General Requirements for Being an Hired as an Immigration Judge

General Requirements for Being an Hired as an Immigration Judge

Sarah Jackson No Comments
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General Requirements for Being an Hired as an Immigration Judge

If you need an experienced and knowledgeable U.S. immigration, deportation, or immigration appeals attorney, please call our toll-free number at:

(866) 456-­8654 | * Call Us – Toll Free *

or at our NYC number:

(212) 202-­0342

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Published at Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:36:00 +0000

Protect Yourself: How To Find A Good Attorney?

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Protect Yourself: How To Find A Good Attorney?

Watch Jeff Isaac talking about the criteria of good attorneys and where to find them. Learn more: http://www.lawyerinbluejeans.com

You can also follow Jeff Isaac and The Lawyer in Blue Jeans Group on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LawyerinBlueJeans
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BlueJeansLawyer
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Lawyerinbluejeans/posts

Two Prominent Florida Republicans Offer Thoughts on RAISE Act Proposal

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Two Prominent Florida Republicans Offer Thoughts on RAISE Act Proposal

Two prominent Republicans from Florida made interesting comments regarding the RAISE Act, the substantial immigration bill proposal co-sponsored by Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia. To read an overview of the RAISE Act proposal and my thoughts on the proposed legislation, please see my comprehensive blog [see blog]. In this article, we will examine the comments of Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

Senator Rubio’s remarks were reported by Melissa Quinn of the Washington Examiner [link].1 I noted in my full blog on the RAISE Act that Senator Rubio seemed to express support for some of the legislation’s goals. In a subsequent interview, he suggested that, despite the RAISE Act being supported by President Trump, he believed that there was no chance that it would pass the Senate.

RAISE Act

Regarding the merits of the legislation, he supported its goal of creating a merit-based immigration system, noting that this particular point of the legislation was similar to the Gang of Eight effort he was part of in 2013. However, Senator Rubio disagreed with the proposed cuts to overall immigration numbers in the proposal. He stated that his goal was not to limit legal immigration, but rather to change the immigration system. He noted that where he differed was the RAISE Act’s setting of an “arbitrary cap on the number of people that are able to come through with a green card.” Instead, he suggested that immigration numbers should be tied to demand.

Newsmax reported comments on the legislation from Jeb Bush, the former Governor of Florida who, like Rubio, ran for president in 2016 [link].2 Similarly to Senator Rubio, Bush backed the RAISE Act’s implementation of a points-based system for employment immigration, noting that it was similar to systems in Australia and Canada which have proven to be successful. Bush went further, also supporting the limitation of family reunification visas to spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21. He criticized the current system of allowing adult siblings, adult parents, and adult sons and daughters to obtain permanent resident status through family-based immigration. He added that the United States takes in far more family-based immigrants as a percentage of total immigrants than “any other country.”

However, Bush criticized two aspects of the proposal. First, he agreed with Senator Rubio that overall immigration levels should not be cut. Second, he disagreed with what he described as the English language requirement, believing that it should only come into play for naturalization purposes.

I agree with both Rubio and Bush that the RAISE Act fails in cutting overall immigration levels. However, as they note, certain elements of the legislation, such as the concept of the points-based immigration system, should be a part of any immigration reform effort. It is unclear whether there is any path in the Senate to passing immigration legislation of this scope. However, if an agreement can be reached on the issue of overall immigration numbers between those who want reductions, such as Senators Cotton and Perdue, and those who want to keep the numbers steady or increase them, such as Senators Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham, it is possible that workable legislation which includes a points-based system for employment immigration could garner more serious consideration.

_____________________

  1. Quinn, Melissa. “Marco Rubio: Trump’s immigration bill is ‘not going to pass’ the Senate.” Washington Examiner. Aug. 7, 2017. Washingtonexaminer.com
  2. Beamon, Todd. “Jeb Bush Likes Some Parts of Trump-Backed Immigration Plan.” Newsmax. Aug. 9, 2017. Newsmax.com

Published at Wed, 16 Aug 2017 00:19:00 +0000

DHS Terminates CAM Parole Program (Effective Aug. 16, 2017)

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DHS Terminates CAM Parole Program (Effective Aug. 16, 2017)

On August 16, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a notice in the Federal Register (FR) titled “Termination of the Central American Minors Parole Program” [see82 FR 38926]. As the name indicates, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Elaine Duke, terminated the Central American Minors (CAM) Parole Program. The termination is effective immediately.

