has called for an immigration crackdown in his presidential bid. Progressives, who were on the offensive with immigration policy a decade ago, are now on the back foot and urging their party not to embrace GOP attitudes that call for a more restrictive system. Ramirez and Casar said the U.S. should seek to mitigate the need for migration with policies like boosting humanitarian aid, avoiding destabilizing sanctions on countries like Venezuela and toughening gun laws to prevent Mexican gangs and cartels from causing violence with U.S. firearms at home. “Right now, so much of the conversation on the Hill talks about the border as if immigration starts at the border, and it doesn’t. It starts in people’s home countries,” Casar said. “And hardly anybody is talking about that. “When I sat down recently with the ambassador from Mexico, the very first issue he brought up was that the majority of the guns that they confiscate from cartels come from the United States,” Casar continued. “And a huge portion of them from Texas, because you can buy a gun without a background check and without a license in Texas. ... The United States should make sure that we work to not contribute to further violence and destabilization in Mexico.” Recommended JOE BIDEN Republicans and Democrats launch Black voter outreach events around the debate JUSTICE DEPARTMENT It's time to stop delaying Steve Bannon's prison sentence, DOJ tells Supreme Court Republicans argue that the U.S. border is overwhelmed with more asylum-seekers than it can process because Biden rolled back Trump’s policies to deter migration. Democratic leaders, conscious of polls that show the GOP to be more trusted on immigration, have accepted the need for a higher bar to seek asylum. But the new House caucus disagrees. Asked why the politics of immigration have moved rightward, Ramirez blamed, in part, the “great replacement” conspiracy theory espoused by the far-right fringe and some members of Congress. It baselessly posits that a liberal cabal is using immigration policies and other means to replace white voters with nonwhite voters to benefit Democrats. "There is a real belief that white people are getting replaced and that they have to do everything it takes to be able to survive all of us coming into this country," Ramirez said, adding that Republicans “have decided that immigration and people seeking asylum would be the No. 1 strategy to either win the White House or destabilize Democrats” and that her party hasn’t done enough to counter that narrative. The three lawmakers are eyeing a momentous task. In July 2021, the White House assigned Vice President Kamala Harris as part of a “Root Causes Strategy” to tackle the underlying crises in Central America fueling migration. But that has failed to deliver results as the U.S. asylum system has become even more overwhelmed. “With this caucus, we’re sending the message that Democrats want to address the global migration crisis. This crisis is a foreign policy issue that goes beyond the southern border,” Kamlager-Dove said. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

America's Mayors Say the Heartland Needs Immigrants

As population and economic downturns hit many parts of the American heartland, some policy analysts and elected officials have begun to throw their support behind place-based visas that would bring high-skilled immigrants to those areas facing decline or stagnation. The idea got another nod this weekend. The U.S. Conference of Mayors—a nonpartisan organization of mayors and other elected officials who represent cities with populations of 30,000 or more—called on federal lawmakers to establish a "heartland visa" that would bring high-skilled immigrants and immigrant entrepreneurs to communities facing population and economic decline. "Mayors understand the critical role of high-skilled immigrants in boosting the prosperity and economic resilience of our cities," said Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, who sponsored the resolution. "We urge Congress to enact a Heartland Visa program to spur innovation, revitalization, and job creation in cities like Cleveland and many others throughout the Heartland." The mayors list many reasons why a heartland visa could help communities facing decline. Immigrants found a high number of startups, comprise a high share of U.S. inventors, and frequently contribute to advances in science and technology. Population growth in the 2010s "was among the slowest of any decade in the nation's history," posing a threat to cities' "economic dynamism," "health of municipal finances," and "housing markets," the mayors note. "The current immigration system falls short by letting in too few skilled immigrants and immigrant entrepreneurs and is heavily skewed towards a handful of major metropolitan areas," the resolution explains. The Economic Innovation Group (EIG), a bipartisan public policy organization, pitched a heartland visa program in 2019. The group's updated framework calls for dual opt-in, where "eligible counties must opt into the program, while visa applicants could apply to the participating region of their choice." Eligible counties could be facing population decline or slow growth or could have hit their peak populations before 1980. "Places with high-cost, restrictive housing markets would not be eligible," the report says. Visa holders would need to live in an eligible area for a determined period of time, but they could work remotely. The framework proposes an annual floor of 100,000 visas, each one good for three years and renewable for another three years. High-earning heartland visa holders "would become eligible for an expedited, self-sponsored path to permanent residency free of burdensome labor market tests," notes the EIG report. The EIG report suggests that a large number of heartland visa recipients may settle in their host communities for the long term, citing a similar program in Canada. "The share of Canadian immigrants who remain in their sponsoring province after five years averages 85 percent, with a much shorter required period of residency that is rarely enforced in practice," it notes. Heartland visas and other place-based visas see more bipartisan support than many immigration proposals. Roughly three-quarters of voters said they'd support allowing "struggling towns and cities with shrinking populations the ability to recruit highly skilled immigrants to their region," according to an April poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Americans for Prosperity, a libertarian advocacy group. Republican lawmakers have introduced state-sponsored visa bills in Congress multiple times. Last year, two Republican governors—Indiana's Eric Holcomb and Utah's Spencer Cox—pitched state-sponsored visas as a way "to solve our national immigration crisis." Such a pathway "would give states a dynamic means to attract new residents," they wrote. "Though border security is a national concern, and a nonnegotiable requirement of national security in a world with drug cartels and terrorists," the governors said, "we believe that states should be able to sponsor whatever immigrants serve the needs of their communities." For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Manzano v. Garland - filed June 25, 2024

Immigration Law An asylum-seeker’s Jehovah’s Witness faith would be one central reason for his persecution in his native El Salvador; a but-for cause is not required to satisfy the one central reason standard if the motive arising from a protected ground was sufficient on its own to cause the harm. Manzano v. Garland - filed June 25, 2024 Cite as 2024 S.O.S. 22-704 Full text click here >http://sos.metnews.com/sos.cgi?0624//22-704.

