Author: Anastasia Tonello

Wasting Money, One Interview at a Time

On August 28, U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that as of October 1, 2017, employment-based adjustment of status applicants will be required to attend in-person interviews.  The notice references Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” and states in-person interviews are “a part of the agency’s comprehensive strategy to further improve the detection and prevention of fraud and further enhance the integrity of the immigration system.” The EO claims to keep America safe by requiring DHS to rigorously evaluate all grounds of inadmissibility or denial of immigration benefits. That rhetoric...

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U.S. Immigration Law is Simultaneously Inscrutable, Strict, and Arbitrary

Welcome to a complex world. A world in which the President of the United States has to intervene to allow in a group of girls from Afghanistan seeking to participate in an international robotics competition. A world in which two French kids  were detained  and returned to France, unaware of the fact that a tourist visa was not the proper visa to come to the U.S. to learn about organic farming. A world in which a Holocaust historian was detained for hours at an airport without access to an attorney. A world in which an Administration focused on job...

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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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