Author: Anastasia Tonello

Travel Ban – An Update

The “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” Executive Order has once again been modified.  From its original far-reaching, chaotic launch on January 26, to its initial limited injunctions, to its nationwide stay, withdrawal and replacement, to more injunctions, and now the Supreme Court added another twist when it granted certiorari on Monday. The Court will hear the merits of the case when it reconvenes in the fall, but in the meantime, the Court partially lifted the injunction on enforcement of the ban by allowing the government to ban U.S. travel by those nationals of...

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Walking the Talk – Why AILA Moved the 2018 AC Out of Texas

Faced with the reality of SB-4’s ugly shadow hanging over Texas, AILA has made the decision to move its Annual Conference (AC) in 2018, originally scheduled to take place in Texas, to another state.  As a member of AILA’s Executive Committee, I worked with my colleagues on the Board of Governors to review our options to determine how best to “walk the talk” of AILA’s mission.  If we as an organization are committed to promoting fair and just immigration laws, how then should we respond when the state where we were to hold our premier event of the year...

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5 Questions and Answers about the EB-5 Program

It’s pretty rare that an investor visa gets press attention from all over the world. But this is exactly what happened when reports surfaced of Jared Kushner’s sister promoting the EB-5 visa in China. What I saw repeatedly in coverage was confusion about the EB-5 program, what it is designed to do, and how the Kushner family might be involved. First, what is an EB-5 visa? It is an employment-based immigrant category that enables foreign nationals to qualify for green cards based on investment and employment creation in the United States. To be granted an EB-5 visa, a foreign...

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Kids These Days

A child can be sweet, mad, smart, hilarious, whiny, silly, or sad. A child can be an angel, a terror, a silly goose, Captain America, Wonder Woman, a kitty cat, or a Tyrannosaurus Rex. A child cannot be an immigration lawyer. And yet… In immigration courts across the United States, every single day, children and other incredibly vulnerable individuals are left without counsel. If they cannot afford one, or don’t luck out with pro bono assistance, they are left to face immigration judges on their own.  They are denied a most basic premise of our constitution — due process...

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Seeing the Forest for the Trees in the Immigration Debate

U.S. immigration law is a myriad of statutes, regulations, policies, memos, practices and procedures which span a wide variety of practice areas. The immigration debate playing out in the media is largely focused on the refugee, humanitarian, and family-based areas of immigration law. But this is only part of the picture. Immigration law also includes employment- and investment-based immigrants, seasonal/agricultural workers, the transfer and employment of high-skilled and professional workers, and short- and long-term visas for executives of global organizations, actors, athletes, and entrepreneurs. This dichotomy of the perception of immigration law is not unique to the U.S. The Guardian recently examined this issue in the U.K., suggesting the main divide is whether someone is an expat or an immigrant; and concluded that the distinction is based on race. Looking at the issue in Hong Kong, a Wall Street Journal blog attributes the divide to differences in social class, country of origin, and economic status. In the U.S., the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report entitled The Integration of Immigrants into American Society, a comprehensive look at US immigration, which, probably most accurately, points to status in understanding this divide. Legal status, or more acutely, the lack of legal status limits opportunities of integration, access to social services, housing, education, and employment. The key difference in the perception of immigration may therefore be an effect...

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