No announcement yet.

Blogging: Violence Against Women Act Extension Will Help Abused Immigrants by Greg Siskind


  • Blogging: Violence Against Women Act Extension Will Help Abused Immigrants by Greg Siskind

    Bloggings on Immigration Law and Policy

    by Greg Siskind

    Violence Against Women Act Extension Will Help Abused Immigrants

    The ability of abused illegally present women to be able to escape violent domestic relationship and get a visa was one of the hot button issues in the legislation. These individuals have had this right for several years, so we're not talking about something new, but there are many who would not want to "reward" these lawbreakers no matter how horrific their individual situations. Fortunately, public shaming pressured Republican leaders to allow for a vote on the bill in the House (the Democratic Senate was not a problem) and enough moderate Republicans supported the measure for it to pass. Some wise GOP elder statesmen (and women) presumably figured out that the one-two punch of angering women and Hispanics was probably not going to help get the Republican brand out of the dumps.

    Which raises a broader question for the Republicans. Do you think it helps your image when you appear to be dragging your feet on immigration, VAWA and other issues only to eventually give in or does it make more sense to step out front and actually lead boldly on these issues? The Center for Immigration Studies is probably right when they say Latino voters probably won't switch to the GOP even if immigration reform passes. But that's probably because they sense that you don't really like them and are doing only what you need to do to survive as a viable national party. The rhetoric matters. How you deal with people in your party who regularly trash immigrants matters. What's in your national platform matters. What your presidential candidates say in debates matters. Which candidates you allocate your party's funds to matters. In short, just passing a bill alone won't cut it.

    Labrador Softens Position on Pathway to Citizenship

    He is now against a "new pathway" to citizenship. From Spokane's Spokesman-Review:

    "If anyone wants to apply for citizenship, they must do that in the same way as any other immigrant."

    This is essentially what Bob Goodlatte said yesterday and it is the compromise path I've been suggesting - direct legalized immigrants through existing pathways to citizenship and make adequate numbers of visas available to absorb them after those in line today are finished processing.

    House Holds Hearing on Ag Workers

    Democrats and Republicans apparently agree the H-2A program is a failure and needs major reworking.

    Start Up Visa Could Add Up to 1.65% Per Year to US GDP

    From a report from the Kaufman Foundation. That's a quarter of a trillion dollars a year for those of you playing at home. Plus as many as 1.65 million new jobs after ten years. This is a no brainer, people.

    Goodlatte Endorses Conventional Path to Citizenship Rather Than a Special One

    A few days back I noted that Bob Goodlatte, the House Judiciary Chairman, hinted that he might support a conventional path to citizenship rather than a special path for the millions of people who would legalize under comprehensive immigration reform. He got more specific yesterday. What's the difference? In short, to qualify for a green card, legalized individuals would need to apply under existing green card categories like those available to close relatives of US citizens and individuals working in jobs employers cannot find Americans to do. A special path would allow legalized individuals to apply simply by waiting until a certain period of time has passed or enforcement benchmarks are met.

    I personally prefer the conventional path approach as it makes clear that those who have been waiting it out get the highest priority and we also first reward individuals who meet American priorities like family reunification and filling unmet labor needs. The approach would require a massive expansion of green card numbers or people could face 50 year waits given how miniscule the current quota system is compared to the population we're talking about. But if we did expand overall numbers, using the conventional approach, legalized individuals would still need to get to the back of the line.

    There might still be a way after a long period of time has passed for individuals who can't qualify in the conventional categories to still secure a green card. But I think the Goodlatte approach is worth further discussing as the potential basis for a plan..

    Hat tip to reader George Chell for the link.

    About The Author Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at

    The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.
      Posting comments is disabled.





    There are no tags yet.

    Latest Articles


    • Birthright Citizenship Is Not A Legal Assumption; It's the Law by Kristie De Pena

      08-21-2018, 03:12 PM
    • Blogging: Trump's "National Security" Abuses: First, Muslim Ban; Next, Security Clearance Revocation.. By Roger Algase
      Trump's "National Security" Abuses: First, Muslim Ban; Next, Security Clearance Revocation. Trashing Immigrant Rights Endangers Freedom of All Americans.

      CNN reports on August 21 that 175 former US officials have denounced Donald Trump for revoking the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan for speaking out in opposition to Trump.

      Presidential use of "national security"
      08-21-2018, 12:54 PM
    • Article: The EB-5 Immigration Program and the Investors Process By H. Ronald Klasko

      If you are having difficulty viewing this document please click here.