One of leading issues for many voters this year is immigration

Voters will consider what President Biden and former President Donald Trump have to say about immigration when they debate on Thursday. Sponsor Message A MARTÍNEZ, HOST: One of the leading issues for many voters this year is immigration. So we have some debate prep. We look at the issue as President Biden prepares to debate former President Trump this week. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: This is not debate prep for the candidates. They're doing their own. It's prep for us, the voters, who will try to make sense of what they're saying. MARTÍNEZ: Well, we did this series of reports called We, The Voters. And you, Steve, focused on immigration this past spring. INSKEEP: Yeah. And let's hear a bit of one story that illustrates a basic issue at the Arizona border. A couple of months ago, we met two asylum-seekers, Carla and Jose, from Venezuela. And I asked what they did when they crossed the border. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST) CARLA: (Speaking Spanish). INSKEEP: Carla said, "we gave thanks to God for the opportunity." You're taking some papers out of a bag here. Jose handed me documents from the Federal Immigration Service. These are your signatures here? CARLA: Si. INSKEEP: OK. The papers said the family has a court date in 3 1/2 years. MARTÍNEZ: Three and a half years, which I've heard is the normal wait time. INSKEEP: Yeah. It's an issue. People arrive, and they can stay a long time before they have to prove a claim for asylum. The numbers of people crossing this way have massively increased during President Biden's time in office, which is on the mind of Muzaffar Chishti, an immigration specialist we heard from in the series. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST) MUZAFFAR CHISHTI: I mean, that's sort of why many people think that the border crisis is actually an asylum crisis, that just invoking the word asylum then lets you enter the U.S. MARTÍNEZ: So, Steve, Congress discussed changes early this year. Would that bill have changed the dynamics at all? INSKEEP: Well, it would have sped up court judgments so people would be deported more quickly. And the idea was to give them less incentive to come in the first place. Former President Trump, though, urged Republicans in Congress to block that. He was campaigning on the issue - said he wanted something else. And when we interviewed Alejandro Mayorkas, the Homeland Security secretary for President Biden, he criticized a Republican lawmaker for that bill's failure. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST) ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS: The bipartisan legislation would have eliminated the yearslong process between encounter and final adjudication and our ability to remove that individual. And I would respectfully wish that the congressman had actually supported that bipartisan legislation rather than opposed it. MARTÍNEZ: OK. So now we know the backdrop. This is how President Biden came to act on his own. When border crossings increase, almost everybody gets expedited removal. They no longer get to wait years. INSKEEP: Yeah. And our immigration correspondent, Jasmine Garsd, is at the California-Mexico border right now and looking at the effect of this. Hey there, Jas. JASMINE GARSD, BYLINE: Hi. INSKEEP: Thanks for joining us. I know it's very early where you are. Are people already being returned? GARSD: Yeah. So we don't have Customs and Border Protection numbers measuring the impact of the restrictions yet. But the agency has said they've more than doubled expedited removals. Now, one of our colleagues has spent time on the Mexican side of the border in towns where he witnessed an overflow of migrants at shelters who were sent back. So, yes, definitely the executive action is making waves. INSKEEP: OK. So that's in the last couple of weeks. But what's been happening to the overall numbers of people crossing the border throughout this year? GARSD: So the number of undocumented migrant crossings - it's been going down, actually, for the last couple of months. You know, there were a series of meetings between the U.S. and Mexico last year. And Mexico really ramped up its enforcement of migrants who are traveling north to the U.S., and that's something that's really been felt. I can tell you right now I'm at the border. And the shift - it's really notable. There's areas where I used to run into hundreds of asylum-seekers, and now it's almost empty. I mean, you still see bottles of water and clothing and shoes and tents, but it's all empty. There - it's almost creepy. INSKEEP: OK. But people are still crossing in some places. Does this overall mean that Biden's approach is working? GARSD: I think there's a lot more to this story. Historically, these crackdowns on the border - they work for a few weeks. They work for a few months. And then it picks right back up. And most immigration experts will tell you deterrence alone doesn't work, not when the conditions that people are fleeing remain in place. And I've been talking to locals. I've been talking to humanitarian aid groups out here who have told me they've seen these kinds of policies for decades over and over again. And they always result in migrants being pushed to cross the border through far more dangerous and deadly areas, but they still cross. And everyone out here has told me that's what they're expecting to see - a short-lived effect. MARTÍNEZ: Steve, we've been talking about new arrivals, but both candidates are talking about people already here without a legal status. INSKEEP: Yeah. That's true. Biden took an action regarding some of them last week. What was it, Jasmine? GARSD: It's for people without documents who have married U.S. citizens, and they would be protected from deportation. They'd receive a work authorization as they applied for permanent legal status, and it would apply to about half a million people. MARTÍNEZ: All right. Now, Donald Trump - he's taking a different approach to the 11 million people already here. INSKEEP: Yeah, yeah. Mass deportation is what he's repeated at one campaign stop after another. His former aide in the White House, Stephen Miller, has also talked of rounding up people and putting them into camps while awaiting departure by plane. This is from a podcast where Miller spoke with the activist Charlie Kirk. (SOUNDBITE OF PODCAST, "THE CHARLIE KIRK SHOW") STEPHEN MILLER: So you create this efficiency by having these standing facilities where planes are moving off the runway constantly, probably military aircraft, some existing DHS assets. And in terms of personnel, you go to the red-state governors, and you say, give us your National Guard. We will deputize them as immigration enforcement officers. INSKEEP: Miller was talking there of sending red-state National Guard troops into blue states if they should resist. MARTÍNEZ: OK. So aside from the practical and legal questions there, I mean, what are the politics of that? INSKEEP: Well, it's tricky. Surveys do show that majorities of voters favor deporting people who are here illegally. But in my own interviews, I've encountered Trump voters who were surprised by the idea of a mass deportation and didn't like it. And Trump himself talked about generating political resistance in a Fox News interview. (SOUNDBITE OF FOX NEWS BROADCAST) DONALD TRUMP: So you'll get rid of 10 really bad ones and one, you know, beautiful mother, who they think is guilty of something. And maybe she is - maybe. And it'll become a story or a family that's a good family and came in wrong. And, you know, they're going to show it. Then it's going to always be tough. It's not going to be easy. INSKEEP: That's former President Trump. We also heard reporting from NPR's Jasmine Garsd and many other voices as we get debate prep - the backdrop of a big issue so you can follow what the candidates say on Thursday night. President Biden meets former President Trump on CNN. They have agreed to a second debate on ABC in September. The candidates did not agree to the traditional three debates this fall sponsored by an independent commission, and we have an update there. MARTÍNEZ: In May, after Biden's team said he would not participate in the fall, the commission head told us he'd keep trying. This week, the commission acknowledged the odds. It told the universities that host the debates that they no longer need to make plans. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Amid shortage, nurses abroad wait longer for visas

