Immigration applicants now required to disclose five years of social media and contact history when applying for visa.

As of May 31, 2019, new questions were added to the forms by which persons apply for non-immigrant visas such as tourist and student visa as well as to applications for immigrant visas. These questions were previously asked only in limited circumstance when a consular officer thought it was necessary to confirm a visa applicants’ identity or if additional scrutiny was considered necessary for terrorism or national Read More

Do you want to lock up children and families fleeing violence or serious criminals?

Amid all of the justified outcry regarding the unconscionable conditions under which this country is detaining children and families fleeing danger from some of the most dangerous countries on earth, we are failing to lock up serious criminals. Syracuse University maintains extensive records of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activity. The records are maintained by the Transactional Records Access Read More

Efforts to Prevent Immigrants from Serving Our Country in the Military Negatively Impact Our National Security

Having just celebrated Memorial Day, I thought that I would write about immigrants and the military. Once again I write about anti-immigrant policies that hurt all of us. This month it is about discouraging/preventing immigrants from serving in the U.S. military.  Not too long ago but what seems like ages ago, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services honored the service of immigrant soldiers by fast-tracking their Read More

Cutting Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face

My Grandmother, Emma, never finished elementary school but she was wise in many ways. She taught me not to cause problems for myself by trying to punish someone else. I often think of this when I read the news about immigration. I see “solutions" that cause problems for the country by punishing immigrants. Two things in particular that I read in the last few days made me think of my Grandmother’s advice. First Read More

The Intersection of Immigration and Marijuana

Under Federal Law, marijuana is considered to be a controlled substance and admission of even casual and legal use of marijuana can trigger admissibility issues for foreign nationals. Immigration law provides Criminal Grounds of Inadmissibility, Trafficking-related Grounds of inadmissibility and even Medical related grounds of inadmissibility. Criminal Grounds of Inadmissibility An alien who has been convicted Read More

USCIS Processing Delays have reached Crisis levels

USCIS is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the U.S. Some of the services that they provide include naturalization, management of the process that allows legal permanent residents and U.S. citizens to petition for residence for close relatives and management of the process that allow individuals to work in the U.S. – temporarily or permanently. USCIS is entirely funded by filing fees. NO Read More

It is H-1B season!

H-1B visas are available to allow U.S. businesses to hire professionals on a temporary basis for three years. The visa may thereafter be renewed for an additional three years. To qualify, the person hired must have at least a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific occupational specialty and must be offered a position that requires that specific degree. The occupational specialties that are generally accepted Read More

Happy New Year

This month has been busy with a lot of immigration-related news. I hope that 2019 has been good to you so far. USCIS remains open during the government shutdown. I have received many questions about whether immigration is still working during the shutdown. The answer is yes, for the most part.  Offices remain open and interviews continue to be held. USCIS will continue to accept petitions and applications for Read More

Reality Check – We are not being invaded by caravans of criminals entering through open borders.

At the end of  President Obama’s term, the number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. was at its lowest level since 2007 with the sharpest declines occurring during the Obama presidency.  The Great Recession played a part as well as the sharp rise in deportations. Thankfully most of the deportations during this time were of those with a criminal history. That is not the case at this point. The  Pew Read More

Searching for Naturalization  Records through USCIS

This month I thought I would write about something a bit lighter in nature than most of my blogs.  Given that we are all immigrants, many wish to learn more about their family histories and to obtain copies of immigration related historical  documents. One way to start is to obtain naturalization records and certificates for your ancestors. Prior to 1906, foreign nationals could be naturalized in any court of record Read More