Tag: Trump

Unknown: The Implications of Last Night’s “Presidential” Tweet about Immigration

Last night, Trump tweeted that he was closing immigration to the US. No one knows what that means. USCIS is the agency that processes immigration in the US. The Department of State’s embassies and consulates process US immigration from outside the US. The worst case scenario is that Trump actually effect a closure of both agencies’ immigration operations. While there is no “best” case scenario following such a hateful, incoherent xenophobic statement, the least worst thing that could happen is that Trump does not actually issue an order/proclamation doing what he claimed. With his record of inconsistency, that is possible. If he does make such an order, the “best” case scenario would be for the order to only affect one agency and for that order to be enjoined by a court, allowing operations to continue until the legal case goes to court.

My plan is to continue filing applications until USCIS and/or DOS tell us not to. Unfortunately, many cases will be stalled due to USCIS’s and DOS’s current in-person closures and restrictions. Nonetheless, USCIS continues behind the scenes processing of cases and in recent weeks has given indications that it is looking for creative solutions such as waiving in-person interviews and new biometrics, in order to allow cases to continue to process and be adjudicated.

If you have questions about immigration, please contact me to set up a consultation to discuss.

Courts block USCIS’s Implementation of New Public Charge Rules

On October 11, 2019 various courts blocked the Trump administration’s implementation of new public charge rules that drastically increase the scope of inquiry for the public charge determination.

The new rules, if ever formally implemented, will prevent applicants for receiving green cards if they have used a wide variety of “benefits” most of which fall well outside the long-standing practice of considering “cash” benefits (often called “welfare” payments). The new rules consider the applicant’s family’s receipt of benefits, even when the family members are clearly eligible for the benefits as US citizens.

Since the announcement of the proposed rules, immigrant families and communities have been in fear of losing their current immigration statuses or being ineligible for future immigration statuses. Schools have seen decreases in enrollments for subsidized school-lunches. Health-care facilities have seen decreases in Medicare enrollment. (Schools and medical clinics may still be helping the same numbers of hungry and sick kids–but they are not getting financial credit (funds) for their numbers because of the decline in official enrollment in the programs. To me, this outcome is completely unacceptable and immoral. The Trump administration is scaring parents into not seeking food and medical care for their children. Like many other humans in the US and around the world, this result of this administrations policies sickens me.

Despite the courts blocking the formal implementation of the rules, the new public charge rules have been sneaking into immigration policy for many, many months. For example, many embassies/consulates are requiring additional documents for immigrant (“green card”) applicants and temporary visa (such as tourists and students) to prove that they will not be “public charges.” For example, people with medical conditions that would clearly be eligible for medical treatment in the US (that is, there is proof of future medical insurance) have been denied visas because they cannot prove ability to pay for treatment or prescriptions out of pocket. Similarly, tourists and students have been asked to prove that they will carry full insurance in the US–something that in most cases (at least that I know of) is impossible for a non-resident of the US to prove.

Until the Trump administration, one of my main jobs as a lawyer was to tell clients the law and the likely possible outcomes of their interaction with the law. Under this administration, we are bombarded by unconstitutional, illegal and/or immoral policies and proposed rules almost on a daily basis. Many of the proposals go no where legally but almost all of them have one effect of the administration: to make people live in fear. My practice has been affected. For example, while these horrible public charge rules are not “officially” in place, I now counsel clients on how to deal with the issues as if those rules were in place. I have talked with parents about making a difficult decision of whether to get their children covered for health insurance for which they qualify or to forgo such benefit to avoid any potential problem with immigration applications. What a horrible decision for a parent to have to make. Let’s hope that this madness ends soon. If you are eligible to become a US citizen, apply now so that you have a chance of voting in the presidential election of 2020!



Trump Cancels DAPA Plans

The current president’s Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, recently rescinded President Obama’s plan to extend protections to certain parents of US citizens and lawful permanent residents. See https://www.maldef.org/assets/pdf/DHS_DAPA_061517.pdf. This change in policy is not a surprise. Instead it is another assault on immigrants who live long, lawful and productive lives in the United States of America and who are fundamental parts of our communities.

If you would like to discuss your current immigration status with an immigration attorney, please contact Attorney Ellen Sullivan at ellen@ellensullivanlaw.com or 617-714-4375.


Trump Vows to Build a Wall, Scare Immigrants, and Deny Help to Refugees

The new administration set the tone for immigration months ago. Today we see that it plans to continue its anti-immigrant stance. Check out the Boston Globe article at http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2017/01/24/trump-to-move-on-border-security-immigration-enforcement.


What Can Trump Do On Day One?

Many of us are concerned about President-Elect Trump’s views on immigration (aside from his wife’s alleged misuse of her visa). Attached is information from the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association about what Trump could do with a “stroke of a pen” on the first day (or any day) of his Presidency.

As of the writing of this blog, however, no immigration laws or policies have been changed. If you ever hear about an immigration change and believe that it could affect you, consult with an attorney before you take any action in reliance on what you heard from friend, family, co-workers or other members of your communities.


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