President Obama delays deportation review so House Republicans can seek votes to pass a reform bill

Right now, many say there is bipartisan support and we are in a window of time for action if House Republican leaders can get collect enough votes to pass a bill.

Right now, many say there is bipartisan support and we are in a window of time for action if House Republican leaders can get collect enough votes to pass a bill.

President Obama recently asked Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Secretary, Jeh Johnson to hold off on producing his DHS report on deportation and policy options. This March, President Obama, under pressure to take executive action to ease deportations, ordered a formal review of how we deport immigrants. DHS was scheduled to report to the president by early June. Meanwhile, in Washington, there is a window of opportunity to pass an immigration reform bill during the summer months and before the general elections coming up this fall. It is suggested that if President Obama took executive action on the report from DHS and eased up on deportations then House Republicans may take a critical position and not vote for reform. Right now, many say there is bipartisan support and we are in a window of time for action if House Republican leaders can get collect enough votes to pass a bill.

The Secure Communities policy is on the list for review.

The formal review by Secretary Johnson would include recommendations on how DHS could, as a matter of policy, limit deportations to violent criminals and give relief to non-offending immigrants. One of the current policies to be reviewed is the controversial “Secure Communities” concept that positions repeat immigration law offenders alongside violent criminals for purposes of deportation. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) works directly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) and the Secure Communities policy provides DHS fingerprints automatically sent from the FBI to check for criminal records in immigration databases. If an individual is arrested for a criminal violation, a DHS officer may get involved to make an immigration enforcement decision. Secretary Johnson told lawmakers this week that Secured Communities should stay but should be revamped with a fresh look[i].

If President Obama does not want House Republicans paying attention to his review of how we deport people, then why does it make sense for Secretary Johnson to promote his ideas for improving the Secure Communities policy? Some critics think the president is acting in response to pressure from labor unions and conservatives who want him to wait.

Immigration advocates are upset by President Obama’s suspension of the formal review.

Dream Action Coalition advocates, critical of President Obama’s direction to hold off on the report said, “We are appalled that after so much sacrifice and hard work from the undocumented community to pressure the President to use his power to stop deportations, some organizations… [would] rather protect the administration instead of millions of families separated by deportations.[ii]

When President Obama ordered the review of our deportation systems this spring, the goal was to find a way to use the most humane methods to enforce immigration laws and policies without breaking up families unnecessarily. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley represents immigration clients who desperately want comprehensive immigration reform and no longer want to fear law enforcement as they do in the current climate of Secure Communities.

Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues including hearings before immigration courts and applications and procedures to correct clients’ records when things do not go as planned. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile.

[i] Politico: DHS head says controversial program should stay. By Seung Min Kim, May 29, 2014.

[ii] La Times: Obama delays deportation review to give immigration bill a chance. By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey. May 28, 2014.

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Immigration computer system is up and running as the system returns to 2014 after being stuck in the 80s after meltdown

The system was down for almost six weeks, leading many to question how a failure of this magnitude could happen.

The system was down for almost six weeks, leading many to question how a failure of this magnitude could happen.

In a recent press release[1], the American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) spoke out to let people know the Executive Office for Immigration Review (“EOIR”) while, fixing the recent immigration court computer failure, is still badly underfunded. The EOIR is the federal office established to adjudicate immigration cases by “fairly, expeditiously, and uniformly interpreting and administering the Nation’s immigration laws.[2]” In this case, the EOIR was unable to do anything in a uniform manner with a failed computer system and lack of system failure preparedness.

When the system goes down the show comes to a halt and the calendars pile up.

A hardware failure caused most application of the EOIR computer system to shut down at the stroke of midnight April 12.  The system was down for almost six weeks, leading many to question how a failure of this magnitude could happen.  Data recovery specialists and teams worked to recover and restore data and applications according to news published on its website on May 19, 2014[3]. In restoring the system, IT teams worked to create new elements of information redundancy and monitoring to guard against future system issues.

Because of the computer failure, many immigrants in the court system have further rescheduled court dates in a backlogged system. AILA President Doug Stump stated, “We cheered the announcement this week that some initial fixes have been made. But the reality is that the breakdown delayed cases and created unnecessary bottlenecks.[4]

There are thousands of immigrant court respondents affected by the system failure.