CAM Parole Program

The CAM Parole program was implemented on December 1, 2014, and expanded on November 15, 2016. It is important to distinguish between the CAM Refugee program and the CAM Parole Program. Under the CAM Refugee Program, certain parents who are lawfully present in the United States may seek refugee resettlement interviews for their children residing in Guatemala, Honduras, or El Salvador. The CAM Parole Program allowed those deemed ineligible for refugee status to be paroled into the United States instead. The 2016 expansion of the CAM Parole Program extended the parole benefits to unmarried children under the age of 21 of the qualifying child and allowed individuals other than parents to petition in certain cases. Please see the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) page on the subject for more information [PDF version].

On January 25, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order titled “Border Security and Immigration Improvements.” We discussed the Executive Order in detail in our article on then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly’s memorandum implementing its provisions [see article]. Both the Executive Order and the Kelly memo directed the DHS to ensure that parole authority is only exercised on a case-by-case basis in accord with section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) [see section]. In accord with the Executive Order, Acting Secretary Duke has now terminated the CAM Parole program as being inconsistent with its directive.

Effective August 16, 2017, the DHS will no longer consider parole requests or authorize parole under the CAM Parole Program. Accordingly, individuals who have already been conditionally approved for parole under the CAM Parole Program, but who have not yet traveled to the United States, have had had their conditional parole approval rescinded. However, these individuals may seek parole under the DHS’s regular parole authority by filing the Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, in accord with the form instructions. Each parole application will be assessed on a case-by-case basis in light of whether there are urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit grounds for granting parole.

Individuals who are already in the United States on parole that was granted under the CAM Parole Program will not have their parole rescinded. Instead, they will be able to maintain parole until the expiration of their parole periods, unless their parole is otherwise terminated for unrelated reasons in accord with 8 C.F.R. 212.5(e). These individuals may file for re-parole to stay in the United States on the Form I-131. Requests for re-parole should be submitted at least 90 days before the expiration of the parole period. The USCIS will evaluate each request for re-parole on a case-by-case basis and it may require re-parole applicants to demonstrate urgent humanitarian reasons or a significant public benefit.

Please note that the termination of the CAM Parole Program does not affect the CAM Refugee Program. The CAM Refugee Program remains in effect. The only change is that there is no special parole provisions for those denied status under the CAM Refugee Program.

Individuals who are affected by the termination of the CAM Parole Program, or who are unsure of its effects, should consult with an experienced immigration attorney for case-specific guidance. Please see our full article on humanitarian parole to learn more about the circumstances in which the USCIS will grant parole on humanitarian grounds [see article].

Published at Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:56:00 +0000

September 2017 Visa Bulletin

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September 2017 Visa Bulletin

Introduction

On August 9, 2017, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued the September Visa Bulletin [PDF version]. On August 10, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determined that those seeking adjustment of status in the family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant visa preference categories must use the final action dates instead of the more generous filing dates [PDF version].

The September Visa Bulletin represents the last Visa Bulletin of FY-2017. It is the first of the 12 visa bulletins from the fiscal year to see priority date regression in several categories, which we will detail in the article. The next Visa Bulletin, for October 2017, will be the first Visa Bulletin of FY-2018.

Immigrant Visa Bulletin

In this article, we will examine the final action dates for both the family-sponsored and employment-based preference cases. We will also examine the DOS’s news and notes included with the September Visa Bulletin. Please see our full articles on using the Visa Bulletin [see article] and the difference between final action dates and filing dates [see article] in order to learn more about the issues discussed in this article.

Finally, please see our comprehensive list of all articles on FY-2017 Visa Bulletins [see article].

Family-Sponsored Cases

The USCIS has determined that beneficiaries of approved family-sponsored immigrant visa petitions must use the final action dates from the September 2017 Visa Bulletin for filing for adjustment of status. The beneficiary of an approved family-sponsored petition may file for adjustment of status if the final action date for his or her preference category and chargeability area is earlier than his or her priority date. If the applicable final action date is after the priority date, the applicant will be ineligible to file for adjustment of status in September. The priority date is generally when the immigrant visa petition was properly filed.

