The Trump Administration is making major changes (for the worse) affecting the detention and release of migrant children. The Department of Homeland Security issued new rules the reversing the protections of a 1997 court agreement-known as the Flores Settlement-that currently restricts the government from detaining migrant children indefinitely and ensures their safety and proper care. Under the Flores Settlement Agreement, children detained in custody must generally be released within 20 days.
Under the Trump Administration, we have seen an increase of findings of inadmissibility for applicants attending consular interviews for their permanent residency abroad.
An important issue that I have encountered in practice is attorney-client communication and preparation. Immigration law, in particular, is a very uncertain area because most types of relief are discretionary, and policies can change without much notice. Thus, it is crucial for there to be open communication between the attorney and client, and for the client to be well prepared.
On July 28, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security significantly expanded the provisional waiver program. The provisional waiver program had allowed beneficiaries of certain family petitions to obtain a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence of greater than 180 days before the immigrant visa interview, avoiding the necessity to obtain such a waiver at the US embassy or consulate abroad, thus greatly shortening the time away from their families.
Our client came to the United States in 2001 on a B-2 visitor's visa. In 2005 he married a U.S. citizen and sponsored our client's permanent resident status. Four years later, the Immigration Service denied his application because they believed he married he committed marriage fraud (what immigration calls an INA §204(c) decision). Such a decision is generally treated as the "death penalty" by the Immigration Service and Immigration Judges for any future applications a person might file to seek resident status. As a result of the denial, our client was put into removal proceedings -- not because of the fraud the government thought he had committed, but solely because he had remained in the United States longer than he was authorized.
The Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that the Supreme Court ruling will allow U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents petition for their same-sex spouses who would be able to obtain their "green cards". It is estimated that 36,000 foreign nationals will benefit from this groundbreaking ruling.