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Staten Island Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

How big is the backlog facing the federal immigration courts?

The unfortunate reality for those people with cases pending in the federal immigration courts is that they are likely going to have to wait a long time for any sort of legal resolution allowing them to move forward due to a sizeable case backlog.

Interestingly enough, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University recently published an eye-opening report examining why the federal immigration courts are so backed up.

Is new federal program just a sequel to Secure Communities?

President Obama drew praise from both law enforcement officials and immigrant advocacy groups back in November when he announced the termination of the Secure Communities program and the introduction of the Priority Enforcement Program, which is focused on deporting "felons, not families."

Interestingly, praise for the Priority Enforcement Program is now waning over criticism that it is perhaps not all that different from its predecessor.

What business travelers need to know about B-1 visas -- II

Last time, we started discussing how despite all the recent advancements in communication technology, international business travel nevertheless remains an absolute necessity for countless corporations and entrepreneurs.

More to the point, we discussed how U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services not only recognizes this, but also facilitates temporary business travel to the U.S. through the B-1 visa.

What business travelers need to know about B-1 visas

Advancements in communication technology have served to transform the face of international business. Indeed, a live video teleconference can now be held between parties separated by an entire ocean with just a few clicks, while email and live chat facilitate regular, instantaneous communication for multinational corporations.

Despite the relative ease with which international parties can now communicate, business travel nevertheless remains an absolute necessity. In recognition of this fact, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has long offered those looking to enter the country temporarily for business purposes the chance to secure what is known as a B-1 visa.

Record number of H-1B visa applications for fiscal year 2016

On April 1 of every year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officially begins accepting applications for the available 85,000 H-1B visas, which allow employers to bring foreign workers here to the U.S. to work in the high-demand fields of engineering, science and computer programming.

While you would think that the application process for these temporary work visas would last for a minimum of a few months until such time as the congressional cap is reached, guess again.

Korean adoptee facing deportation prompts reconsideration of law

Imagine living your entire life in one country from the time you are a small child. You are engrained in the culture, you speak the language and you have known no other home. Imagine now that you are suddenly faced with being deported back to your country of origin -- a country you may not know anyone and may not have ever even been to. Anyone would fear what could happen next.

Unfortunately, this scenario is one man's reality. Adopted as a 3-year-old from Korea, the man is now facing deportation because neither set of American parents who adopted him took the time to apply for his naturalization.

Spouses of H-1B visa holders will soon be allowed to work

Many people in New York know of the H-1B visa. It allows highly skilled workers from other companies to work for U.S. companies. What some people may not realize, however, is that the spouses of these individuals -- usually living in the country on an H-4 visa -- are not allowed to pursue careers in the U.S.

This rule has posed challenges for many spouses who left lucrative and prestigious careers in their home country to come to the U.S. Years without even the option of working has taken its toll on their personal and professional identity. Some did not even know that supporting their spouse's career would mean giving up their own entirely. Fortunately, this rule is about to change.

Changing mandate regarding immigrant detention

It appears that we’re seeing fewer immigrants held in detention centers in the United States. In any case, the number is the lowest in close to 10 years. Though for most years in the last decade, the numbers of immigrants detained exceeded 30,000, the numbers of immigrants detained in 2015 fell to 26,374 people.

This appears to reflect policy changes at a federal and state level. Also, interpretation of laws may be changing. Previously it was felt that the 34,000 detention beds available in the U.S. required filling. There now no longer appears to be a necessity of always filling what national news outlets have called a quota. For example, Homeland Security Secretary Jeb Johnson testified last year that he interpreted the mandate as only requiring maintaining rather than filling of the beds.

Exceptions to the naturalization test for elderly individuals

The naturalization test is the last step toward becoming a citizen of the United States. As many people in New York know, however, the test is anything but easy. While diligent preparation is enough for some people to pass, others -- including the elderly -- have limitations that make it near impossible for them to even take the test. Fortunately, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offers exceptions and accommodations.

Why are New York's dairy farmers calling for immigration reform?

It may surprise people to learn that the state of New York is actually one of the leading dairy producers here in the U.S. In fact, the Empire State actually became the nation's biggest yogurt producer back in 2012, and is currently home to more than 40 yogurt producers, up from a mere 14 back in 2000.

Our state's jump in dairy production has been fueled in large part by the country's love of Greek yogurt, which requires more milk due to its creamier consistency. Indeed, the manufacturers of the best-selling Greek yogurt Chobani have called New York home since 2005.