Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) – A little known resolution procedure

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP) is a procedure to allow persons who have experienced difficulties during their travel screening at airports or crossing U.S. land borders to address the issues and prevent future problems upon entry. Homeland Security says this program is part of an effort by the departments of State and Homeland Security to welcome legitimate travelers Read More

“Citizenship Delayed: Civil and Voting Rights Implications of the Backlog in Citizenship and Naturalization Applications”

U.S. law has established an advisory committee in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia to advise the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights of civil rights issues in their states. The state commissions are asked to advise the Commission of any alleged deprivation of voting rights and discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, national origin or in the administration of justice.  In Read More

Changes in Attitudes About Immigrants

Having practiced immigration law for more than 25 years, I was interested in a recent study done by the Pew Research Institute. When I first started handling immigration matters, immigration was, from my perspective, rarely discussed. But over the last few years, I have had people (citizens whose families had been in the U.S. for generations) come up to me in the grocery store or at meetings and thank me for the work Read More

The Upper Keys League of Women Voters and the Upper Keys Business and Professional Women Invite You to Join Us in Celebrating the Constitution

The Upper Keys League of Women Voters and the Upper Keys Business and Professional Women invite you to join us in Celebrating the Constitution on September 16th from 6 -9 PM at the Murray Nelson Government and Cultural Center. The Keynote speaker will be our U.S. House Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. At the event, the winners of a student essay contest will be presented. Our middle and high school students Read More

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