Biden Administration and Immigration in 2022

CNN — How many times has the Biden White House had an unresolved conflict between idealism and pragmatism on the issue of immigration? How many times has it hesitated to take action, opting instead for political messaging? The sad answer to both questions is: every time.

Most of the officials appointed by President Joe Biden to work on immigration have resigned in frustration, according to a bombshell report from The New York Times in April. “The White House has been divided by furious debates over how – and whether – to proceed in the face of a surge of migrants crossing the southwest border,” the report said.

Some wanted more openness to immigrants of all kinds. Others wanted a coherent set of rules to be applied to the millions of people at the border. And some others wanted a compromise with Republicans to create a new merit-based, green-card system. They all got nothing.

A new report from the Department of Homeland Security for August confirmed over 2 million border apprehensions and expulsions this year so far. Previously, the United States only experienced more than 1 1/2 million apprehensions a few times in its history: during the late 1990s and then in 2021. At the current pace, that record could be doubled by the end of this year. And next year, if no policies change, it could double again…

Open border chaos increases human trafficking and drug trafficking. It turns what should be a foreign policy strength into a national security weakness.

When we ponder what Biden should do to address the immigration mess at the border, the honest answer is: something, anything. Because the status quo of playing politics while seemingly ignoring policy is not only politically divisive, but it’s also missing a golden opportunity.

Biden should take advantage of his moment in history to boldly reform American refugee policy. He could, at the stroke of a pen, redefine how many refugees are allowed into the United States by taking advantage of the distinction our laws make between those granted temporary protection and those awarded permanent residency.

Editor’s Note: Tim Kane is the president of the American Lyceum and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. His most recent book is “The Immigrant Superpower.” The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN.https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/05/opinions/immigration-policy-biden-administration-kane/index.html

DHS Announces New Migration Enforcement Process for Venezuelans

Venezuelans who seek to enter the U.S. illegally will be returned to Mexico; New lawful pathway created for some Venezuelans.

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing work to build a fair, orderly, and secure immigration system, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced joint actions with Mexico to reduce the number of people arriving at our Southwest border and create a more orderly and safe process for people fleeing the humanitarian and economic crisis in Venezuela.

The United States and Mexico intend to address the most acute irregular migration and help ease pressure on the cities and states receiving these individuals.

Effective immediately, Venezuelans who enter the United States between ports of entry, without authorization, will be returned to Mexico. At the same time, the United States and Mexico are reinforcing their coordinated enforcement operations to target human smuggling organizations and bring them to justice. That campaign will include new migration checkpoints, additional resources and personnel, joint targeting of human smuggling organizations, and expanded information sharing related to transit nodes, hotels, stash houses, and staging locations. The United States is also planning to offer additional security assistance to support regional partners to address the migration challenges in the Darién Gap.

To reduce the irregular migration of Venezuelans also includes a new process to lawfully and safely bring up to 24,000 qualifying Venezuelans into the United States. The United States will not implement this process without Mexico keeping in place its independent but parallel effort to accept the return of Venezuelan nationals who bypass this process and attempt to enter irregularly.

“These actions make clear that there is a lawful and orderly way for Venezuelans to enter the United States, and lawful entry is the only way,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Those who attempt to cross the southern border of the United States illegally will be returned to Mexico and will be ineligible for this process in the future. Those who follow the lawful process will have the opportunity to travel safely to the United States and become eligible to work here.” https://www.dhs.gov/news/2022/10/12/dhs-announces-new-migration-enforcement-process-venezuelans

The Current State Of The DACA Program

On Oct. 5, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a decision on the 2012 Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) policy. The court partially affirmed the district court’s July 2021 decision declaring the 2012 DACA policy unlawful. However, the court of appeals preserved the partial stay issued by the district court in July 2021 and remanded the case back to the district court for further proceedings regarding the new DHS DACA regulation published on Aug. 30, 2022 and scheduled to go into effect on Oct. 31, 2022.

