Claude's Corner

A Brief Explanation of Current U.S. Immigration Laws

Claude Ducloux
Claude Ducloux
August 22, 2019

Dear LawPay Lawyers,

On June 26, 2019, I was very fortunate to interview Paul Parsons, an immigration law expert, on our monthly LawPay National CLE Webcast, “What Every Lawyer Needs to Know about Immigration Law.” Paul’s dedication, leadership positions, and expertise were beyond question.

We had over 700 lawyers sign up nationally, and, of course, I was concerned that we do our best to remain objective and factual in this highly politicized subject. I am happy to say that more than 99 percent of our attendees gave positive reviews (only four people complained of political bias).

Because of the importance of this topic, we have asked Paul’s permission to post his entire article that was updated for the State Bar of Texas’ Immigration Conference in January 2019. Obviously, the events in immigration law have been a moving target, but this article provides legal professionals (especially those who do not practice immigration law) a very good idea of how the system works or fails to address the needs of the country vis-à-vis the immigrant community.

Everyone should benefit from his explanations, as Paul takes the time to explain some historical facts about immigration law prior to delving into today’s policies. Learning the basics of immigration terminology gives us a better understanding and allows us all to form better opinions.

Paul cogently explains three categories:

  1. Employment Based Immigration
  2. Family Based Immigration
  3. Nonimmigrant Visas

His examples of how the preference system affects employers and families is eye-opening. You will see that simply “following the law” is made extremely difficult, if not impossible, for some applicants.

The article explains the limitations of nonimmigrant status, which refers to those people remaining in the U.S. for a temporary period of time who have restricted activity consistent with their visas. The article explores the terminology of visas from F-1 student through various types of business and investor visas.

Paul goes into some length explaining how the Homeland Security Act of 2002 moved both immigration enforcement and adjudication services from the now defunct INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) into the new Department of Homeland Security, along with its three underlying immigration agencies.

The first of these agencies is Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which focuses on the movement of goods and people across our borders. The second is Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which focuses on the interior enforcement of immigration laws.The third is Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS), which is responsible for adjudication of visa petitions and applications for naturalization.

Anyone interested in reading more and getting a better understanding of our current system is welcome to download the article from the link below. We send our deepest gratitude and thanks to Paul Parsons for his expertise and willingness to share his knowledge both in this article and on our live broadcast in June.

Read Paul's Article