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Video hearings become more common for detained children

The images of detained immigrant children have sparked concerns in Indiana and across the country, and some worry that the increased use of video hearings to process their cases may impose additional challenges. Video hearings, rather than in-person court sessions, are being used in more cases involving immigrant children, often those who are held in detention or who are unaccompanied minors. Many of the hearings have taken place in Houston while the judge hearing the cases is in Atlanta. However, some advocates believe that this policy may be expanded nationwide. The hearings have included...

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Migrant deported despite obtaining withholding of removal

People in Indiana who are seeking asylum may be interested to learn that an immigrant from Venezuela who was granted protection from deportation while in the process of seeking asylum was sent to Mexico anyway. The man had been a police officer in Venezuela, and he and his family had been targeted for violence after he refused to arrest people because of the political party they were in. The man waited in Mexico for almost three months before he was allowed to appear before a judge, who granted him protection from deportation. However, afterwards, the man was returned to Mexico. Although the...

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Japanese immigrants missing out on EB-5 benefits

With a solid economy and low crime rate, Japan is a wonderful place to live. It is no surprise that its citizens generally stay instead of migrating to other countries. However, certain factors may cause someone from Japan to look for better opportunities in other parts of the world. The United States is a popular destination for those leaving Japan. In fact, about 426,000 Japanese citizens live in the U.S., including many in Indiana communities. Unfortunately, many of those who travel from Japan to the U.S. are unaware of one valuable option for achieving lawful permanent resident status....

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Outsourcing increases despite H-1B visa clampdown

Companies in Indiana and across the country are facing more frequent denials of their H-1B visa applications, typically used to sponsor a visa for a foreign national with a high level of technical skill. In many cases, H-1B visa recipients attended U.S. universities and graduate schools and are highly trained in scientific or technical disciplines. Government officials have stated that the use of H-1B visas is reviewed strictly because some companies and industries may be using them to bring in highly skilled workers more cheaply than their American counterparts. However, others say that...

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LGBTQ asylum seekers face unique challenges

LGBTQ couples may face particular challenges dealing with the U.S. immigration system, especially if they are coming from countries that do not recognize same-sex marriage. Many Indiana residents are concerned about how changes in the federal government's approach to immigration may affect some of the most vulnerable people in the migrant population. For example, one openly gay couple from Honduras fled to the U.S. to seek asylum after facing harassment, death threats and violent attacks against them in their home country based on their sexual orientation. After months of online threats,...

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Cost of some immigration applications are going up

A recent U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announcement indicates that the cost of citizenship applications will increase to $1,170 from $640. That's an 83% rise in the cost of citizenship applications. The USCIS is a federal agency, so the price increase will impact people applying for citizenship in Indiana and all over the country. The agency has proposed a 21% increase in the overall cost of some immigration applications, saying the increase in prices is required to cover costs and pay for applicant reviews. The USCIS proposal also limits or eliminates the availability of certain...

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Employment-based immigration restrictions hinder tech development

Companies in Indiana have expressed concern that immigration restrictions, including new policies making it harder to bring workers from abroad or hire foreign graduates of U.S. colleges, may make American businesses less competitive. The development of artificial intelligence for military and commercial use relies on hiring the most advanced and skilled tech workers, and many companies say that American advantages in these areas rely substantially on openness to immigrants. The number of green cards permitted for employment immigration each year have not moved in decades, making it more...

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Immigration Agencies’ Intrusive Searches of Cell Phones, Laptops Are Ruled Unconstitutional

A federal court ruled this week that sweeping policies permitting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to search personal cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices without reasonable suspicion are unconstitutional. The policies that the court rejected authorized CBP and ICE officers to search the contents of electronic devices of people arriving at U.S. borders, including U.S. airports, without reasonable suspicion that those devices might have evidence of illegal activity and without a court order. Immigration officers could...

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Worried about legal problems as an immigrant entrepreneur?

Perhaps, one of your ultimate goals in life is to become a small business owner in Indiana. If your country of origin is not the United States, you are likely to encounter numerous challenges as you bring your dream to fruition. It is a goal that many immigrants have successfully achieved, and there's no reason you shouldn't be one of them. It pays to thoroughly research the business process as well as U.S. immigration law before taking any formal steps toward launching a business in Indiana. If you know other small business owners, they may be able to provide encouragement and support to...

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Bipartisan support expected for Syrian interpreter visa bill

Many Indiana residents are aware that there has been controversy over President Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. Two lawmakers are introducing a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Syrian Partner Protection Act, that would reserve 4,000 visas each year for Syrian Kurds and others who assisted the U.S. in its fight against the Islamic State. The bill is cosponsored by Republican Rep. Michael Waltz and Democratic Rep. Jason Crow. It is expected to gain bipartisan support, particularly among military veterans who are now in Congress. Waltz and Crow are retired...

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