The Trump Administration Is Waging Guerrilla War on Legal Immigration, Attorneys Say

The Trump administration has quietly and unofficially made it significantly harder for people to legally immigrate to the United States, according to numerous immigration lawyers who have dealt with these matters for years.

Renata Castro, an immigration lawyer based in Florida, says the new steps have taken an already-stressful process and made it almost cripplingly nerve-wracking. Many of her clients have had nervous breakdowns, hair loss, and debilitating anxiety.

Attorneys and their staff are also facing unprecedented stress. Greg Siskind, who is based in Memphis and specializes in helping doctors immigrate to the U.S., said that several months ago, one of his partners started having a meditation coach, to help manage the stress, come to the office every week.

 

Suffolk Jail in Riverhead Has Pact with Feds for Immigration Detainees

Suffolk County has a new agreement in place with the federal government to use part of the county jail in Riverhead to house immigrants facing deportation, records show.

According to court records obtained by Newsday, the new detention services deal is technically a reworking of an existing agreement between the Suffolk County Correctional Facility and the United States Marshals Service, and allows the federal government to use the jail at 100 Center Dr. in Riverhead, built with a capacity of 769 cells, to hold federal detainees accused of crimes as well as “individuals who are awaiting a hearing on their immigration status or deportation.”

The new detention deal specifies an allotment of beds, with 100 set aside for men, 30 for women and 20 for juveniles, according to the agreement. Besides, it boosts the reimbursement rates paid by the federal government, to $200 a day for adults and $225 for children, up from the $123.86 paid under the old agreement for male criminal suspects. Hourly rates for guard and transportation costs are also being elevated.

 

“Phony Lawyer” Accused of Scamming Immigrants Out of Legal Fees

The New York Attorney General’s Office says a man who in 2010 was fined millions of dollars for providing fraudulent immigration services has since started a new company that has continued to bilk immigrants. In a news release, the office called the man a “phony lawyer” who “scammed New York immigrants.”

The office filed for a criminal and civil contempt order alleging that Vincent Gonzalez violated a 2010 court order barring him from engaging in immigration and other legal services. Gonzalez, operating a company named God-Man Society Club Inc., is accused of defrauding immigrants out of legal fees by providing legal advice and representation in at least 527 court appearances since 2010. Gonzalez is not registered as a licensed attorney in the state of New York.

In 2010, while operating a company called Immigration Community Service Corporation, Gonzalez was ordered by the New York Supreme Court to pay two civil penalties of $4,275,000 and $1,845,000, as well as $127,635 in restitution to victims. The office said it began receiving new allegations that Gonzalez was engaged in fraudulent immigration practices in 2015.

 

Tom Cotton: ‘Not Nativist’ to Want Immigration Policy ‘Crafted to Benefit American Citizens, Not Foreigners’

The leading voice in the U.S. Senate to reduce immigration levels, Sen. Tom Cotton, Republican for Arizona, says it is “not a ‘nativist view” to want a national immigration policy that benefits American citizens, rather than foreign nationals.

Cotton corrected the idea by the open borders lobby and the mainstream media that foreign nationals in the U.S. on temporary protected status programs should be long-running and permanent. To the contrary, Cotton asserted that the purpose of temporary protected status is to be temporary, not a quasi-amnesty.

The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act would end the process known as “chain migration,” where newly naturalized immigrants are allowed to bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the U.S. with them. The RAISE Act would require that immigration be based on merit, skills and English proficiency, rather than family ties.

 

New Barriers Erected for Immigrants Trying to Join Military

The Department of Defense announced this fall that foreign enlistees in the armed forces will have longer wait times to become citizens, and it continued suspension of a program that allowed visa holders with special skills to join the military.

“That’s the first time in American history that green card holders have been barred from joining the military,” said Margaret Stock, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army and an immigration lawyer in Alaska.

Most enlistees must have lawful permanent residence, known colloquially as a green card. The memos also require green card holders to serve 180 days before they can begin the citizenship naturalization process, adding significant delays to lawful permanent residents going through the military’s expedited citizenship program.

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