Entries by David Isaacson

Jaen v. Sessions: The Second Circuit Reminds Us That Government Manuals Aren’t Always Right

For many years, the policy guidance of the Department of State (DOS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has required that a child show a biological relationship with a U.S. citizen parent in order to acquire U.S. citizenship from that parent.  Initially, this meant a genetic relationship; recently, an exception was made for gestational […]

Another Brick in the (Virtual) Wall: Implications of USCIS’s New Policy Regarding Removal Proceedings Against Denied Applicants Who Are Not “Lawfully Present”

In a November 2017 article, the Washington Post described “How Trump is building a border wall that no one can see”: how the Trump Administration was, “in a systematic and less visible way . . . following a blueprint to reduce the number of foreigners living in the United States — those who are undocumented […]

Those Who Cannot Remember the Past: How Matter of Castro-Tum Ignores the Lessons of Matter of Avetisyan

Attorney General Jefferson B. Sessions III recently ruled in Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018), that immigration judges cannot under most circumstances “administratively close” cases before them (other than in a few instances where this is specifically authorized by regulation or court-approved settlement), even though the practice has been followed for many […]

Rodriguez Tovar v. Sessions: The Ninth Circuit Holds That a Child Sponsored By a Lawful Permanent Resident Should Not Be Penalized For The LPR Parent’s Naturalization

Becoming a U.S. citizen is often thought of as an admirable act, something that our immigration and naturalization laws encourage qualified applicants to do.  According to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), however, in at least one relatively common fact situation, our immigration laws actually discourage naturalization, by penalizing children of the naturalized parent.  The […]

What Comes Next: Potential Relief Options After the Termination of TPS

With the recent announcement that the Trump Administration will terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for more than 200,000 citizens of El Salvador effective September 2019 after previously terminating TPS for Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan, it seems appropriate to examine alternate forms of immigration relief that may become available to those whose TPS is terminated. Of […]

From Bad to Worse: Why We Should Not Let the Trump Administration’s Outrageous Immigration Demands Make the SUCCEED Act Seem Like a Reasonable Alternative

Following the Trump Administration’s decision in September to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, President Trump suggested in a Tweet that Congress should “legalize DACA” within the next six months. There have been a number of proposals for how to address the status of the “Dreamers” who would otherwise be left by […]

Watson v. United States: The Second Circuit Tells U.S. Citizens Improperly Detained by ICE to File Their Claims for Damages While Their Immigration Court Case is Ongoing

In its July 31, 2017, opinion in Watson v. United States, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, over the dissent of Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann, declared untimely the claim of false imprisonment brought by a U.S. citizen, Davino Watson, who had been detained by immigration authorities for nearly […]

Sessions v. Morales-Santana: The Problems of Leveling Down

On June 12, 2017, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Sessions v. Morales-Santana, holding that the different treatment of unmarried mothers in INA §309(c), 8 U.S.C. §1409(c), was unconstitutional as a violation of equal protection.  Unfortunately, while the Court agreed with the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that there had been such […]

The “politically correct version”: What Donald Trump’s Recent Tweet and Previous Use of the Term “Politically Correct” Tell Us About His Revised Executive Order

Donald Trump weighed in earlier today via Twitter regarding the litigation about his travel-ban executive orders, tweeting among other things that “The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.”  It is, as others have pointed out, a bit odd that Mr. […]

You Ask a Silly Question, and You Get a Silly Answer: Speeding, Terrorist Babies, and Why DHS Should Consider Revising or Eliminating Certain Form Questions

During the recent Supreme Court oral argument in Maslenjak v. United States, Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out that the government’s interpretation of the statute at issue there implies that a naturalization applicant who has driven 60 miles per hour in a 55-mile-per-hour zone, and does not reveal this on the application form, could be […]