H-1B denials and Requests for Evidence (RFEs) increased dramatically in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017 soon after President Trump took office, according to a report by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) that used data from US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). The report by NFAP, a non-profit and non-partisan public policy research organization, includes data showing that H-1B petition denials increased by forty-one percent from the third quarter to the fourth quarter of the 2017 fiscal year. Additionally, RFEs issued in the first three quarters of the 2017 fiscal year came to 63,599 combined, almost equaling the total number of RFEs—63,184—issued in the fourth quarter of the 2017 fiscal year.Read More
Wind Sculpture (SG) I, by the British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare, attempts to capture the invisible (in this case, the wind) in a moment of time. The fiberglass sculpture depicts a piece of fabric caught in a gust of wind, part of his “second generation” (SG) of artworks that explore the theme of making known the invisible. Resembling a painted West African fabric, the artwork "evokes a sense of freedom and possibility, which for the artist represents the originality of the hybrid." Shonibare, who split his childhood between England and Nigeria, regards himself as "a cultural hybrid, a product of complex and layered relationships forged by centuries of global trade, migration, politics, and cultural exchange." Through his artwork he invites us to "look beyond appearances and assumptions about identity." The beautiful piece is on view at Doris C. Freedman Plaza (in the southeast corner of Central Park) through October 14, 2018.
After Attorney General Jeff Sessions removed an immigration judge from a case and reassigned the case to himself and then to another judge who consequently ordered the individual to be removed (i.e., deported), immigration judges and advocates have voiced their protest. The case involved Judge Steven Morley of Philadelphia who used “administrative closure” to suspend a case when a man named Reynaldo Castro-Tum failed to appear before him in immigration court. Administrative closure is used, for example, when the individual couldn’t make it to court for logistical reasons, including the summons being sent to the wrong address. Sessions responded by assigning the case to himself, issuing a decision that severely restricts the use of administrative closure, and instructed Morely to deport the individual if he didn’t show up again.Read More
Although we usually "hit the waters" for our annual summer Boat Dance, this summer we decided to stay on solid ground. Well, close to solid ground anyways. Last night we made our way up to the rooftop garden at Gallow Green at the McKittrick Hotel. This Hotel is best known as the home for the theatre experience Sleep No More, an immersive and interactive version of Macbeth. Intentionally creepy and set in a “secret garden” high atop the west-side of Manhattan, Gallow Green was the perfect mid-summer evening escape. With purple cocktails, we toasted to the summer and Michal’s impending maternity leave (she had water!), and said goodbye to Dana (our office manager) and to Nithya (our summer intern). And then, as if on cue, it started to rain and rain and rain. Happy Summer 2018!
As a result of increasingly strict immigration policies and more petition denials under the Trump administration, more attorneys are considering suing the federal government. “I’ve been preaching the gospel” of litigation, attorney Thomas Ragland tells Bloomberg Law. Ragland says that although businesses have in the past been more reluctant than individuals to sue, he is encouraging corporate clients to pursue litigation in certain cases. He says: “Employers should consider litigation in cases where they think the agency got it wrong.”Read More
Surrounding 85 Broad Street in downtown Manhattan is a very cool piece of artwork inspired by "The Plan of the City of New York in North America,” the 1767 map created by British military officer Bernard Ratzer from 1766 to 1767. The map, designed by FXCollaborative, made by Jessup Manufacturing Company, and printed by National Marker, is made of a proprietary material called Asphalt Art, and covers 32,000 square feet, according to Untapped Cities. Notable highlights on the map include Stadt Huys (the first City Hall in Manhattan) and Lovelace Tavern, the architectural remnants of which have been preserved and are visible through a glass covering nearby. You can take a walk around old New York (without a time machine) through the fall.
Foreign nationals who violate their visa status can face serious consequences. Just ask Peter. Who is Peter? Okay, Peter is not a real person. He is a fictional foreign national who, to be clear, is not based on any of our clients (and any resemblance to a real person is entirely coincidental). Let’s say that Peter enters the United States as a B-2 tourist on December 5. The immigration officer processes his entry and Peter now has an I-94 (now electronic) with valid status until June 5.Read More