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Miami Immigration and Naturalization Law Blog

What is a sanctuary city?

President Donald Trump made it clear during his campaign that he would be tough on immigration. Anyone that entered the country without following proper protocol was put on notice - deportation was imminent. In response to this tough stance, many local leaders publicly announced that their city would be a sanctuary to these immigrants.

Did President Trump follow through? President Trump did not take favorably to this opposition. In response, one of his early actions in office was to put out an executive order stating that any city that was deemed as a sanctuary city would not receive federal funding.

What exactly is a sanctuary city? Sanctuary cities are, according to the executive order noted above, those that "willfully violate federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States."

Executive order targets H-1B visas, which saw applications decline

Last week, our blog reported how the submission window for H-1B visa applications had closed in five days, marking the fifth consecutive year that the 85,000 visa cap was reached within this narrow time frame.

In a somewhat surprising turn of events, however, U.S. Customs and Immigration Services announced yesterday that it received 199,000 H-1B visa applications for fiscal year 2018. While this is certainly an impressive number, it actually represents something of a departure from recent years.

How concerned should farmers be about the future of the H-2A visa program?

While most of us assume that farming is a purely American industry, this is not entirely true. Indeed, numbers from the American Farm Bureau indicate that roughly 10 percent of our nation's farming workforce is supplied through the H-2A visa program.

For those unfamiliar with the program, which started back in 1986, it enables farmers to bring foreign nationals to the U.S. for agricultural work on a temporary basis. While relied upon heavily by farmers needing both affordable and dependable assistance with arduous tasks like planting and harvesting, it has nevertheless been criticized for being expensive and overly complex.

USCIS, DOJ pledge to crack down on H-1B visa fraud

Sports fans are going to hear the phrase "going, going, gone" ad nauseam over the next six months given that the Major League Baseball season is officially here. Interestingly enough, this well-worn broadcaster's expression could just as easily been applied to an H-1B visa as it could a homerun last week.

That's because the submission period for H-1B visa applications, which opened last Monday, closed by Friday morning, marking the fifth consecutive year that the 85,000 visa cap was reached in less than a week. 

Immigration concerns causing many couples to rush -- not save -- the date

From the attempted travel ban to the reinstatement of a program mandating the assistance of local law enforcement with federal immigration efforts, the recent actions of the Trump Administration's have understandably left many immigrants on edge.

Interestingly enough, this unease isn't just limited to those individuals attempting to reenter the country or those individuals who are undocumented and have lived without incident for years in the U.S., but also those whose immigration status is legal.

H-1B visa applications for FY 2018 can be submitted starting Monday

At this time of the year, any discussion about the need to meet imminent deadlines invariably revolves around taxes, which are due in just under two weeks. As it turns out, however, there is yet another rapidly approaching deadline of which people -- particularly employers -- need to be aware: the opening of the submission period for H-1B visa applications.

While some might question why this should be viewed as a deadline, consider that demand is incredibly high, such that year after year the number of applications for H-1B visas submitted exceeds the limit of 85,000 set by Congress in only a few days, necessitating a lottery.

Understanding student visas - II

Last week, we started discussing more about the F-1 visa and M-1 visa, the two primary immigration documents that enable young people to pursue their academic dreams here in the U.S.

To recap, the former permits entrance as a full-time academic student enrolled in any accredited academic institution in pursuit of a degree, while the latter permits entrance as a full-time vocational student.

Understanding student visas - I

Earlier this week, our blog spent some time discussing how the Trump administration's proposed travel ban could have an adverse impact on the number of young people coming here to the U.S. to pursue some manner of study.

As we discussed in a post last week, however, the most recent iteration of the travel ban was once again blocked from taking effect by the courts over constitutional concerns, suggesting that those young people with dreams of coming here to learn perhaps shouldn't be too quick to abandon hope.

Will Trump's travel ban deprive the US of international students?

"What international students bring to our domestic students in the classroom is invaluable," says the vice president for enrollment management at the University of New Haven.

Beyond bringing diversity of world experience that benefits American students, international students make up a huge chunk of bachelor's and master's degree candidates and the majority of Ph.D. candidates in the STEM fields. Graduates in those fields are hard to find, so the U.S. benefits from having access to such a large number of workers in science, technology, engineering and math. International students also typically pay full tuition, often subsidizing the cost of education for domestic peers.

Travel ban 2.0 blocked from taking effect

In our previous post, we discussed some of the primary components of President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, an effort undertaken after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of a lower court to block its predecessor from taking effect earlier this year.

In the days leading up to the implementation of the amended executive order, White House officials expressed confidence that it would withstand any legal challenges given both its revisions and specific focus on national security. However, in a surprising turn of events, these efforts to implement a travel ban were once again stymied by the federal court system.