January 24, 2017

Obama’s parting gift to foreign entrepreneurs: A new way to stay in the U.S.

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Back in 2014, when it was clear that Congress was not going to pass bipartisan immigration reform, President Obama vowed to take whatever steps he could, short of legislation, to advance his immigration agenda, including making it easier for foreign entrepreneurs to work in the U.S. On Tuesday, he made good on that promise: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final regulation that expands the use of the government’s “parole” authority to authorize an immigration benefit for foreign entrepreneurs who can demonstrate they will provide a significant public benefit to the United States as a result of…

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[VIDEO] Kenyan immigrant in the US granted trial after shocking footage of US immigration officers brutally attacking him

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A judge has granted a civil trial for a Kenyan man who alleges immigration agents violently attacked him at a Kansas jail for refusing to be fingerprinted before deportation, an incident captured on jailhouse surveillance video. The lawsuit by Justine Mochama, an international college student who overstayed his visa, has languished in federal court in Kansas for almost three years. But on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil refused to throw out his claims that two agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement used excessive force during the January 2014 altercation.  “It is a good outcome and hopefully it sends…

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My US Citizen spouse and I divorced before I could get my 10 year green card. Can I still get it?

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If you received U.S. conditional residence based on marriage to a U.S. citizen, then you probably know that your green card, and your status in the U.S., will expire in two years unless you take steps to become a permanent resident. The normal next step is, within 90 days of the two-year anniversary of your receipt of U.S. residence, to file a joint petition with your U.S. husband or wife on USCIS Form I-751. Once that is approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you become a permanent resident. However, a lot of things can happen to a marriage…

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Ready for the wall: Trump team seeks DHS records on border barriers, surveillance

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In a wide-ranging request for documents and analysis, President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team asked the Department of Homeland Security last month to assess all assets available for border wall and barrier construction. The team also asked about the department’s capacity for expanding immigrant detention and about an aerial surveillance program that was scaled back by the Obama administration but remains popular with immigration hardliners. And it asked whether federal workers have altered biographic information kept by the department about immigrants out of concern for their civil liberties. The requests were made in a Dec. 5 meeting between Trump’s transition team…

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You Say You’re An American, But What If You Had To Prove It Or Be Deported?

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When he was in prison, Lorenzo Palma strongly suspected he was an American citizen. He had spent his whole life in the United States, and he knew his grandfather was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1914. Palma had served five years for an assault conviction and was about to be released on parole, but immigration officials had stopped his release because they wanted to deport him. They said he wasn’t a U.S. citizen. So in the summer of 2014, Palma found himself among dozens of inmates about to face an immigration judge in Huntsville, Texas. “They would sit us…

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Bipartisan bill to protect undocumented immigrants introduced in Congress

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WASHINGTON DC (KWQC) – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have announced that they will be introducing bipartisan legislation intended to protect young undocumented people. This legislation would protect individuals currently protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program if the Trump administration discontinues DACA. U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) are the original cosponsors of the bill. The proposed legislation is called The Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act. Like DACA, the BRIDGE Act would protect young people by providing temporary relief from…

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[VIDEO] Motivated by fear of Trump, some immigrants are turning to citizenship

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Natalia Pérez woke up on November 9 and logged onto her computer and clicked on a link for “Application for Certificate of Citizenship” Her gut tied itself in knots, as she wondered about the next four years with President-elect Donald Trump: How will people view me? What will change legally for me? How will life change for my half-Mexican, half-Jewish child? Pérez realized her post-election day fears might not be reasonable, especially given her years-long status as a legal US resident. Pérez came to the US in 2002 as a student, earned her PhD from Princeton University, and teaches Renaissance…

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Immigration-hardliner Jeff Sessions could execute crackdown as Attorney General

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For two decades in the Senate, Jeff Sessions led an anti-immigration crusade that made him an outlier in GOP politics — raging against illegal immigration and an excess of foreign workers well before Donald Trump tore onto the political scene. But next year, Sessions likely will be the one engineering the immigration crackdown. If confirmed as Trump’s attorney general, the Alabama senator would instantly become one of the most powerful people overseeing the nation’s immigration policy, with wide latitude over the kinds of immigration violations to prosecute and who would be deported. As the nation’s top cop, Sessions would be…

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Judge Reprimanded For Telling New Citizens To Leave Country If They Don’t Like Donald Trump

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A federal magistrate judge in Texas has been permanently removed from overseeing naturalization ceremonies after he said new U.S. citizens could leave the United States if they don’t like President-elect Donald Trump. The judge subsequently said he plans to retire next year. Five district court judges unanimously agreed Monday to remove Judge John Primomo from overseeing the ceremonies, said Orlando Garcia, chief judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. The district court judges are responsible for appointing and overseeing federal magistrate judges. Primomo’s removal was first reported by the San Antonio Express-News. “Given the obvious inappropriate remarks made at…

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Thousands of Green Cards Have ‘Simply Gone Missing,’ says DHS Inspector General report

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Thousands of Green Cards have been mishandled over the past three years, according to a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General report. Electronic system errors have caused at least 19,000 cards to be issued as duplicates or with incorrect information, such as names, dates of birth, photos and gender, among other errors, the report says. But the head of the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services, which manages immigration benefits, says that several of the report’s conclusions were overstated. USCIS Director said that the agency did not issue Green Cards to any individuals who were not eligible to receive…

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