Current Events In Immigration Law

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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U.S. might start collecting DNA from detained immigrants

Indiana readers might be interested to learn that the Trump administration recently announced a proposal that would allow U.S. authorities to take DNA samples from detained immigrants. Opponents of the proposal, which was officially published on Oct. 22, say that it raises privacy concerns for minor offenders and asylum-seekers. According to media reports, the rule would allow U.S. authorities to obtain DNA samples from any immigrant who has been taken into custody, including those whose only offense is crossing the border illegally. The proposal contains exceptions for foreign nationals...

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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...

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