News

Warning to Noncitizens: Do Not Use Medical or Legalized Marijuana/cannabis

With marijuana/cannabis now legalized for recreational and medical use in Maine and many other states, it is important to remember that marijuana remains illegal under federal law and its use or possession can create major problems leading to deportation proceedings and/or inadmissibility to the U.S. Please review this helpful flyer from Maine Immigrant Legal Advocacy…

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Change in Guidelines for entering USCIS offices

Please be advised that USCIS has modified its guidelines for entering USCIS Offices country-wide effective immediately. The major change is that all visitors vaccinated, or not are now required to wear suitable protective masks inside all DHS and USCIS workplaces and federal buildings. The current guidelines are posted at https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-response-to-covid-19 and are based upon CDC and…

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Presidential Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus Disease 2019

Our hearts go out to the individuals, families, communities, and institutions affected by the devastating impact that COVID-19 is currently having in India. As we watch this terrible situation unfold – although it may not be necessary given the widespread media coverage of India at the present time – we are issuing this post as…

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Foreign workers blocked by Trump are no longer banned from entering the US

Original source material from Vox. https://www.vox.com/ The pandemic-related ban kept out skilled workers on H-1B visas, among others. Foreign workers who were barred from entering the US since last June — under a pandemic-related ban instituted by former President Donald Trump — will finally be able to apply for temporary visas again. President Joe Biden…

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STATUTES vs. REGULATIONS vs. MEMOS vs. TWEETS IN IMMIGRATION LAW

Original source material from American Immigration Lawyers Association. https://www.aila.org/ How do we determine what is law, what is the government’s interpretation or application of a law, or what is just the government’s opinion? Consider the source. STATUTES: Laws Passed by a Legislature, Usually by Congress Statutes are binding law and can create new rights or…

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DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA)

Original source material from American Immigration Lawyers Association. https://www.aila.org/ DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a U.S. immigration policy that provides a quasi-legal status and employment authorization to certain individuals unlawfully present in the United States after being brought to the country as children. Individuals may qualify for DACA if they: Were under the…

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THE BIDEN IMMIGRATION POLICY

Original source material from American Immigration Lawyers Association. https://www.aila.org/ HOW HAS PRESIDENT BIDEN CHANGED IMMIGRATION? On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued several orders on immigration. Some orders take immediate effect while others may take more time to be implemented. If you think these policies affect you, contact a lawyer or legal service provider. Among…

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Maine business, education groups tout economic benefits of immigration reform

More than 80 companies and organizations have signed a pledge saying Maine’s economic future relies on state and federal policies that encourage immigration. Scores of companies, business associations and colleges have signed a declaration of principles advocating federal immigration reform and local efforts to welcome more immigrants to Maine. It is the first time in…

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The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security Publish Final Rule to Restrict Certain Criminal Aliens’ Eligibility for Asylum

New Mandatory Bars Prevent Convicted Felons, Drunk Drivers, Gang Members, and Other Criminal Aliens from Receiving Asylum WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security announced the publication of a Final Rule amending their respective regulations to prevent certain categories of criminal aliens from obtaining asylum in the United States. The rule…

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Two More Major Lawsuits Filed Against Trump H-1B Visa Restrictions

U.S. companies, universities and associations have combined to file two lawsuits against the Trump administration’s new H-1B visa regulations. Critics say the purpose of the rules is to make it virtually impossible for U.S. employers to hire high-skilled foreign nationals or sponsor them for permanent residence. Plaintiffs believe the new rules could force about 200,000…

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Judge Blocks USCIS Fee Increases: Here’s Why It Happened

A federal judge granted a motion for a preliminary injunction against a far-reaching U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fee rule. The rule would increase fees on businesses, new citizens, international students needing work authorization and others. The fees were scheduled to go into effect on October 2, 2020. “As long as this preliminary injunction is in…

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