Immigration News

Visa Bulletin For July 2017

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during July for: “Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications,” indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center.

Unless otherwise indicated on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website at www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo, individuals seeking to file applications for adjustment of status with USCIS in the Department of Homeland Security must use the “Final Action Dates” charts below for determining when they can file such applications. When USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for the fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, USCIS will state on its website that applicants may instead use the “Dates for Filing Visa Applications” charts in this Bulletin.

1.  Procedures for determining dates. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; USCIS reports applicants for adjustment of status. Allocations in the charts below were made, to the extent possible, in chronological order of reported priority dates, for demand received by June 9th. If not all demand could be satisfied, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed. The final action date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits. If it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a final action date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new final action date announced in this bulletin. If at any time an annual limit were reached, it would be necessary to immediately make the preference category “unavailable”, and no further […]

Visa Bulletin For June 2017

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during June for: “Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications,” indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center.

Unless otherwise indicated on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website at www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo, individuals seeking to file applications for adjustment of status with USCIS in the Department of Homeland Security must use the “Final Action Dates” charts below for determining when they can file such applications. When USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for the fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, USCIS will state on its website that applicants may instead use the “Dates for Filing Visa Applications” charts in this Bulletin.

1.  Procedures for determining dates. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; USCIS reports applicants for adjustment of status. Allocations in the charts below were made, to the extent possible, in chronological order of reported priority dates, for demand received by May 9th. If not all demand could be satisfied, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed. The final action date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits. If it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a final action date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new final action date announced in this bulletin. If at any time an annual limit were reached, it would be necessary to immediately make the preference category “unavailable”, and no further requests […]

Court Says TPS Recipients Are Eligible to Adjust to LPR Status

Affirming the district court’s summary judgment in favor of the appellee, the Ninth Circuit held that under INA §244(f)(4), a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipient is deemed to be in lawful status as a nonimmigrant—and has thereby satisfied the requirements for becoming a nonimmigrant, including inspection and admission—for purposes of adjustment of status under INA §245(a). The court thus found that the plaintiff-appellee, a TPS beneficiary, was eligible to obtain lawful permanent residence. In February 2015, the American Immigration Council and AILA submitted an amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit in support of the appellee.

New Executive Order – Still a Muslim Ban – Iraq Exempted

Washington (CNN)US President Donald Trump signed a new executive order Monday that bans immigration from six Muslim-majority countries, dropping Iraq from January’s previous order, and reinstates a temporary blanket ban on all refugees.

The new travel ban comes six weeks after Trump’s original executive order caused chaos at airports nationwide before it was blocked by federal courts. It removes out language in the original order that indefinitely banned Syrian refugees and called for prioritizing the admission of refugees who are religious minorities in their home countries. That provision drew criticism of a religious test for entry and would have prioritized Christians over Muslims fleeing war-torn countries in the Middle East.

The new ban, which takes effect March 16, also explicitly exempts citizens of the six banned countries who are legal US permanent residents or have valid visas to enter the US — including those whose visas were revoked during the original implementation of the ban, senior administration officials said.

“We cannot compromise our nation’s security by allowing visitors entry when their own governments are unable or unwilling to provide the information we need to vet them responsibly, or when those governments actively support terrorism,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday.
The new measures will block citizens of Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from obtaining visas for at least 90 days. The order also suspends admission of refugees into the US for 120 days, directing US officials to improve vetting measures for a program that is already widely regarded as extremely stringent.

Trump signed the executive order earlier Monday in the Oval Office outside the view of reporters and news cameras, after more than three weeks of repeated delays, the latest of which came after White House officials decided […]

Can Customs and Border Protection Agents Demand to See Your ID on a Domestic Trip?

American citizens had their introduction to the Trump-era immigration machine Wednesday, when Customs and Border Protection agents met an airliner that had just landed at New York’s JFK airport after a flight from San Francisco. According to passenger accounts, a flight attendant announced that all passengers would have to show their “documents” as they deplaned, and they did. The reason for the search, Homeland Security officials said, was to assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a search for a specific immigrant who had received a deportation order after multiple criminal convictions. The target was not on the flight.

After days of research, I can find no legal authority for ICE or CBP to requirepassengers to show identification  on an entirely domestic fight. The ICE authorizing statute, 8 U.S.C. § 1357, provides that agents can conduct warrantless searches of “any person seeking admission to the United States”—if, that is, the officer has “reasonable cause to suspect” that the individual searched may be deportable. CBP’s statute, 19 U.S.C. § 1467, grants search authority “whenever a vessel from a foreign port or place or from a port or place in any Territory or possession of the United States arrives at a port or place in the United States.” CBP regulations, set out at 19 C.F.R. § 162.6, allow agents to search “persons, baggage, and merchandise arriving in the Customs territory of the United States from places outside thereof.”

