USCIS: “United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Will Adjust International Footprint to Seven Locations.”

by Georgina Escobar


US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will close thirteen international field offices and three district offices between now and August 2020, according to an announcement on August 9, 2019. While eliminating these thirteen international offices, USCIS also announced plans to maintain operations at international field offices in Beijing and Guangzhou, China; Nairobi, Kenya; and New Delhi, India, as well as Guatemala City, Guatemala; Mexico City, Mexico; and San Salvador, El Salvador, “as part of a whole-of-government approach to address the crisis at the southern border.” 

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Sojourners: “Policymakers Aim To Address 900,000-Person Green Card Backlog.”

by Georgina Escobar


The House of Representatives recently passed a measure that would end country-based caps to significantly increase the number of green card holders from certain nations. This proposal, now sent to the Senate, was one of several in Congress competing to address the backlog of more than 900,000 approved employment-based green card applications. Under the measures proposed by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Fla) and by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the visas would be awarded on a first-come first-served basis, many of which would go to Indian and Chinese nationals.

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Carolyn's Trip to Hungary

by Audrey Kim


This week’s edition of Friday Photo(s) comes from Carolyn’s trip to Hungary. Carolyn visited historic landmarks in Budapest such as Heroes’ Square, known for its statues commemorating figures from Hungarian history. She also checked out the Hungarian Parliament Building, a World Heritage Site and functional government office, and the Holocaust Tree of Life Memorial, which has the family names of Holocaust victims inscribed in the metal tree, at the Dohány Street Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe.

Carolyn and her husband ventured beyond Hungary’s capital to scenic places like Lake Balaton, a popular summer destination that happens to be the largest lake in Central Europe. Near the Balaton and in the many small towns that they drove through, there were tons of sunflower fields as pictured above. Thank you to Carolyn for sharing her beautiful pictures with the blog!


Forbes: “Congress Asks USCIS To Explain Immigration Delays And Denials.”

by Georgina Escobar


Congress raised concerns about the rising delays and unjustified denials of various visa types at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), during a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on July 16, 2019. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, specifically highlighted inefficiencies regarding changes in processing, noting their impact on students experiencing significant delays for Optical Practical Training (OPT). 

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Eduardo Kobra: Colors for Liberty

by Audrey Kim


Eduardo Kobra’s colorful, playful murals can be spotted all across New York City. The famous Brazilian street artist has been active here since last year, painting Colors for Liberty, a series of 18 murals that share a message of peace and address injustices such as environmental problems, racism, and gun violence. Many of his pieces celebrate individuals who defined their generation by making a lasting positive impact in their community. Kobra remarks, “The idea is to use murals as a platform for issues that we are living with in the world today and talk about it in a peaceful way, without offending anyone or to promote hatred with my artworks.”

Pictured above are his murals around Chelsea and Soho: Albert Einstein We Love NY Squared,  Mount Rushmore with Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Keith Haring and Basquiat, Gandhi and Mother Teresa, and Kid with America Balloon.


U.S. Department of Homeland Security: DHS and DOJ Issue Third-Country Asylum Rule

by Audrey Kim


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced stricter eligibility qualifications for asylum seekers on July 15, 2019, according to a statement released by the DHS. The joint Interim Final Rule (IFR), published in the Federal Register as of July 16, 2019, denies asylum to any applicants who passed through a third country in transit to the United States but did not formally seek asylum in that country, with only a few exceptions.

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