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More than 400,000 People Barred from Becoming Citizens Due to Coronavirus

Hundreds of thousands of people may be unable to complete the process to become American citizens in time for the November election due to the coronavirus pandemic. USCIS has been shut down since March 18 and is scheduled to remain closed until at least May 3. The agency has not provided a remote option for citizenship interviews or oath ceremonies.

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.

A federal judge blocked the rule ending fee exemptions for citizenship applications.

On December 12, a federal judge issued a nationwide injunction on the rule that ended fee exemptions for many poor immigrants seeking citizenship. The previous rule allowed a fee exemption for anyone on government aid or who could show financial hardship (such as medical expenses or unemployment). The blocked rule eliminated fee waivers for government benefits and allowed waivers only to those who could show hardship or who were making no more than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines, meaning that many poor immigrants would have to pay the $725 fee. The main reason for the injunction was that the Trump administration disregarded the law when it did not seek or consider public comment on the new rule.

Another win for Law Offices of Brian Lerner on Naturalization

Naturalization application approved at interview with several public charge issues

BIA Dismisses Appeal After Finding N‑550 Does Not Confer Citizenship Status if Acquired Unlawfully

The BIA found the respondent removable, holding that it is not necessary to show his intent in order to establish that he is deportable for making a false representation of U.S. citizenship, and also because a Form N‑550 does not confer citizenship status if it is acquired unlawfully.

DOJ Secures First Denaturalization as a Result of Operation Janus

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a judge revoked the naturalized U.S. citizenship of Baljinder Singh and canceled his Certificate of Naturalization, reverting him to lawful permanent resident status and rendering him potentially subject to removal proceedings at DHS’s discretion. This case was the first denaturalization to result from the DHS initiative Operation Janus.

Court Finds Dominican Petitioner Born to Unwed Parents Is Not Eligible for Derivative Citizenship Through His Father’s Naturalization

The Second Circuit upheld the BIA’s decision affirming the IJ’s finding that the LPR petitioner, who was born in the Dominican Republic to unwed parents, was ineligible for derivative citizenship through his father’s naturalization, because he was not a legitimated “child” as the term is defined in INA §101(c)(1) and used in former INA §321(a).
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