Visas for nurses are running out yet again — months before the end of the fiscal year. And for healthcare providers seeking talent abroad, this is a problem. Qualified and experienced nurses are in high demand, and the Health Resources & Services Administration projects a shortfall of tens of thousands of registered nurses annually. For U.S. healthcare providers and the foreign nurses who want to work for them, the wait to get a visa to the U.S. is growing. “Unfortunately, there are many more in the queue waiting for visas than there are visas available,” said Sinead Carbery, with staffing firm AMN Healthcare. For a nurse applying today, Carbery said the wait time has increased to roughly 2.5 years. “And unless we do something legislatively, it’s only going to get worse.” Without creating more visa slots, she estimates wait times will grow by six months every year. Marketplace Morning Report Hosted by David Brancaccio and Leanna Byrne Marketplace Morning Report LATEST EPISODES The latest snag in the attempt to ease student loans Jun 25, 2024 The economics — and moral complications — of reality TV Jun 25, 2024 Sudan’s food economy is in a dire situation Jun 25, 2024 “It’s very challenging for the professionals themselves, because they’re overseas, they want to come to the United States, they get in line. And then the line timeline just keeps changing,” said Carbery. Nursing visa backlogs have fluctuated significantly over the past decade. Immigration attorney Chris Musillo noted it actually got better during the pandemic: “From an immigration visa perspective, it allowed the U.S. government to prioritize certain kinds of workers.” Like health care workers, which we desperately needed. But now that the visa process has returned to normal, the backlog is back. And healthcare providers aren’t happy, according to immigration attorney Elissa Taub. Latest Stories on Marketplace Economic data is looking good. So why the glum vibes? Why most of the world still uses the U.S. dollar to buy and sell oil Climate change forces third-generation fisherman to rethink this year “I’ve told employers at this point, ‘Honestly, I can’t tell you how long it’s going to take for this nurse to come. This avenue is not going to be a good way for you to fill your needs today,’” she said. Some employers are testing out other, limited visa options, while others may opt not to recruit foreign workers at all, said Taub. But “I do think that demand is going to remain high because some employers are so desperate,” she said. “They’re like, ‘Look, let’s just get them in the system and go, right, and just see what happens.’” But those desperate employers turning to foreign workers have another option, per NYU nursing professor Allison Squires: do more to retain nurses. Studies show roughly one in five registered nurses left their jobs in 2023. “Where the work needs to happen though is really around the work environment,” Squires said. She said that creating safer, more supportive work culture will help employers retain both U.S.- and foreign-born nurses. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Republicans raise ‘grave concerns’ with Biden immigration order

A group of Republican senators raised “grave concerns” to President Biden about his recent move to allow certain undocumented immigrants who are spouses and children of U.S. citizens to stay in the country and work legally. In a letter to Biden dated June 21, the GOP lawmakers wrote that Biden’s latest immigration relief “directly contravenes the laws Congress has passed” and “will throw fuel on the fire of the ongoing border crisis.” The lawmakers called on Biden to rescind the sweeping immigration relief, which expands the regularization program known as parole in place that allows a foreign national who entered the U.S. without authorization to stay for a period of time. Parole in place is typically granted on case-by-case basis. Around half a million spouses of U.S. citizens and about 50,000 noncitizen children under the age of 21 could be eligible for this program. The letter was penned by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and 15 other Republicans. “We have previously challenged the legality of your Administration’s parole authority and have sought to reform this authority to ensure that decisions regarding parole are restored to Congress’ original intent – ‘on a case-by-case basis’ to aliens who are not already present in the U.S.,” the lawmakers wrote. “Under your Administration, the parole authority has been unlawfully used to circumvent screening and vetting, mass parole of illegal aliens after the cartels surge caravans at the border, and to circumvent normal refugee processing,” the letter added. The lawmakers called Biden’s policies regarding the U.S. southern border border “reckless” and criticized his rolling back of some past border measures, which they claimed “invited the chaos” at the border. “This week’s action doubles down on your Administration’s message to the world that the America will not enforce the law at the southern border,” the lawmakers wrote. “Border security is national security, and our adversaries will continue to take advantage of the chaos your Administration created by announcing this policy.” The Hill reached out to the White House for comment. The letter follows a series of Republicans slamming Biden’s move last week. Former President Trump said he would reverse Biden’s order if reelected and accused the president of “using” the migrants. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) accused Biden of attempting to shore up voters ahead of November. “That’s their game plan. Get as many registered to vote as they can,” he told The Hill last week. “They don’t care about citizens; they don’t care about these people. They’re just looking for voters, and they’re trying [to] do as much as they can before the next election because they’re seeing the writing on the wall.” Republicans in Congress have repeatedly criticized Biden over his border policies, arguing his actions have contributed to a mass influx of migrants entering the U.S. at the southern border. Earlier this month, Biden issued a separate executive order that gives the White House additional authority to restrict the flow of migrants and permits border officials to turn away migrants at the southern border when the seven-day average of daily border crossings exceeds 2,500 between ports of entry. Republicans similarly criticized that order, arguing it does not include several long-sought border security measures demanded by the GOP. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Monday, June 24, 2024

Bannon pushes back on Trump’s green cards for graduates idea

Former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is pushing back on former President Trump’s idea to give green cards to international students who graduate from U.S. colleges. Bannon, an ally of Trump’s and a podcaster, argued strongly against the immigration idea on Friday, saying the student’s exit visa should be clipped to their diploma. “People by and large want to live back where they come from or where their folks are and what their culture and society is,” Bannon said in comments highlighted by Mediaite. “Yes, let’s take them in on a selective basis, train them up, let the root for college football and get all that. You know, you look in the college football stands, the diversity, it’s fabulous, but then it’s time to go back home.” Bannon argued that international students should go and make their home country “great again” upon graduating from higher learning institutions in the U.S. “Work for your country and make [it] great again. That is the way we go as nations of the earth,” he said. In a Thursday appearance on the “All-In” podcast, Trump said he thinks college graduates should automatically get a green card to the United States as part of their diploma “to be able to say in this country.” The idea was a change of tone for the former president, who rode to office during his first campaign on promises to build a wall at the country’s southern border. His words seem to mirror language from former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during her 2016 campaign, during which she said certain STEM and PhD graduates should receive green cards. Bannon tied the green card issue to ongoing foreign affairs, saying “we can’t keep the world on our shoulders and keep spending money on all these forever wars in this international apparatus […] we want the nations of the earth to also make themselves great again.” For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Biden's executive actions on immigration reflect recent shifts in politics

President Biden’s latest executive actions on immigration seek to secure the southern border and help some immigrant families already here. These shifts in policy reflect recent shifts in politics.

