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San Jose Immigration Law Blog

Administration weighs reducing refugee admissions again

Even though the number of refugees being admitted to the United States has reached an historic low, the Trump administration is considering reducing that number even further. The U.S. refugee program is meant to offer a chance at stability for people forced out of their homes by disasters or unrest.

Currently, the administration has set a cap of 45,000 for refugee admissions despite a worldwide surge in refugees. The push for an even lower cap is apparently being led by senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, who has advocated a cap of 15,000. However, the New York Times indicates that the proposal being considered would only drop the cap to 25,000 -- a 40 percent drop from the previous level.

9th Circuit: Separation of powers protects sanctuary city grants

A federal appeals court has just struck down the Trump administration's plan to punish so-called "sanctuary" jurisdictions by refusing to issue approved criminal justice grants. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that separation of powers and the constitution's Spending Clause vest spending decisions exclusively with Congress.

San Francisco and Santa Clara County initiated the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and other California sanctuary jurisdictions (which include the state itself). They pointed out that Congress had not conditioned the grants on any jurisdiction's agreement to go along with the Trump administration's immigration enforcement priorities. Since only Congress can make such conditions, they argued, the executive branch cannot use these grants to punish sanctuary jurisdictions. A trial court ruled in favor of the cities.

Could your U.S. citizenship be at risk from Operation Janus?

When Davinder S. came to America, he arrived without any travel documents or proof of identity. He petitioned for asylum under a different first name, Baljinder, but he abandoned that petition. Eventually, he married a U.S. citizen and became a lawful permanent resident. Years later, he became a U.S. citizen -- again under the name Baljinder.

Last year, the Department of Justice filed a denaturalization case against Davinder. It won because he failed to appear in court to contest the case. As a result, he was stripped of his citizenship. His status reverted to that of a permanent resident -- but he can now be deported.

I'm now a US citizen. Can I bring my loved ones to live here?

Congratulations on becoming a naturalized citizen. One of the privileges of citizenship is the ability to bring your immediate relatives here to become lawful permanent residents, and possibly future citizens. Immediate relatives include any unmarried children you have who are under 21, your parents (if you are 21 or older) and your spouse. You can also sponsor your married children and, if you are 21 or older, your siblings.

Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are given special immigration priority. There is an unlimited number of visas available, but they are granted in the order their underlying petitions are received. Once your relative reaches the front of the line, he or she can typically also apply for a visa or adjust their status.

As a foreign national, a stay in the hospital could be risky

There have been a lot of stories in the news lately about immigration crackdowns. We’ve seen the pictures of parents torn from their children at the border. We’ve heard stories about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) showing up at workplaces, arresting undocumented immigrants on the spot.

One issue you may not have heard about, however, is the risks immigrants—undocumented and legal alike—can face if they find themselves in critical health. In today’s post, we discuss the relatively unknown practice of medical repatriation.

Visas for professionals, skilled workers and unskilled workers

If you want to live and work permanently in the United States, you may qualify for a visa based on your education or work history. EB-3 visas are available for baccalaureate professionals, skilled workers and even unskilled workers when qualified workers are not available in the U.S.

To qualify for an EB-3 visa, you will need a permanent, full-time job offer. These are immigrant visas, meaning that you can later apply for lawful permanent resident status (a green card). If you receive an EB-3 visa, your spouse and any children under 21 can join you in the U.S. and your spouse can work during the green card application process.

Researcher? EB-2 (c) visas and national interest waivers

EB-2 visas are for qualifying individuals who wish to immigrate permanently to the United States for reasons of employment. These are second-preference immigrant visas, meaning that the visas only become available once all EB-1 visas are awarded.

In a previous post, we discussed EB-2 (a) visas for people with certain advanced degrees and EB-2 (b) visas for people of exceptional ability in business, science or the arts. A third category exists within the EB-2 visa: EB-2 (c) visas for people and jobs that meet the criteria for a national interest waiver.

US Supreme Court upholds President Trump's third travel ban

From the beginning of his presidency, Donald Trump has been trying to issue a travel ban against people from certain nations -- mostly majority-Muslim ones. His original ban was overturned by the federal courts, however, largely because it appeared to be unlawfully discriminatory against Muslims. It was replaced with a second version that was also overturned.

The current ban prohibits most travel to the U.S. by nationals of Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia, along with some from Venezuela and North Korea. Chad was originally included in the ban but the restrictions have been suspended.

Advanced degree or exceptional ability? Consider an EB-2 visa

With the right combination of background, education and talent, you may be able to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis. The United States offers 140,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year for people who wish to immigrate based on their job skills.

In the past, we've discussed EB-1 visas for people with extraordinary ability, for outstanding professors and researchers, and for multinational managers and executives. Today, we'll begin covering the next type of preference-based employment visa, the EB-2.

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