The latest immigration and visa news for the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and select European countries - straight from the leading immigrant advocates in the Philippines.
The Enforcement Improvement Memo is more prospective with focus on aliens with valid visas such as tourist, student, working visas (or those at border crossings) who are applying for admission or seeking entry into the U.S.noting that 'lawful detention of aliens arriving in the United States and deemed inadmissible ..pending final determination of whether to order them removed...is the most efficient means by which to enforce the immigration laws at our borders."
Second, the Enforcement Improvement Memo shall expand the 287(g) program - authorizing state or local law enforcement officials to investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, dtain, transport and conduct searches of an alien for the purposes of enforcing immigration laws."
ICE AGE. The National Interest Enforcement Memo on the other hand, specifies the DHS priorities for immediate deportation or removal, and hiring of addtional 10,000 officers and agents for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), one of three agencies under the DHS. The other two are the Customs and Border Protection ((CBP) immigration officers at ports of entry; and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that confers immigraiton benefits such as extension of stay, change of nonimmigrant status, adjustment of status from nonimmimgrant to immigrant and citizenship from lawful permanent residency.
Based on the thrust of the Trump administration's immigration priorities, the current and immediate future for immigrants can be aptly called the ICE age.
History of the Executive Order
On January 27, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed and issued an Executive Order (EO) banning refugees and U.S. visa holders from coming to or being admitted into the United States.
The EO directs the Secretaries of Homeland Security, State Department and the Director of National Intelligence to “immediately conduct a review to determine the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public safety threat.”
White House revised ban after worldwide protest and confusion
After legal challenges in court resulting in a nationwide injunction, the Trump administration 'clarified'it's order, particularly for green card holders. However, implementation of the order as issued and rexported refusalS of immigration officers at port of entry adds to the uncertainty and wisdom of traveling to the U. S. Here's the report on the White House backtracking on part of the order -
It became clear almost immediately after the issuance of the EO that the Trump administration has not fully informed the agencies tasked to implement the order creating chaos at airports worldwide for those getting on their flights to the U.S. or those who are at U.S ports of entry with valid visas and even lawful permanent residents with green cards.
Court Blocks Implementation of Ban
Immigrant Advocacy groups brought a legal challenge to Federal court, citing “irreparable harm” to individuals affected by Mr. Trump’s Executive Order as well as the unconstitutionality of the executive directive.
Federal Judge Anne M. Donnelly issued a temporary nationwide injunction prohibiting the administrative agencies from implementing Mr. Trump’s executive order. In addition to this nationwide temporary restraining petition filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, there were at least four other court orders against the ban, - in Boston, Brooklyn, Seattle and Alexandria. The advocacy groups include the International Refugee Assistance Project and the National Immigration Law Center.
On Feb. 3, another Federal judge, James L. Robart issued a ruling temporarily blocking President Trump's travel ban on 7 predomilnantly Muslim countries. The 9th Circuit Appeals Court refused to lift the suspension of Mr. Trump's Executive Order. To date, the Department of Justice has not indicated if it will elevate the matter to the Supreme Court or have the full 9th Circuit Court decide on the issue. In the meantime, Mr. Trump said he will issue a revised Executive Order on immigration instead of pursuing the one locked at the 9th District.
WHAT TO KNOW FIRST AND WHAT TO DO NEXT
The Executive Order covers all visa applicants, refugees and even legal permanent residents with green cards. Check the category that best describes your case or situation. While the White House was forced to revise it's earlier order and said that green card holders are not covered by the ban, lawful permanent residents in or outside the United States should take an abundance of caution before traveling.
Visa or Immigration Case Scenarios.
In the following situations the visa applicant or visa holder -
Be sure you have disclosed the existence of an immigrant visa petition filed on your behalf when you applied for and was issued your temporary visa. Otherwise, your application for adjustment of status may be refused for non-disclosure or misrepresentation of material facts. Such a violation would result in a removal or deportation order and/or permanent bar from being admitted into the United States, regardless of who the President is.
9. Is a green card holder needing to visit the Philippines and return to the U.S. Evaluate whether you really have to make the trip back home. The Department of Homeland Security has announced that green card holders could be subjected to secondary inspection and further interrogation as to the purpose of the visit to your home country and why you have been gone for the specific period of time. Be sure to check your mail and records for any court appearance you need to attend, jury selection, traffic violation, credit collection, child or spouse support. Even if you have not been convicted, the charges alone would be enough to get a removal or deportation hearing started – if you are allowed entry. Otherwise, you may be excluded (not allowed to enter) your green card confiscated and ordered returned to the Philippines on the first flight back
10. Lost the green card while visiting or outside the U.S. You need to apply for and get a travel document from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate of the country where you are. The boarding letter would allow you to board an aircraft or airline. However, be ready to answer questions at the port of entry to prove that you are a lawful permanent resident, that the circumstances for the issuance of your green card was on the up and up, you had no intention of abandoning your permanent resident status and you remain eligible for the category for which you were admitted as a legal permanent resident. Whatever the case, be sure to have a color copy of your green card (permanent resident card) in your wallet, take a photo with your mobile phone, tablet and have it ready for presentation in case you need to establish your eligibility to be allowed back to resume your lawful permanent residency. Then upon admission or being allowed back, immediately apply for a replacement of your green card and if eligible apply for naturalization as a U.S. citizen.
Just north of the border, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Canadian government reaffirm the country's commitment to accept Syrian refugees, increase the number of immigrants to be accepted this year and enhance acceptance procedures for international students' pathway to permanent residency. Click below for the various options that Canada offers .https://www.visacenter.org/countries/can
Authors & Contributors
Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.
Get the latest visa & migration news from IVC - FREE!
Become your own migration expert and join successful immigrants overseas!