Biden’s immigration relief breaks pattern of enforcement-heavy rhetoric

Pollsters are predicting that President Biden’s immigration relief moves will give him a boost among battleground state Latinos, a key demographic ahead of November’s general election. Days after Biden’s order, former President Trump told a podcast host he would essentially staple a green card to every U.S. college diploma earned by a foreign national, a proposal that’s popular among business circles but would likely require an act of Congress. The immigration debate’s swing into a buyer’s market for certain groups follows years — if not decades — of polling showing the general public broadly favors a fair immigration system. Biden’s announcement, which promises a path to citizenship for about half a million undocumented immigrants married to or adopted by U.S. citizens, changed a pattern many immigrants thought was etched in stone. “Since the beginning of the Trump era, there has been a feeling that things are only going to go backward, and this is a significant — a really significant announcement, and proof that we can actually move forward in a way that’s actually good for these families,” said Rep. Greg Casar (D-Texas). Public debate on the topic has centered on security and enforcement — with in-depth argumentation about specific policies such as wall construction or Title 42 expulsions — while discussion of the immigration system itself is often framed around broader concepts such as “comprehensive immigration reform” or “path to citizenship.” Over the last two decades, no major bill to reform or improve immigration processes has passed, though enforcement funding has more than tripled since the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created in 2003. That’s made many immigrant communities skeptical that any beneficial change could be coming their way; immigration and border policy has been a one-way street for a generation. A poll of voters conducted between April and May in battleground states by Equis found both parties underwater with Hispanics on immigration: Only 38 percent of respondents said they trust Biden and Democrats on immigration, while 41 percent trust Trump and Republicans. Broad majorities of respondents said their problem with Democrats is they haven’t delivered reform, and their issue with Republicans is they’re too harsh. “Broken promises” by Democrats was listed as a top concern by 72 percent of respondents, and 65 percent listed a failure to deliver a pathway to citizenship. Trump’s negatives came in at 64 percent of respondents concerned about his “extreme measures” and “racism and division,” and 62 percent about “border politics and chaos.” Proposals such as Trump’s green card pitch, which has already been panned by restrictionist groups that generally support him, has historically been a priority of business interests and East and South Asian immigrant groups. It’s unlikely to move the needle among Latinos, but it’s also unknown so far whether Biden’s announcement is attracting converts. A separate poll conducted for UnidosUS in mid-May found that the economy is by far the most important issue for Latino voters, but on immigration, 53 percent said their top priority is providing a path to citizenship for long-term undocumented immigrants, and 42 percent pushed for a path to citizenship for Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the country as minors. The top enforcement-related concern for that poll’s respondents was cracking down on human smugglers, listed by 29 percent, followed by 28 percent who cited the need for more border security. Those priorities are far from a secret among Latinos — an entire ecosystem of advocacy groups has been pushing for immigrant relief for decades. “First, Latino voters, like other Americans, are frustrated by the situation at the southern border and by the seeming impasse in Washington on getting a solution. This frustration is demonstrated by increased openness to a variety of options Latino voters may not have entertained before, but this frustration should not be misinterpreted as a fundamental shift among Latino voters,” said Clarissa Martínez de Castro, president of the Latino Vote Initiative at UnidosUs. “What is clear from our poll is that the top immigration priority for Latino voters remains providing relief to the long-term undocumented in this country, and Latino voters are more frustrated by the lack of support for immigrants than they are by the situation at the border.” That’s why Biden’s immigrant relief initiative, which essentially makes it easier for qualifying undocumented immigrants to clean up their paperwork, was met with full-throated support by advocacy groups, particularly those on the left. Along with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program of 2012 and its sister program, 2014’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), Biden’s announcement is the only major victory in decades for those who prioritize a path to citizenship. But it’s still up in the air whether Biden’s program — due to start receiving applications in August — will result in green cards for half a million spouses and adoptive children of U.S. citizens, or whether it will suffer the fate of DAPA. DAPA never signed up beneficiaries because it was blocked by lawsuits and essentially buried by the Supreme Court in 2016 in a 4-4 decision that affirmed a lower court’s injunction. “There was the huge excitement around both DACA and DAPA being announced, and then, tragically, DAPA taking the huge hit that it took,” said Casar. “I think that this one could wind up being of enormous importance, because there’s so much, I think, despair in mixed-status families and in Latino districts like mine, that nothing’s ever going to get done, and I think this could crack open that despair and provide a path of hope. And I think that’s really important.” For the Biden administration to provide that path, advocates warn, an announcement that falls flat in court won’t cut it. “So if you’re looking at it from an operational standpoint, you know the administration is going to need to enroll folks quickly and soon to be able to pull this off,” said Cris Ramón, senior immigration policy advisor at UnidosUS. “It really has to sell this policy to the community, but also needs to be able to be able to work with trusted community-based organizations and legal service providers to ensure that people can navigate this process and be able to get the protection that they deserve.” For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

How Biden’s recent actions on immigration could address a major issue voters have with him

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Over the course of two weeks, President Joe Biden has imposed significant restrictions on immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. while also offering potential citizenship to hundreds of thousands of people without legal status already living in the country. The tandem actions — the first to help immigrants illegally in the U.S., the second to prevent others from entering at the border — give the president a chance to address one of the biggest vulnerabilities for his reelection campaign. WATCH: How Biden’s immigration order shields undocumented spouses and children of citizens Americans give Biden poor marks for his handling of immigration and favor the approach of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, whose administration imposed hardline policies such as separating immigrant families and who now has proposed the largest deportation operation in U.S. history if elected again. While the White House said its most recent actions aren’t meant to counterbalance each other, the election-year policy changes offer something both for voters who think border enforcement is too lenient and for those who support helping immigrants who live in the U.S. illegally. They echo the White House’s overall approach since Biden took office, using a mix of policies to restrict illegal immigration and offer help to people already in the country. Trump and top Republicans have ripped Biden for record-high numbers of encounters at the border, with some suggesting without evidence that Biden is abetting a so-called “invasion” to affect the election. Tightening asylum rules as Biden did could reduce border crossings. Helping people long established in the country obtain citizenship, meanwhile, might defuse criticism of immigration advocates and liberal parts of Biden’s Democratic coalition who opposed the new border restrictions unveiled earlier this month. An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll conducted in March found that only about 3 in 10 Americans approved of Biden’s handling of immigration. A similar share approved of his handling of border security. In the same poll, about half of U.S. adults said that Biden is extremely or very responsible for the current situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, compared to about one-third who said Trump was extremely or very responsible. READ MORE: Here’s how Americans feel about Biden and Trump as election season revs up Biden’s latest action was endorsed by Rep. Tom Suozzi of New York, a moderate Democrat who won a special election in February to replace expelled former Republican Rep. George Santos. Suozzi’s race centered heavily on immigration and New York City’s struggles to accommodate thousands of immigrants bused there from the U.S.-Mexico border. Suozzi described first being elected mayor of Glen Cove, New York, in 1994 and helping organize centers to assist groups of immigrants waiting on street corners for day-laborer jobs, which he said still informs how he sees the issue. “The reality is, those same guys that were on the street corners in 1994, today own their own businesses, own their own homes and their kids went to school with my kids,” Suozzi said on a call with reporters. “We’ve got to take action. People are sick of this.” Van Callaway, a hairstylist from Mesa, Arizona, who uses they/them pronouns, voted for Biden four years ago but was disappointed to hear the president was making it harder to claim asylum. But they were also skeptical whether the president’s plan to help legalize spouses who are married to U.S. citizens would actually come to fruition. “I wish that it was an easier process so people who need to be here could be here,” said Callaway, 29. “And I wish that there was more love and acceptance about it. And more empathy. I feel like if there was a lot empathy on immigration as a whole, the world would be a lot better.” The Department of Homeland Security estimates that around 500,000 spouses of U.S. citizens will be protected under Biden’s latest action, as will 50,000 children of a noncitizen parent. The White House said those benefiting have been in the U.S. for an average of 23 years. That won’t be the case for most of the new arrivals to the U.S.-Mexico border who find themselves unable to apply because of Biden’s other executive action. The White House notes, however, that it has taken several other actions to make it easier for new immigrants to enter the country. WATCH: Biden order restricts how many migrants can seek asylum at southern border With congressional Republicans “refusing to address our broken immigration system,” the administration “has taken action to secure our border and to keep American families together in the United States,” said Angelo Fernández Hernández, a White House spokesman. That includes creating a program last year allowing people from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to come to the U.S. if they have a financial sponsor, pass a background check and fly into a U.S. airport — which nearly 435,000 people had used by the end of April. The administration also expanded H-2 temporary work visa programs, and established processing centers away from the U.S. border, in countries including Guatemala and Columbia. Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson nonetheless accused Biden of “trying to play both sides.” And Trump dismissed Biden’s action on asylum as “all for show,” suggesting the president is “giving mass amnesty and citizenship to hundreds of thousands of illegals who he knows will ultimately vote for him.” Callaway said deciding whom to vote for this year will be excruciating, “a real hard conundrum.” They’re worried about Trump’s second-term agenda but also furious about Biden’s approach to Israel’s war in Gaza, and not excited to support a third-party candidate who probably can’t win. More harsh border policies would be another knock against Biden, they said. “They’ll tell you what you want to hear, but they’re not often going to follow through on it,” Callaway said. “It feels like the things they follow through on are fueled by prejudice and this weird sense of victimhood.” For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Afghan evacuees in limbo: Humanitarian parole leaves 1,000s facing uncertainty in US

