Immigration and Firm News

In the world of immigration and citizenship law, our clients deal with many government agencies. My readers know that I like to cite directly to government sources; so, let's take a look at the contingency plans of various federal agencies in case Congress puts us all over the fiscal cliff into a government shutdown next week. Keep in mind that things are changing by the hour. If ever there is a time for it, should there be a shutdown, patience will certainly be a virtue while our crazy … [Read more...]

I mentioned in my earlier blog post, I-94 Automation Begins: What you need to know, that US Customs and Border Patrol started implementation of its new automated I-94 system. I-94s are a key document used to verify lawful status in the US. It is used to apply for drivers licenses in many states as well as to apply for Social Security numbers, government benefits and immigration extensions and change of stay, as well as adjustment of status for permanent residence. In that post I advised that … [Read more...]

Below are highlights from today's opening Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on S. 744, the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act." Overall, the Committee considered 32 amendments to Title I concerning border security. The Committee adopted 21 amendments, of which 20 were adopted by a bipartisan vote. The debate and voting can be viewed on C-Span. The Committee will meet again at 10 o'clock next Tuesday. After first approving by 14-4 the Sponsors' amended … [Read more...]

Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) began automating the I-94 arrival documentation process. Until now, individuals received white I94 or green I-94W arrival cards (green for visa waiver tourists), upon admission to the US, often clipped inside the passport. These have been essential for nonimmigrants to track their arrivals and departures. One of the things Congress expects CBP to do is track departures, which have not been tracked as well as arrivals. I94s have been critical to immigration … [Read more...]

In an earlier blog post, Hate Lines? CBP Announces Expansion of Global Entry Pilot Program, one of several trusted traveler programs, Global Entry, is discussed that enable frequent travelers to expedite entry into the U.S. But there are others, including NEXUS and SENTRI. NEXUS is a U.S.-Canada program for frequent trusted travelers between the U.S. and Canada. SENTRI is a another U.S.-Mexico program for other frequent trusted travelers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that … [Read more...]

Starting December 29, 2010, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) expanded its international trusted traveler pilot program, known as Global Entry, to qualified Mexican nationals. Global Entry allows for the expedited clearance of pre- approved, low-risk travelers into the United States. The program is operational at several major U.S. airports. The program is not for the faint of heart, however, as it involves more elaborate security checks and biometrics features (fingerprints and photos) … [Read more...]

Immigration enforcement legislation creates problems for U.S. citizens as well as for immigrants. Over the last few years, we have seen growth in our American citizen clientele because of new federal and state documentation burdens enacted under the guise of national security or to combat illegal immigration. The most common refrain we hear is: "I grew up in the U.S. I always thought I was an American but never had anything to show for it and I never needed the proof until now." Ironically, we … [Read more...]

An NPR story yesterday, Prison Economies Help Drive Ariz. Immigration Law, highlights the role of the private prison business in the development of Arizona's anti-immigrant bill, SB 1070, portions of which are currently being litigated in the federal court. Oral argument in the case is scheduled for Monday, November 1, 2010 as described in an earlier post, "Arizona Immigration Cases Set for Oral Argument." Immigration practitioners have known for years about the rapid growth of the private … [Read more...]

On September 7, 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), and Pascal Abidor, a dual French-American citizen, sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) challenging as unconstitutional DHS policy that allows border agents to search electronic media without suspicion or warrants. The case is Abidor, et al v. Napolitano, No. … [Read more...]