At this time, this ruling does not affect current grants of DACA and related Employment Authorization Documents. Consistent with the court’s order [PDF] (PDF) and the ongoing partial stay, we will continue to accept and process renewal DACA requests, accompanying requests for employment authorization, and applications for advance parole for current DACA recipients, and will continue to accept but not process initial DACA requests.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) final rule, which has been posted for public inspection on the Federal Register’s website. The final rule generally codifies existing policies with limited amendments to preserve and fortify DACA. The final rule is effective Oct. 31, 2022.

Introduction to Immigration Court Video

EOIR has released an Introduction to Immigration Court video as part of its “Access EOIR” initiative. The video, currently available in English and Spanish, is designed to educate and inform noncitizens about the immigration court process. Please visit the Access EOIR webpage or EOIR’s YouTube channel to watch the video.

For assistance with your immigration process, call the LAW OFFICES OF NORKA M. SCHELL, LLC at (212) 258-0713.

H-1B, L-1A and L-1B TEMPORARY WORK VISAS

U.S. Businesses rely on their ability to employ foreign nationals to compete efficiently in today’s global market. Particularly critical in this regard are the H-1B program, which permits U. S. employers to retain the temporary services of foreign professionals, and L-1 transfer managers, executives, and other employees with “Specialized Knowledge” from a foreign office to a branch office, subsidiary, or affiliate in the United States. Both of these programs permit U.S. employers to hire high-skilled foreign employees for discrete periods and, necessary, to extend their terms of employment.

Foreign nationals may remain in the United States in H-1B status for up to six years, and in L-1A and L-1B status for up to seven and five years, respectively.

Note that, federal regulations mandate that no H-1B, L-1A or L-1B petition can be approved for longer than three years. So, many U.S. employers file extension requests to enable these employees to fulfill their responsibilities.

For additional information on H-1B, L-1A, and L-1B temporary work visas, contact the Law Offices of Norka M. Schell, LLC at (212) 258-0713 to speak with our attorney.

BRINGING YOUR PARENTS TO VISIT YOU IN THE UNITED STATES. IS THE TOURIST VISA THE ANSWER?

The B-2 “Visitor for Pleasure” visa, along with its cousin the Visa Waive Program, are the most widely used vehicles for entry into the United States.

The B-2 visitor visa has many specific uses, but more importantly, it also has specific situations where its use is expressly prohibited.

The B-2 visitor visa category can be one of the most complex and difficult to address because the issues and factors involved in the decision are almost entirely subjective. Moreover, the decision of the consul occurs far from the immigration lawyer and is not subject to review or formal appeal. If the reason for the denial is known, applicants may present “better” evidence in subsequent visa applications.

Generally speaking, an individual is allowed a B-2 visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act to temporarily visit the United States for pleasure. The term “pleasure” refers to “legitimate activities of a recreational character, including tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, and activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature. By statute, a B-2 visitor is expressly precluded from coming for the purpose of study (with a few well-defined exceptions) or performing skilled or unskilled labor, or as a representative of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media coming to engage in such vocation.

B-2 visitors to the United States generally may be admitted for not more than one year and may be granted extensions of stay in six-month increments. So long as their passports are sufficiently valid, admissible B-2 visitors should be admitted for a minimum of six months, regardless of whether less time is required; exceptions may only be made for “good cause.”

What would the US Consul consider in determining B-2 visa eligibility?

The applicant must maintain an unabandoned foreign residence; he or she must intend to enter the United States for a period of specifically limited duration, and the applicant must be seeking admission for the sole purpose of engaging in legitimate activities relating to pleasure; the applicant must have adequate funds to avoid unlawful employment and to complete the purposes of the proposed visit, etc.

The criteria listed above are intended only as guidelines, and meeting them is not to be considered conclusive of the applicant’s intent. Denial of the visa “is required by law” where the consular officer is not satisfied with the applicant’s intent to return or abide by the terms of nonimmigrant status.