2018

Blog Posts in 2018

  • Sessions Imposes Stricter Requirements for Asylum Claims

    In a ruling that could have a significant impact on large numbers of Center Americans seeking asylum protection in the United States, General Attorney Jeff Sessions said immigration judges generally cannot consider domestic and gang violence as proper grounds for asylum claims. Sessions ruled in a Board of Immigration Appeals case involving a woman from El Salvador whose asylum status was upheld ...
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  • USCIS Proposes to End the International Entrepreneur Rule

    Last year, USCIS introduced the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) under which the Department of Homeland Security may use its parole authority to grant a period of authorized stay to foreign entrepreneurs who can demonstrate that their stay in the United States would provide a significant public benefit through their start-up business. IER parole may be granted for up to three entrepreneurs ...
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  • USICS Completes Lottery for Temporary Increase in H-2B Visas for FY 2018

    The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) started receiving H-2B petitions on May 31, under the temporary rule which increased the cap on such visas by up to 15,000 additional visas through the end of FY 2018. The government agency received petitions for more beneficiaries compared to the number of H-2B visas available under the supplemental cap in the first five business days of ...
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  • TPS Beneficiaries from Nepal Must Re-Register Before July 23, 2018

    USCIS recently announced that current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nepal, who want to maintain their status through the termination date of June 24, 2019, must re-register for TPS between May 22, 2018 and July 23, 2018 . For eligible TPS beneficiaries from Nepal, you will be issued a new EAD with a June 24, 2019 expiration date if you timely re-register and apply for a new ...
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  • USCIS Announces the Launch of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Immigration Records System (FIRST)

    On May 30, 2018, USCIS announced that they are transitioning Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests entirely online. A FOIA Request may be made to obtain copies of your immigration file from US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Department of State. With the launch of this new system, requesters will eventually be ...
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  • USCIS Releases New Policy Memorandum Regarding the Use of DNA Evidence to Support Sibling Relationships

    Under this new policy, USCIS officers may now suggest DNA testing to petitioners and consider direct sibling-to-sibling DNA test results. Under the immigration laws, a sibling relationship requires that the petitioner and the beneficiary share at least one common parent. Primary evidence of a sibling relationship consists of birth and marriage certificates. However, if primary evidence is ...
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  • Alternatives to H-1B Visa

    H-1B Quota (FY 2019) USCIS received 190,098 H-1B Quota petitions for the fiscal year 2019 in the first week of April 2018. On April 11, 2018, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the Master’s Cap exemption. As USCIS will issue about 85,000 H-1B visas under the FY-2019 H-1B ...
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  • USCIS completes processing of 2019 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

    USCIS has completed processing all fiscal year 2019 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in the computer-generated random selection process. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected. USCIS cannot provide a definite time frame for returning unselected petitions, due to the high volume of filings. USCIS has asked petitioners not to inquire about the status ...
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  • Immigrants Can Be Detained Indefinitely Without Bond Hearings, Supreme Court Rules

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-3 in February that immigrants, even those with permanent legal status and those seeking asylum, do not have the right to bond hearings every six months—essentially meaning the government is allowed to detain them indefinitely. The majority opinion—written by Justice Samuel Alto and joined by the court’s conservatives—said that the decision by the Ninth Circuit Court ...
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  • Federal Judge Orders DACA Program Must Be Resumed

    While the Trump administration aims to end deportation protections for young undocumented immigrants under DACA, a D.C. federal judge ordered the government to continue the Obama-era program and reopen it to new applicants. The decision was issued last Tuesday evening by U.S. District Judge John Bates, a George W. Bush appointee in Washington D.C. Bates is the third judge to rule against the Trump ...
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  • Sessions Orders Border Prosecutors to Adopt "Zero-Tolerance" Policy on Immigration

    Last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions order federal prosecutors on the southwest border to adopt a “zero-tolerance” policy against those who illegally enter, or attempts to illegally enter, the country. He warns that illegally entering the United States will be “met with the full prosecutorial powers of the Department of Justice (DOJ).” This directive instructs all border prosecutors to ...
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  • The Harsh Reality of Immigration Courts

    “I think most people would be incredulous at what really happens in immigration court and which sometimes passes for due process,” said Paul Schmidt, a former immigration judge for the Arlington Immigration Court. “Our courts today are dysfunctional,” stated John F. Gossart, Jr., a former judge for the Baltimore Immigration Court. “In essence, we’re doing death penalty cases in a traffic court ...
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  • USCIS Reaches FY 2019 H-1B Cap

    United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 6, 2018 that the annual H-1B quota for the regular 65,000 Bachelor’s Degree Cap and the 20,000 U.S. Master’s Degree Cap has been met for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. As per the regulations, all H-1B applications received within the first five days of the Cap have to be counted towards the lottery. USCIS has not yet announced ...
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  • USCIS Removes "Nation of Immigrants" from Its Mission Statement

    The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the federal agency responsible for granting citizenship to those in the process of becoming Americans, is removing a passage from its mission statement which refers to the United States as a “nation of immigrants.” The agency’s new statement as it appears on their website reads: “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the ...
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  • Federal Government Sues California Over Immigration Laws

    Yesterday, the Trump Administration announced that it will target three California laws it argues interfere with federal immigration enforcement, thus filing a lawsuit in federal court against state officials. This morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions launched a vociferous defense of the administration’s legal challenge. "There is no nullification; there is no secession," Sessions said in a ...
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