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    Published on 10-04-2016 02:52 PM

    Immigration in the Supreme Court, 2016 Term


    The Supreme Court currently is slated to hear three immigration cases this Term.  Each of the cases have the potential to be major immigration decisions.  Each case raises constitutional as well as statutory issues.  

    Two of the cases come from the Ninth Circuit.  The U.S. Government, which was unsuccessful in each of the cases, sought review in the Supreme Court.

    Stay tuned for information about the cases.  SCOTUSBlog is a source for briefs, oral argument previews and recaps, and opinion analysis for Supreme Court cases. 

    The Court starts the Term with only eight Justices, which complicates matters. 

    Here are the three immigration cases, all that raise important issues of immigration law.


    Lynch v. Dimaya

    Issue(s): Whether 18 U.S.C. 16(b), as incorporated into the Immigration and Nationality Act's provisions governing an immigrant's removal from the United States, is unconstitutionally vague.  In a rare move, the Ninth Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, stuck down a statute including the reference "crime of violence" as unconstitutionally vague.   The Board of Immigration Appeals had found that  burglary was a "crime of violence" for removal purposes.  Dimaya was a lawful permanent resident from the Philippines who had lived in the United States since 1992. 


    Lynch ...

    Published on 10-03-2016 04:02 PM

    Purpose of the International Entrepreneur Parole Program


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

    Reprinted with permission.

    About The Author

    Joseph P. Whalen Joseph P. Whalen is an independent EB-5 consultant, advocate, trainer and advisor.
    238 Ontario Street | #6 | Buffalo, NY 14207
    Phone: (716) 604-4233(716) 604-4233 (cell) or (716) 768-6506(716) 768-6506 (land-line) E-mail: joseph.whalen774@gmail.com

    Published on 09-30-2016 01:37 PM

    Investigate Atlanta and Charlotte Immigration Judges For Knowingly Depriving Children of Right To Apply Asylum



    Immigration Judge V. Stuart Couch, along with 3 other Immigration Judges, Systematically Deprives Children and Adults of Right to Apply for Asylum


    Several Immigration Judges at the Charlotte and Atlanta Immigration Courts are responsible for knowingly and systematically depriving unrepresented immigrants before them of their right to apply for asylum and/or Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.

    What follows is concrete evidence of this,  which will be forwarded to the Department of Justice as part of a request to:

    1. Investigate Immigration Judges Dan Pelletier, Earle Wilson, V. Stuart Couch, and Barry Pettinato (“Immigration Judges”))

    2. Immediately suspend the immigration judges from adjudicating cases pending the investigation;

    3.Review record of proceeding of all pro se unaccompanied children and adult with children individuals ordered removed or granted voluntary departure by Immigra judges since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2014.

    4. Order the sua sponte reopening of removal orders where the review of the record of proceedings demonstrates the immigration judge deprived pro se individual of right to apply for asylum or other relief, and

    5. Refer to the appropriate law enforcement authorities for criminal prosecution upon finding that any of the immigration judges knowingly and systematically deprived unaccompanied children or adults with children of their right to apply for asylum or other relief.

     I. Knowingly Depriving Individuals of Right to Apply for Asylum

    On October 26, 2015, Immigration Judge V. Stuart Couch deprived an unrepresented mother and her two minor children their right to apply for asylum and ordered the family removed instead.

    On April 21, 2016,  The Board of Immigration Appeals remanded V. Stuart Couch’s decision to …”to provide respondents the opportunity to apply for asylum withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture.” The BIA clearly agreed with the Respondent’s claim that the Immigration Judge failed to comply with 8 C.F.R. 1240.11(c)(1), which provides for the following: “If an alien expresses fear of persecution or harm upon return to the country of removal, and the alien has not previously filed an application for asylum or withholding of removal, the Immigration Judge shall advise the alien may apply for such relief and make available the appropriate forms.”



    Yet a few weeks later, on May 9, 2016, IJ Couch again denied an unrepresented respondent her right to apply for asylum at a master calendar hearing. In a short form order, the basis for Couch’s decision to order removal is in the “other category” as follows: “No available relief. See Matter of N-M- 25 I & N 526 (BIA 2011).

    Screen Shot 2016-09-13 at 12.38.24 PM.png

    The decision cited to in the order addressed the the standard required for one to establish “an asylum claim founded on opposition to official corruption (or “whistleblowing”) in the context of the “at least one central reason” nexus standard set forth in section 208(b)(1)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(B)(i) (2006).”

    Judge Couch denied the Respondent’s application for asylum without permitting Respondent to apply for asylum. He prejudged the case.

