The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that Congress cannot force states to enforce federal law. Therefore, the majority of the court reasoned, Congress cannot forbid states from authorizing sports gambling within their borders. The power of states to legislate independent from federal government dictates was found to be covered by the 10th Amendment.
Immigrants can seek asylum in the U.S. if they have experienced, or if they have a reasonable fear of, persecution based on race, nationality, religion, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. It is entirely legal for people to seek asylum at any U.S. border crossing.
Courts have long held that, when a criminal law is too vague for a reasonable person to understand, it cannot be enforced. Enforcing it would violate our basic due process protections. The U.S. Supreme Court has just applied the same standard to the Immigration and Nationality Act's definition of a "crime of violence."
A federal judge in Los Angeles recently ruled that the U.S. Department of Justice will not be allowed to withhold grant funding from cities, counties and states that refuse to comply with federal immigration priorities. He issued a nationwide injunction striking down the effort.
The State Department recently announced a plan to require virtually all applicants for U.S. visas to provide more details as part of the vetting and approval process. Only certain official and diplomatic visa applicants would be exempt.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently turned away an appeal by the state of Arizona, which had sought to end its participation in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. When the state attempted to deny program beneficiaries the driver's licenses they were entitled under DACA, the 9th Circuit struck Arizona's policy down. The Supreme Court left that ruling in place, requiring Arizona to issue the licenses.
"The system is being gamed, there's no doubt about it," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a speech last October. He was trying to get Congress to tighten the rules for asylum.
H-1B visas are available for several types of workers, but the most well known is the "specialty occupations" visa. It is available to highly skilled foreign workers who work in jobs which typically cannot be performed by people without at least a bachelor's degree in their field. Examples include engineers, architects, and computer programmers.
Two major court decisions involving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program were announced this week. First, the U.S. Supreme Court put off an appeal of a federal court order. That order, a nationwide injunction, ordered the federal government not to shut down DACA on Monday, March 5, as had previously been announced. Second, another federal judge ordered all federal immigration enforcement authorities to stop revoking Dreamers' DACA protections or deporting them based on allegations of minor criminal activity.
Although many immigrants worry that they could be targeted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement despite causing no problems, recent information suggests that the agency has been focusing mostly on those with criminal issues. At the same time, however, ICE arrests were up overall in 2017 -- especially among those without prior convictions.