The F1 final action dates for Worldwide, China, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, and Honduras retrogressed to May 1, 2010. The F4 final action dates in these categories retrogessed to January 1, 2002 (see also Interpreter Releases Daily 4 08-10-17). Note that El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are not included on the family-sponsored chart, but are noted in the DOS’s comments on the Visa Bulletin.

The DOS appended the following note for the F2A category: “NOTE: For September, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 22SEP15. F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 22SEP15 and earlier than 01OCT15. All F2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit.”

Employment-Based Cases

The USCIS has determined that beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions must use the final action dates from the September 2017 Visa Bulletin for filing for adjustment of status. The beneficiary of an approved family-sponsored petition may file for adjustment of status if the final action date for his or her preference category and chargeability area is earlier than his or her priority date. If the applicable final action date is after the priority date, the applicant will be ineligible to file for adjustment of status in September. The priority date depends on the type of employment-based petition. If labor certification was required, the priority date will generally be the date on which the labor certification application was approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. If labor certification was not required, the priority date will generally be when the petition was properly filed.

News and Notes from the September 2017 Visa Bulletin

The DOS noted that retrogression of final action dates for Family First Preference (F1) and Family Fourth Preference (F4) occurred for Worldwide, China, El Salvador, Guatemala, India, and Honduras. The retrogression of the final action dates was necessary to keep visa numbers within the annual per-country limits for FY-2017. The DOS explained that the final action dates will return to what they were for the October 2017 Visa Bulletin.

The DOS determined the family-sponsored and employment-based preference numerical limits for FY-2017, as required by section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The limitations are as follows:

  • Worldwide Family-Sponsored: 226,000
  • Worldwide Employment-Based: 140,000

Based on these numbers and the per-country limitation in section 202(a) of the INA, the FY-2017 per-country limit is 25,620. The dependent area annual limit is 7,320.

Conclusion

As we noted, the September 2017 Visa Bulletin is the final Visa Bulletin for FY-2017. The next edition in October will be the first of FY-2018, and it may permit applicants to use the filing dates instead of the final action dates. We will update the site once the October 2017 Visa Bulletin is released.

Published at Mon, 14 Aug 2017 23:27:00 +0000

DHS OIG Report Finds Waste in Administering Polygraph Exams to CBP Job Applicants

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DHS OIG Report Finds Waste in Administering Polygraph Exams to CBP Job Applicants

On August 10, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report showing that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spent more than $5,000,000 on polygraph exams for job applicants who had already admitted to disqualifying criminal acts and/or drug use prior to the polygraph exams [PDF version].

The DHS OIG analyzed 380 polygraph exams administered to applicants between 2013-2016. Nearly 20-percent of those who were administered the polygraph exams had previously admitted to criminal activity or drug use that disqualified them from being hired at CBP, regardless of the results of the polygraph exams. The CBP’s own data indicated that approximately 2,300 applicants who took polygraph exams admitted to disqualifying offenses or factors prior to their exams, including:

  • Illegal drug use;
  • Drug smuggling;
  • Human trafficking; and
  • Having close personal relationships with people who commit such crimes.

DHS OIG

The DHS OIG noted that each polygraph exam costs taxpayers $2,200, thus explaining the estimated high cost associated with the useless exams.

The DHS OIG attributed the problem to the CBP’s failure to consistently use its on-call adjudication process, which allows examiners to determine prior to administering the polygraph exam whether the job applicant had already made admissions that rendered him or her un-hirable by the CBP.

In response to the findings, the CBP implemented the OIG’s recommendation to immediately contact adjudicators when an applicant admits to wrongdoing. Upon the determination of an adjudicator that the applicant is unsuitable based on his or her admissions, the examiner ends the test and the applicant is removed from the hiring process. Additionally, the CBP implemented a pilot program for a new polygraph format. The DHS OIG stated that the CBP’s implementation of its recommendations has both improved efficiency and allowed the CBP to focus on suitable candidates who are more likely to pass the polygraph and meet the requirements for the position.

