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A federal judge ruled that ICE violated FOIA.

 In December, a federal judge ruled that ICE violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) when it denied immigration lawyers access to their client’s files. ICE’s reasoning was that the clients in ICE custody were “fugitives,” but that is not one of the stated exceptions under FOIA. ICE used this justification for denying FOIA requests at least 333 times between July 21, 2017 and April 4, 2019. As of this week, the government has about a month remaining to appeal the decision.

Brazilians could be included in the Remain in Mexico program.

There has been a recent increase in Brazilians seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. In response to this increase, the Trump administration has been weighing whether to send Brazilian asylum seekers to Mexico under the Remain in Mexico program. The government is also considering whether to send the asylum seekers to another country like Honduras, with whom the U.S. has an asylum deal. There are already criticisms of Remain in Mexico, but an additional one for Brazilian asylum seekers is that they do not speak Spanish natively and would be unable to effectively communicate in Mexico. Though arrests of Brazilian asylum seekers are up, overall border arrests have decreased.

The Trump administration will impose visa restrictions on pregnant women.

 The U.S. is preparing to impose restrictions that will make it more difficult for pregnant women to travel to the U.S. on tourist visas. Though consular officers cannot ask whether a woman is or plans to become pregnant, applicants will be denied if consular officers determine they are traveling to the U.S. primarily to give birth. The restrictions are aimed at restricting “birth tourism” and take effect today, January 24.

Iranian nationals are no longer eligible for E-1 and E-2 visas

USCIS announced on January 22 that Iranian nationals are no longer eligible for E-1 and E-2 trade and investor visas. This is because the Trump administration terminated the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights with Iran in 2018. Current Iranian holders of these visas may stay until their visas expire, but may not extend or reapply for the visas. USCIS will also send out notices of Intent to Deny to all Iranian nationals who applied for E-1 and E-2 visas after October 3, 2018.

DOS Publishes Final Rule Amending B Visa Regulations

DOS published a final rule in the Federal Register amending the B visa regulations to establish that travel to the United States with the primary purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child by giving birth in the United States is an impermissible basis for the issuance of a B nonimmigrant visa. The rule is effective today, January 24, 2020.

Senators have pressed DHS for details on the visa approval for the Pensacola naval base shooter.

On December 6, a Saudi Arabian citizen killed 3 people and injured 8 in a shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida. Ahmed Mohammed al-Shamrani was in the U.S. on an A-2 visa for military training. 3 Republican senators sent a letter to DHS asking for details on the vetting process for al-Shamrani, including specific vetting actions and any interviews he went through. The letter also asks about any social media monitoring done, and how often A-visa holders have been refused entry into the U.S. by CBP.

CBP officers were allegedly ordered to stop Iranian or Iranian-born travelers at the Canadian border.

After the drone strike on Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, U.S. border officers at the U.S.-Canadian border were told to stop Iranian travelers for questioning, according to an unnamed officer. Dozens of Americans of Iranian descent were stopped at the port of entry, and some were held for hours and questioned. CBP has so far denied that there was any directive given to officers to target Iranians and said that stories detailing stops were categorically false. The unnamed officer contradicted this and said that the order was in place until the story “hit the national news.” The officer did not provide a copy of the initial directive.

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