NPR: How the diversity visa lottery works

NPR: How the diversity visa lottery works

I spoke on NPR’s Morning Edition on November 3 regarding the controversial Diversity Visa Lottery program. The program, as I see it, would be better utilized in reducing the backlog of those who have waited years to enter the country.

“If I’m a U.S. citizen and I have a brother or sister in the Philippines that I want to sponsor for a green card, that brother or sister will have to wait over 20 years,” says Cornell Law professor Stephen Yale-Loehr. “And why should they have to wait that long when someone else can waltz into the United States in one or two years under the diversity program?”

A transcript of the recording can be accessed here.

New York Times: Diversity Visa Lottery: Inside the program that admitted a terror suspect

New York Times: Diversity Visa Lottery: Inside the program that admitted a terror suspect

In the wake of the October 31 terrorist attack in New York City, debate quickly arose over the Diversity Visa Lottery program which was revealed to have been the program under which the attacker was awarded a green card.

“A lottery is a crazy way to run an immigration system,” I said, adding, “No other country selects immigrants based on a lottery.”

The program, introduced in 1990, has attracted as many as 15 million applicants, even though no more than 50,000 visas may be awarded through it in a given year.

Read the full article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/01/us/diversity-visa-lottery.html

Politico: Federal appeals court clears way for undocumented teen to get abortion

Politico: Federal appeals court clears way for undocumented teen to get abortion

I was quoted in a Politico article on October 24 regarding a federal appeals court decision that an undocumented pregnant minor can receive an abortion. The 17-year old is being held in a federally-funded shelter in Texas after crossing the border last month, where she was immediately apprehended.

In this article I responded to Judge Karen Henderson, a George H.W. Bush appointee. Henderson said in a separate dissenting opinion that the undocumented teen lacks constitutional rights, including the right to an abortion. And she criticized the Trump administration for refusing to address that issue.

“That’s what [Henderson’s] beef is. This person was caught at the border and never formally made an entry. People who just made it into the country and don’t have any ties here, do they have any constitutional rights? Do they have the full panoply? This is really the gray area. Nobody has a clear answer.”

The full article is here: https://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/24/federal-appeals-court-clears-way-for-undocumented-teen-to-get-abortion-244115

The Future of STEM OPT

The Future of STEM OPT

Last year’s ruling on STEM OPT (optional practical training for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) granted students in those fields a three year post-graduation authorization to work in the United States. This year, the future of that ruling is in question.

Speaking with Bloomberg BNA, I stated that there would surely be a court battle if the program was rescinded. I added that any argument that STEM OPT was somehow illegal would be very dubious. One likely argument ICE could claim is that the regulation is an economic disadvantage to American students. Yet, we’ll just have to wait and see exactly how they go about rescinding STEM OPT, if they do.

I also spoke with The PIE News (Professionals in International Education) to explain the legal case for maintaining STEM OPT:

“A federal court has already held that the Department of Homeland Security had the statutory authority to publish a rule extending OPT to students in STEM fields. The court noted that since at least 1947, the immigration agency has interpreted the immigration laws to allow foreign students to engage in employment for practical training purposes. During all that time, Congress acquiesced to that interpretation.”

The Bloomberg BNA article is at https://www.bna.com/work-program-foreign-n73014470707/. The PIE News article is at https://thepienews.com/news/us-work-restrictions-harmful-to-economy/.

Huffington Post: How St. Louis’ Only City Synagogue Became A Safe Haven For Protesters

Huffington Post: How St. Louis’ Only City Synagogue Became A Safe Haven For Protesters

A recent piece by Huffington Post details the events of Sept 15, when a peaceful protest became violent and dozens of protesters sought refuge in a nearby synagogue. In the U.S., churches have long served as safe havens. Today, many have declared themselves sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants, which isn’t a declaration protected by law but is generally respected. “As a purely legal matter… the immigration agency can if it wants to, come into a church to arrest someone,” I said on the matter. However, ICE’s policy as stated on its website is not to focus on “sensitive locations” like “places of worship” in order to “enhance the public understanding and trust.” Whether the Trump administration will test the boundaries of this policy or not remains a question at this time.

Read the full story here.

 

Trump Travel Ban 3.0 More Likely to Survive a Court Challenge

Trump Travel Ban 3.0 More Likely to Survive a Court Challenge

I recently spoke with Deutsche Welle on the third revision of President Trump’s travel ban. The new travel ban is more likely to survive in court, as it bars only certain people from certain countries rather than everyone from a given country. The proclamation includes North Korea and Venezuela, which, as non-Muslim majority countries, which shifts the narrative of the travel ban away from being a Muslim-targeted one. This new, more narrow version of the travel ban may be a success for Trump.

Read the full interview here.