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Immigration Law Update - 1.4.2016

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Happy New Year

We hope that 2015 ended nicely for you and that 2016 is your best year yet.

We rang in the New Year with a gathering of friends and family.  Here’s a picture of my father, my oldest son, Ismail, and I waiting for our guests to arrive:

ICE Raids Begin

News outlets are reporting that the planned 2016 immigration raids have begun.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement have begun rounding up Central American migrants who sought refuge in the U.S. last year and have not returned.

According to the Los Angeles Times, ICE officers are going to the homes and last known locations of individuals who have already been ordered deported, yet remain in the U.S. without authorization.  An official with the Department of Homeland Security said:

Attempting to unlawfully enter the United States as a family unit does not protect individuals from being subject to the immigration laws of this country. ICE will continue to pursue the removal of persons who fall within DHS immigration enforcement priorities, including families who are recent unlawful border crossers and who are subject to final orders of removal.

ICE’s stated goal is to deter others from trying to enter the U.S. through our southern border.  Many of those being deported are unaccompanied minors, children who came to the U.S. without a parent or guardian.

This handy flyer from United We Dream explains what to do if ICE knocks on the door of your home or business.

Immigration News

DHS issued proposed rules related to the EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 immigrant visa programs on December 31, 2015.  The rules are intended to improve the processes by which U.S. employers seek to sponsor and retain immigrant and nonimmigrant workers. Job portability would be easier, broader grace periods would be adopted to make it easier for foreign workers to maintain status when changing jobs, making life easier to nonimmigrant workers with an approved employment-based petition by making work authorization easier and issuing interim work authorization in certain circumstances.

In light of the recent tornadoes in the South and the heavy rain and flooding in the Midwest, USCIS has offered some temporary relief to those affected by the unusual weather.  You can get all of the information regarding this temporary relief here.

If you are traveling by air within the U.S., you may need to bring your passport with you.  After January 10, 2016, citizens, green card holders and anyone else from certain states will no longer be allowed to travel with their driver’s license alone.  This is a result of counterterrorism measures instituted by the Real ID Act of 2005.  While Missouri officials have still not complied with federal law, residents of Missouri will be able to travel with a valid driver’s license for at least a few more months.

If you want to see a cool history of immigration in the United States, this article from Pew is very interesting.

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