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San Antonio Immigration Law Blog

Trump moves to weaken migrant child protection laws

The Trump administration has been under attack over the last few months for its contentious policy of separating migrant children entering the country from their families. Public outcry eventually led to the administration repealing the rule, and family reunification efforts have begun.

Now, the administration has taken another step to discourage migrants and asylum seekers from entering the country: it’s attempting to dismantle basic child protection standards.

State Department accuses Hispanic U.S. citizens of being illegal

Since the current administration took charge of the White House, attacks on U.S. immigrants have been widespread—particularly targeting Muslim and Hispanic groups. The administration has gone after migrants, asylum seekers and children. Now, it’s even going after its own citizens.

Recently, there has been a growing number of Hispanic U.S. citizens whose passports are suddenly being denied. They were born in the U.S. and have American birth certificates. They have lived, worked and voted in this country. Some of them have served in the U.S. military. Yet suddenly, their citizenship is being challenged.

Preliminary numbers indicate fewer international college students

Student visa numbers and reports from college officials suggest that international enrollment at U.S. colleges and universities has been down for the past couple of years. Unfortunately for educational institutions, that decline coincides with a drop in enrollment among domestic students "and has led to real pain," according to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

The pool of potential U.S. college students has been shrinking due to both demographic trends and less state financial support for higher education. Many educational institutions rely on international students -- who pay full tuition more often -- to make their budgets.

What you don't want to do during a marriage interview

Whether you have been living in Texas for a number of years or have only recently just arrived, when you married a U.S. citizen, you likely encountered some challenges. Depending on how familiar you may or may not have been with American culture, you may have struggled to master the English language as well as get used to new foods, new friends and new customs.

You were hopefully able to forge a strong support network, filled with family and friends who were ready and willing to help you adapt to your new lifestyle. However, if the U.S. government has called your marriage into question regarding legitimacy, there may be little to nothing your loved ones or neighbors can do to help you during your Stokes interview. The purpose of this interview is to determine if you used the system to obtain a legal status.

Business leaders call out DHS for changes to H-1B processing

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services claims that it is "relentlessly pursuing necessary immigration reforms that move towards a merit-based system," but Congress hasn't yet authorized any changes to the system. Indeed, there is still a great deal of disagreement about what an ideal immigration system might look like.

The leaders of some of America's most prominent companies, for example, believe that we should continue to invite up to 65,000 people from abroad to take certain hard-to-fill jobs. That number is the cap on H-1B visas, which are available for foreign workers in certain high-skill specialty occupations, certain Defense Department jobs and others.

Melania Trump's parents become US citizens via family immigration

On August 9, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, the parents of Melania Trump, were sworn in as U.S. citizens in a private ceremony in Manhattan. They were sponsored by the First Lady, who obtained a green card in 2001 became a U.S. citizen in 2006. She and her parents are originally from Slovenia.

According to news reports, the Knavses "slipped in and out of a side entrance at a Manhattan federal building flanked by Department of Homeland Security police. Some workers inside didn't know what was going on."

Federal judge orders reinstatement of DACA, another to hear case

A trial judge from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently ruled that the Trump administration must fully restore DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. However, he delayed the effect of the ruling for 20 days to give the administration a chance to appeal.

Meanwhile, the state of Texas asked another federal judge, this time from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, to end the DACA program. This is the same federal judge who previously ruled that an expansion of DACA and certain protections for immigrant parents were unlawful because they had been created by an Obama-era executive order.

How may extreme hardships offer you a chance to stay in the US

If your status in the United States is unlawful, it is understandable that you would feel concern and even fear for your fate. Whether your visa or green card expired or you never had documentation in the first place, the government expects foreigners to abide by the rules of immigration or face the consequences of removal.

In order to obtain a valid status, you must return to your own country and begin the immigration process. Unfortunately, if you have been in the U.S. longer than a year without lawful residency, immigration authorities will place a 10-year ban on your return. This means 10 years separated from your job, education, home and loved ones in Texas. However, there is another option for which you may qualify.

Parents unwittingly deported without their children

Last week marked the deadline for migrant children who had been unlawfully separated from their parents to be reunited. Many families were reunified—although not without sustaining considerable emotional and physical trauma. Still, many children remain separated—for a variety of concerning reasons.

One of the most challenging problems the administration now faces involves a large group of migrant parents who were deported before they could be reunited with their children. A recent tally shows that more than 120 parents signed papers for “voluntary” deportation without their children—even though they didn’t understand what they were signing. In some cases, according to their lawyers, they were outright tricked into signing.

Family reunification deadline passed: where we stand now

We’ve posted previously about the current administration’s new zero-tolerance policy on immigration, which has resulted in the forcible separation of thousands of migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. The policy resulted in nation-wide—as well as international—outrage. Last month, a federal judge issued a court-ordered deadline to reunite all parents with their children by July 26.

That deadline came and went yesterday, but hundreds of families remain separated. There were mix-ups in some reunification efforts—with some children being sent to the wrong facilities. Some 900 parents were deported without their children—and the U.S. government has not kept track of their whereabouts. Still other parents were deemed “ineligible” to be reunited with their children.

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Trevino Immigration Law, 206 E. Locust Street, San Antonio, TX 78212