IMMIGRATION IN THE NEWS
Immigration in The News
August 2, 2016
USCIS to Allow Additional Applicants for Provisional Waiver Process
The Obama Administration finalized a new rule that expands upon the 2013 rule (see below) that waives the 3-year/10-year re-entry bars to becoming a US Permanent Resident. The new rule becomes effective August 29, 2016. The updated rule would expand the people eligible for the waiver to all individuals with an approved immigration petition regardless of visa category and would expand the family-based waiver to anyone who had a relative who is a legal permanent resident (LPR) in the U.S. This means undocumented applicants who either entered the US illegally or overstayed their visas, who are seeking employment based immigration petitions, have a relative in the U.S. who is not a citizen but has LPR status, or is eligible to receive a green card through the visa lottery program is now eligible for the waiver. Another change under the expansion applies to those with a final order of deportation. Individuals with a final order of deportation will now be eligible to apply for a provisional waiver. No matter which category the application for Permanent Residency, the applicant must have an LPR or US citizen spouse or parent who will suffer “extreme hardship” if the applicant is not allowed to return to the United States. Extreme hardship is defined by case law and by statutory law, and is described on this page below.Read More ..
March 16, 2016
Trump inspiring Hispanics to become citizens — so they can vote against him
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has pledged to deport and keep out illegal immigrants, but the brash billionaire’s rhetoric is inspiring some Hispanics to become citizens so they can vote against him. “I feel threatened by the political situation,” said Maria Orozco, a 36-year-old screenwriter in Los Angeles.She is a legal permanent resident, a status that provides “some security, but the immigration laws are changing constantly and I don’t know what might happen if Trump wins,” she told AFP, speaking in Spanish. “In 15 years here, I’ve never felt such a hostile political climate,” Orozco said, concluding: “I want to vote against Trump.” She is not alone.Read More ..
January 19, 2016
The Supreme Court Will Determine the Fate of Millions of Undocumented Immigrants
As many as five million undocumented individuals living in the US could be shielded from deportation later this year, now that the Supreme Court has decided to hear a case on President Barack Obama's proposed immigration action.
Obama unveiled the reforms back in November 2014, announcing the establishment of a program called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) to help undocumented immigrants who are parents of US citizens, and of expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) who are longtime American residents. Successful applicants to the programs would be protected from deportation and granted work permits. But before the executive could be implemented, the Republican attorney general of Texas led a 26-state lawsuit to block it, winning an injunction. The case will now be heard by the US Supreme Court…..Read More ..
December 18, 2015
New Restrictions on VWP Eligibility for Certain Individuals
1. Individuals who have been present in Iraq, Syria, Iran, or Sudan (or other countries designated by DHS as supporting terrorism or "of concern") at any time on or after March 1, 2011, are not eligible to participate in the VWP. The new law exempts those performing military service in the armed forces of a VWP country or those carrying out official duties in a full-time capacity in the employment of a VWP country government. In addition, DHS may waive exclusion from the VWP program if it would be in the law enforcement or national security interests of the United States.
2. The new law also excludes from the VWP individuals who are nationals of Iraq, Syria, Iran, or Sudan. Nationality typically depends on the laws of the designated country, so it is important to note that an individual may be a national of a particular country, even if he or she has never resided in that country and/or does not have a passport issued by that country.
June 10, 2015
Executive Actions on Immigration
Update: Due to a federal court order, USCIS will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA on February 18 as originally planned and has suspended implementation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. The court's temporary injunction, issued February 16, does not affect the existing DACA. Individuals may continue to come forward and request an initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA under the original guidelines. Please check back for updates.
November 20, 2014
Executive Actions on Immigration
The President has announced a series of executive actions to crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation. These include parents of US citizens or US Permanent Residents, and those who arrived in the United States prior to their 16th birthday and have resided in the US for at least the past 5 years: http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction
These new programs will begin February 2015 (new rules for DACA) and May 2015 (DAPA).
A Supreme Court Ruling should give equal immigration rights to lawfully married same-sex couples.
Read the news release.
Note that forms will be issued on August 15th. Beware of notarios- you may NOT apply until August 15th. There is no expedite request available.
Please call our office for further information.
USCIS to begin accepting requests for consideration of deferred action on
The Department of Homeland Security today provided additional information on the deferred action for childhood arrivals process during a national media call in preparation for the August 15 implementation date.
Note that forms will not be issued until August 15th. Beware of notarios- you may NOT apply until August 15th. There is no expedite request available.
