The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of anxiety. Among other worries, many workers are concerned that they won't be able to make ends meet and provide for their families. Many people are facing reduced hours or reduced pay or have even been laid off from their jobs.
When a natural disaster or other unforeseen event occurs, it can sometimes affect the processing of immigration requests. Currently, all U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices are closed for in-person services, as is the Executive Office for Immigration Review in Sacramento. The Department of State is closing embassies and consulates around the world.
Late last week, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Trump administration's "remain in Mexico" policy for asylum seekers violates federal asylum law. Another policy was also ruled invalid: one disqualifying immigrants from asylum if they don't enter the U.S. legally.
"This rule establishes that travel to the United States with the primary purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship for a child by giving birth in the United States is an impermissible basis for the issuance of a B nonimmigrant visa," reads the State Department's summary of its new rule.
The Trump administration has made it harder for immigrants to apply for visas and green cards if they have accepted public assistance or seem likely to do so. People who have used certain types of public assistance could be considered a “public charge,” or a burden on the government, and can be denied visas or lawful permanent residency.
SB 54, also known as the "California Values Act" or the "sanctuary state" law, was passed in an effort to promote public safety and effective policing and to protect people's constitutional rights. It was signed into law in 2017.
Has your application for a U.S. visa been denied? There are several reasons this might happen.
In August, the Trump administration issued a new rule about which immigrants should be considered "public charges," or dependent on public benefits. Immigrants deemed to be public charges are not eligible for further visas or green cards.
If you are currently protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, you know there has been litigation about whether the program will continue. The current administration has attempted to cancel the program and leave it to Congress to address the issue.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a proposal to raise the application fees for citizenship, lawful permanent residency (green card status) and many other services. The proposal is now in a public comment period until Dec. 16, after which the agency must consider the comments.