In 2021, the United States began one of its biggest humanitarian evacuations in history as it withdrew from Afghanistan, resettling more than 80,000 Afghans fleeing Taliban rule in the initial weeks of Operation Allies Welcome. However, they were brought into the U.S. through the humanitarian parole process that gives temporary immigration status to the displaced persons. But how has this temporary status affected Afghan evacuees in the U.S.? Upon arrival in the United States, more than 70,000 evacuees were granted humanitarian parole for two years, a temporary immigration status with no path to permanent residency. Uncertainty around the humanitarian parole status has had several concrete effects on aspects of the evacuees’ lives, including financial, employment, housing, and mental health. This process has come with many challenges for the resettled men, women and children from Afghanistan. Masi Siddiqi, who came to the United States after the Taliban took control over Kabul, was granted admission to the prestigious Columbia University in New York. However, his status hindered his ability to secure funding through loans to continue his studies. “I was admitted to Columbia University for the fall of 2023, and I did attend one semester. I thought that I may be able to afford it at first because I had my family’s support. But after doing one semester I found out that I was financially not able to do it because I did not qualify for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), for federal loans, for federal aid, grants, funds and for none of the benefits that a U.S. citizen or non-citizen would qualify for,” Masi said. FILE - Afghan residents play in an informal cricket match at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Sept. 29, 2021. FILE - Afghan residents play in an informal cricket match at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Sept. 29, 2021. Safiullah Rauf, founder of Human First Coalition, an organization providing aid primarily to Afghanistan and Afghans, leads a team of hundreds to provide food, medical care and resettlement services to more than 15,000 Afghans in need. The organization has helped evacuate more than 7,000 people, including 1,400 U.S. nationals, since the Taliban seized control of the country. Rauf is visiting communities in the United States to gather support for Congress to do more to support Afghans in the U.S., including in the form of draft legislation known as the Afghan Adjustment Act. “[The] Afghan Adjustment Act is one of the most important pieces of legislation that was introduced in 2022 to help those allies we brought to the U.S. in 2021,’’ Rauf told VOA. ‘’There are over 80,000 allies that were brought to the U.S., and many came with the humanitarian parole. They had a two-year visa to stay in the U.S. and their future was uncertain though the parole was extended for another year; but they still face an uncertain future. The Afghan Adjustment Act makes sure that all who came in 2021 go through a vetting process and after that they will become a productive member of the society. "In the United States, passing of any kind of legislation is a huge hurdle and you have to move mountains to approve any law, especially right now where [the] Senate and the House is most divided,’’ Rauf said. ‘’Because this bill is somewhat related to immigration, the Republicans are very much against any immigration bills right now. However, this bill is different than a normal immigration bill. This bill is for those allies who supported the U.S. for over 20 years in Afghanistan and their life will be in danger and it is a certain death if they go back to Afghanistan. So they must be given a permanent residency here.’’ According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, legal assistance resources and immigration processing are experiencing extreme delays that could span years. FILE - An Afghan man is wrapped in a bear hug by his daughter as he picks up his children from school, in Alexandria, Virginia, April 7, 2022. The family was evacuated from Afghanistan and is trying to make a new life in the U.S., while in immigration limbo. FILE - An Afghan man is wrapped in a bear hug by his daughter as he picks up his children from school, in Alexandria, Virginia, April 7, 2022. The family was evacuated from Afghanistan and is trying to make a new life in the U.S., while in immigration limbo. Laila Mangal, who is working for LLS resettlement agency as a case manager and cultural liaison in the state of Virginia, told VOA Deewa about the challenges faced by the Afghans who came to the U.S. on short notice and in chaotic circumstances. She expressed that the unclear nature of evacuees’ immigration status for the near future, has posed a critical structural barrier to their well-being and, ultimately, their success in the U.S. “When their legal case is in the process and it takes longer, the refugees go through stress and pressure,’’ Mangal said. ‘’Sometimes this legal battle drains their mental health.” Masi, the student, calls on the Senate and the House of Representatives to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act so the displaced Afghans can be categorized as U.S. permanent residents. “As the U.S. officials say ‘we stand by our Afghan allies,’ we do expect them to stand by their allies because I personally believe that they have not yet stood by their Afghan allies,’’ Masi said. ‘’Not only with the ones that are left behind but also the ones that are currently facing the immigration limbo here in the U.S.; just like my family and myself. I really appreciate that the senators and the representatives from my state and from the other states should support the Afghan Adjustment Act. I think the social media slogans are not enough by themselves. They must push the majority leaders to bring the act to the floor because with bipartisan support, we can have the act pass.'' Like other resettled immigrants, Afghans were encouraged to find jobs quickly and felt the pressure to do so given the high costs of living, limited aid available, and, for some, the large families they’re supporting. Many found low-wage jobs in manufacturing, hospitality, retail, food processing, trucking, or ride sharing to support themselves and their families. But with the pending expiration of employment authorization documents this fall, employment stability is at risk for some. Stakeholders shared that because of the expiration date, some employers have begun notifying people they will lose their jobs later this year or that they are now no longer needed. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Biden plans Latino organizing, advertising push around Copa América

