Current Events In Immigration Law

Online classes cause immigration issue for international students

International students in Indiana and other parts of the United States who are pursuing an education may soon be forced to leave the country. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that international students will have to leave the country if classes at the university they attend are completely online this fall. Students who do not comply with this order will risk deportation. Those knowledgeable about current events in immigration law explain that the visas that allow these students to reside in the United States will not allow them to take a full slate of classes online and...

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The backlog of immigration cases confirmed

Residents of Indianapolis may have heard the courts confirm that there is a backlog of immigration cases to be heard. Because of the pandemic, undocumented immigrants will most likely have to wait longer for a hearing. According to reports, those who are already in detention centers will have to wait three to six months for Chicago's immigration court. Others who are not detained may have to wait at least five years; this is due to the backlog during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 10 judges oversee thousands of cases; they are responsible for Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. With not...

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Green card renewal denial is on the rise

In Indiana and across the U.S., the likelihood of immigrants being denied a green card renewal has been on the rise. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reports that it rejects roughly 8% of green card applications and petitions. Thousands more green card renewal applications are denied by the USCIS. Specifically, the USCIS denied an average of 30,242 green card renewal applicants per year during fiscal years 2016-2017. For fiscal years 2018-2019, the average shot up to 103,140 applicants per year that were denied green card renewals. When an applicant is denied a green card...

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How the immigration freeze will affect employment visas

Foreign nationals may be affected by immigration changes announced by the United States government on April 21. The H1-B and EB-5 visas are both exempt from the changes, but individuals who wish to move to Indiana on either of these visas may encounter other obstacles. Danger for the H-1B visa? The immigration freeze, which is supposed to last for 60 days, does not affect several other categories, including science and health professionals working on COVID-19 as well as spouses and eligible family members of lawful permanent residents and citizens. However, the U.S. government's focus on...

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Draft executive order tightens restrictions on H-1B worker visas

Employers in Indiana with foreign technology workers in the country on the H1-B visa program may soon face new restrictions and requirements. A draft executive order from President Donald Trump will place a stronger emphasis on protecting American workers. The executive order would call on technology workers already here with H1-B visas to submit updated information about their certifications. Their paperwork must indicate that they are not displacing Americans who could be doing their jobs. Additionally, the order calls for a suspension on approving entry for people seeking work visas for a...

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RFEs and NOIDS COVID-19 Update

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that it is adopting measures to minimize the immigration consequences associated with responding to requests for evidence (RFEs) and notices of intent to deny (NOIDs) dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020. Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny For applicants and petitioners who receive an RFE or NOID dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020, any responses submitted within 60 calendar days after the response deadline set forth in the RFE or NOID will be considered by USCIS...

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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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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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