* Dramatization
* Dramatization
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job-search-276893_640United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently published a final rule designed to modernize and improve several factors behind a number of employment-based visa programs for immigrants and non-immigrants.

The rule expedites the process by which U.S. employers can hire and retain certain foreign workers who received sponsorships for their employment-based visas and are awaiting lawful permanent resident status.

Validity of Employment Authorization Documents Extended

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supreme-court-546279_640Concerns over an aggressive push for mass deportations during a Trump presidency have shined the spotlight on the Supreme Court, whose justices seem evenly split on the subject of allowing the government to indefinitely detain immigrants with criminal records fighting their deportation from the country. Donald Trump, who has made immigration one of his primary platforms throughout the campaign, has vowed to remove more than 2.8 million undocumented immigrants once he assumes office.

Government lawyers refer to a 1996 law that recommends the “detention of criminal aliens,” urging the Supreme Court to give the federal government authority over such matters.

But the court’s conservative justices seemed to lean towards reversing a 9th Circuit Court ruling, which mandates that immigration judges need to provide detainees a bond hearing, as well as possible release for noncitizens detained for more than six months while fighting their removal in court. On the other hand, liberal justices seemed to be uncertain if such a specific timeframe could be enforced.

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defense-attorney-840062_640A federal judge directed Border Patrol officials to address the basic human needs of detainees held in the Tucson sector after learning of the agency’s poor treatment of detained immigration violators. A class action lawsuit filed in June 2015 states that the sector’s holding cells are overcrowded and have no heating, and detainees are not provided with regular food, water, medical care, and access to shower facilities.

The Tucson sector includes a number of Border Patrol facilities scattered across multiple towns and cities in Southern Arizona.

The lawsuit reads, “They have been packed into overcrowded and filthy holding cells with the lights glaring day and night; stripped of outer layers of clothing and forced to suffer in brutally cold temperatures; deprived of beds, bedding, and sleep; denied adequate food, water, medicine and medical care, and basic sanitation and hygiene items such as soap, sufficient toilet paper, sanitary napkins, diapers, and showers; and held incommunicado in these conditions for days.”

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legal-1302034_640With Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States stirring concerns about U.S. immigration policy, the Florida Bar sent out a warning last week, telling people to avoid seeking legal assistance from notaries (also known as “notaries”) who by law, are not authorized to offer immigration advice of any kind.

In a press release last week on their official website, the Florida Bar reported that several immigrant lawyers in Florida were flooded with calls from residents who were concerned about their immigration status.

“With that concern comes the risk of falling victim to scams or of relying on advice from those who are not qualified or licensed to offer it,” the release noted.

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books-1012088_640Students, alumni, and faculty from some of the country’s most prestigious schools, which include Harvard, Yale, Brown, and Columbia, are calling on their respective university officials to convert their campuses into “sanctuaries” for individuals seeking immigration protection.  After Donald Trump’s shocking win in the presidential elections, community members across several Ivy League universities are rallying support to protect undocumented immigrants from aggressive deportation raids.

Brown University Community Issues Letters

A faculty letter circulating in Brown reads, “We have reason to believe that Providence Police officers cannot enter the campus without permission of the University.”

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portland-841428_640Immigrant parents with children who have obtained U.S. citizenship for decades have filed a lawsuit against the federal government, arguing that a Texas immigration ruling that limits the Obama administration’s policies for protecting undocumented immigrants from removal does not apply in the state of Oregon.

The lawsuit, led by 11 parents based in Oregon, says that the Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services rejected their application seeking 3-year protection from deportation under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).

Homeland Security, however, argued that the plaintiffs did not qualify for legal status under DAPA because they were all older than 31. However, the parents pointed out that the rejection of their applications were based on a Texas case in which they were not represented, and that the ruling of the Texas court was too broad and did not apply to the state of Oregon.

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border-patrol-637725_640Since being detained by Texas Border Patrol agents some three years ago, Dora Beltrán’s son has been moved between different shelters and detention centers across five states. As Dora continues to fight for her son’s freedom, casual observers may think that her family’s immigration status is the problem.

But it’s not. Dora is a legal permanent resident. Moreover, an immigration judge had already ruled that her son would not be deported from the country.

Still, her teenage son remains incarcerated as Dora wages war with federal officials over whether they can continue to keep her from her child. Although she and her family had lived in Texas for years, her son had run away and was spotted by border patrol agents near the Mexican border. And because he was only 14 at the time, government officials treated him as an unaccompanied minor.

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donald-trump-1301259_640In what has to be one of the most stunning election results in U.S. history, the election of billionaire Donald Trump as president is sending shockwaves across many immigrant families and communities all over the country. The real estate mogul has not minced words about his controversial plans for U.S. immigration policy, which include the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrations and the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

But what exactly does this mean for immigrants? What can they realistically expect from the new president? Below are a few immigration changes Donald Trump plans to make within his first 100 days of office, as stated in the manifesto, “Donald Trump’s Contract With The American Voter.”

1. Crackdown on Undocumented Immigrants

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american-878059_640In the wake of several adjustments to the country’s immigration policies, the government is also planning a number of changes to the appearance and policy of the U.S. passport. If you’re looking to travel abroad soon, now is as good a time as any to seek passport renewal.

Below are a few things that you should know about changes to passport policy, which involves the application process among many other factors.

1. Renew Your Passport Now

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In the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck the country of Nepal in April 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offered Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Nepalese nationals on the grounds of environmental disaster. Most recently, the DHS extended TPS to eligible Nepalese immigrants for another 18 months. The extension takes effect on December 26, 2016, until June 24, 2018.

The government agency cited the devastating effects of the earthquake, which still linger to this day and affect more than 30 percent of Nepal’s population. The earthquake also destroyed more than 750,000 homes, displacing thousands of people and forcing them to live in evacuation camps.

Temporary Protected Status Requirements for Nepal