* Dramatization
* Dramatization
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dosThe U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued a cable on the Continuing Resolution that the House and Senate passed on September 28, 2016 and signed into law by President Obama on September 29, 2016. The resolution extends a number of immigration programs, including the EB-5 Regional Center Program, the Conrad State 30 Program, and the non-minister special immigrant religious worker program (SR Visa Program).

Extension of Three Visa Programs

The unclassified cable issued by the DOS stated that the EB-5 Regional Center Program, the Conrad State 30 Program, and the SR Visa Program are all set to expire on December 9, 2016. Below are the instructions given by the DOS:

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courthouse-1223280_640Martín Batalla Vidal, a resident of New York City and recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), recently filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn Federal District Court challenging the reach of the preliminary injunction in United States v. Texas. Vidal is the first to challenge the ruling of United States v. Texas – a case that halted the implementation of President Obama’s 2014 immigration relief initiatives, including DACA and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).

The Obama Administration’s Immigration Initiatives

In 2014, President Obama made an executive order that expanded the DACA program. DACA allows undocumented immigrants to live and work in the U.S. if they meet certain eligibility requirements. The updated DACA was open to anyone over the age of 15, and protected its recipients from deportation for three years. The Obama Administration also sought to expand immigration initiatives by creating DAPA, which would allow immigrant parents of U.S. citizens to live and work in the country temporarily.

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blood-pressure-1573037_640California officials recently asked the Obama Administration to allow the state to implement a plan to offer health insurance to undocumented immigrants. The proposed plan operates under the terms of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). At present, undocumented immigrants are not allowed to access Obamacare, so the state of California is asking for an “innovation waiver” under a section of the ACA that allows states to create customized approaches for social services. If the plan pushes through, up to 30% of California’s 2 million undocumented immigrants could be eligible to buy into the state’s health insurance exchange.

California’s Move to Make Public Health Services Available to All

Through the proposed plan, California hopes to shift some of the burden of financing health coverage onto immigrants. The undocumented population has become so large in the U.S. that a number of county governments have already begun making health services available to anyone, regardless of immigration status. According to The Wall Street Journal, 20 out of the 25 counties with the biggest undocumented immigrant population offer public health services to all low-income residents. These services include lab tests, doctor visits and shots. Among the notable locales were California’s Riverside County, Los Angeles County, San Diego County and Orange County.

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supreme-court-544218_640The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to take another look at President Obama’s immigration policy, dashing the hopes that the justices would reconsider it while Obama is still in office. The court declined to wait until a ninth justice is confirmed and seated to rehear the case, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia who passed away earlier this year.

Door Closes on Obama’s Immigration Policy

Back in June, the justices were unable to reach a decision regarding the administration’s immigration policy. The judges tied 4-4. The Supreme Court seldom agrees to rehear cases a second time, but has on occasion when a justice’s retirement or death leaves a vacancy that leads to a 4-4 tie. In those cases, the high court leaves the decision of the lower court intact and sets no national precedent.

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barbed-wire-1670222_640Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s bid to keep Syrian refugees out of the state was blocked by a federal court of appeals this week. The three-judge panel of the 7th circuit ruled unanimously that Pence’s decision to deny reimbursement for resettlement of refugees was in violation of federal law by discriminating on the basis of nationality.

Court Finds Pence’s Concerns a “Nightmare Speculation”

Last year, the Republican vice presidential candidate suspended Indiana agencies’ involvement in the relocation of Syrian refugees following the Paris attacks on November 19, 2015. This week, the federal appeals court claims that Pence’s security concerns regarding the refugees are simply “nightmare speculation” and based on no actual evidence.

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passport-315266_640A little-known visa program allows immigrants in the U.S. to open and invest in businesses, pay taxes, send children to public school, and hire American workers. The visa, however, does not allow foreign nationals to become citizens in the country.

The Nonimmigrant Investor Visa

The E-2 visa – also called the nonimmigrant investor visa – allows foreign nationals to invest in businesses and firms in the U.S., including small shops, restaurants, boutiques, and multi-national corporations.

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gavel-1017953_640The U.S. Department of Justice decided not to release the names of the lawyers involved in a high-profile immigration case in which a U.S. District judge claims he was intentionally deceived by department attorneys. The DOJ also did not disclose if the lawyers are to face any internal disciplinary action following the judge’s accusations of misconduct.

District Judge Accuses Lawyers of Misconduct

U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen previously submitted a May order – State of Texas, et al. v. United States of America, et al. – that claimed he was intentionally misled by Justice Department lawyers involved in the case that sued to block President Barack Obama’s immigration plan to give 4 million immigrants expanded work permits and deportation reprieves.

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blood-pressure-1573037_640Officials of California are asking the Obama Administration to approve a plan that would allow foreign nationals in the state to purchase health insurance on California’s public exchange. The officials claim that around 30% of the state’s two million undocumented immigrants could be eligible for the program. They also estimate that around 17,000 individuals will be able to participate within the first year. The proposal, however, faces serious challenges in Washington, where it has to be approved by the Department of Treasury and the Department of Health and Human Services.

A Move to Make Health Insurance Accessible to All

In 2013, President Obama made it clear that health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act would not go to undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., but the advocates of California’s initiative argue that the program should be approved under an “innovation waiver”. An innovation waiver allows states to modify provisions of the federal law, given that no federal dollars will be used to fund the program.

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courtroom-144091_640The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and immigrant rights groups filed a class-action lawsuit accusing the federal government of denying due process for immigrant minors facing deportation. Last week, a ninth circuit panel ruled that courts do not have jurisdiction to decide whether undocumented minors have a right to appointed counsel in deportation hearings.

A Fight to Get Lawyers for Immigrant Minors

Several advocacy groups including the ACLU sued the government in July 2014 in behalf of immigrant minors, arguing there had been violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s provision and the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause that required fair and full hearings before immigration judges.

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file3431250395716The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denied the appeal for withholding of removal by one Ronaldo Hernandez-Lima, a native and citizen of Guatemala, who asserted that he experienced past persecution in his home country on account of his political opinion and membership in the Democratic Christian Party.

Failing to Establish Grounds of Prosecution

Hernandez-Lima was admitted to the U.S. in 2004 using a B-2 tourist visa which allowed him to stay in the country until May 2005. He overstayed, however, and in January 2011 the Department of Homeland Security served him with a Notice to Appear, charging him with removability based on 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(B).