Immigration

What? The Diversity Visa Program, also known as the “green card lottery”, is a United States government lottery program for receiving a permanent resident card (“green card”). The lottery provides up to 55,000 green cards to the U.S. each year.  When? The registration period opened at noon EDT on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, and runs until noon EDT on Tuesday, November 10, 2020. Who? To apply you must be a native of a country with historically low rates of immigration to the U.S.  You may also qualify based on your spouse’s country or your parents. See here for further details. …
Many different acts constitute criminal offenses in Illinois. In order to convict someone of a crime, however, there must be evidence that proves he or she committed the act. This proof often comes from items, fingerprints, or photographs taken at the scene of the alleged crime. The most common reason why evidence is suppressed, and charges are reduced or dismissed altogether, is due to an illegal search and seizure by police. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you determine if the evidence in your case was obtained through a legal search warrant.  Different Types of Search Warrants  The Federal…
It has been a little over one year since Immigration & Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) swept fear across Mississippi in what was the “largest single-state” ICE raid in U.S. history. In the summer of 2019, hundreds of undocumented workers across different food processing plants were detained by ICE officials who left behind hundreds of traumatized families and sobbing children. This year, loved-ones of those impacted by these traumatizing events gathered across Mississippi to mourn and grieve together, including vigils held at the processing plants where these raids occurred. Last year’s historic raid occurred mere weeks after the Trump Administration’s announced that…
The path to U.S. citizenship can be complicated for someone coming from another country, especially when a language barrier is involved. There are various legal steps that must be taken to ensure legal entry to the United States. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that oversees the country’s immigration and naturalization process. Obtaining lawful permanent resident (LPR) status means an immigrant will receive what is called a Green Card. This is an important step in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen through naturalization. Grounds for Deportation The U.S. government…
Today, USCIS announced a final draft for a rule change proposal that will not only affect key application forms, but also significantly increase processing fees. We are still wrapping our heads around this 576-page proposal, but so far, these are the main changes: Increase in fees by a weighted average of 20% Adds a $50 fee for asylum applications Removes the proposal to transfer money to ICE Establishes multiple fees for nonimmigrant worker petitions Limits the number of beneficiaries for certain forms As Chair of AILA’s Media & Advocacy Committee, Fiona is working closely with other immigration experts monitoring…
It has been a historic year of Supreme Court rulings. We celebrated during the early hours of June 18th when the highly anticipated Supreme Court decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was publicly announced. A collective sigh of relief was shared among millions across the United States. With this order, nearly 800,000 current DACA recipients were given a peace of mind, knowing their fears of imminent deportation could be set aside, while others were given a sense of hope, knowing that new DACA applications would now be processed. All these folks, while unique and extraordinary in…
We mourn the passing of Leader John Lewis, a true beacon of light throughout some of history’s darkest times. Lewis is kindly remembered by his family and colleagues as being a “Lion” – a fitting and endearing way to describe his larger-than-life reputation, his righteous courage, and his unwavering dedication to social justice. His timeless legacy is marked by his fight for voter and racial equality as one of the original “Big Six” civil rights leaders, “Freedom Riders”, and “Bloody Sunday” survivors, along with his 33-year tenure serving as U.S. House of Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district, from 1987…
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. immigration has seen many policy changes, including the many travel and visa “bans”. From closures of US consulates, embassies, and USCIS officers, to cancellations of visa interviews and appointments, hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals and their families have been impacted. The green card ban suspends the issuance of new immigrant visas from abroad like the EB-1A, EB-2, EB-3 immigrant visa categories. The business visa ban suspends the issuance of non-immigrant visas for those seeking to enter as: H-1B, H-2B, L-1A, L-1B, and some J-1 categories. Many of these employment-based visas, like…
Coronavirus has affected millions of people all over the world. The global pandemic caused many non-essential businesses to temporarily shut down in states’ efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Here in Illinois, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order that has been in effect for the past several months. As a result, the typically congested Chicagoland area roads have been much emptier. However, despite fewer people commuting to work or for extracurricular activities, there has been an increase in the number of traffic accidents. Studies show there may be various reasons for these statistics, namely traffic violations.   Illinois…
Last Monday, June 22nd, President Donald Trump issued an executive order restricting several employment-based visas until at least the end of the year. Citing those that “present a risk to the U.S. labor market following the coronavirus outbreak,” this order applies to would-be H-1B, H-2B, L-1, certain J-1 categories visa holders, and their dependents. Per the text of the executive order, it unequivocally applies only to those outside the U.S. on the effective date (June 24th) AND those without a valid visa stamp or travel document on that date. Given the crystal clear language in the order, our previous posts…
President Trump has just issued his latest immigration ban. This one relates to temporary work/business visas. We’ve drafted a very quick summary of it. Note that this is not legal advice so please don’t rely on it as such and also note that the order has just been released so all we know are the below details. Effective Dates: It is effective IMMEDIATELY, which is pretty typical from this Administration. They don’t usually give notice or time to plan anything. It will remain in effect until the end of the year and it can be extended as “necessary.” There will…
Today is a great day in the U.S. It’s a great day for all immigrants but especially for the “Dreamers”. It’s a celebratory day for immigration attorneys and grassroots advocates. Today is a win for the American Dream. A few hours ago, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued the long-awaited decision in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) case. Over 650,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children had been granted work authorization and temporary protection from deportation through this Obama-era program known as DACA (the “Dreamers”). On September 5th, 2017, the Trump administration…
In addition to it being Pride month, June is also Immigrant Heritage Month. To celebrate this, I Am An Immigrant is launching the first ever #NationalTakeoutNight, and it is happening this Thursday, June 18th! This campaign will highlight and support immigrant-owned restaurants, and also Black-owned restaurants in solidarity. The goal is to order from your favorite Black-owned or immigrant-owned restaurant, take a photo, and tag them with the hashtags #ImmigrantHeritageMonth & #NationalTakeoutNight. In advance of this, we have linked some articles listing Chicago-based Black-owned or immigrant-owned restaurants, as well as listing some of the McEntee Law Team’s favorite spots…
Welcome back to our Immigration: Week in Review blog segment. Each week, we hope to bring you a central immigration news platform with snippets of immigration-related articles and full links if you want further info. Happy Reading! ICE Provides Clarification on “Cap Gap” for F-1OPT Students Changing Status to H-1B Earlier this week, ICE released a broadcast message clarifying when “cap gap” would apply to F-1 OPT students seeking an H-1B. Under certain circumstances, cap gap allows students who are applying for H-1B visas to bridge the gap between the end of their OPT period and the start of the…
People across the globe dream of immigrating to the United States for a better life. In some cases, they may have family members who are already in the country and want to join them. For some, seeking asylum here offers freedom from persecution. In other scenarios, individuals may come to America specifically for employment reasons. Regardless of the reasons, once an immigrant lawfully enters this country, he or she will likely need to find a job to support himself or herself. If someone has a family, it may be even more critical to find work. Building a new life in…
We’ve heard reports of ICE showing up at some of the #BlackLivesMatters protests. Here is some key info on your rights, and also tips on how to be an effective ally to your immigrant friends and neighbors. You have the right to remain silent. If you are asked where you were born or how you entered the US, you may refuse to answer. If you choose to remain silent, say so out loud. Allyship would look like EVERYONE AROUND YOU REMAINING SILENT TOO!!! You may refuse to show identity documents that say what country you are from but do not…