I asked two experts whether I had missed some general exception to the Fourth Amendment for passengers on a domestic flight. After all, passengers on flights entering the U.S. from other countries can expect to be asked for ID, and even searched. Barry Friedman, the Jacob D. Fuchsberg professor of law and […]

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit – Refuses to Reinstate Travel Ban, Dealing Trump Another Legal Loss

From the New York Time — A three-judge federal appeals panel on Thursday unanimously refused to reinstate President Trump’s targeted travel ban, delivering the latest and most stinging judicial rebuke to his effort to make good on a campaign promise and tighten the standards for entry into the United States.
The ruling was the first from an appeals court on the travel ban, and it was focused on the narrow question of whether it should be blocked while courts consider its lawfulness. The decision is likely to be quickly appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
That court remains short-handed and could deadlock. A 4-to-4 tie in the Supreme Court would leave the appeals court’s ruling in place.
Trial judges around the country have blocked aspects of Mr. Trump’s executive order, which suspended travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries and limited the nation’s refugee program, but no other case has yet reached an appeals court.
The decision, from a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, reviewed a ruling issued last Friday by Judge James L. Robart, a federal judge in Seattle. Judge Robart blocked the key parts of Mr. Trump’s executive order, allowing immigrants and travelers who had been barred entry to come into the United States.
Judge Robart’s ruling inspired a harsh attack from Mr. Trump, who accused the judge of endangering national security. After the appeals court heard arguments on Tuesday, Mr. Trump issued a pre-emptive critique on Twitter.
“If the U.S. does not win this case as it so obviously should, we can never have the security and safety to which we are entitled,” he wrote. “Politics!”
The judges on the Ninth Circuit panel were Judge Michelle T. Friedland, appointed […]

Federal Lawsuits Blocking Travel Ban – UPDATE

From ABC News

President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week to suspend some immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries — Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran and Libya — for 90 days, halt the refugee program for 120 days and suspend the admission of Syrian refugees indefinitely.

Since he signed the order Friday, at least 13 lawsuits have been filed around the country, including one from Washington state. Attorneys general in Virginia, Massachusetts and New York announced on Monday their intentions to intervene in existing federal suits filed over the past weekend in their states.

Here are the lawsuits filed as of Tuesday that challenge the executive order, naming Trump, the Department of Homeland Security, the border patrol and others as defendants. The Trump administration has denied that the order targets Muslims and that it is a ban.
Attorney Representing 2 Iraqis Detained at JFK Says Trump’s Immigration Order Is Unconstitutional
Protests Surge Across the Country Against Trump’s Immigration Order
President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration Explained
Lawsuits Filed Tuesday
Chicago

Dr. Amer al-Homssi, 24, a medical resident at the University of Illinois at Chicago/Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, has been stuck in Dubai since trying to board a Chicago-bound flight on Sunday, according to his complaint. A Syrian citizen who has legal residency in the United Arab Emirates, he was taken by U.S. preclearance security officers to secondary screening at Abu Dhabi International Airport, where officers canceled his valid J-1 U.S. visa, citing the executive order. According to the complaint, the officers told al-Homssi there was nothing that could be done except to wait 90 days and then follow up with the U.S. Embassy. He risks losing his residency status in the UAE if he is not able to return […]

Take Action: Urge your Congressional Members to Rally at SCOTUS and Denounce Trump’s Muslim Ban

Congressional leaders will hold a rally on the steps of the Supreme Court on Monday, January 30, 2017, to call on President Trump to rescind his Executive Order (EO) banning immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries.

Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) wrote a Dear Colleague letter to House Democrats stating, “President Trump’s unconstitutional executive order banning refugees and the citizens of Muslim nations betrays everything the Statue of Liberty and our nation stand for.  … We are witnessing a historic injustice unfold, and we must keep the pressure on.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Pelosi will lead the rally, which is scheduled to start at 6 p.m on January 30, 2017.

AILA members are encouraged urge their Senators and Representatives, Democrat and Republican alike, to attend this rally on the steps of the Supreme Court and speak out against President Trump’s EO which scapegoats Muslims and will not make America safer.

DACA and ADVANCE PAROLE ARE USCIS PRIORITIES FOR CURRENT PROCESSING

DACA

AILA National is working with the Obama administration to see if any form of relief is possible for those currently with approved DACA. In other words, there is an effort to explore the possibility of some pathway to continued relief/deferred action under DACA prior to the new administration taking power. It is highly unlikely anything will happen in this area.
AILA National requested expedited processing for DACA renewals and pending initial DACA applications.

USCIS has not released an official announcement regarding this request and will not because of the current political climate. However, USCIS stated to AILA National liaisons that DACA renewals and pending initial applications are their highest processing priority right now (in that order of priority).
AILA National states that first time applications should not be submitted, but renewal applications (for those that qualify) are highly recommended.
It is unclear what the  “window of opportunity,” for submitting renewals is. But submitting them by early December/mid-December, at the latest, is suggested

Know Your Rights

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS Everyone has certain basic rights, no matter who is president NOVEMBER 10, 2016 By now everyone knows that Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States and will begin to serve his term in January 2017. No matter who is president, everyone living in the U.S. has certain basic rights under the U.S. Constitution. Undocumented immigrants have these rights, too. It is important that we all assert and protect our basic rights. If you find you have to deal with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or other law enforcement officers at home, on the street, or anywhere else, remember that you have the rights described in this factsheet. The factsheet also provides suggestions for what you should do to assert your rights.  You have the right to remain silent. You may refuse to speak to immigration officers.  Don’t answer any questions. You may also say that you want to remain silent.  Don’t say anything about where you were born or how you entered the U.S.  Carry a know-your-rights card and show it if an immigration officer stops you.  The card explains that you will remain silent and that you wish to speak with an attorney.  Do not open your door.  To be allowed to enter your home, ICE must have a warrant signed by a judge. Do not open your door unless an ICE agent shows you a warrant. (They almost never have one.) If an ICE agent wants to show you a warrant, they can hold it against a window or slide it under the door. To be valid, the warrant must have your correct name and address on it. KNOW YOUR […]