From Fingerprints to DNA: Biometric Data Collection in U.S. Immigrant Communities and Beyond by Jennifer Lynch

“The collection of biometrics—including fingerprints, DNA, and face-recognition ready photographs—is becoming more and more a part of society. Both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are in the process of expanding their biometrics databases to collect even more information, like face prints and iris scans. The expansion of biometric data collection, however, is uniquely affecting undocumented immigrants and immigrant communities. Under DHS’s Secure Communities program, for example, states are required to share their fingerprint data with DHS, thus subjecting undocumented and even documented immigrants in the United States to heightened fears of deportation should they have any interaction with law enforcement.”  To continue reading, click here.

Is the House version of the Violence Against Women Act bad for women?

“The House of Representative’s version of the Violence Against Women Act, H.R. 4970, is harmful to victims of violence. This bill is intended to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a 1994 law with bipartisan support that has provided essential protections and services to women, men, and children who have been victims of violence. VAWA has been reauthorized numerous times since 1994, always with bipartisan support. H.R. 4970 changes VAWA in ways that leave the most vulnerable victims, particularly immigrants, without protections, and increases government regulation and bureaucracy.”  To continue reading, click here.

Proposed Rulemaking for I-601 Waivers of Inadmissibility

USCIS recently posted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register that would reduce the time U.S. citizens are separated from their spouses, children, and parents who must obtain an immigrant visa abroad to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.  This rule would allow certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to apply for a provisional waiver of the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility while still in the United States if they can demonstrate that being separated from their U.S. citizen spouse or parent would cause that U.S. citizen relative extreme hardship, thereby significantly reducing the time of separation between immediate relatives.

For more information about this proposed rule and to schedule a consultation, please call us at 978-905-9992.

Temporary Protected Status Designated for Syria

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that eligible Syrian nationals (and persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) in the United States may apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) between now and September 30, 2013. It should be noted that USCIS will only accept applications filed through September 25, 2012. Syria joins El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan as countries currently designated for TPS. Through this designation eligible Syrian nationals will not be removed from the United States, and may request employment authorization. Eligibility for TPS will be determined with a showing of continual physical presence in the United States since March 29, 2012 as well as a showing of no criminal record and no threat to national security.

For more information about this designation and to schedule a consultation, please call us at 978-905-9992.


Welcome to the Agarwal Law Offices blog, which provides current events and legal news relating to U.S. immigration law. Updates by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be highlighted, as well as various articles, which speak to issues of immigration policy and reform.