Immigration BLOG

Maximalist Law Enforcement

On December 23, 2019 Tali Farhadian Weinstein—General Counsel of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office—wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times titled “An Immigrant’s Gift on Christmas Eve.” In it, she tells her family’s story of immigration to the United States from Iran during the 1979 revolution.[i] The “gift” she references in the title is one of leniency, given to her and her family by an I.N.S. officer when they landed in America holding suspect tourist visas. According to Tali, they were clearly not tourists, but they were clearly struggling. Since President Trump took office in January 2017, immigration laws and procedures have been strictly enforced and interpreted. As a result, it isn’t only the mass migrations of peoples from Central America that are being affected; highly skilled and educated workers are also being denied at record numbers.[ii] Currently, there is a tendency to enforce certain articles of policies…
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Post-Conviction Relief following Michigan’s Legalization of Recreational Marijuana: A viable Defense to Deportation?

Note: The following is intended as a general overview of the state of the law as of the time of writing and is not legal advice. Because of the complexities of the law in this area, we recommend consulting an immigration attorney before taking any action with respect to marijuana-related convictions. Furthermore, we emphasize that marijuana-related grounds of inadmissibility do not require a conviction, and that possession of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. As such, non-citizens are advised against growing, possessing, consuming, or otherwise taking action with regard to marijuana, even if otherwise permitted under Michigan law.  As of its approval of Proposition 3 in the 2018 midterm elections, Michigan joins the ranks of nine other states as well as the District of Columbia in legalizing possession of marijuana for recreational use. While hailed as a progressive step towards criminal justice reform, it remains to be seen whether this…
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Birthright Citizenship

With President Trump’s recent announcement on his plans to end birthright citizenship through an executive order, questions have arisen in recent news as to both the underlying reasons and the practical implementation of such a declaration. President Trump asserts that the U.S. is “the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States.” While it is true that the majority of the world’s nations do not offer automatic citizenship to those born within their borders, there are at least 30 other countries, including Canada and Mexico, where children born on their soil are granted automatic birthright citizenship. On the other hand, over the past few decades, countries that once did so, including Australia and the U.K., have repealed those policies, with others considering changes. Children born in the U.S. are granted automatic birthright citizenship…
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