What Does the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act Seek To Do

There had been many talks around the Republican-backed proposal: Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act. In a nutshell, it will significantly reduce the number of people allowed to legally immigrate to the United States. Although unlikely to pass Congress, what changes does the RAISE Act seek to bring exactly?

First, the RAISE Act seeks to eliminate the Diversity Visa Program. The Diversity Visa Program gives immigrant visas to nationals from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For a list of countries/areas by region whose natives are eligible for DV-2018 and DV-2017, please refer to the DV Instructions.

Second, the RAISE Act seeks to cap the number of refugees who may be admitted in any fiscal year to 50,000 and requiring the President to “annually enumerate the number of aliens who were granted asylum in the previous fiscal year.” Limiting refugee numbers has always been President Trump’s priority, and it is no surprise the RAISE Act mentions it.

Third, in the family-sponsored immigration arena, the RAISE Act wants to change the definition of “Child” at INA §101(b)(1) from an unmarried person “under age 21” to an unmarried person “under age 18,” and change the definition of “Immediate Relative” at INA to include only children and spouses of U.S. citizens (removes parents of adult U.S. citizens). Similarly, it seeks to only allow children and spouses of LPR (green card) holders to immigrant to the U.S. This will effectively eliminate the following current available categories: (1) unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (FB-1); (2) unmarried sons and daughters of LPRs (FB-2B); and (3) married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (FB-3); and (4) brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (FB-4). Parents of U.S. citizens will remain unaffected because under the new legislation, a new category for parents of USC citizens above the age of 21 will be created. The legislation seeks to cap the worldwide level of family-sponsored immigrants  admissions to 88,000 per fiscal year. The effort will significantly reduce the number of family based immigration and make many ineligible to reunite with their families in the United States.

All the above are part of the administration’s efforts to limit the number of immigrants to the U.S. Further, it seeks to replace of Employment-Based Immigration Categories with Immigration Points System. On the numbers, it seeks to limit the number of points-based immigrants to 140,000 (including spouses and children) per fiscal year. This so-called Points-Based System comes with an online portal and a required fee of $160. President Donald Trump has already announced his support for a the points system.

The immigration point system seeks to prioritize immigrants based on their degrees and skills. If they have equal points and equal educational attainment, they will be further ranked according to their (1) English language proficiency test scores; and (2) age, with applicants nearest their 25th birthdays ranked higher. And every 6 months, USCIS is said to invite the highest ranked applicants to file a petition for a points-based immigrant visa. If you want to see if you qualify to immigrate to the U.S., test your scores from Times.com here: http://time.com/4887574/trump-raise-act-immigration/.

Last but not least, the RAISE Act will prohibit naturalization of an individual if the person who submitted an affidavit of support on his or her behalf failed to reimburse the federal government for all means-tested public benefits received by the individual during the 5-year period immediately after the individual became an LPR. It therefore seems that, at no fault of the individual seeking naturalization, she or he might be barred from it. It is unclear whether the individual seeking naturalization is allowed to reimburse the government.

The Act does not mention temporary work visas such as H-1B and H-2 or temporary visitor (B-1/B-2) or student visas (F-1). Its focus remains on the number of available immigrant visas.

Read the full RAISE Act here: https://www.cotton.senate.gov/files/documents/170802_New_RAISE_Act_Bill_Text.pdf If interested, you can read this excellent summary of each section from American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA): 17080732

 

 

 

 

DHS Memos Bring Huge Changes to the U.S. Immigration System

Department of Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, releases two memorandums this week implementing President’s Trump’s executive orders on border security (memo-1) and interior enforcement (memo-2). Besides the border wall President Trump promised to build, we will likely to see massive enforcement effort in the upcoming months and scaled up detention and expedited removal.

Below are some of points I summarized:

  1. DHS seeks to deport anyone who “poses a risk to public safety or national security.” However, DHS did not define these two terms clearly. Theoretically speaking, DHS could label someone being “a risk to public safety” even if (s)he is not charged or convicted for a crime.
  2. DHS will focus on undocumented immigrants who have been (1) convicted or even charged with a criminal offense, including minor traffic infractions, (2) abused any program related to receipt of public benefits, i.e. received any government assistance, or (3) “have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter before a governmental agency”, including using fake Social Security numbers to work or lie on I-9 forms.
  3. DHS memos expanded the period of expedited removal from 2 weeks to 2 years after people enter the country, and eliminated the requirement that the immigrants be caught within 100 miles of the border. People in expedited removal will not go through the removal proceedings, which involve a hearing before an immigration judge. It is extremely important to keep records of two (2) year presence so you are not put in expedited removal.
  4. The use of parole authority to allow immigrants, who are not in possession of visas or not eligible for visas, to come to the U.S. will be extremely restricted.
  5. DHS seeks to return aliens, including unaccompanied children, who entered from a foreign land contiguous to the U.S. to where they arrived, meaning if they entered from Mexico, DHS will return them to Mexico, regardless of their nationality.
  6. DHS will hire an additional 10,000 ICE agents and officers to carry out enforcement priorities. We will likely to see more deportation and detention nationwide.
  7. DHS wants expand to continue and increase state and local law enforcement involvement in border areas, so they can aid in immigration enforcement.

The Law Office of Maya King will keep you informed about the newest changes in the complicated U.S. immigration system. If you or your family needs any advice or help, please call us at (913) 717-7112 for a free consultation.

 

American Immigration Lawyers Association: Targeted ICE Enforcement Actions Underway

American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) reported that “ICE has once again commenced targeted enforcement actions by reinstituting ‘Operation Cross Check’.” Arrests, raids, inspections are being reported across the country.

President Trump’s Executive Order on interior enforcement could potentially affect a broad range of individuals.

Currently, AILA reports the ICE targeted operations are focused on three populations:

  1. Fugitives – Anyone with an outstanding order of removal;
  2. Individuals who reentered the U.S. after they were deported;
  3. At large “criminal aliens” – Anyone with any criminal conviction, mainly violent crimes, sex offenders, prior felonies, etc.

If you or your loved ones are caught up in the ICE sweep, you need a competent and experienced immigration attorney to guide you through the complex immigration system. Call 913-717-7112 today for a free consultation.

美国移民律师协会(AILA)报告说,移民海关执法(ICE)已通过恢复行动交叉检查. ICE再次开始有针对性的执法行动。 川普总统关于内部执行的行政命令可能会有广泛影响涉及很多移民或者非法移民。据报道,美国全国各地都有逮捕,快速突击检查,和实地视察。

目前,美国移民律师协会报告移民海关执法的目标行动的重点是三种人群:

  1. 逃犯 – 任何有递解令在身的人;
  2. 在被驱逐出境后重新入境的人;
  3. 任何有刑事纪录的移民以及非移民,主要是暴力犯罪行为,性侵罪犯,有重罪在身的人群

如果你或你的亲人被困在移民监狱中,你需要一个经验丰富的移民律师来指导你完成复杂的美国移民法律系统。 致电913-717-7112 | 免费咨询。

White House Memo on Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”

Section 3(c) of the Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” (Jan. 27, 2017) DOES NOT apply to lawful permanent residents of the United States. Section 3(c) suspends for 90 days the entry into the United States of certain aliens from certain countries.

Read the White House memo here: 17020300