Bolour Immigration Group

Los Angeles Immigration & Naturalization Law Blog

The Institutional Unfairness in Immigration Courts

The fact that immigration courts are embedded within the Executive Branch of our government has always been problematic.  The Attorney General (AG) - whose legitimate and stated purpose in any removal hearing is to remove the foreign national, controls the judges, the prosecutors, and the executioner (ICE) in a removal  case.  The respondent or foreign national on the other hand may or may not have an attorney for his/her defense since there is no public defender system.  At the conclusion of proceedings, if there is an appeal by either party, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is charged with reviewing the decision; that body is also controlled by the Attorney General.

Immigration laws and Trader Visa - E-1

I had a call from a Canadian citizen yesterday. He called because he was barred from entering the U.S. after he told the CBP officer at the Toronto International Airport pre-clearance ( that  the purpose for his visit was to open a U.S. bank account in NY.  I probed and got more facts and concluded that the CBP officer was probably correct in his assessment.  Thus, the problem!

Immigration Reform Bill?

America, a nation of immigrants, is increasingly showing signs of intolerance for immigrants.  Under Trump, navigating through the already complicated labyrinth of what is the U.S. immigration system has become even more complex.

Migrant Caravan

Over a century ago, land owners in Central America - specifically El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala (otherwise known as the Northern Triangle area), and in Nicaragua - came to an unofficial agreement with the power brokers in the U.S. aimed at creating political and financial stability at the cost of democratic institutions. As a result, dictatorships became the norm and the local populations were essentially stripped of self-governance. Ever since, the region has been continuously plagued by numerous uprisings, revolutions, counter revolts, severe corruption, and crippling poverty and chaos. Not surprisingly, the U.S. has been a steady supporter of destructive regimes ruling over the area, which has only exacerbated these issues.

New Policy Update Concerning Notice to Appear

On October 1, 2018, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began implementing a new policy to issue Notice to Appear (NTA) in cases where it has denied a benefit to an applicant if the applicant does not have any lawful immigration status. NTA is a document that instructs an immigrant to appear before an immigration judge on a certain date. The issuance of an NTA means the start of removal proceedings against the immigrant.

Applying for Asylum in the United States

On September 12, 2018, a settlement reached between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and lawyers representing the migrant families separated at the border under the current administration's "zero tolerance" migration enforcement policy. This settlement, if approved, will give those who have been ordered to be removed, but are still in the United States (U.S.) a second "credible fear interview."

Although this settlement is a significant step forward for migrant families participating in the current lawsuits, it will not set a precedent for future asylum seekers. However, future asylum seekers should continue to express their fear of persecution to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer because seeking asylum is an international human right, and under the principle of non-refoulement, a country is barred from returning asylum seekers back to countries where they might face persecution.

Asylum law in the U.S. is derived from international human rights law, the 1951 Refugee Convention, which provides protection to individuals who are in the U.S. or at the U.S. border. For a person to qualify for asylum, he or she must first meet the international law definition of a "refugee." The 1951 Refugee Convention defines a refugee as someone who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of origin due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership of a particular social group.

Immigration Law Is All That We Do

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