The plans include organizing house parties, campaign-sponsored events at swing-state sports bars and restaurants, and the sale of Biden campaign soccer jerseys, as well as a television and digital ad campaign in English and Spanish on Fox, Univision, radio and other digital outlets covering the tournament, campaign officials said. The Biden campaign, facing challenges reaching its targeted voters, has been using major sporting events and in-person gatherings unrelated to politics to make its case, including advertising during the last National Football League season and the 2024 NFL draft. The campaign has held bracelet-beading events on swing-state college campuses and has organized meetings at local bars, as well as bingo or pickleball games for seniors. ADVERTISING “From mobile phones and tablets to TVs at home and in sports bars, few things will generate as many eyeballs on all types of screens as this tournament,” Adrian Saenz, the co-founder of Conexión, the Biden campaign’s Latino media consultant, said in a statement. “It makes a lot of sense for the campaign to be connecting with the community through advertising coupled with on-the-ground organizing.” The Copa América tournament — which this year includes national teams from South America along with six guests from North America, Central America and the Caribbean — will be played in 14 U.S. stadiums through July 14, including events in key swing states such as Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina, where the Biden campaign has built field operations to organize volunteers. Expectations are high for significant viewership this year, given U.S. resident support for the Mexican national team, which joins the United States and Canada among the guest competitors, and Argentine star Lionel Messi’s recent decision to begin playing for a U.S. Major League Soccer team, Inter Miami. The Biden ad campaign is anchored by a spot that reminds viewers that the 2020 Copa América was delayed because of the covid lockdowns during Donald Trump’s presidency. The ad credits Biden with reopening the country, creating jobs and making communities safer from gun violence. The English version of the ad ends with the narrator using an expletive that is bleeped out but unmistakable. Share this article Share “Donald Trump talks and talks,” the voice-over says, over a graphic that shows Trump getting a red card. “Joe Biden gets s--- done.” In the Spanish version of the ad, the closing line translates as, “Trump did not do anything good for us. But Joe Biden, he is on our team.” Biden aides say they plan to buy ads on billboards near stadiums promoting Biden later in the tournament, and they are working to arrange watch parties at homes as well as sports bars and restaurants — with free food and beverages — where people are expected to gather. They have created branded Copa América signs and banners to be distributed at events, and “halftime” and “cervecita break” (beer break) conversation guides for organizers. The events are planned to include trainings on using Reach, the campaign’s relational organizing app, part of the campaign’s effort to recruit volunteers to encourage their friends and family to vote. Those watching at home on the campaign contact list will be encouraged to take actions at key moments such as halftime, when the television ads will run. The Biden soccer jersey, which will be added to the campaign’s merchandise store, shows the Biden-Harris logo over broad black and blue stripes. The back carries the number 46, a reference to Biden’s status as the 46th president. The group has also created a T-shirt to celebrate the event. Two of the four Copa América quarterfinal matches are scheduled for July 6 at stadiums near Phoenix and in Las Vegas. One of two semifinal matches is set for July 10 in Charlotte. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

‘My feet have not hit the ground yet’: Why Biden’s words stunned this New Jersey woman