    This is in direct defiance of binding federal regulations as delineated in 1240.11(c)(1); 124o.11(a)(2); and in direct defiance of the BIA’s previous remand instructing Judge Couch to provide a Respondent ...

    Published on 09-29-2016 11:19 AM

    Does Your Client Meet H-1B Education Requirements?


    Does the Beneficiary Meet H-1B Education Requirements?

    We’re deep in RFE season, which means at least one in four of every H-1B beneficiary selected in the lottery has likely received one. Education RFEs are common for H-1B beneficiaries because this particular visa relies heavily on the education of each candidate in terms of requirements. In fact, your eligibility, or your employee or client’s eligibility is primarily determined ...

    Published on 09-28-2016 11:37 AM

    Asylum Granted To Woman From Mexico Who Said Her Partner Punched Her Because He Drank And Did Drugs


    “[Unmarried] Mexican women who are unable to leave their domestic relationship” is a cognizable particular social group, ruled a Portland, Oregon Immigration Judge.

    IJ Michael H. Bennett granted asylum to a 35-year-old woman, in an 11-page decision dated July 27, 2016. A redacted version is available at Louise Trauma Center: www.louisetrauma.weebly.com, on the “Domestic Violence” page.


    Respondent, born in Michoacan, Mexico, met her “partner” when she was 13 years old. She lived with him for several years, in peace, bearing children. But, after about ten years, he began to get drunk. At those times, he beat and raped respondent. She did not report this to the police because her sister reported domestic abuse and the police did not help her.

    Once, her brother-in-law shot a policeman in the face at a party. He did not go to jail because he paid the man’s medical expenses and gave his family money.

    Respondent was credible witness. She displayed “appropriate demeanor and was understandably tearful when speaking about the abuse she suffered….” Opinion at 5.

    The requirements of a cognizable particular social group

    The Board recently held that “married women in Guatemala who are unable to leave their relationship” may be a cognizable particular social group. Matter of A-R-C-G-, 26 I&N Dec. 388 (BIA 2014). This group shares an immutable characteristic, it is defined with particularity, and it is socially distinct. IJ Bennett declared that the particular social group in A-R-C-G- “was very similar” to the group proposed by this respondent from Mexico. Id. at 7.

    Being in a domestic relationship in Mexico is an immutable characteristic. The 2015 State Department report indicates ...

    Published on 09-27-2016 03:51 PM

    Immigration Policy Fifteen Years After 9/11


    Fifteen years ago on September 11, 2001, it appeared that comprehensive immigration reform was imminent. The prior week, President Vicente Fox of Mexico visited the U.S. and spoke to President Bush and Congress about the need for reform, and serious momentum was growing. However, the tragic events on September 11 set the immigration debate back significantly and in the post-9/11 world, immigration policy has become defined by “securitization.” That is, once it became apparent that the attacks were carried out by foreigners, pressure mounted for the adoption of new immigration restrictions in the name of security and any talk of other reforms was dead.

    Many changes have been made to the immigration system in the last fifteen years and while many were intended to target terrorism, these policies have had a significant impact on all immigrant communities. Some of the most notable include:

    • The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) program, which was most immediately implemented and required select male noncitizens from countries with a “significant terrorist presence” to be fingerprinted ...
    Published on 09-26-2016 12:44 PM

    Should Asian Americans Vote a Straight Democratic Ticket?


    Which presidential candidate and party represents the interests of Asian Americans? I look at Donald Trump and see the white elitist frat boy playing dirty tricks and looking down his nose at everyone that he does not think is at his societal level. Hillary Clinton is not a paragon of virtue, but I think that she only lies out of what she thinks is necessity, and not as an everyday tool. The untruths spilling out of Mr. Trump's mouth on a constant basis beggar the mind, and put him in ...

    Published on 09-26-2016 11:41 AM

    Private Refugee Sponsorship Gains Crucial New Support


    On Tuesday, at the Concordia Summit’s Private Sector Forum on Refugees and Migration, Anne Richards, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, announced that the Department of State is in conversations with Refugee Council USA about launching a private refugee sponsorship pilot program in fiscal year 2017.

    Refugee Council USA, the umbrella group of nine refugee resettlement agencies, studied private sponsorship and assembled a set of principles that, Richards noted, will provide the foundation for further exploration of the idea. Their statement calls for the U.S. to consider a private sponsorship program that increases resettlement capacity and allows private individuals or groups to play an even larger role in resettlement.