The New York Post reported on the “computer meltdown” and noted how immigration courts had to use pen, paper and cassette tapes to manage cases manually without the computer system. Unable to access information on cases, some courts had to make decisions without full knowledge of particular cases before them.

Others did not get a pass or benefit of the doubt when the computers crashed. One immigration lawyer said it was like going back to the 80s. Lawyers were delayed and rescheduled, along with their clients when the system backlog prevented many from knowing if their case would actually be called when scheduled and if called, would anything be able to take place. This causes a huge problem for immigrant respondents with time sensitive matters and deadlines. A toll free phone number with case information has been playing the following message, “Due to system issues, the information on this has not been updated since midnight on April 12, 2014.[5]

What do you do if your case was delayed?

If your immigration court proceeding was affected and you either were not able to appear before the immigration court as scheduled or if nothing happened due to an inability to make an official record of proceedings you may need to take action with an attorney to file the necessary paperwork to assure you will receive a fair immigration hearing and due process allowed by law. Chicago immigration attorney, KiKi M. Mosley has been tracking this serious situation in and out of court and can help you if you have been affected by the immigration court system meltdown.

Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues including hearings before immigration courts and applications and procedures to correct clients’ records when things do not go as planned. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile.

[1] AILA: Immigration Court Computer Failure Emphasizes Need for Increased Funding. Released May 21, 2014.

[2] The U.S. Department of Justice website for the Executive Office for Immigration Review: EOIR Home.

[3] The U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review, EOIR News of System Update, Monday, May 19, 2014.

[4] See AILA article above.

[5] Politico Blogs, Immigration court tech crash drags on. By Josh Gerstein, May 14, 2012.

About expedited removal and the increase in its use in the U.S.

An immigration attorney can review your specific circumstances and advise you if there is anything they can do to help to prevent being subject to expedited removal, especially if you are charged with a Felony offense. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is experienced in the complex immigration legal system and can help undocumented immigrants with removal problems.

An immigration attorney can review your specific circumstances and advise you if there is anything they can do to help to prevent being subject to expedited removal, especially if you are charged with a Felony offense. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is experienced in the complex immigration legal system and can help undocumented immigrants with removal problems.

Imagine receiving a knock at the door one day and being served with a Notice to Appear[1] at an immigration court to answer allegations that you may not be lawfully present and may be removed from the United States, even after living in your current residence for many years. The Notice to Appear will contain a list of allegations against you, the respondent, who must appear before an immigration judge to answer or plead for an alternative lawful status to remain in the U.S., such as asylum or if you have a reason to seek cancellation of your removal. You are going to want to hire an immigration lawyer to represent you because the court does not appoint attorneys to represent you. The Notice will not mention, however, that you are one of the lucky ones, and fewer than a quarter of undocumented immigrants never get to see a judge and are virtually whisked away through what is called expedited removal. Expedited removal is an immigration enforcement option created to be used at the U.S. borders and ports of entry. In 1996 the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) was amended to include expedited removal[2]. Today, a non-citizen anywhere in the U.S. can be subject to expedited removal anywhere in the U.S., not only at a border or point of entry. Most often, expedited removal orders are triggered by charges of alleged fraud or misrepresentation regarding their immigration status. The U.S. Department of Justice publishes information about expedited removal. Not only do persons subject to expedited removal not get the opportunity to see a judge, the order of expedited removal is not appealable and there is no process for such. It is possible; however, that Customs and Border Patrol (“CPB”) officials may use their discretion to vacate an improperly issued order for removal, but this is not a common occurrence. If the person subject to expedited removal pleads  asserts that they fear return to their home country, the basis for an application for asylum, they may be allowed access to the immigration system to petition for lawful status to be lawfully present in the U.S. Expedited removal is a very bad outcome for anyone who wants to immigrate to the U.S. because there is a minimum five-year bar from re-entry to the U.S. In some cases, there can be a lifetime bar to entry. Although there it is possible to apply for permission to re-enter, this only occurs in rare cases and it is very important to hire a licensed immigration attorney to assist in such special situations. Many proponents of immigration reform argue that not being allowed to see a judge in an expedited removal case is unfair because the majority of removed persons do not know their rights and do not get the benefit of due process of law. A recent article critical of the expedited removal notes the increase in its use, “At least three-quarters of people deported in 2012 didn’t get a hearing from an immigration judge, according to statistics from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).[3]” An immigration attorney can review your specific circumstances and advise you if there is anything they can do to help to prevent being subject to expedited removal, especially if you are charged with a Felony offense. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is experienced in the complex immigration legal system and can help undocumented immigrants with removal problems. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile. [1] 8 C.F.R. §§ 1003.13, 1003.14. [2] 8 C.F.R. § 1228. [3]New Republic, Deported Without Seeing A Judge: One of the Worst Parts of the Immigration System, By Nora Caplan-Bricker.