Analysis

Although $5 million dollars is a miniscule amount of the DHS’s budget, the report is nevertheless troubling for two reasons.

Firstly, although the amount is small in the grand scheme of DHS funding, it is still an egregious waste of taxpayer money on polygraph exams for persons patently unsuitable for work at the CBP. The government has a fundamental obligation to not waste taxpayers’ money.

Secondly, the Trump Administration has requested significant amounts of new funding for the DHS in order to facilitate hiring and new initiatives regarding immigration enforcement. Unsurprisingly, the Trump Administration has thus far had difficulty securing its desired funding from Congress, and it will likely continue to have such difficulty going forward. In the meantime, it is important for the DHS to carefully study how it spends the money that it already receives. The OIG pointed to a similar issue in the summary of the report, namely, the on-going difficulty in completing the CBP hiring surge ordered by President Trump:

“Given its plans to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol Agents, it is important that CBP focus its resources on the most qualified and suitable applicants.”

Regarding both money and resource allocation, the DHS’s favorable response to the OIG report is certainly encouraging. We can only hope that the reforms will fully resolve the scourge of frivolous polygraph examinations.

Published at Mon, 14 Aug 2017 23:53:00 +0000

Overview of GAO Report on Refugee Screening

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Overview of GAO Report on Refugee Screening

If you need an experienced and knowledgeable U.S. immigration, deportation, or immigration appeals attorney, please call our toll-free number at:

(866) 456-­8654 | * Call Us – Toll Free *

or at our NYC number:

(212) 202-­0342

You can also contact us with Skype:

Free Skype CallFree Skype Call

Have a Question?

Ask us immigration, deportation or immigration appeals questions online with our convenient “Ask a Question” form:

Ask a Question 

Want to Schedule a Consultation?

You can schedule a consultation with us on Skype, over the phone, or in person by using our “Online Consultation” form (we offer a 15 minute free consultation for asylum seekers, and our fee is only $160 per 45 minutes for all other cases):

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Published at Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:14:00 +0000

Overview of GAO Report on Refugee Screening

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Overview of GAO Report on Refugee Screening

If you need an experienced and knowledgeable U.S. immigration, deportation, or immigration appeals attorney, please call our toll-free number at:

(866) 456-­8654 | * Call Us – Toll Free *

or at our NYC number:

(212) 202-­0342

You can also contact us with Skype:

Free Skype CallFree Skype Call

Have a Question?

Ask us immigration, deportation or immigration appeals questions online with our convenient “Ask a Question” form:

Ask a Question 

Want to Schedule a Consultation?

You can schedule a consultation with us on Skype, over the phone, or in person by using our “Online Consultation” form (we offer a 15 minute free consultation for asylum seekers, and our fee is only $160 per 45 minutes for all other cases):

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Published at Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:14:00 +0000

Here’s What Taking the Bar Exam Is Really Like

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Here’s What Taking the Bar Exam Is Really Like

(Bloomberg Law) — Bloomberg Law dropped in on Manhattan’s Javits Center on July 24, 2012 to ask dozens of people taking New York’s bar exam how they prepared and what it was like to take the test alongside thousands of would-be lawyers.

Produced, Shot, and Edited by: Josh Block
Follow: @JoshBlockNYC

Overview of GAO Report on Refugee Screening

Sarah Jackson No Comments
  Blog

Overview of GAO Report on Refugee Screening

If you need an experienced and knowledgeable U.S. immigration, deportation, or immigration appeals attorney, please call our toll-free number at:

(866) 456-­8654 | * Call Us – Toll Free *

or at our NYC number:

(212) 202-­0342

You can also contact us with Skype:

Free Skype CallFree Skype Call

Have a Question?

Ask us immigration, deportation or immigration appeals questions online with our convenient “Ask a Question” form:

Ask a Question 

Want to Schedule a Consultation?

You can schedule a consultation with us on Skype, over the phone, or in person by using our “Online Consultation” form (we offer a 15 minute free consultation for asylum seekers, and our fee is only $160 per 45 minutes for all other cases):

Online Consultation

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Published at Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:14:00 +0000