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Irvine Immigration Law Blog

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It is an unfortunate fact that immigrants are often targeted by individuals who claim to be qualified to give legal guidance and services. These criminals can offer to help with immigration, employment visas or other legal matters.

Common examples of false statements

Four paths for highly educated immigrants to enter the U.S.

The United States is the largest destination for foreign-born workers with a college or post-secondary level education. According to Pew Research Center, 14.7 million immigrant ages 25 or older with a college or post-secondary degree legally immigrated in 2015. This number is more than triple of those who immigrate to second-place Canada (4.4 million) or third-place United Kingdom (3.4 million).

The numbers, however, also tell a different story. Comparing the same three countries, the share of college or above educated amidst the general total tells a different story. The percentage of immigrants with post-secondary education ranks the numbers this way:

New suits and changes involving detained children

The detention of asylum seekers and immigrants at the Mexico border has been a nightmare. It is only worsened by the fact that children are separated from parents or legal guardians, stuck in shelters, and treated poorly. In light of this systemic abuse of the innocent, there are several lawsuit alleging that this approach is used as a punish kids and deport families.

Despite the fact that there is a legal mandate to place detained children in “the least restrictive setting,” NPR reports that there are at least four suits alleging that these kids are abused and locked away for months rather than being placed in the homes of relatives who already live in the United States.

Government shutdown created a backlog in immigration courts

Everyone understands that differing views on immigration policy between the president and the Democratic Congressmen and Congresswomen are at the heart of the partial shutdown. Now the government is reopening after more than a month, which will add a tremendous backlog of business to attend to by furloughed government workers. This includes judges who handle immigration hearings.

Immigration in California further crippled by shutdown

California teen leads immigration lawsuit

It would seem that the only thing that interests teens these days is looking at their smart phone and posting on social media. However, high school freshman Crista Ramos has found time to respond to the Trump administration’s announced plan to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This program enables 300,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan to legally remain in the country. 

Ramos is a Bay Area-based U.S. citizen whose mother lived in the U.S. since she was 12 years old thanks to TPS. If the Trump Administration is able to go through with its plan, the 14-year-old Morales will face a choice of remaining in a country where she is a legal citizen and grow up without her mother or go to El Salvador with her mother. El Salvador currently has one of the highest homicide rates in the world and is a country that is devastated by poverty. El Salvador and Nicaragua both designated with TPS status for the last 15-plus years.

Migrant caravan sparks new conversations around asylum

Asylum seekers are making headlines in the United States after 2,000 migrants arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border in a caravan on January 14. These migrants join thousands of other travelers who hope to receive asylum status.

With the prevalence of immigration in American media, many residents question how migrants receive asylum status and how it protects them from traditional deportation techniques in the United States.

Geographic distribution of H-1B visa approvals analyzed

The H-1B visa is designed specifically for highly skilled foreign-born workers. One could make certain assumptions about the distribution, one of which would be that Silicon Valley and Seattle with their tech-heavy economies would be metro areas that secure these visas. However, the world famous Pew Research Center has recently concluded a study that tracks where foreign-born workers go. The results may surprise some in that large East Coast hubs as well as Texas metro areas are seeing the highest levels of visa approvals.

The leaders

Permanent residents are entitled to due process

A federal judge ordered the release of a permanent resident after 18 months of detention. He has been cleared of all charges. The 34-year-old man was accused of lying about once being part of an elite squad of the Iraqi military under Saddam Hussein as well as his online presence where he posed with guns and other images of ISIS military caravans. 

After immigrating in 2014, the man was initially arrested May of 2017 in Minnesota on a sexual assault charge. He was subsequently cleared of this charge, but the FBI determined in June and August that he was a security threat and notified immigration officials. The man was then held until now.

Administration attempts to deny status to immigrants age 18-21

Young immigrants who face hardships, neglect and abuse at home had previously been able to apply for legal asylum here in the United States. According to a recent report, the current administration has now seemingly limited the age limit from 21 years old to 17 years old. First launched in 1990, this program enabled thousands (an estimated 50,000 since 2010) of young immigrants to seek a court-appointed guardian and a green card.

Singling out the most vulnerable

What the shutdown means to immigration services

We are all well aware that the impasse between the President and Congress related to differences of opinion on immigration and building the wall. It has now led to the partial shutdown of the federal government and will essentially furlough all non-essential personnel. However, fee-funded activities are not affected, which includes the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. This means that interviews and appointments will continue on schedule. Moreover, most petitions and applications will also be accepted and processed. There are some services that will be shut down or work at a much reduced capacity. According to the USCIS’s web site, the following services will be suspended:

  • EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program: This public-private economic unit promotes economic growth.
  • Conrad 30 Waiver Program for J-1 medical doctors: This program enables J-1 doctors to apply for a waiver of the two-year residency requirement once the J-1 exchange visitor program is completed.
  • Non-minister religious workers: Religious workers who immigrate and adjust to permanent resident status.
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber