As we recently noted, the Washington Post reported that USCIS was creating an employee oversight division to monitor staff who might be perceived as too lenient in their adjudications of requested immigration benefits. USCIS has now specifically denied that claim: “Contrary to recent news reporting, USCIS is not creating an oversight division to monitor employees perceived as too lenient with adjudicating immigration benefit requests. View Full Post
The Washington Post has reported that USCIS is establishing an internal oversight division. The new division’s purpose, in part, would be to monitor more closely officers who are too lenient in assessing applications for permanent residence and citizenship, including overlooking negative factors such as misdemeanors and the receipt of government benefits (e.g., food stamps). View Full Post
If foreign national employees have recently experienced trouble scheduling INFOPASS appointments, it may be because USCIS is preparing for an expected rollout of a new pilot program over the next couple of months. Instead of standard self-service online scheduling of appointments, the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) first will be coordinating scheduling for five selected District Offices.  View Full Post
Following up on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Order of February 21, 2018, DHS has requested still more time to review the H-4 EAD Rule.  In a status report filed on February 28, 2018, just a week after the Court’s Order granting DHS’ request to continue to hold the case in abeyance based upon the Department’s assertion that it would issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in February 2018, DHS concluded that it could not meet that deadline.  View Full Post
Following January’s ruling by Judge William Alsup in San Francisco, a second federal court has issued a nationwide injunction ordering the government to keep DACA in place.  Judge Nicolas G. Garaufis of the US District Court in Brooklyn, New York ruled that the rescission of DACA was “arbitrary and capricious” and that the equities and reliance interests favored an injunction. View Full Post
With the February 8th deadline for debate on DACA imminent and the March 5th DACA termination deadline approaching, legislators have been introducing bills to resolve the long-standing “Dreamer” issue.Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Christopher Coons (D-Del.) have introduced a simplified measure combining DACA and border security. View Full Post
The Trump Administration has released a new framework containing components of proposed immigration reform. Not surprisingly, border security is at the top of the list and includes the following components: New $25 billion trust fund for the (southern) border wall system Funds for hiring more enforcement personnel Immigration court reforms Ending the “catch-and-release” policy and establishing an emphasis on the prompt removal of illegal border crossers Ensuring the removal of criminal aliens, gang members, violent offenders and aggravated felons Expedited removal for visa overstays Legalization for DACA recipients and other DACA-eligible illegal immigrants is next: Increase in the number of eligible individuals to 1.8 million (from 800,000) Provision of a 10-12 year path to citizenship Ending so-called “Chain Migration”: Limit family sponsorship to spouses and minor children for U.S. View Full Post
While Congress continues to try to find an acceptable solution for “Dreamers,” a federal judge in San Francisco has ruled that DACA must remain in place while litigation over President Donald Trump’s decision to wind down the program is pending. Judge William Alsup issued a nationwide injunction directing the Trump Administration to re-start the program. View Full Post
Uncertainty regarding employment-related immigration regulations has not ebbed with the arrival of the New Year. Employers may be losing employees to the possible elimination of H-4 EADs and STEM extensions. Major changes in the H-1B cap process, including pre-registration and new eligibility standards, also are said to be on the horizon. View Full Post