      08-20-2018, 08:15 AM
    • Article: Immigration Judges’ Union Fights for Judicial Independence By Karolina Walters
      Immigration Judges’ Union Fights for Judicial Independence by Karolina Walters The National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ), the union that represents the nation’s immigration judges, is challenging the government’s decision to remove an immigration judge from a well-known case and replace him with a judge who immediately ordered the immigrant in the case deported. NAIJ’s grievance addresses the treatment of one immigration judge, but its resolution will have implications for judicial independence throughout the entire immigration court system. The grievance was filed on behalf of Philadelphia-based immigration judge Steven A. Morley, who was presiding over the case of Mr. Reynaldo Castro-Tum. Castro-Tum’s case rose to national importance earlier this year when Attorney General Jeff Sessions chose to refer the case to himself to reconsider the Board of Immigration Appeals’ previous decision in the case. In reconsidering the decision, Sessions effectively eliminated judges’ use of administrative closure, a docket management tool. Sessions sent Castro-Tum’s case back to Judge Morley, noting that the immigration court order Castro-Tum removed if he did not appear at his next hearing. Castro-Tum did not appear at the next hearing. However, Judge Morley continued the case to resolve whether Castro-Tum received adequate notice of the hearing. Due process requires, at a minimum, that an individual be given notice of proceedings and an opportunity to be heard by a judge. But before the next hearing could take place, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) replaced Judge Morley with an Assistant Chief Immigration Judge who ordered Castro-Tum removed when he did not appear at court again. In their grievance, NAIJ asserts that the decision to remove Judge Morley from Castro-Tum’s case and reassign many other cases from his docket resulted in unacceptable interference with judicial independence. The grievance specifically claims that EOIR’s actions violate immigration judges’ authority under the regulations to exerci...
      08-17-2018, 11:12 AM
    • Article: Indirect Refoulement: Why the US Cannot Create a Safe Third Country Agreement with Mexico By Sophia Genovese
      Indirect Refoulement: Why the US Cannot Create a Safe Third Country Agreement with Mexico by Sophia Genovese The Trump Administration is seeking to create and implement a safe third country agreement with Mexico . Under this agreement, asylum seekers arriving at the US border who have travelled through Mexico would be denied the ability to file their asylum claims in the US. Such an agreement would trample on the rights of asylum-seekers, violating both international and US asylum law. In particular, the US would be violating the international principle of non-refoulement , which provides that no State “shall expel or return (“refouler”) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his [or her] life or freedom would be threatened,” where Mexico has a proven track record of being anything but safe for asylum seekers . The US has also codified Article 33(1) of the Refugee Convention into Section 208(a)(2)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) which provides that it will not return an asylum seeker to his or her country of origin, but may, at the determination of the Attorney General, remove the asylum seeker to a “safe third country… where the [asylum seeker] would have access to a full and fair procedure for determining a claim to asylum or equivalent temporary protection.” Although Mexican officials have not yet indicated whether they would sign a safe third country agreement with the US, asylum advocates should proactively seek to prevent such a devastating policy with a country that lacks adequate asylum protections. As reported by Human Rights First and Amnesty International , 75 percent of asylum seekers apprehended and detained by the National Institute of Migration (INM), the Mexican immigration enforcement agency, were not informed of their right to seek asylum. Even if asylum seekers are able to make their claims, only 30% of the asylum proceedings are ever concluded , and even fewer are granted, leaving many bona fide asylum seekers stranded without a resolution. The treatment of unaccompanied minors’ asylum claims in Mexico are even more dismal. Of the 35,000 minors apprehended by the INM in the first half of 2016, only 138 were able to apply for asylum , of which only 77 were granted protection. Beyond the failing asylum system in Mexico, asylum seekers are also in extreme danger of kidnapping, murder, rape, trafficking, and other crimes by INM officers and civilians. A safe third country agreement with Mexico would violate the United States’ international obligations under the 1967 Optional Protocol to the Refugee Convention, to which we are a signatory, which adopts by incorporation the obligations outlined in the 1951 Refugee Convention, to which the US is not a signatory. Take the example of an asylum-seeker, Mrs. H, who is fleeing politically-motivated violence in Honduras. Her husband, Mr. H, was a vocal political activist who opposed the National Party and members of the Honduran government. Mr. H began to receive death threats due to his political beliefs and reported such threats to the authorities. The authorities, however, di...
      08-16-2018, 02:32 PM
    • Article: Flawed Statistics Undermine USCIS/ICE/SEVP’s Restriction of D/S for Unlawful Presence By Eugene Goldstein, Esq.

      Flawed Statistics Undermine USCIS/ICE/SEVP’s Restriction of D/S for Unlawful Presence


      On August 9, 2018 USCIS published a “Policy Memorandum” restricting the 20-year-old calculation of Duration of Status (D/S) for F-1, J-1 and M-1 entrants (and their derivative families).

      USCIS also published an announcement (hereinafter “announcement”) “USCIS Issues Revised Guidance on Unlawful Presence for Students and Exchange Visitors , and a general discussion “Unlawful Presence and Bars to Admissibility” ...

      08-15-2018, 12:57 PM