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Immigration Law Archives

Supreme Court immigration vote follows political lines

The U.S. Supreme Court voted along ideological lines on March 19 when it ruled that immigrants in California and around the country who have spent time behind bars can be detained without a bond hearing, even if they are picked up years after being released. In a case brought on behalf of a group of lawful permanent residents, the American Civil Liberties Union argued that an ICE detention without a bond hearing violates constitutional protections unless it takes place immediately after an immigrant is released from custody.

DHS extends TPS protections for four countries

People in California from Sudan, El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua may be pleased to learn about the extension of temporary protected status, or TPS, for these four countries by the Department of Homeland Security. TPS protects citizens of countries that are suffering from natural or human-caused disasters, allowing them to remain in the United States and receive work permits even if they would otherwise face difficulties staying in the country. The program is meant to provide temporary protection until the affected people's home nations recover.

Employment alternatives for spouses of H-1B workers

The spouses of California workers with H-1B visas may be vulnerable to losing their rights to work in the United States. Legislation has been proposed that will end the abilities of spouses of H-1B workers to get employment authorization documents. The H-1B visa program and the rights of spouses to work can be important for those who are waiting for years to get a green card.

H-1B application period coming in April 2019

Companies in California who want to hire skilled professionals from outside the United States may need to act urgently. The H-1B visa program allows businesses inside the U.S. to hire workers from abroad with specialized knowledge, and it is frequently used in the technology, medical and other scientific industries. However, the filing season for H-1B visas in 2020 begins on April 1, 2019, and the slots tend to fill up quickly. These applications are for sponsoring full-time H-1B employees during the coming fiscal year, which will run from October 2019 through September 2020.

Studying and working in the U.S. for immigrants

According to a study from the Pew Research Center, the United States has more highly-educated immigrants than any other country in the world. In states like California, these immigrants attend universities and have prestigious positions at tech companies in Silicon Valley. Surveys suggest that a majority of the American people want even more highly educated immigrants to come to the country. There are a few pathways these individuals have to get to the U.S.

New policy for migrants seeking asylum in U.S.

Beginning in late January 2019, the U.S. government will start sending some asylum seekers who show up at the border entry point in San Ysidro, California, back to Mexico as their asylum claims are being processed. They will only be allowed to enter the country for their court appearances for the duration of the asylum process. Certain parties, such as those with fear of being in Mexico and families with young children, will still be allowed to stay in the U.S. during the process.

Government shutdown impacting immigration policy

According to the Transaction Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), there have been 42,726 immigration court hearings canceled because of the U.S. government shutdown. Immigrants in California and throughout the country have waited as long as four years to have those hearings. There will likely be another long wait for a hearing as there are more than 800,000 cases waiting to be heard. It's unclear if this will be a good or bad thing for those individuals.

New policy aims to clear backlog of asylum cases

In a recent change to immigration policy, those who have recently claimed asylum will have their cases processed first. Therefore, asylum seekers who have been in California for months or years will continue to wait for their cases to be heard. The process of seeking asylum used to take only a few months, but this is no longer true because of a recent influx of people asking for protection.

Immigration interview questions could cover knowledge of country

Immigration authorities may want to measure a person's knowledge of the United States. To prepare for such questions, people in California who are pursuing documentation to live in the country or seeking citizenship should become familiar with basic facts about the nation and its regions and political leadership.

Tips for talking with the USICS

At some point, an immigrant living in California or any other state may need to speak with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Individuals may be able to have a positive experience by preparing for their interviews. As part of the preparation process, obtain multiple copies of relevant documents and research them carefully. Those who don't speak English have the right to bring an interpreter to the hearing.

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