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NYC Immigration Law Blog

Current administration focusing on immigration law

According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, there was an estimated 40 percent increase in immigration arrests during the current presidential administration's first 100 days. The acting director of ICE said that the higher numbers, which undoubtedly affect immigrants and their families in New York, are due to a White House directive to reverse a 2014 policy that prioritized for arrest particular criminal aliens as well as those who recently crossed the U.S. border. The ICE director claimed that the higher numbers demonstrate the current administration's commitment to enforcing the nation's immigration law.

A total of more than 41,000 arrests were made during the first 100 days of the current administration. This is a spike of over 10,000 compared with this time period last year. However, back in 2014 before the policy was put into place to prioritize certain aliens and border crossers, the number of arrests was actually more than 54,000.

Temporary Protected Status for Haitians in U.S. is set to expire

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly extended the temporary protected status of 50,000 Haitians in the U.S. in May. It was not clear until the decision was reached what would happen to the Haitians in the U.S. under TPS status.

Temporary protected status, or TPS, allows people from certain countries to live and work in the U.S. because their homelands have been ravaged by situations such as armed conflict or natural disasters. Haitians were granted the ability to apply for this status in 2010 due to the effects of a massive earthquake. Haitians were set to lose TPS protection this July, prior to the six-month extension.  

Immigration law may draw immigrants who benefit economy

In today's society, a debate continues to brew about whether immigration is really beneficial to the United States, including the state of New York. Some U.S. citizens believe that immigrants who seek citizenship according to the immigration law can be beneficial to the economy, whereas others have argued that it offers no benefit. However, new research indicates that many immigrants who entered the United States during the latter part of the 19th century had a long-lasting and positive impact on the local areas in which they settled.

According to the recent study, counties in the United States that ended up receiving large numbers of immigrants between 1860 and 1920 have much higher incomes today than other local areas. These counties also reportedly have less unemployment and poverty, along with higher educational attainment and more urbanization. For instance, the researchers estimated that a boost of 5 percent in the number of immigrants entering a county back then resulted in a 20% increase in average incomes at the turn of the 21st century.

Immigration law judges missing from New York

The federal building in New York -- specifically, in Manhattan -- features the busiest immigration court in the United States. Currently, there is a backlog of a whopping 80,000 cases. The recent deployment of immigration law judges to other parts of the country may unfortunately contribute to even more delays in New York cases.

The current presidential administration in the United States has redeployed judges to southern-border detention centers in an effort to get more cases in this part of the country processed more quickly. In fact, at least eight of the 29 immigration judges in New York City have been sent to the southern part of the country since the month of March. There, they have been conducting hearings by video or in person.

Groups seek to cover application fee required by immigration law

Immigration remains a controversial issue sparking passionate opinions on both sides throughout the United States, including in New York. However, many immigrants' rights groups are taking steps to help those interested in becoming U.S. citizens according to the current immigration law. A total of 80 groups recently signed on to a proposal made by the New York City comptroller for a private-public fund that would help to cover the high citizenship application fee.

The 80 groups have representatives who include their names in a letter that the comptroller sent to the city commissioner for immigrant affairs. The letter cites the need to provide resources to immigrants in light of what the comptroller described as hostile policies instituted by President Trump. The comptroller asserted that covering the citizenship application fees could help communities and families to remain strong and grow the economy.

Are you marrying a non-U.S. citizen? Apply for a K-1 visa

Visiting other countries can expand your horizons in more ways than one. You may have met the love of your life when one of you was vacationing or living temporarily in another country. Now, the two of you wish to marry and live here in the United States.

Before your intended can come to New York for your wedding, you need to make sure that he or she enters the country legally. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services allows your soon-to-be spouse to enter the United States for your wedding upon the receipt of a K-1 visa, or fiancé visa. A fiancé visa allows your intended spouse to enter the country for the sole purpose of marrying you with the goal of becoming a permanent resident thereafter.

U.S. to undertake comprehensive review of H-1b visa program

Tech workers seeking to enter the U.S. on a temporary work visa received unsurprising, but still disappointing, news recently. President Trump on Tuesday, April 18, announced an executive order that would ask federal agencies to review and offer recommendations for an H-1b visa program reform.

President Trump fell short of calling for a complete elimination of the program. His remarks did imply a strong desire for a significant revision of current policy on H-1b visas.

What is the status of the proposed travel ban?

There are several grounds on which immigrants may seek an adjustment of status, or lawful permanent residency in the United States. Eligibility can be based on factors such as family, employment, or asylum or refugee status. However, the current administration has sought to modify immigration policies regarding Muslim refugees.

As readers may recall, President Trump issued a second executive order banning travelers from six Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States for 90 days, and all refugees for 120 days. The order identified the countries of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

School denies student info to USCIS, de Blasio says system worked

When an agent from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services showed up at P.S. 58 in Queens last week, everyone assumed it was an immigration raid. The agent was seeking information about a fourth grader for benefits purposes, not immigration issues, according to reports. Stories differ about whether the agents were turned away without being given any information, or if they were told the student didn't attend P.S. 58. Either way, they did not get what they were looking for.

Mayor de Blasio defended the school's actions. "I have no qualms at all about the initial response, and I also have no qualms about making sure parents knew that the system we put in place worked," he said yesterday.

Are longtime regulations for detainees being 'Trumped'?

Seeking jail space for their continued crackdown on illegal immigration, the new presidential administration is rumored to be reining in requirements that exist in detaining immigrants. Rules that date back 15 years are about to be proverbially "trumped" to entice local law enforcement officials to make their facilities available.

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