Posted on: May 30th, 2017
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Dear Readers:

More than four months in to the new presidency, the state of immigration law and policy remains unclear. Some of the President’s most highly publicized immigration proposals have not come to fruition – the building of a border wall, the Muslim ban, the ban on refugees, the sanctuary cities executive order, etc. Some of that is because of the courts. Some because Congress didn’t go along.

But we are also seeing other anti-immigration initiatives moving along with not so much press attention. For example, we have seen the end to premium processing for H-1Bs (with a vague hope that USCIS will bring it back in the fall). We have seen case after case of individuals with no blemishes on their record other than being out of status stripped of protections they had from removal. We’ve got an important start up parole program scheduled to begin in July and no evidence that USCIS is planning on beginning that initiative. We have no idea where the TPS and H-4 employment authorization programs are going either.

And we have seen a series of appointments of scary individuals to important immigration positions. The head of the Federation for American Immigration Reform – a virulently anti-immigration organization that has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center – has been named as CIS Ombudsman, the individual charged with protecting immigrants. And just recently, Francis Cissna was named as the Administration’s appointment to Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Cissna is a long time USCIS employee who made a name for himself when he was on detail to Senator Charles Grassley and was the ghost writer of an extraordinary number of letters from one of the more anti-immigrant members of Congress. People are nervous.

What we now know is that daily battles to preserve normalcy in immigration are necessary. But we also know the courts and Congress still provide a check on the Administration.


In firm news, congratulations are due Lily Axelrod who was named by Pacific Standard Magazine to its Top 30 Thinkers Under 30.

Next month, a number of our lawyers and paralegals will be attending the American Immigration Lawyers Association annual meeting in New Orleans. I’ll be speaking and also attending the IMG Taskforce annual meeting which is held in conjunction with the AILA meeting. Looking forward to seeing many of you.

Lots of publishing going on at the firm. Elissa Taub and I have co-authored the 2017 edition of the Physician Immigration Handbook. The 2017 edition of the J-1 Visa Guidebook, which I co-author with AILA president Bill Stock and Cornell University Law Professor Steve Yale-Loehr is just out. And the fourth edition of the ABA Lawyers Guide to Marketing on the Internet (the first new edition in ten years) is just out with my long-time co-author Deborah McMurray.


As always, we remind readers there are welcome to contact us to schedule an appointment by phone or in person. Just go to for information.



Greg Siskind


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