Archive for 2015

The 5 biggest developments in immigration law in 2015

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

There were a lot of developments in immigration law this year. In the political sphere, the Trump Affect has moved the Republican Party and many Americans decidedly against immigration reform and in favor of severe risk-avoidance policies. Recent changes to the Visa Waiver program are an immediate manifestation. Efforts to restrict refugee admissions is another. The Visa Bulletin now has filing dates as well as processing dates, meaning every month one must check not only if a priority date (the…

Ten signs the asylum system is broken down

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

1. Affirmative asylum applicants can wait four years for an interview, separating applicants from their families left behind in perilous conditions for many years. 2. Asylum offices do not have the manpower to perform routine tasks like revalidating asylum grants. 3. Asylum officers are not dealing with the backlog in cases in the United States because of screening of refugees overseas. 4. Asylum officers are denying cases that ultimately are approved by immigration judges, necessitating long delays and the expenditure…

Let’s be serious about security and stop the silly talk.

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

  Between Donald Trump and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, there is sure a lot of immigration talk in the media and in politics. Not to go through the exhaustive task of attributing wisdom to each of its creators, let me, rather, address some of the observations political figures have made about the legal reality of immigration based on my twenty plus years of experience as a lawyer in the asylum game. Islam is a religion that tolerates lying In my years…

Two bureaucracies are “better” than one when it all “ends well.”

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

I recently wrote about how USCIS eschews interaction with attorneys and severely limits the ability of attorneys to interact with it during the adjudication process. Combine USCIS with the Department of State, and the inaccessibility of the bureaucracy is more frustratingly apparent. Here’s my recent example. A Mexican family (Mexican-ness is important to the story. It is not a gratuitous detail.) came to see me about a long-pending visa petition filed twenty years ago by a parent for his son….