We celebrate a lot of birthdays here at the firm, but this one we can all agree was special. This week the birthday festivities for Ada, our longtime bookkeeper, included a delightful cheesecake with strawberry topping. We thought it was pretty good but Ada, a real connoisseur of cheesecakes, was skeptical. Happy Birthday, Ada!
Under the Trump administration, immigration officials have substantially increased audits on companies to verify that employees are authorized to legally work in the US. The increased efforts are focusing on both building criminal cases against noncompliant employers as well as removing employees working in the US without legal documentation. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reports that there were 2,282 employer audits opened between October 1, 2017 and May 4, 2018, a sixty percent jump from the 1,360 audits opened between October 2016 and September 2017. Derek Benner, head of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations unit, tells the Associated Press that planned audits for this summer would push the total “well over” 5,000 by September 30. Comparably, in 2013 there were 3,127 ICE audits.Read More
Dorothy Iannone, a Berlin-based artist, has created a large-scale mural installation near 22nd Street on the High Line. Iannone's work is inspired by Egyptian frescoes, Byzantine mosaics, and ancient fertility statues. In between her three colorful Statues of Liberty is the final line from Emma Lazarus’s poem The New Colossus: “I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door.” The mural re-imagines the Statue of Liberty "anew as a symbol of the openness of New York City and the United States to those seeking asylum, freedom, or simply a better life" and also brings "a bit of joy to an often exhausting and demoralizing political debate." The mural is on the High Line through March 2019.
The Trump administration is considering proposing a policy change that could have the result of discouraging immigrants seeking permanent residency (i.e., a Green Card) from using government-supported health care. Under the administration's draft plan, an immigrant in valid legal status could be prevented from obtaining permanent residency if they have used Medicaid, a subsidized Obamacare plan, food stamps, tax credits or other non-cash government benefits, according to a draft of the plan published by The Washington Post. Legal immigrants could even be prevented from obtaining a Green Card if their US-citizen child uses such benefits.Read More
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that beginning May 14, 2018, the agency will begin recalling approximately 8,543 Permanent Resident Cards (i.e., Green Cards) due to a production error. The Green Cards, printed with an incorrect “Resident Since” date and mailed between February and April 2018, were for approved Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, for spouses of US citizens. Since spouses of US citizens may apply for naturalization after three years of permanent residency (and when they meet other requirements), the incorrect date on these Green Cards could potentially cause applicants to wait longer than necessary to apply for naturalization.Read More
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has posted a policy memorandum for public comment that changes how the agency will calculate unlawful presence for students and exchange visitors in F, J, and M nonimmigrant status (including F-2, J-2, or M-2 dependents) who fail to maintain their status in the US. This updated policy, which will be effective August 9, 2018, aligns with President Trump’s “Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” USCIS says. L. Francis Cissna, director of USCIS, says the policy sends a message that nonimmigrants in these statuses cannot overstay their periods of admission or violate the terms of admission. “USCIS is dedicated to our mission of ensuring the integrity of the immigration system,” he says. “F, J, and M nonimmigrants are admitted to the United States for a specific purpose, and when that purpose has ended, we expect them to depart, or to obtain another, lawful immigration status.”Read More
Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985 at the Brooklyn Museum is the first exhibition to "explore the groundbreaking contributions to contemporary art of Latin American and Latina women artists during a period of extraordinary conceptual and aesthetic experimentation." Featuring 123 artists from fifteen countries, the works in the exhibition often use the female body as a means of political and social critique and artistic expression. Much of the artwork, which includes paintings, sculptures, videos, and work in other mediums, was created under difficult and often oppressive political and social environments, and "complicated or compounded by the artists’ experiences as women." The exhibit is at Brooklyn Museum through July 22, 2018.