Washington Post: “Fact-checking President Trump’s Oval Office address on immigration.”

by Joseph McKeown


Last week President Trump addressed the nation in a speech about immigration and what he has claimed is a “crisis” at the US-Mexico border. Throughout the course of his nine-minute speech (which was made on the 18th day of the government shutdown), numerous fact-checkers and experts agree that the president painted an exaggerated and overall misleading picture of immigration to the US and the situation at the US-Mexico border. Fact-checkers across mediums confirm that the President’s speech pumped up some numbers, exaggerated the public safety risks of immigration, and repeated false claims regarding funding for the border wall.

Read More

Poetry Jukebox

by Joseph McKeown


Poetry Jukebox in Ruth E. Wittenberg Triangle in Manhattan.

Poetry Jukebox in Ruth E. Wittenberg Triangle in Manhattan.

Poetry Jukebox is a simple but ingenious project that plays poems on demand. Installed in Greenwich Village, visitors can press a button and hear poems from such New York City residents as Edna St. Vincent Millay, Sara Teasdale, Grace Paley, James Baldwin, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jack Kerouac, among others. Originally started in Prague by Ondřej Kobza, a café owner and cultural activist with passion for poems and literature, along with producer and writer Michaela Hečková, the project has spread to Slovakia, Ireland, Scotland, Bulgaria, and Germany, all with different poems in each location to reflect the literary heritage of each place. The creators of the Poetry Jukebox are focused on animating public spaces in cities and showing “how people can make their own cities more livable.”


The O-1 Visa: Top 10 Misconceptions

by Protima Daryanani


We originally published this post back in 2013 (as 5 misconceptions), and it has consistently ranked as one of our most read posts. And for good reason: the O-1 visa category is one of the most popular, especially for those who work in the arts, design, and film and television (although, as we discuss below, the O-1 can be a good option for all sorts of professions and industries). Since it’s been a number of years, we wanted to add some updates and clarifications and, yes, a few more misconceptions that often come up for foreign nationals who already have an O-1 or are interested in obtaining this visa type .  - Protima

1. The O-1 is a “freelance” visa

There is no such thing as a “freelance” work visa in the United States. With very few exceptions, nearly every work visa in the US must be sponsored by a legal and operating US company or agency.

Read More

The Washington Post: "Shutdown worsens strain on US immigration system"

by Joseph McKeown


The ongoing partial US government shutdown is causing a further strain on US immigration courts as well as creating potential hardships for US Border Patrol agents, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, and other front-line Department of Homeland Security who are considered “essential” workers and must continue to work without pay during the shutdown. Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, says that the federal employees including CBP officers and agriculture inspectors stationed at border crossings and airports are “key to our nation’s security and economic success, and they do not deserve to be treated this way.” CBP agents are taking into custody more than 2,000 migrants per day on average and, with nowhere to detain them, the governments has been releasing hundreds onto the streets in El Paso, Texas, Yuma, Arizona, and other border cities.

Read More

Partial Government Shutdown Does Not Effect Most USCIS Operations

by Joseph McKeown


USCIS announced that the current lapse in annual appropriated funding for the US government does not affect most USCIS operations and fee-funded activities. USCIS offices will remain open, and all individuals should attend previously scheduled interviews and appointments. Additionally, USCIS will continue to accept petitions and applications with only certain exceptions.

Read More