December 17th, 2020
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The COVID-19 pandemic upended travel and immigration in ways no one could have anticipated. As the pandemic approaches the one-year mark, many green card holders find themselves unexpectedly outside the U.S. or needing to travel internationally, with more questions than answers about how to juggle travel and safety guidance without jeopardizing their residence and future chances for citizenship. Join Meg Hobbins, Partner, and Khandikile Sokoni, Counsel, for a free webinar this Friday, addressing what green card holders outside the U.S. need to do to preserve their legal permanent residence and future citizenship options.
Preserving Permanent Residence and Reentry to the U.S.
Friday, December 18, 2020
12:00pm ET – 1:00pm ET
Did you miss our previous webinars? View the recordings on our website:
Trump Finalizes Sweeping Asylum Restrictions
In a last ditch attempt to restrict U.S. immigration, the Trump administration finalized regulations last week that substantially limit asylum eligibility in what is being colloquially referred to as the “death to asylum” rule.
Scheduled to take effect January 11th, the rule implements major procedural barriers and limitations to eligibility criteria for all asylum-seekers but especially for three main groups: Central Americans fleeing gang violence; those fleeing domestic abuse; and people fleeing persecution based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The new regulations expand judges’ power to deem asylum applications frivolous and to deny applications without a hearing if the judge feels they are not backed by sufficient evidence. Currently, an individual may be eligible for asylum if they claim “credible fear of persecution or torture” should they return to their home country. The new policy, however, requires applicants to prove that they will suffer a “severe level of harm” if they return and limits the definition of “persecution” to exclude some situations which, in the U.S., would be considered unjust or even unconstitutional. Individuals who fear gang violence, persecution based on gender identity and domestic abuse, among others, are no longer eligible under the new regulations (with some exceptions). Further, under the new policy, judges are empowered to assess a series of actions taken by the asylum-seeker when determining whether to grant protections, including if they crossed the border illegally, used fraudulent documents, failed to pay their taxes, or passed through other countries without seeking protective status there first.
The government openly acknowledges that these changes are expected to result in fewer asylum grants annually, arguing that the move "will enable the Departments to more effectively separate baseless claims from meritorious ones."
These new regulations are set to take effect less than 10 days before Biden takes office. It is expected that the new policies will meet aggressive legal challenges which may block their implementation. Should the policies take effect in January, the Biden administration has pledged to restore asylum protections and undo Trump-era policies, though, presently, the future of asylum in the U.S. remains unclear.
GYH Speaks to International Hospitality Students
At the end of November, GYH was delighted to offer, for the first time ever, a presentation geared specifically towards hospitality students and professionals abroad who are interested in launching and growing their international careers.
GYH Partner Becki Young, along with Ruth Young, Legal Writer, and Aurore Le Roy de la Chohinière, Paralegal, spoke to an audience of about 50 undergraduate and graduate hospitality students in France about the process of applying to work overseas, what to expect from the U.S. hospitality industry and the most commonly used visa types by hospitality workers. Complete with real client examples and interactive surveys, this session helps young hospitality professionals find their direction by presenting what is attainable, practical and possible.
If you know of an audience that may be interested in this presentation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are proud to announce that GYH Co-Managing Partners, Becki Young and Sandra Grossman, as well as Senior Counsel, Denise Hammond, were each selected to be listed in the 2021 Super Lawyers directory as top immigration lawyers in Maryland.
Super Lawyers uses a patented selection process combining peer nominations, surveys and independent research to identify the most outstanding local attorneys by practice area. To learn more about Super Lawyers and search the listings, click here.