Proposed new rules would allow H4 visa holders new EAD work opportunities

The H4 EAD proposal would enhance the opportunities for skilled workers

The H4 EAD proposal would enhance the opportunities for skilled workers

H4 visa holding spouses of H-1B skilled foreign workers may soon be able to work in the U.S. with an Employment Authorization Document (“EAD”) under new criteria proposed by Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced on May 6, 2014. DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stated in the announcement, that the proposed changes would, “provide important support to U.S. businesses while also supporting economic growth here in the U.S. These steps will help the U.S. maintain competitiveness with other countries in our efforts to attract the best and the brightest high-skilled workers from around the world to support companies here at home.”

The H-1B visa program helps attract the world’s best and brightest workers to the U.S. Talented foreign entrepreneurs and high-skilled immigrant workers are now more likely to consider U.S. job opportunities if their spouses no longer have to forego their careers. Many highly skilled H-1B workers also have career focused spouses and the H4 dependent spouse visa program helps bring families to the U.S. To learn more about how H-1B visas and the EADs work, please read our blog article, Annual H-1B Fiscal Year Cap Season: Many who play this “lottery” will not win.

This is a significant development in immigration because H4 visa holders had previously not been allowed to maintain employment beyond a temporary and sometimes restricted basis. Meanwhile, the family of L1 workers (L2 is the equivalent visa to an H4) have been able to work with less restrictions, generally. L1 visas are commonly used in internationally operating companies and there are several differences from the H-1B employment-based visa. Immigration attorneys help applicants with the distinctions and and applications.

The H4 EAD proposal would enhance the opportunities for skilled workers specifically as follows and reported in the DHS press release:

  • Update the regulations to include nonimmigrant high-skilled specialty occupation professionals from Chile and Singapore (H-1B1) and from Australia (E-3) in the list of classes of aliens authorized for employment incident to status with a specific employer,
  • Clarify that H-1B1 and principal E-3 nonimmigrants are allowed to work without having to separately apply to DHS for employment authorization.
  • Allow E-3, H-1B1 and CW-1 nonimmigrant workers up to 240 days of continued work authorization beyond the expiration date noted on their Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, while the extension request is pending

Response in the immigrant community has been favorable and can improve the lives of spouses and family members who were happily at work at home before their family member came to the U.S. on an H-1B visa or their status changed from an L1. For example, Mary James, “was working for an insurance outfit in India from 2005-2007. She and her husband immigrated to the US when he came for work, employed by a division of Microsoft – him on L1, her on L2. However, her husband’s division was acquired by another company, forcing his visa designation to change from L1 to H-1B, and causing James to become an H4 visa, dependent on her husband. For James, who had spent her first couple of months in the US working in Connecticut, the transition from a full-time work week to unemployment was jarring.”

Chicago-based immigration attorney, KiKi M. Mosley, closely follows developments in immigration law and policy, including updates to visa rules and policies. When the proposal becomes the rule, as it is anticipated, attorney Mosley will be able to offer advice and assistance with the application and immigration status change procedures.

Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues including PIP and adjustments of immigration status. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile.

Predator Drones: Four years of use in US border security in review

To learn more about coming to the U.S. without worrying about predator drones overhead, call a licensed immigration attorney who can help answer questions about the legal immigration processes.

To learn more about coming to the U.S. without worrying about predator drones overhead, call a licensed immigration attorney who can help answer questions about the legal immigration processes.

The use of predator drones in the war on drugs and to secure the US borders is hardly new. In 2010 many news reports covered the use of unmanned predator drones to patrol 2,000 miles of the U.S. border with Mexico, from Texas to California. As time has passed, the war on drugs and immigrants crossing the border continues and more drones are being used. Much to the chagrin of Americans complaining about the price of the drone program and the loss of privacy, Customs and Border Patrol (“CBP”) has been able to increase the use of drones by supporting culture of fear in the U.S. to garner support the program.

