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The Weekly Round-Up: Immigration Rises Across America, California Woman Charged with Immigration Fraud, Bipartisan Effort to Pass Immigration Legislation

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Immigration on the Rise

In more than 75% of counties in the United States, the number of immigrants moving into a particular county exceeded those who were moving out.  And, four of the top 10 counties with the highest rate of immigrant population growth were in New York and New Jersey.

As reported in Business Insider, more than 2,400 of the approximately 3,100 counties in America saw net increases in their immigrant populations.  New York County, Bronx County, and Queens County in New York, as well as Hudson County in New Jersey, made the top 10 in terms of increased immigrant populations.  Not surprisingly, the largest increases in immigrant communities occurred in coastal and border counties.

Immigration growth comes in the midst of recent downward trends in both unlawful border crossings and the undocumented immigrant population in America as a whole.

California Woman Charged with Immigration Fraud

A woman in Montebello, California – a suburb of Los Angeles – has been charged in state court with stealing more than $600,000 from people who believed they were receiving immigration services.  As described in the Whittier Daily News, Romina Aida Zadorian has been charged with falsification of government documents, burglary, extortion, forgery, and other crimes.  She is alleged to have promised customers that she had unique government contacts and could expedite processing of visas, green cards, and applications for citizenship.  In addition to filing erroneous and irrelevant forms, Zadorian is accused of misrepresenting her prior work experience, including within the government, and posing as an attorney without a license to practice law.

On Thursday, Zadorian pleaded not guilty to all charges.  Her next hearing in Los Angeles County Court is scheduled for July 2.

Bipartisan Push to Pass Immigration Legislation

Nearly all Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are joining a group of 50 Republicans to push for a compromise on several immigration issues.

While the details have not been entirely finalized, approximately 240 members of Congress are pushing to at least debate and have up or down votes on several pressing immigration issues, including drastically reducing legal immigration into the United States and granting the Departments of State and Homeland Security greater authority to deny foreigners visas and entry into the United States, as well as a pathway to citizenship for those in the United States without documentation who entered as children.  As part of the effort to simply break through recent congressional gridlock, the bipartisan group also agreed to allow House Speaker Paul Ryan to put an immigration bill of his choice to the floor for debate and a vote.

The White House has remained silent on the full proposal (backing only the most conservative bill), so far causing Speaker Ryan to balk at the idea, saying he wants to bring an immigration bill for a vote only if the president will sign it.

The NMM Immigration Blog will continue to provide updates as this story develops.

If you have questions about topics covered in today’s weekly round-up, or other immigration matters, contact me at wcmenard@nmmlaw.com.