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US Immigration Law Archives

Federal judge restores immigration injunction in Arizona

A federal judge ruled on Sept. 9 that an injunction against a controversial Trump administration immigration rule should be restored in Arizona. The judge issued a nationwide injunction in July, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit handed the administration a partial victory in August when it ruled that the ban should only apply to states that the issuing court held jurisdiction over. The Sept. 9 ruling reinstates the nationwide injunction.

Trump administration imposes yet another new immigration rule

Migrant families who seek asylum in Arizona or any other state can now be detained indefinitely while their cases are being considered. This is according to a new rule unveiled by the Trump administration on Aug. 21. In 1997, a settlement was reached that allows migrant children to be kept in custody for up to 20 days. It is widely believed that the rule applies to adults who come to the country with their children.

Immigration advocates concerned about "public charge" changes

For many Arizona residents, the Trump administration's policies and rhetoric around immigration have raised serious concerns, especially for those who are immigrants themselves or who have loved ones who are. While many of these policies have been justified by rhetoric focusing on undocumented immigration, another new regulation is taking aim at people who entered and remained in the country legally. The changes to the "public charge" regulation could make it more difficult for visa and green card applicants to win approval if they have less education or lower incomes.

Religious worker visa policies are changing

Changes are coming to a program that provides special immigrant visas to religious workers in Arizona, including both ministers and non-ministers. People who will be hired for a full-time, paid religious position can apply for immigration or permanent residence. However, while the program will continue for ministers and their spouses, a sunset is scheduled for non-minister religious workers. Prior to the sunset, non-ministers were limited to only 5,000 such visas per year while there is no cap on eligibility for ministers and their spouses.

Visa applicants now required to provide social media info

Virtually all foreign nationals who wish to visit Arizona or any other U.S. state will now have to provide immigration authorities with their social media user names or handles. Updated visa application forms now ask for this information and list dozens of social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit. Visa applicants who use platforms not listed on the new forms are expected to provide their usernames along with the names of the platforms. Immigration authorities do not require visa applicants to provide their social media passwords, but they do ask them for any email addresses and telephone numbers they have used during the last five years.

Protections for immigrant children to be curtailed

Residents in border states like Arizona will likely be aware that President Donald Trump has taken aggressive steps in recent weeks to address an immigration situation that he has described as a national emergency. In late May, Trump said that he would impose tariffs on goods imported from Mexico if the Mexican government does not take action to stop immigrant caravans at the Guatemalan border. Just a day later, immigration officials announced that measures designed to protect children seeking asylum in the United States are being curtailed.

Data shows sharp upswing in H-1B visa denials

Many businesses, highly skilled international graduate students and technical workers in Arizona are concerned about reports that an increasing number of H-1B visa petitions are being denied. The H-1B Employer Data Hub was criticized by many when it was introduced by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). These critics saw it as a way for the administration to target negative attention toward businesses that make use of the program that allows companies to hire highly skilled international workers, typically in technical or scientific fields.

Changes may be ahead for spouses of H-1B visa holders

The spouses of workers who are in Arizona under H-1B visas may lose the right to work in the United States under a proposed regulation sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget. Many couples in this position are already waiting a long time for their green cards. The combination of the H-1B visa for one and employment authorization documents for the other allows them to both work during this wait.

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