The blogging world loves to talk about the drone program from both positive and negative viewpoints, often reporting shocking ideas. Putting the “extreme” aside, the following is a collection of news quotes and clips about predator drones and their use in border security from 2010 to 2014. Enjoy the articles and form your own independent opinion. The more you read from various sources the more you can piece together what is really happening out there.

2010 – CBS News – Predator Drones Shift From Battlefield to Border

“Most people coming across the border are either migrants or drug smugglers,” said Gasho. “We don’t know who they are. They could be terrorists. They could be people who have intentions of harm against the United States.”

“Policing the 2,000-mile-long border with Mexico is more than a full-time job for some 17,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents, but the predators help shrink that challenge. They’re able to peer miles into Mexico.”

“In the last five years, predators have helped net 40,000 pounds of drugs and nab 7,000 illegal immigrants, according to Homeland Security.”

2011 – Washington Post – More Predator Drones Fly US-Mexico Border

“Fans of the Predators say the $20 million aircraft are a perfect platform to keep a watchful eye on America’s rugged borders, but critics say the drones are expensive, invasive and finicky toys that have done little — compared with what Border Patrol agents do on the ground — to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, drug smugglers or terrorists.”

“Eight Predators fly for the Customs and Border Protection agency — five, and soon to be six, along the southwestern border. After a slow rollout that began in 2005, drones now patrol most of the southern boundary, from Yuma, Ariz., to Brownsville, Tex.”

“Planning documents for the CBP envision as many as 24 Predators and their maritime variants in the air by 2016, giving the agency the ability to deploy a drone anywhere over the continental United States within three hours.”

“Privacy watchdogs are concerned about the use of drones over domestic airspace. “The loss of privacy is real. You want to sunbathe in the nude on your own property? Now you can’t be sure nobody is watching you,” said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union. “Americans will have to wonder if our enthusiasm for catching illegal immigrants is worth sacrificing our freedoms.””

“With an hour of flight time costing $3,600, it costs about $7,054 for each illegal immigrant or smuggler caught, based on numbers calculated from a recent Government Accountability Office report to Congress. The government has spent $240 million buying and maintaining its domestic drones, not including their operation.”

2012 – Huffington Post – U.S. Border Patrol Increases Use Of Unmanned Drones For Surveillance

“The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is ramping up its use of fancy technology to monitor the nation’s borders again — this time by opening up Washington’s airspace to two unmanned Predator drones.”

“The ACLU called drones “a large step closer to a surveillance society in which our every move is monitored, tracked, recorded, and scrutinized by the authorities.” This week, the AP also reported that “the government worries they could collide with passenger planes or come crashing down to the ground.” Such concerns have reportedly subsided as the technology becomes more widely adopted.”

2013 – New York Times – U.S. Border Agency Allows Others to Use Its Drones

“As Congress considers a new immigration law that would expand the fleet of unmanned drones along the border, the agency in charge of border protection is increasingly offering the military-grade drones it already owns to domestic law enforcement agencies and has considered equipping them with “nonlethal weapons,” according to documents recently made public.”

Regarding CBP, “Additionally, the agency, in a 2010 report to Congress included in the documents, raised the possibility of eventually equipping its drones with “nonlethal weapons” to “immobilize” people and vehicles trying to cross the border illegally. In a statement on Wednesday, the agency said it had “no plans to arm its unmanned aircraft systems with nonlethal weapons or weapons of any kind.””

2014 – Wall Street Journal – (1) U.S. Border Protection Agency Grounds Drone Fleet (January);

“The U.S. Customs and Border Protection grounded its fleet of drones after one lost power while flying Monday night and crashed in the Pacific Ocean.”

2014 – Immigration Prof Blog (2) Drones Back Patrolling U.S./Mexico Border (February)

“It continues to amaze me that the U.S. government uses drones to patrol the U.S./Mexico border, a tactic that strikes me as something out of a science fiction movie like “Escape from New York.””

To learn more about coming to the U.S. without worrying about predator drones overhead, call a licensed immigration attorney who can help answer questions about the legal immigration processes. Being intercepted and detained by CBP is not a fun way to start a new life in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues including applications for temporary immigration relief and adjustments of immigration status. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile.