Since becoming elected, President Trump has unveiled a slew of new immigration policies which have heightened anxiety and uncertainty among attorneys, employers and immigrants in the United States.
In addition to high-profile changes like travel bans and the discontinuation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), immigration attorneys must also contend with lesser-publicized shifts in the law, particularly in the wake of the "Buy American, Hire American" executive order. These changes include a drastic uptick in evidence requests on H-1B visa applications, interviews for employment-based green cards and a policy memo that is likely to make status extension requests more difficult to obtain.
Speaking to Law360, Immigration Partner Avram Morell explained that government agencies beyond U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have also intensified their immigration enforcement efforts since Trump took office. "Now, every consular officer views himself or herself as the guardian of the Hire American mantra," Morell said, noting that cases are "being questioned with frequency" at U.S. embassies and consulates.
Similarly, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement appeared to be emboldened earlier this year, with officers purportedly showing up at courthouses in search of immigrants to arrest. Immigration attorneys have also reported increased scrutiny at the U.S. Department of State's consulates abroad and at the northern border among U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.
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