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Weekly Immigration News for December 5, 2017

Foreign Entrepreneur Rule Moves Forward After Court Ruling

On Dec. 1, Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of a U.S. venture capital group that filed suit regarding the International Entrepreneur Rule. The judge ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to rescind its delay.

The International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) was proposed during the administration of President Barack Obama. It would allow some foreign nationals to remain in the United States for up to five years while their businesses are developing. To qualify, the foreign entrepreneurs would need to meet specified criteria, including job creation, and cases would be reviewed by the DHS on a case-by-case basis.

The IER was due to go into effect in July 2017. According to a report by Reuters, National Venture Capital Association argued in its lawsuit that the administration of President Donald J. Trump bypassed proper procedures when implementation was delayed. President Trump postponed the implementation until March 2018 and according to the Reuters article the President said it was “highly likely” the rule would be rescinded. Several technology start-up companies also joined the suit.

In his ruling, Boasberg agreed with the lawsuit’s claim that the government’s actions violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires advance notice of new rules.

Supreme Court Allows Travel Ban to Take Effect

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the immigration travel ban signed by President Donald J. Trump against six predominantly-Muslim countries can take full effect while legal challenges work their way through the courts.

Travelers from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Chad cannot enter the U.S. at this time.

USA Today reported that this decision is a win for President Trump, coming on the heels of his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, pleading guilty to lying to the FBI. Flynn is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.

Legal Aid Lawyers Protest ICE Court Arrests

A story in the Village Voice reported that Legal Aid attorneys in New York staged a walk out from local courts after agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took a defendant from the hallway of the court building. 

A 30-year-old defendant facing charges of violating a restraining order was arrested by ICE agents, according to his attorney. Legal Aid Society attorneys left the courthouse following this arrest.

The Village Voice article noted that this was the 40th person taken into custody by immigration enforcement agents inside a New York City courthouse, according to statistics maintained by the state Office of Court Administration. The Immigrant Defense Project, an immigrant rights and legal assistance group, said the count is closer to 70 people.

Nationwide, immigration arrests have dramatically increased since President Donald J. Trump took office.