    The Niskanen Center, the organization responsible for introducing the idea to the policy debate last September with this Wall Street Journal op-ed and that originally sketched out what such a plan could look like in a policy paper in March, applauds Refugee Council and the State Department for their support on this crucial reform to our refugee system that will translate into more support for families on the run from violence, terror, and persecution.

    Widespread Support and Interest From Various Refugee Actors

    Private sponsorship was a common theme at this week’s refugee summits in New York. It was announced that Canada, in conjunction with the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees and George Soros, will help “export” their successful private sponsorship model to other countries. By providing training and information about private sponsorship schemes, the Canadian officials will help launch similar programs worldwide to boost admission totals.

    Canadian Immigration Minister McCollum claims 13 nations have expressed interest already, including Britain, Australia, Spain, and Japan.

    Private sponsorship or privately funded resettlement programs are already being implemented in Germany, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Ireland, and other countries. There is truly an international trend towards relying on private sector energy and support to further enable nations to aid refugees.

    And encouragingly, support for the idea of private sponsorship in the U.S. has recently taken off.

    This summer, 22 state lawmakers from Maryland endorsed private sponsorship and wrote, “We respectfully request that our constituents be provided the opportunity to contribute towards the life saving process of resettlement.”

    Bolstering their efforts to increase resettlement, last year nine Syrian, Muslim, Arab, and Turkish groups wrote a letter to President Obama asking for the ability to help privately resettle refugees here.

    Republican Senator Ron Johnson and Democratic Representatives

    Published on 09-23-2016 12:41 PM

    October 2016 Visa Bulletin Update: USCIS to use "Filing Date" Chart for Accepting Adjustment of Status Applications


    October 2016 Visa Bulletin Update: USCIS to use “Filing Date” Chart for Accepting Adjustment of Status Applications.

    By: Rabindra K. Singh, Esq.

    Yesterday, September 21, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that in October 2016 it will accept Adjustment of Status Applications based on the “Filing Date” chart for most of the employment- and ...

    Published on 09-22-2016 11:27 AM

    USCIS Opens Chart B - Date for Filing Adjustment of Status Filings Allowed for October 2016 Visa Bulletin - but Only a Few Will Benefit


    Today, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) posted its Adjustment of Status Filing Charts for October 2016, almost two weeks after the Department of State (“DOS”) published the October Visa Bulletin.

    USCIS announced that Chart B – Date for Filing may be used for both family-sponsored and employment-based petitions to determine if an applicant may file an adjustment of status application in the U.S.

    Regional center (and certain SR-religious workers) need reauthorization.

    However, the announcement clarifies that Expiring Employment Visa Categories, such as Regional Center EB-5 I-526 petitions (I5 and R5) as well as certain special religious workers (SR – mainly non-ordained), must use Chart A – Final Action Date to determine if they are eligible to file an adjustment. USCIS does not have legal authority to accept or approve adjustment of status cases after September 30, 2016 if these programs are not reauthorized.

    USCIS further explains that if Congress extends the EB-5 ...

    Published on 09-21-2016 01:47 PM

    4 Common H-1B RFEs You Need to Know About


    It’s RFE season! With over one in every four H-1B petitions receiving an RFE in the past few years, there’s a good chance that one of those was sent to you, or your employee or client. While there are many problems associated with receiving an RFE – even more time, money and work invested in the petition, stress, a red flag that draws attention to the little details of your case, or your client or employee’s case that would have otherwise gone unnoticed – it is also far ...

    Published on 09-20-2016 01:39 PM

    Government Officials Explain Extensive Refugee Vetting Process in Hearing


    Following the 15th anniversary of the tragic attacks on September 11, 2001, Congress is renewing its efforts to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again on U.S. soil. This was the message many members conveyed at a House Homeland Security hearing yesterday examining “terrorist pathways” to the United States.

    Committee members, including Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), demanded assurances from Homeland Security officials that the United States is secure from a host of threats, both real and perceived. Other members, such as Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), emphasized the fact that on the whole, the U.S. has been fairly good at thwarting terrorist attacks on the U.S. since 9/11.

    Indeed, the officials—from different offices within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—provided an overview of the measures that have been implemented since 9/11 to enhance the U.S.’ security systems and prevent terrorists from traveling to the country. In response to more than one question, DHS Under- Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis Francis Taylor outlined the multi-layered processes the government utilizes to screen and vet those seeking entry to the United States, whether as a refugee, on a tourist visa, or another visa permitting U.S. entry.

    Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-MS) recalled the country’s history as a nation of immigrants, and expressed hope that in the pursuit of national security we uphold this legacy. ...

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