Immigration News

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 […]

USCIS Announces Final Rule Adjusting Immigration Benefit Application and Petition Fees

Release Date: October 24, 2016

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a final rule published in the Federal Registertoday adjusting the fees required for most immigration applications and petitions. The new fees will be effective Dec. 23.

USCIS is almost entirely funded by the fees paid by applicants and petitioners for immigration benefits. The law requires USCIS to conduct fee reviews every two years to determine the funding levels necessary to administer the nation’s immigration laws, process benefit requests and provide the infrastructure needed to support those activities.

Fees will increase for the first time in six years, by a weighted average of 21 percent for most applications and petitions.   This increase is necessary to recover the full cost of services provided by USCIS. These include the costs associated with fraud detection and national security, customer service and case processing, and providing services without charge to refugee and asylum applicants and to other customers eligible for fee waivers or exemptions.

The final rule contains a table summarizing current and new fees. The new fees will also be listed on the Our Fees page on our website. Form G-1055 will not reflect the new fees until the effective date. Applications and petitions postmarked or filed on or after Dec. 23 must include the new fees or USCIS will not be able to accept them.

“This is our first fee increase since November 2010, and we sincerely appreciate the valuable public input we received as we prepared this final rule,” said USCIS Director León Rodríguez. “We are mindful of the effect fee increases have on many of the customers we serve. That’s why we decided against raising fees as recommended after the fiscal year 2012 and 2014 fee reviews.  […]

VISA BULLETIN – OCTOBER 2016

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers duringOctober 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 September 8th. 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 for […]

Final DHS Rule on Expansion of Eligibility for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver

Tomorrow, DHS will publish in the Federal Register a final rule that will expand eligibility for provisional unlawful presence waivers to all individuals who are statutorily eligible for the unlawful presence waiver and who can establish extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) spouse or parent.

This final rule, consistent with the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), expands the class of individuals who may be eligible for a provisional waiver of certain grounds of inadmissibility based on the accrual of unlawful presence in the United States. The provisional unlawful presence waiver (“provisional waiver”) process allows certain individuals who are present in the United States to request from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) a provisional waiver of these grounds of inadmissibility before departing the United States for consular processing of their immigrant visas – rather than applying for a waiver abroad after their immigrant visa interviews using the Form I-601, Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (“Form I-601 waiver process”). The provisional waiver process is designed to encourage unlawfully present individuals to leave the United States, attend their immigrant visa interviews, and return to the United States legally to reunite with their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) family members.

OREGON 2016 SUPER LAWYERS

Congratulations to Nicole Nelson and Philip Smith for being selected as 2016 Oregon Super Lawyers!

U.S. plans new wave of immigrant deportation raids

U.S. immigration officials are planning a month-long series of raids in May and June to deport hundreds of Central American mothers and children found to have entered the country illegally, according to sources and an internal document seen by Reuters.

The operation would likely be the largest deportation sweep targeting immigrant families by the administration of President Barack Obama this year after a similar drive over two days in January that focused on Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina.

Those raids, which resulted in the detention of 121 people, mostly women and children, sparked an outcry from immigration advocates and criticism from some Democrats, including the party’s presidential election frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has now told field offices nationwide to launch a 30-day “surge” of arrests focused on mothers and children who have already been told to leave the United States, the document seen by Reuters said. The operation would also cover minors who have entered the country without a guardian and since turned 18 years of age, the document said. Two sources confirmed the details of the plan.

The exact dates of the latest series of raids were not known and the details of the operation could change.

The operation in January marked a departure for ICE, part of the Department of Homeland Security, from one-off deportations to high-profile raids meant to deter migrants from coming to the United States.

An ICE spokeswoman said the agency does not “confirm or deny the existence of specific ongoing or future law enforcement actions.” The spokeswoman said immigrants who arrived illegally after Jan. 1, 2014 are priorities for removal.

Federal resources were strained in 2014 under a wave of illegal migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, especially women and children fleeing violence […]

What You Need to Know About the DAPA and Expanded DACA Case Before the Supreme Court – From the American Immigration Council

In the spring of 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider United States v. Texas, a politically charged lawsuit about the legality of some of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The oral argument will take place on Monday, April 18 before the eight sitting justices.

The initiatives in dispute—expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA)—have been on hold since a district court in Texas issued a preliminary injunction in the case in February 2015. A Supreme Court decision in favor of the United States could clear the way for the initiatives to go forward as early as June of 2016.

In order to provide some background on the basics of the case, the American Immigration Council has produced a guide, Defending DAPA and Expanded DACA Before the Supreme Court: A Guide to Texas v. U.S., which provides brief answers to common questions aboutUnited States v. Texas, including what is at stake in the case, how the litigation began, what the contested issues are, and the impact the case may have on our country.

Although no one can say for sure which side will win, the guide explains why there is clear precedent for the President and DHS to do what every law enforcement agency does—set priorities and use limited resources to target serious threats to public safety. It also explains the basics of the programs which essentially provide noncitizens with significant family and community ties to the United States with temporary, renewable work permits and deferrals of deportation. To qualify to stay in the U.S., individuals will have to meet a variety of requirements and pass a background check.

Regardless of the outcome of this Supreme […]

USCIS Reaches FY 2017 H-1B Cap

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2017. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption.

USCIS will use a computer-generated process, also known as the lottery, to randomly select the petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 visas for the general category and 20,000 for the advanced degree exemption.

USCIS will first randomly select petitions for the advanced degree exemption. All unselected advanced degree petitions will become part of the random selection process for the 65,000 general cap. The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not duplicate filings.

Before running the lottery, USCIS will complete initial intake for all filings received during the filing period, which ended April 7. Due to the high number of petitions, USCIS is not yet able to announce the date it will conduct the random selection process.

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, will also not be counted toward the congressionally mandated FY 2017 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge in fields such as science, engineering and […]