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Is U.S. Immigration Aiding Underage Sex Trafficking?

The United States government has potentially blessed over 8,000 underage sex trafficking cases in the past 10 years through its immigration portal, according to a recent report by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

In a country that is currently experiencing harsh immigration blocks, this is one loophole that has yet to be closed, for a variety of reasons. With the recent dissemination of some alarming statistics, lawmakers are hoping that perhaps at least one vein of this awful crime coming into the U.S. can be blocked.

Feds Argue Kids Don't Need Lawyers in Immigration Court

A baby in a basket is clearly capable of representing oneself in immigration court.

At least, that's the view of Justice Department attorneys arguing against providing any immigrant free legal counsel during immigration, asylum, or deportation proceedings.

One of the misconceptions concerning the First Amendment is that its free speech protections protect any speech at all. Not quite. There are all kinds of restrictions on speech and expression, from bans on nudity and obscenity to prohibitions on hate speech and incitement of violence. And, in many cases, advocating or instigating illegal behavior is illegal as well.

But even exceptions to rules have exceptions themselves, as the Ninth Circuit ruled when it struck down a federal statute banning speech that encouraged a person to violate immigration laws. The problem wasn't so much that it prohibited speech that promoted law-breaking, but that the statute, as written, was "unconstitutionally overbroad." Here's what that means.

Immigration issues have been dominating the news lately, especially the separation of parents and children during detention. One other legal issue that may have flown over the radar, however, is the Supreme Court decision that detained immigrants are not entitled to an immigration bond hearing.

Still, some immigration courts still conduct bond hearings. So what are they, and what should you expect at an immigration bond hearing?

There are some times when you might not need an attorney. Insurance companies take care of a large part of car accident claims these days. You can probably make your own argument about why you were or weren't speeding that day (and, in any case, a speeding ticket is relatively cheap). Even some divorce filings can be filled out by the parties and submitted without legal representation.

The immigration process is probably not one of those times. Between filing deadlines, supporting documents, and the amount of paperwork, filing for citizenship or residency is not something you'll want to take on by yourself. So, if you are hiring an immigration attorney, how much will it cost?

Immigration issues have been in the forefront of the news since President Trump took office, and many of those issues have concerned immigrants seeking asylum in the United States. Under international and U.S. law, asylum-seekers are afforded different considerations than other immigrations, and the asylum process can be different than applying for legal resident status or citizenship. (And the rules may be changing again, if the White House has its way.)

Here are the top three legal concerns and questions for seeking asylum under current U.S. immigration law, and where to turn for answers.

New White House Rule Limits Asylum Seekers

President Trump is preparing a presidential proclamation to empower a new federal rule regarding asylum, which will be in direct conflict with current laws regarding asylum seekers and point of entry. Trump claims this is within his power as Chief, but Civil Rights activists claim this is illegal. Here's what you should know:

What to Do If Your H-1B Visa Is About to Expire

H-1B visas are initially granted for a three year period by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCSIS). If you want to stay in the United States longer, you will need to file for an extension, usually maxing out at an additional three years. But be warned, extensions have become harder to obtain, and use the same level of scrutiny as the original application. UCSIS has made it clear that adjudicators are under no pressure to give deference and extend a visa just because one had been originally issued years ago, as had been the policy in years past.

Immigration and citizenship issues have become central in the upcoming midterm elections. From child separation and refugee and asylum applications to increased deportation efforts. The essential questions revolve around citizenship: Who may apply, how it may be granted, and even if it can be revoked or lost.

So here are 10 essential questions regarding United States citizenship, and where to turn for answers:

"All persons born ... in the United States ... are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

That's the text from the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, upon which birthright citizenship is based. It means that individuals born in the United States are automatically granted U.S. citizenship. But if President Donald Trump has his way, that constitutional right may soon change.

"We're the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits," Trump told Axios. "It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous. And it has to end." And while that first part might not be true (over 30 other countries provide birthright citizenship), Trump's effort to end that policy is earnest. But can he? And if so, how?