United States and Canada Announce Efforts to Expedite Travel

The United States and Canada announce initiatives to combat common threats and expedite travel and trade. On November 24, 2009, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Public Safety Canada Minister Peter Van Loan announced initiatives between the United States and Canada that enhanced their shared commitment to tackle common threats like terrorism …

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Receipt of Public Benefits Do Not Always Bar Permanent Residency Status

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) recently clarified that a foreign national’s receipt of certain public benefits does not necessarily make that foreign national ineligible to become a lawful permanent resident. The bar to residency in the U.S. based upon the foreign national being a public charge has been part of U.S. immigration …

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HHS Removes AIDS as Disease of Public Health Significance

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services removes HIV as a disease of public health significance affecting foreign nationals seeking admission to the United States. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has removed Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection from its definition of communicable disease of …

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DHS Rescinds Its Safe-Harbor Procedures for No-Match Letters

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed amending its regulations by rescinding its safe-harbor procedures for employers who receive a no-match letter. DHS recently announced that it has rescinded regulations which provided a safe harbor for employers who took specific steps in response to receiving a Social Security Administration (SSA) “employer correction request,” informally …

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Annual Diversity Immigrant Visa Program Entries Rise

Over 900,000 entries for the Annual Diversity Immigrant Visa Program have already been submitted for 2011. This was just during the initial week – a 63% increase over last year. The U.S. Department of State initiated the registration period for DV-2011 on October 2, 2009. The Diversity Visa Program – this year referred to as …

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Summer Voluntary Humanitarian Repatriation Resumes to the Mexican Interior

A program of voluntary humanitarian repatriation has been continued for the sixth consecutive year. The U.S. and Mexican governments recently announced resumption of a voluntary program to return Mexican nationals, who are unlawfully in the United States and who have been apprehended in the Sonora Arizona desert area, to the Mexican interior as a way …

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DHS Announces Guidance Regarding Computer Searches

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano recently announced new guidance for searches of electronic devices at U.S. ports of entry. The guidance provides additional information regarding how DHS conducts searches and when travelers may expect return of their electronic property. In the past, DHS searched a briefcase or backpack and examined photographs, work …

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The Sad Story of Juana Venada

Texas Civil Rights Projects filed suit against the state’s Department of Public Safety over restrictive requirements to obtain valid driver’s licenses. Among the plaintiffs in the case was Juana Venada, a Mexican national and single mother of three children, who was victimized under punitive Texan rules when she attempted to obtain a driver’s license. Juana …

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Sham Marriages Result in Indictments

Fifty individuals were arrested and named in 27 federal indictments because they entered into sham marriages to gain U.S. residency. Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) started rounding up and arresting 50 people named in 27 federal indictments on August 11, 2009. All were part of a scheme based in Cincinnati, Ohio, to …

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