In love, married and pregnant, Ashley DeAzevedo faced an impossible choice she never expected. If her husband, an undocumented immigrant from Brazil, wanted to become a US citizen, he’d have to leave the country for a decade. It’s been more than 11 years since an immigration attorney delivered the devastating news, but she can still feel its sting. President Joe Biden speaks about an executive action in the East Room at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2024. RELATED ARTICLE Biden announces new executive action protecting some undocumented immigrant spouses and children of US citizens “I just remember the conversation feeling like somebody took the air out of my lungs. Because I was not expecting that. And neither was he,” DeAzevedo says. On Tuesday, the 38-year-old New Jersey hair salon owner was starting to feel like she could breathe again. DeAzevedo sat in the second row of an event at the White House and cheered as President Biden announced a new policy that aims to help her family and about a half million others in a similar situation. The measure allows certain undocumented spouses and children of US citizens to apply for lawful permanent residency without leaving the country. “This is really significant,” said Julia Gelatt, associate director of the US program at the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute. “It’s removing a barrier that’s prevented hundreds of thousands of unauthorized immigrants from obtaining that green card that they’re otherwise eligible for.” The election-year announcement is already drawing high praise from Democrats and fierce criticism from Republicans. DeAzevedo, president of American Families United, an organization that advocates for mixed-status families, says it shouldn’t be about politics, but about doing what’s right. She spoke with CNN this week before and after Biden’s announcement, sharing how living in the shadows has affected her, her husband and their 11-year-old son, and what this new policy could mean for them and many others. Excerpts from those conversations have been edited for length and clarity. How are you feeling? Wow, like my feet have not hit the ground yet. Today was just one of the wildest in my life, to go to the White House for the first time, and to be there when the president made such a historic announcement. I mean, I’m not an emotional person generally. I don’t cry a lot. But it was very hard for me to hold my emotions. I was a sobbing, crying mess listening to him speak, because he was telling my story. He was speaking about my family and all the families of the people that I love and care about. I think a lot of people assume that when an undocumented immigrant marries a US citizen, there’s an easy path to legalize their status. Yeah. That is not the case. When did you first realize that? We were newly married at the time. I was pregnant. I knew my husband didn’t have status in the United States. But I figured, let me just find a lawyer. So we met with her. And she said, “Well, here comes the bad news. I can’t do anything to help you guys. Your husband would have to leave the country for 10 years.” (After meeting with the attorney), we were like, well, what are we going to do? I can’t move to Brazil. I have my business here. I have my family here. And I obviously didn’t want to raise a child without my husband. So, we made the decision to stay here in the shadows, hoping that something would change. It’s not an easy lifestyle. It’s not for the faint of heart. Ashley DeAzevedo and her husband met on the train heading to a festival in New York City. This photo was taken when they first started dating. Ashley DeAzevedo and her husband met on the train heading to a festival in New York City. This photo was taken when they first started dating. Ashley DeAzevedo How have your daily lives been shaped by this situation? It’s frustrating because my husband can’t ever work to his full ability. It’s all just side jobs and whatever. We had to not really live up to what we could potentially. I had to qualify for a mortgage all by myself because he couldn’t be on it with me. He can’t get life insurance. He can’t get health insurance. There’s just so many different, nuanced, stupid, stupid things that he’s excluded from. It feels like being a second-class citizen. It’s like you live here and you pay taxes, but you can’t be treated like a human being like everyone else around you. It just feels so cruel. He hasn’t seen his parents in 18 years. His dad passed away, and he was never able to go back and see him. I think people forget the human toll. You’re never going to be able to get that moment back. He’s never going to be able to give his dad one last hug. Before you met your husband and went through all of this alongside him, was this something that was on your radar at all? Not really. I had some friends in the Brazilian community, so I kind of had an idea, but I never really understood. For me, it just wasn’t really important, because on one side of my family, we’ve been here since the Revolutionary War. And on the other side, my mom’s side of the family, I’m a third-generation American with ancestors from Italy who came over through Ellis Island. The immigrant story is something that’s very rich in my family. It just never crossed my mind that there would be this ridiculous hurdle for somebody if they’re married to an American. It just never crossed my mind that there would be this ridiculous hurdle for somebody if they’re married to an American. Ashley DeAzevedo, president of American Families United Do you find yourself often meeting people that don’t realize that this is the reality that a lot of families are living in? What do you tell them? It’s not something I share regularly. It’s not like I wear a badge that’s like, “my husband’s, undocumented.” But if I hear people speaking disparagingly about immigrants, I can’t help myself but say, “you don’t know the whole story. Don’t ‘good immigrant, bad immigrant’ with me. Because my husband, who you love spending time with and you think is such a great human, is part of this group of people.” When I explain it to people, it blows their mind. What is the significance of this new measure for you and your family? I think the devil is in the details, and it’s really going to matter exactly how they implement the policy. What was announced today was the nuts and bolts, you know, the intention, the directive, and the basic framework, but no real, significant details on implementation. For my husband, it really could be the piece that unlocks his green card pathway that he does have, it just is only available to him after 10 years outside the country. If that were the case, then he could move forward onto his green card and eventually one day become a citizen. That would give him the ability to see his mom again for the first time in 18 years. It would give my son the ability to travel with his dad, to go meet his grandma. He’s never met her before. It would just mean a lot of things — peace of mind, never worrying after my husband gets pulled over. It’s just terrifying. If he’s late or he doesn’t answer his phone, your mind automatically goes to the worst place. It would just mean a lot of things — peace of mind, never worrying after my husband gets pulled over. It’s just terrifying. If he’s late or he doesn’t answer his phone, your mind automatically goes to the worst place. Ashley DeAzevedo, president of American Families United, on what the Biden administration's immigration policy announcement means for her family And it sounds like having a work permit would be a game changer? Yeah, a total game changer. Biden announced the new immigration policy at an event celebrating the 12th anniversary of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA. A crowd of supporters packed the East Room of the White House for the occasion. Biden announced the new immigration policy at an event celebrating the 12th anniversary of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA. A crowd of supporters packed the East Room of the White House for the occasion. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images You first became more politically involved in the time of family separations during the Trump administration. Do you worry that, as significant as a policy like this is, it’s something that a future administration could undo? I’m kind of conflicted with that, because there are always concerns. I’m sure there are going to be legal challenges. But during the pandemic when the initial CARES Act funding excluded mixed-status families, Republican senators like Marco Rubio and John Cornyn really came to our aid and fought for that to be made right and retroactive, so that when the next round of funding came out, it covered our families as well, not our spouses, but it made sure US citizens and their children were able to collect those funds. So knowing that Republicans fought through this before, and Donald Trump actually is the one who agreed and signed it into law, leads me to believe that maybe the “party of family values” might see that this isn’t a fair situation. And Donald Trump’s wife is an immigrant. He knows the process. He gets it. He’s fallen in love with somebody from a different country as well. So he knows better than anybody that our families should be treated the same as everyone else. Already Republican leadership is slamming this new policy as a “mass amnesty scheme.” What’s your response to that? It’s disappointing. I hope they’ll reconsider their position on that. Not only because their candidate for president is married to an immigrant who was able to benefit from the spousal green card pathway, but also, you know, have a little compassion and see that we’re American families. My family goes back to the Revolutionary War here, and the thought that my husband wouldn’t be welcome in this country is just outrageous. Ashley DeAzevedo speaks outside the US Capitol in September. She first got involved with American Families United during the Trump administration. Now she’s the organization’s president. Ashley DeAzevedo speaks outside the US Capitol in September. She first got involved with American Families United during the Trump administration. Now she’s the organization’s president. Courtesy Ashley DeAzevedo Are there any questions that you have right now about what’s next? What’s on your mind right now as you think of the months to come? Well, all of the partners we’ve been advocating with and the people we’ve been working with inside government, we have a lot of conversations coming up. I want to make sure that my members are covered — not only those that are here in the US. I think a really important piece to tell of this story is the Americans that went through the process, found themselves outside of the country for an interview and were barred from returning if they got bad legal advice or something like that. There are families that are separated right now that are really, really suffering. And we need to make sure that there is relief for them as well. Today was one step in the right direction, like a down payment on a promise, and there’s a lot of work ahead. Did your husband and your son come with you to the White House? My son and my mom came with me. My husband, because of policy, wasn’t able to come to the White House. He is here in DC, though, and he was able to celebrate. He was watching it live. For him, it’s surreal. You know, he’s lived this reality where again, he hasn’t seen his mom for 18 years. His dad passed away since he left Brazil. If he ever gets to return, he’s going to be there and his dad won’t be there. So today was the first time that he really felt like there was a glimmer of hope for some sense of normalcy for him.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

USCIS Extends Employment Authorization Documents under Temporary Protected Status Designations of El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan

We are extending the validity of certain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) issued to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries under the designations of El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan through March 9, 2025. We will send a Form I-797, Notice of Action, notifying you if you are affected by this extension. If you are a current TPS beneficiary under one of these designations, and you have not yet re-registered for TPS under the most recent extension for that designation, you must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, during the current re-registration period to keep your TPS benefits. DHS previously extended the re-registration periods for individuals to submit TPS applications: El Salvador now runs through March 9, 2025; Honduras now runs through July 5, 2025; Nepal now runs through June 24, 2025; Nicaragua now runs through July 5, 2025; and Sudan now runs through April 19, 2025. Please note that while the re-registration periods end on different dates, EADs are all extended through the same date: March 9, 2025. Find instructions to re-register for TPS and renew your EAD in the most recent Federal Register notice that extends TPS for your country (or extends and redesignates your country for TPS). For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

