Posted on: May 28th, 2019
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Dear Readers:

If there is a theme to point to in immigration law over the last two and a half years, it’s that despite a relentless effort on the part of the Trump Administration to drive out undocumented immigrants and drastically cut legal immigration channels, the pushback has been even harder. From 2017 to early 2019 that largely played out in the streets and in the courts. It began nearly at the beginning of the Administration with the Muslim Ban and the airport lawyers. It played out in the court fight to block the end of DACA and TPS. And it continues with numerous lawsuits challenging a host of regulations and directives.

The question many of us are now considering is what difference the 2018 elections will make. The Democrats are now in charge of the House Immigration Subcommittee.  They are starting to conduct hearings and mark up immigration bills. The Democrats also now have a lot more control over spending decisions and can prevent government agencies from spending money on activities of which it doesn’t approve. But it’s still early in this Congress and it’s hard to say how effective they will be.

This month we report on one success in the courts. A judge has blocked a USCIS measure that would have made it much more likely a student or exchange visitor would be subject to removal. USCIS chose to avoid the rulemaking process and instead issued a memorandum making it possible for the agency to determine a student had started the clock toward the three and ten reentry bars if they had even minor violations of status and even if those violations were caused by their universities.


Just as we are going to publish this issue, USCIS Director Francis Cissna, under pressure from the White House, announced his resignation. The White House is apparently planning to nominate Ken Cuccinelli, former Attorney General of Virginia and an ardent anti-immigration politician. A number of Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have expressed opposition and it’s not clear the nomination will have the votes to pass.


In firm news, Greg Siskind spoke at the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s First Legal Technology Summit this month on the topic of the use of artificial intelligence tools in Siskind Susser’s immigration practice.


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