Somos 11 Millones/We Are 11 Million

by Joseph McKeown


Somos 11 Millones/We Are 11 Million  by Andrea Bowers (with Movimiento Cosecha)

Somos 11 Millones/We Are 11 Million by Andrea Bowers (with Movimiento Cosecha)

Los Angeles-based artist Andrea Bowers uses video, drawing, and installation pieces to combine art and activism in the struggle for social justice. For this piece on the High Line, Bowers collaborated with the immigrant rights activist group Movimiento Cosecha to write a slogan in support of DREAMers. The neon sign reading “Somos 11 Millones / We Are 11 Million” references the number of undocumented immigrants in the US. The piece is part of a group exhibition on the High Line that looks at the “power of art to change society, the role of art in public space, and whether art can be a form of protest.”


Bloomberg Law: “Proposal to Undo Guestworker Spouse Work Permits Coming Soon”

by Joseph McKeown


A proposed rule to reverse an Obama administration regulation granting employment authorization to the spouses of certain H-1B workers is expected to proceed within the next three months. The 2015 regulation provides work authorization to the spouses of certain H-1B workers who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status.  Bloomberg Law says that more than 90,000 work cards have been issued, the majority of them granted to women from India.

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Politico: “The Man Behind Trump’s ‘Invisible Wall’”

by Joseph McKeown


Lee Francis Cissna is the multilingual son of a Peruvian immigrant and son-in-law of a refugee from Palestine. He is also the Director of US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), and has overseen some of the Trump administration’s toughest immigration policy changes. Politico interviewed a selection of Cissna’s current and former co-workers, classmates, and friends, in order to obtain a better understanding of the man involved with many of the harsh Trump administration policy changes, including the recent “zero-tolerance” policy which resulted in thousands of family separations. “We’re pretty stunned that a guy who is compassionate, funny, proud of his immigrant mother from Latin America, that he would now be one of the key architects of the seemingly heartless policy of separating families,” Dan Manatt, a documentary filmmaker and former classmate of Cissna’s at Georgetown Law School, tells Politico.

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The New York Times: “$10 Million from FEMA Diverted to Pay for Immigration Detention Centers, Document Shows”

by Ashley Quinn


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reallocated funds for use by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for hurricanes and natural disaster relief to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in order to pay for additional detention centers and removal operations, according to a document released by Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon last week. Merkley released the thirty-nine-page document to The Washington Post as Hurricane Florence approached the East Coast. The document notes a transfer of funds, originally meant for efforts including “Preparedness and Protection” and “Response and Recovery,” that was transferred to ICE for detention beds, transportation, and removal programs.  “At the start of hurricane season – when American citizens in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are still suffering from FEMA’s inadequate recovery efforts – the administration transferred millions of dollars away from FEMA. And for what? To implement their profoundly misguided ‘zero-tolerance’ policy,” Merkley says.

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USCIS Now Accepting Copies of Negative O Visa Consultations Directly from Labor Unions

by Joseph McKeown


US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that effective immediately the agency will now accept copies of negative consultation letters directly from labor unions relating to O nonimmigrant visa petition submissions. In general, USCIS requires consultation letters from a US peer group, labor organization, or management organization for O petitions. Usually, the petitioner submits the necessary O visa consultation with the petition. While that requirement remains unchanged, labor unions should now send copies of negative O nonimmigrant consultation letters to UnionConsultationMailbox@uscis.dhs.gov.

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Visa Options for Internships and Training Programs in the US

by Elizabeth Brettschneider & Carolyn Szaiff Alvarez


For foreign students who want to boost their resume with real-world experience, or young professionals starting out their career who want to sharpen their skills, or even seasoned professionals who want to round out their global industry knowledge, internships and training programs in the US might be excellent opportunities. When foreign nationals secure internships/training programs in the US, there are three nonimmigrant visa types in particular that may be most appropriate: the J-1, H-3, or B-1. In this post, we explain the basics of each visa type and also include a chart that breaks down in more detail their differences. As always, foreign nationals should consult with an experienced immigration attorney when deciding what the best visa option is for their particular circumstances.

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