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Do You Have an Immigration Problem, A Citizenship Question? Together, We'll Find A Solution
6/27/2022 Issue
_____The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (the “mother” agency of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), published its plans for new REGULATIONS in the next few months.
           One of the items on this schedule is – finally – DACA REGULATIONS.
           A reminder: DACA was never enacted OFFICIALLY. Since DACA started in 2012, it was only a set of GUIDELINES issued by President Obama and by his Secretary of Homeland Security. This lack of legal foundation is why DACA was always subject to attack by President Trump and various Republican Governors. Now, FINALLY, the BIDEN Administration will make the DACA program an OFFICIAL program by following legal procedures and publishing official Regulations.
           When? They say - in AUGUST 2022. August is not far – in about 4-6-8 weeks.
           What would be in the final REGULATIONS? WAIT AND SEE.
           Applicants for immigrant visas (at U.S. Consulates), or for adjustment of status (at Immigration offices in the U.S.), were always required to prove that they were not likely to become PUBLIC CHARGES (welfare cases) in the U.S. As proof, it was enough to provide an AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT by the petitioner, or another friend or relative, with a promise to support the potential immigrant in case of need – and to reimburse the government the cost of public assistance in case of need.
           Came President Trump, and made this a much more difficult process. New Forms were required and mountains of documents demanded – to prove that in the future, there was no likelihood of the applicant becoming a Public Charge.
           Several judges blocked the government from enforcing the Trump regulations – and the whole thing became a tangle of diverse procedures in different states, subject to injunctions and appeals to higher courts.
           Came President Biden, and his government advised the courts that it was no longer interested in defending the Trump regulations. But this was not the end of the saga.
           Came some Republican governors and claimed that their states had an interest in this issue: if an immigrant becomes a Public Charge, it would cost their state Welfare money. Therefore, the Governors wanted to defend the Trump regulations instead of the Federal government who abandoned that fight. All this was laid at the door of the Supreme Court of the U.S. in Washington, D.C. – and the court decided that YES, the Republican states could substitute for the Federal government in the pending cases.
           However, surprisingly, two weeks ago, the Supreme Court issued a one line decision, saying that their previous decision was a mistake.
           The result? The Trump regulations about Public Charge have been wiped out (at least, for the time being) and we are back to the simpler Affidavit of Support that served us well enough for scores of years, up until 2019.


           In the month of May 2022, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service (US CBP), the sister agency of USCIS and USICE, arrested along the border with Mexico close to two hundred forty thousand (240,000) non-citizens trying to enter the U.S. illegally.
Not all those people are from Central and South America. More and more are from Pakistan, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and many other countries. Apparently, it is not too difficult to enter Mexico, and then travel to the border with the U.S., cross the border and wait for a CBP agent to arrest you – and claim POLITICAL ASYLUM.
           If those numbers continue (about a quarter million every month), we are going to see close to 3 million illegal entrants to the U.S. in a year. Even if some of them have been arrested on repeat attempts to enter, and the “net” number of illegal entrants is only 2 million per year, can the Immigration Service handle such numbers?


           In Immigration Court, in Removal (Deportation) proceedings, having a criminal conviction may, sometimes, block an applicant from asking for certain REMEDIES. This is especially true if the conviction was for a crime that leads to a conclusion that the applicant could be a danger to others.
           A new decision by the Secretary of Homeland Security instructs Immigration Judges to consider the mental health problems of the applicant as a factor in deciding whether he or she is actually a danger to others.


           There are many Immigration Courts, in all 50 states, and in all major cities. There are also many Immigration Judges, almost 600 judges.
           In spite of all this, the Immigration Court system is barely functioning, because it is overburdened with a huge backlog, a “mountain” of cases. As per last count, the backlog reached 1,600,000 (1.6 million) cases. The average would be 2,666 cases for every immigration judge. And the mountain is “growing”. What a mess.
           The only real solution for this mess would be through a reform of our immigration law. The chances of this are close to zero.
           But the Biden administration took some administrative steps to lighten the burden. They instructed the government lawyers prosecuting the cases to review their pending cases – and to close those cases that would not have been filed under the present, more liberal, guidelines for filing court cases.
           There is hope that this step would cut the backlog by half.
           Not a bad idea.
3250 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1918
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 383-3222