The congressionally mandated numerical limitation on H-1B petitions for FY 2013 is 65,000. Additionally, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals who have earned a U.S. master's degree or higher are exempt from the fiscal year cap.
November 17, 2011
Prosecutorial Discretion Training: By January 13, all ICE enforcement officers and attorneys nationwide will have completed scenario based prosecutorial discretion training.
At the end of the period, DHS will promptly review that data and other implementation outcomes and, where appropriate, consult with DOJ to determine, on an expedited basis, the best methods to implement these processes on an ongoing basis nationwide.
Click to read complete memo.
On August 18, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security announced a review of all administrative removal cases pending before and incoming to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) of the Department of Justice. The purpose of the review is to identify those cases that reflect a high enforcement priority for the Department of Homeland Security. This review covers all CBP, USCIS, and ICE removal cases, whether the cases are before immigration judges or the Board of Immigration Appeals.
The review to which this guidance applies is for focus on the criteria laid out below, but nothing in this guidance can be construed to prohibit or discourage the consideration of all of the factors laid out in the June 17, 2011 Prosecutorial Discretion Memorandum.
Criteria for Review
The following removal cases are enforcement priorities for the Department of Homeland
Security and should generally be pursued in an accelerated manner before EOIR. These cases
involve an alien-
• who is a suspected terrorist or national security risk;
• who has a conviction foro
a felony or multiple misdemeanors,
o illegal entry, re-entry, or immigration fraud, or
o a misdemeanor violation involving-
• violence, threats, or assault,
• sexual abuse or exploitation,
• driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
• flight from the scene of an accident,
• drug distribution or trafficking, or
• other significant threat to public safety;
• who is a gang member, human rights violator, or other clear threat to public safety;
• who entered the country illegally or violated the terms oftheir admission within the last
• who has previously been removed from the country;
• who has been found by an immigration officer or immigration judge to have committed
immigration fraud; or
• who otherwise has an egregious record of immigration violations.
The following cases are generally not enforcement priorities for the Department of Homeland Security and should be carefully considered for prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis
to avoid unnecessary diversion of resources from the enforcement priorities identified above.
• who is a member in good standing of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces ofthe United
States, an honorably discharged veteran ofthe Coast Guard or Armed Forces ofthe
United States, or the spouse or child of such a member or veteran;
• who is a child, has been in the United States for more than five years, and is either in
school or has successfully completed high school (or its equivalent);
• who came to the United States under the age of sixteen, has been in the United States for
more than five years, has completed high school (or its equivalent), and is now pursuing
or has successfully completed higher education in the United States;
• who is over the age of sixty-five and has been present in the United States for more than
• who is a victim of domestic violence in the United States, human trafficking to the United
States; or of any other serious crime in the United States;
• who has been a lawful permanent resident for ten years or more and has a single, minor
conviction for a non-violent offense;
• who suffers from a serious mental or physical condition that would require significant
medical or detention resources; or
• who has very long-term presence in the United States, has an immediate family member
who is a United States citizen, and has established compelling ties and made compelling
contributions to the United States.
If an ICE attorney decides to exercise prosecutorial discretion to dismiss or administratively close.a particular case or matter, the attorney must first ensure that the alien in question is vetted
for national security and public safety concerns. No exercise of discretion under this case review may proceed without this vetting.
ICE attorneys may agree to the administrative closure ofremoval proceedings of an individual who filed an asylum application if the individual jointly requests administrative closure with the
immigration judge. Upon the filing of such a joint request, however, the individual will be subject to 8 CFR 208.7(a)(2) which tolls the 180-day clock for employment authorization eligibility.
Alabama Harsh Immigration Law Injunction Prevents Enforcement Pending Appeal
Reminder: Filing Deadline for Certain Eligible Widow(er)s of Deceased U.S. Citizens- must file I-360 Visa Petitions by October 28, 2011
If you are the widow(er) of a U.S. citizen who died before October 28, 2009 you may be eligible to immigrate to the United States if:
-You and your deceased spouse were married for less than 2 years when your spouse died and
-You file Form I-360 for Special immigrant classification as a widow/widower by October 28, 2011. See section 568(c) of Public Law 111-83 for more information.
-USCIS must receive your Form I-360 by October 28, 2011. Since you must file Form I-360 by mail or overnight courier, please be sure to ship it in time for USCIS to receive it no later than October 28, 2011.
For further details on filing as a I-360 Widow(er) —including application requirements, fees and procedures- please contact our office.