H-1B Rule Expected Later This Year, Immigration Restrictions Possible

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is expected to publish a final rule on H-1B visas that could bring significant changes to employers. Many attorneys and businesses interviewed hope in the final rule Biden administration officials will correct provisions considered problematic. Among the provisions are H-1B measures—identical to those proposed in a failed Trump administration rule—that critics say undermine President Biden’s objectives to develop AI and the U.S. semiconductor industry. The Timing Of The H-1B Rule On October 23, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services published a notice of proposed rulemaking. The rule was subject to a 60-day comment period and has yet to be finalized. “The rule has not made it to the Office of Management and Budget yet for review, and then there would be the normal delayed effective date after it is published,” according to a former government official. “All signs point to it being published late in the year, possibly even after the election.” PROMOTED The Most Controversial Provisions In comments to the rule, the National Foundation for American Policy highlighted the most controversial proposed restrictions. First, using the phrase “directly related specific specialty,” USCIS would narrow the positions considered specialty occupations. According to the proposed rule, to qualify as a specialty occupation, the position must require “A U.S. baccalaureate or higher degree in a directly related specific specialty or its equivalent” for entering the occupation. A Trump administration restrictive interim final rule, which courts later blocked, used identical language on ‘directly related.” In 2020, attorneys and companies warned the (Trump administration’s) interim final rule’s wording would prevent many talented foreign-born professionals from working in America. (See here.) MORE FROMFORBES ADVISOR Best High-Yield Savings Accounts Of 2024 ByKevin PayneContributor Best 5% Interest Savings Accounts of 2024 ByCassidy HortonContributor The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) does not state a degree must be in a “directly related” specific specialty. More than half (51%) of U.S.-born individuals and 18% of temporary visa holders employed in computer occupations possess degrees other than computer science or electrical engineering, according to an NFAP analysis of the 2021 National Survey of College Graduates. Almost half (48%) of chemists possess a degree other than chemistry. CEO: C-suite news, analysis, and advice for top decision makers right to your inbox. Email address Sign Up By signing up, you agree to receive this newsletter, other updates about Forbes and its affiliates’ offerings, our Terms of Service (including resolving disputes on an individual basis via arbitration), and you acknowledge our Privacy Statement. Forbes is protected by reCAPTCHA, and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. symbol 00:00 03:12 Read More Second, the proposed rule also copied language from the Trump administration to assert that business administration is a “general degree” and insufficient to qualify for a specialty occupation “without further specialization.” That could prevent foreign nationals with a master’s in business from gaining H-1B status and reduce the number of international students enrolling in MBA programs at U.S. universities. The proposed rule cites the physical sciences as a qualifying body of specialized knowledge. However, examining one to ten years after a degree, NFAP found a far lower percentage of individuals with a master’s degree in physical sciences work in a physical sciences occupation than those with master’s degrees in business work in management and management-related occupations. Analyzing The Comments In comments to the rule, employers and university groups expressed uniform opposition to the “directly related” language and labeling business administration a general degree. A comment letter signed by 74 business, university, science and state and local economic development organizations declared, “The new ‘directly related’ degree mandate must be abandoned.” The signees included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, TechNet, the Compete America Coalition, the Association of American Universities, NAFSA, the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, FWD.us, the National Immigration Forum, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and others. Those groups also submitted separate comments. (See links above.) The letter and many other comments noted the restrictions in the proposed rule were incompatible with attracting AI talent and President Biden’s AI executive order issued on October 30, 2023. “By definition, employees seeking to fill roles supporting emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, may not have a ‘directly related’ degree,” according to a comment submitted by Amazon. “Rather, these employees or candidates may have a degree with a name that does not appear to be directly related to AI, when they have, for example, completed extensive AI coursework that allows them to gain highly specialized knowledge.” Commenters, including the Presidents’ Alliance, cited NFAP Senior Fellow Mark Regets, who said, “It is a common mistake to think there is an exact correspondence between field of degree and occupation in the technical labor force. In reality, employers often hire workers who have gained the necessary skills through other coursework and experience.” Regets and others believe many current H-1B visa holders might not meet the new criteria. In 2020, in InspectionXpert Corp. v. Cuccinelli, a judge rejected the USCIS argument during the Trump administration that it could deny an H-1B petition because the position did not require a degree in a specific subspecialty and an individual with a degree in more than one discipline, such as different types of engineering degrees, could fill it. The proposed rule resurrects the Trump team’s restrictive interpretation. The proposed rule’s attempt to exclude individuals with degrees in business administration from H-1B eligibility also raised concerns. “As the top recruiters of Master of Business Administration talent in the U.S., BCG and Bain dispute the agency’s characterization of a business administration degree as a general degree,” noted the Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company. Other Areas Of Concern Many commenters objected to the proposed rule’s new measures on third parties (typically a customer’s location). “We . . . urge DHS to remove language that directs USCIS to look to a third-party’s requirements for an H-1B beneficiary’s position rather than the petitioner’s stated requirements,” wrote TechNet, the Information Technology Industry Council and the Semiconductor Industry Association. “DHS proposes to create a new standard of bona-fide employer, employer-employee relationship, and job offer mandating client validation and contracting terms that are not standard business frameworks.” Commenters were also worried about the rule’s language on site visits. “We are seriously concerned that the new policy would give extraordinary authority to officers to enter places of business, even individuals’ private homes, without advance warning or authorization,” wrote FWD.us. “They would be allowed to invalidate large numbers of visas simply because an employee at a company does not or cannot comply with agents’ requests.” The comment pointed out that “company representatives at third-party sites could be asked to turn over sensitive information about individuals who are not even their direct employees.” “The proposal to codify USCIS’s authority to conduct site visits is ultra vires [beyond one’s legal authority] because . . . USCIS lacks the authority to conduct immigration-related investigative and intelligence-gathering activities,” according to attorneys Vic Goel, Angelo Paparelli and Youngwook (Christian) Park. Favorable Changes And Looking Ahead USCIS received 1,315 comments, with many expressing support for the agency’s changes to the H-1B lottery aimed at discouraging multiple registrations for the same individual. That rule was published separately. Several commenters asked USCIS to address the long waits for employment-based green cards, including by ensuring new restrictions did not apply to extensions. Employers and university groups cited measures they supported in the rule. These proposed changes included the reforms to the H-1B registration selection process, extending “cap-gap” protections for F-1 students “when changing to H-1B status,” allowing more organizations to qualify as H-1B cap-exempt nonprofit research institutions, greater leeway for H-1B visa holders to become entrepreneurs and codifying “deference” for prior findings of fact when adjudicating applications. USCIS officials and others believe codifying deference could improve operations and prevent a future administration from upending business immigration. Trump officials ended deference to prior findings of fact, which resulted in a significant increase in denials for H-1B extensions, causing many longtime employees of companies to leave the United States when USCIS adjudicators rejected their applications. Shev Dalal-Dheini, senior director of government relations at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, worked on regulations for over a decade at USCIS. “My experience is sometimes the practical application of a policy decision is missed until we get those comments,” she said. “And when those comments are received, it really helps shine a light and explains that you would be keeping this person out or why this would be a bad choice.” She thinks the Biden administration is much more likely than the Trump administration to take into serious consideration the comments that people have submitted. “USCIS is committed to the president's goal of restoring faith in the legal immigration system and attracting global talent,” said a USCIS spokesperson. “USCIS will continue to promote policies and procedures that attract the best international talent, expand economic prosperity, maintain America’s competitive edge in STEM fields and uphold the country’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility with fairness, integrity and respect for all we serve.” For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.