Immigration and firm news

Wasser Joins AILA USCIS International Ops Committee

I am honored to report that I will be serving on the American Immigration Lawyers Association US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) International Operations Committee.  This part of USCIS deals with issues related to I-130 family petitions and waivers of inadmissibility filed abroad, adoption, and humanitarian parole. The committee monitors trends in these areas.  From time to time, the committee also prepares practice advisories for AILA members.

The USCIS international Operations Division falls within the Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations Directorate, which provides immigration, protection and humanitarian services for people who are:

  • Fleeing oppression, persecution or torture;
  • Facing urgent humanitarian situations; and,
  • Best served in international offices, such as military members who are serving overseas and permanent residents who need replacement documents to return to the U.S.

This Directorate is charged with protecting national security, combating fraud, and preventing ineligible individuals from immigrating to the U.S. through careful screening, vigilant reviews and sound adjudications.  With a global presence, the Directorate includes:

  • Offices in Washington, D.C., including headquarters components and the refugee corps;
  • Two domestic offices that adjudicate overseas applications not requiring interviews;
  • Twenty-five international offices;
  • Eight domestic asylum offices; and,
  • An office in Miami that provides resettlement and orientation benefits to Cuban and Haitian parolees.

Officers travel abroad to assist refugees and domestically to adjudicate asylum benefits.

The Directorate is made up of three divisions:

The Refugee Affairs Division provides resettlement benefits to people who are outside their countries and cannot or are unwilling to return to their homes because they fear serious harm.

The Asylum Division manages the U.S. affirmative asylum process, which allows individuals who are already in the U.S. (or at a port of entry), to remain here because they have been persecuted or fear persecution.   The individual must not be in removal proceedings to apply under affirmative asylum procedures.

The International Operations Division, with offices around the world, is the face of USCIS overseas.  These offices assist with adoptions, consider humanitarian parole requests, adjudicate petitions and applications, and issue travel documents. The AILA committee mentioned above liaises with this particular division.

I look forward to working with my AILA colleagues from around the country.