New Executive Order Suspends Entry of Certain Persons Connected with Certain Industries in Iran

The President has issued an executive order imposing sanctions against certain persons connected with the construction, mining, manufacturing, or textiles industries in Iran. This executive order includes the suspension of the immigrant or nonimmigrant entry of such persons into the United States. The entry of Iranian immigrants and nonimmigrants in these fields is hereby suspended, except when the Secretary of State determines that the person’s entry would not be contrary to the interests of the United States. This includes when the Secretary determines, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General, that the person’s entry would further United States law enforcement objectives.  In furtherance of the government’s foreign policy objectives towards Iran, the United States is seeking to deny Iranian government revenues, including revenues derived from the export of products from key sectors of Iran’s economy that may be used to fund and support its nuclear program, missile development, terrorism and terrorist proxy networks, and malign regional influence. In his executive order, the President stated that this new policy is based on a finding that Iran continues to be “the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism” and Iran “has threatened United States military assets and civilians through the use of military […]
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CBP Begins Pilot Program to Collect DNA from Some Migrants

On January 6, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) initiated a pilot program to assess the operational impact of proposed regulatory changes that would require the collection of DNA samples from certain individuals in CBP custody.  This “limited, small-scale pilot program” will last 90-days in only two locations: the U.S. Border Patrol in the Detroit Sector and the Office of Field Operations at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry in Southwestern Texas.   In late October 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ) sought to amend regulations to mandate DNA collection for almost anyone detained, even temporarily, while crossing at official entry points.  This proposed amendment would significantly expand CBP officials’ power to collect DNA samples, which was previously only permitted for migrants prosecuted in federal court for criminal offenses.  Additionally, this proposed amendment would remove a provision that authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to exempt certain aliens from whom the collection of DNA samples was previously not feasible due to operational exigencies or resource limitations.  Further, it restores the Attorney General’s absolute legal authority to authorize and direct all relevant federal agencies to collect DNA samples from individuals who are arrested, facing charges, or convicted, and from non-U.S. persons who are detained under […]
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Iranian Nationals Undergoing Increased Scrutiny at Ports of Entry

Iranian nationals are increasingly hesitant to travel after dozens of Iranian citizens were held by U.S. immigration agents at the Canadian border in Washington state this past weekend.  On Saturday, January 4, 2020, dozens of Iranians and Iranian-Americans were held for hours in secondary screening at the Peace Arch Border Crossing in Blaine, Washington.  It is estimated upwards of 60 travelers, many returning home to the United State from work trips or vacations, were held for additional questioning about their political views and allegiances.  Most of the detained travelers were released following the extra scrutiny, however some were denied entry into the United States.  Many of the detained travelers, who wish to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, said that after checking their documents, border officials would bring them inside the port to a room filled with other Iranians and Iranian-Americans.  Many also faced similar questions regarding their background, citizenship, military experience, travel history to Iran, and details about their parents and siblings, including dates of birth and employment.  Matt Leas, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), disputed the accounts from advocacy groups that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a directive to detain those with Iranian heritage entering the […]
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How to Prepare for your Border Appointment

Berardi Immigration Law Partner Jennifer Behm discusses how to prepare and what to expect for your border appointment. The helpful tips which Jennifer outlines in this video help ensure for a successful border appointment.
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