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Irvine Immigration Law Blog

When can asylum seekers claim “changed circumstances?”

When someone faces persecution or physical danger in their home country, they may choose to move to the United States and seek asylum. Though the nation’s current stance toward immigration is sometimes less than friendly, the U.S. is still known around the world for opening its doors for people from all nations.

When someone arrives in the U.S. seeking asylum, they must file their application within one year. However, circumstances often change; in some cases, these circumstances allow an applicant to delay their paperwork.

Administration’s bid to end TPS halted by judge

A U.S. District Judge in San Francisco granted a preliminary injunction to stop the Trump administration’s attempt to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. This means that 300,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan are breathing little easier today. The humanitarian program was created in 1990 to provide safe haven to immigrants fleeing civil war or natural disasters, enabling immigrants to legally live and work in the U.S. Many have since given birth to and raised U.S. citizens here.

This ruling is in response to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) alleging that the Trump administration was not observing the constitutional protections of due process and equal protection. The judge ruled less than two weeks after hearing arguments.

Families of H-1B work visas holders may be de-authorized to work

Immigrants who move to the U.S. to work often get an employer-sponsored H-1B visa that enables them to legally work here. Their immediate families are similarly able to get a work visa, which is an H-4. Now the Department of Homeland Security filed an update to accommodation in federal court on August 20 that enables them to de-authorize the right of H-4 spouses to work.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) decision was in the final stages of clearance review, but is now pushed to the end of the year. A representative went on to add that this H-4 decision is just one of many that are being reviewed USCIS, some that are bigger and more far reaching.

Immigrants still kicked out of the military

Singling out immigrants for military discharges was supposed to stop or at least slow down. Now there are new reports that this is not the case. According to the New York Times, some recruits claim that they are unfairly discharged on questionable grounds cited by the military as security. The Army even announced that it would halt this unfair treatment of recruits and review this policy, but it appear to continue.

Now the newspaper claims that the Army is changing the grounds of the discharges to avoid litigation. These recruits are legal immigrants as part of the Military Accessions Vital to National Interests. The program allowed those with unique language or medical skills to fast track their application for legal citizenship in return for military service. It is estimated that 11,000 applicants enlisted through the program since its launch in 2008.

Immigrants facing deportation given ‘fake dates’ to appear

More than a dozen immigrants received notice to appear in a Dallas immigration court regarding their deportation cases on Sept. 13. The notices came from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. According to Dallas News, when the immigrants arrived at court, court officials told them these were “fake dates.

Although the notices were real, ICE had never cleared these dates with immigration courts, so none of the immigrants were on the court docket to appear that day. This incident is not limited to just Dallas. It has been reported that ICE has sent “fake date” notices to immigrants in Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Atlanta and Miami.

Trump administration proposes change to Flores settlement

The Trump administration proposed this week to lift the court-imposed limits regarding how children are handled in immigration detention centers. This would significant alter the Flores settlement, an agreement written in 1997 and modified in 2015, that limits the time immigrant children are detained and under what conditions they are held.

More misdirection

Father tells politicians to stop exploiting death of his daughter

The death of Molly Tibbets at the hands of an immigrant farmhand is a tragedy. Putting closure to a disappearance in the small town of Brooklyn, Iowa, had lasted much of the summer, the man who admitted to killing her led police to the location in the cornfield where he left the body. 

The president spoke to a crowd the night the news of her murder being solved, citing it as another example of why the country needs stronger border security. Soon thereafter, Donald Trump, Jr. wrote an editorial for the Des Moines Register railing against the Democrats radical ideology regarding immigrants. With news of the president’s former campaign chairman and personal attorney each convicted of multiple crimes, some believe that the administration was simply trying to move the spotlight away from this damaging news.

Citizens living on the border accused of fraudulent papers

The current administration continues to crack down on illegal aliens living in the U.S. as well as make it more difficult for those trying to enter the country legally or illegally. Now there is news reports that U.S. citizens living on the border between Texas and Mexico have been denied passports by the State Department, which claims that it does not believe the applicants are citizens. In certain cases, those passport applicants with valid U.S. birth certificates are going to jail.

Claims of fraudulent documents

Ankle-bracelet company faces scrutiny in court

The ankle-bracelet company Libre by Nexus Inc. bails undocumented immigrants out of detention so they can become customers in need of ankle-bracelets. Typically, this arrangement can be made for immigrants who do not pose a safety threat to the general public, nor is there a flight risk before their immigration hearing.

According to a recent report, the company has the immigrants sign up for use of their ankle bracelets, charging them high prices with monthly payments for the bracelet. If the clients miss payments, the company reportedly falsely implies that the clients will be arrested again. Critics claim that the Libre is engaged in an ongoing and systemic campaign of taking advantage of its clientele, which is generally Spanish-speaking and indigent.

Woman denied entry despite valid tourist visa

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently denied entry of a Mexican businesswoman who intended to visit her aging parents in Maryland. According to a story in the Washington Post and other media outlets, the woman who owns a travel agency and rental property business in Mexico with her husband had visited the U.S. frequently yet never overstayed her visa.  

A preemptive measure

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber