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Indianapolis Immigration Law Blog

Does your extraordinary ability qualify you for an EB-1 visa?

If it has been your goal to come to the U.S., you may have begun your quest years ago by obtaining special skills or education that would qualify you for an employment visa. Employment visas allow you to live and work in the U.S. for a certain period of time, enjoying many of the benefits of permanent residency.

The U.S. government offers a limited number of employment visas, and since the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services divides these into several categories, you would be wise to learn all you can about the process and the eligibility requirements. EB-1 visas have the highest priority.

Expedited immigration removal policies

Individuals living in Indiana and around the country may be concerned about recent efforts by the federal government to track down and remove undocumented immigrants from the United States. Recently, new policies have made it easier for some undocumented immigrants to be removed from the country without a hearing before a judge.

Historically, non-citizens living in the United States who do not have an appropriate visa have had the right to a court hearing. One exception to this has been those who have been in the United States for less than two weeks and were apprehended less than 100 miles from a border. These individuals might be fast-tracked for removal regardless of whether they've been offered a hearing.

White House proposes indefinite detention for immigrant families

Indiana residents may be aware that some of the steps President Trump has taken to slow the flow of immigrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border have been challenged in the courts by civil rights groups. The White House has scored a handful of victories in these cases and suffered many defeats, and a new legal battle seems to be brewing. On Aug. 21, the Trump administration announced that it plans to allow immigration authorities to keep migrant families in detention centers while their asylum claims are being processed. It is a move that is almost certainly going to prompt a legal challenge.

Immigrant families are currently released within 20 days under the provisions of a 1997 court settlement. The proposed rule would authorize their indefinite detention. The president's critics say he is attempting to use his executive powers to bypass Congress and undermine immigration policies that have been in place for many years, but Trump says that he is doing what has to be done to avert a humanitarian and economic crisis.

Russian chess grandmaster having trouble getting visa to US

If you have had to apply for a U.S. employment-based visa, you know that the process can take a long time. Your application must have all the proper documents and forms to guarantee approval. And immigration officials will take time to go over all the forms to make sure you qualify.

But for Russian chess grandmaster Anatoly Karpov, the process is taking longer than usual. He has waited since March for visa approval to teach at a chess summer camp in the U.S. Now with fall approaching, he still waits for approval.

Immigration law change could affect legal migrants

Some Indiana residents have raised concerns about the Trump administration's approach to immigration, especially those with a personal connection to these issues. However, the administration has claimed that many of its initiatives are cracking down only on undocumented people or violations of the law. A new regulation issued by the Department of Homeland Security could drastically change the way that visa and green card applications from legal immigrants are treated, including those with all of their documentation fully in place. The administration announced its new understanding of the "public charge" rule in a press conference at the White House.

As traditionally understood, the "public charge" rule deems people who gain the majority of their income through direct government benefits ineligible for certain kinds of adjustments to their immigration status. Since the rule was put in place, it has always been interpreted to apply to direct cash aid only, like Temporary Aid to Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income. However, the Trump administration has now announced that it will apply the rule to other kinds of public programs, including food stamps, Section 8 housing vouchers, and many forms of Medicaid. Advocates say that millions of people could see the adjustment of their immigration status at risk as a result.

Hiring foreign nationals to fulfill your business needs

As an employer in Indianapolis, you know what your company needs to thrive and flourish. When it comes to hiring, sometimes seeking foreign nationals from your industry is the best route to fulfilling your business goals. Navigating the current immigration environment in the United States may feel like an obstacle, but there are still productive, reasonable ways to do the hiring you need.

The current administration’s policies on immigration continue to foster a confusing and often fluctuating atmosphere, but legal experts can help employers and their potential hires overcome the continued challenges.

Immigration "rocket docket" denying immigrants hearings

The U.S. immigration court system is rife with clerical errors and lack of notice, according to immigration attorneys and others who have worked in the court system. As a result, immigrants living in Indiana and elsewhere are at risk for being deported "in absentia" without knowing it.

In November 2018, the Trump administration created a fast-track deportation docket called the "rocket docket." The purpose of the program, which operates out of 10 U.S. immigration courts, is to expedite immigration hearings and deportations for newly arrived migrants, many of whom have come from Central America. However, critics of the system say it is plagued by errors, and the mistakes are causing migrants to be denied fair hearings.

ICE Worksite Raid: Employer Rights and Responsibilities

When it comes to an immigration worksite raid preparation is critical. Even if you are meticulous in confirming the work authorization of all of your employees, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) could investigate your workplace in connection with a lead or complaint, or based on other factors. If you do not have a worksite enforcement action plan in place, consult with your immigration attorney or seek the advice of a qualified immigration attorney so that in the event ICE makes an unannounced visit, you and your employees are ready. But in the meantime, if ICE comes to your work place, be aware of the following:

The new Trump administration asylum application process

A new Trump administration rule, which requires most migrants to apply for asylum in one of the countries they passed through before they can file for protection in the United States, has drawn sharp criticism from immigrant rights advocates and human rights organizations and will likely be challenged in the courts.

The new rule going into effect Tuesday requires asylum seekers arriving by land, who have traversed a third country that has signed onto the international refugee convention, to apply for protection in that country before they would be eligible to apply in the United States. The vast majority of people fleeing violence and instability in Honduras and El Salvador take land routes north, and now would be forced to apply for asylum in Guatemala or Mexico, before being eligible to apply in the United States, with a few exceptions.

What is next for the immigration court system?

For years, the immigration court system has been plagued by systemic problems that have severely undermined its ability to deliver just and fair decisions in a timely manner. Housed within the DOJ, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is vulnerable to executive branch interference, a structural flaw which the current administration has exploited and which undermines the very integrity of the system. These problems are compounded by a growing case backlog that is nearing 900,000 cases. While oversight would slow the most recent policies, it would not remedy the conflict of interest inherent in an immigration court system that is firmly under the control of the Attorney General. AILA urges Congress to introduce bipartisan legislation that establishes an independent immigration court system, outside the DOJ, under Article I of the Constitution.

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