Archives: Trump Administration

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Increased Unannounced Site Visits from USCIS Fraud Detection Arm

Historically, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has been the primary auditor of companies using H-2B visa to hire temporary, seasonal workers. But amid debates over the cap on H-2B visas and an expressed need for more H-2B workers  the USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security unit (FDNS) is getting into the … Continue Reading

Judge Halts Termination of Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan

California Federal Judge Edward M. Chen has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction in Ramos v. Nielsen, preventing the Administration from implementing its decisions to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan, pending final resolution of the case. This may be particularly good news for Sudanese TPS beneficiaries whose status is scheduled … Continue Reading

U.S. Border Protection Agency Warns: Lifetime Ban Possible for Cannabis Industry Links

Ahead of Canada’s new law legalizing restricted recreational use of cannabis (marijuana), U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson Stephanie Malin stated: Although medical and recreational marijuana may be legal in some U.S. states and Canada, the sale, possession, production and distribution of marijuana or the facilitation of the aforementioned remain illegal under U.S. federal law. … Continue Reading

DHS Closer to Issuing ‘Public Charge’ Rule

The DHS is getting closer to changing and hardening the standard for determining who is or might become a “public charge” for immigration purposes. The agency “pre-released” a new rule, “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds,” that it plans to officially publish in the Federal Register soon in order to start the 60-day Notice and Comment … Continue Reading

USCIS Explains New Policy on Discretionary Application Denials

Beginning September 11, 2018, USCIS immigration officers will have more discretion to issue petition and application denials without first issuing Requests for Evidence (RFEs) or Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs). On September 6, 2018, the Ombudsman’s Office provided further details on the new policy change. The following was noted: The new policy takes effect … Continue Reading

New Foreign-Student Work Restriction Has Outsourcing and Staffing Firm Suing

The Trump Administration is continuing its assault on outsourcing and staffing firms. The latest Administration focus is on the STEM OPT program. In April 2018, without notice, USCIS made certain changes to its website. It declared, among other things, that a STEM OPT employer “may not assign, or otherwise delegate, its training responsibilities to a … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Largely Phasing Out TPS, But Legal Challenges Are Ongoing

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) may be an endangered species.  Having terminated TPS for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone during the past year, the Trump Administration has turned its attention elsewhere.  There are currently ten remaining countries whose citizens are eligible for TPS.  Of those, six will be terminated over the next 18 months. The Trump … Continue Reading

Have Unpaid Taxes? IRS Warns May Lose U.S. Passport

The IRS is reminding taxpayers to pay their taxes or face possible loss of their U.S. passports. In partnership with the IRS, the Department of State (DOS) may deny passport applications, renewals, or even revoke passports of individuals with “seriously delinquent tax debts.” This is based on a section of an infrastructure bill, the Fixing … Continue Reading

Government Immigration Enforcement Activity at Record High

ICE enforcement continues to hit record highs. The Agency has announced that it has served more than 5,200 I-9 audit notices to business owners across the country since January 2018. This was accomplished in two phases. From January to March, 2,540 notices were served, leading to 61 arrests. Then, in the five-day period from July … Continue Reading

USCIS Requests for Evidence to Petitioners Before Application Denials to Become Discretionary

As of September 11, 2018, immigration officers will have more discretion to issue petition and application denials without first issuing Requests for Evidence (RFEs) or Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs). This is yet another of the new policies in the wake of the Buy American, Hire American Executive Order (BAHA) that are making it harder … Continue Reading

New USCIS Policy Guidance Emphasizes Initiating Removal, Deportation Cases

USCIS may be issuing Notices to Appear (NTAs) in business immigration cases due to a new policy guidance. NTAs are the initial charging documents in a removal or deportation case. USCIS grants and denies immigration benefits, but it will be more directly involved in enforcement now. NTAs are served on immigrants or their attorneys. They … Continue Reading

Healthcare Implications of Supreme Court’s Decision on President’s Travel Ban

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld President Donald Trump’s Travel Ban in Trump v. Hawaii, it is important to think about some of the consequences the ban will have on various industries that rely on employing individuals from the affected countries: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. Healthcare is one of … Continue Reading

Pressure Mounting in Canada to End Canada-U.S. ‘First Safe Country’ Refugee Agreement

There is currently a debate in Canada regarding the pros and cons of the bilateral Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA). When the number of individuals leaving the U.S. to seek asylum in Canada increased in September 2017, questions about the agreement’s sustainability arose. STCA was established in 2004 between the U.S. and Canada proving that … Continue Reading

Justice Department Seeks Injunctions Against California’s ‘Sanctuary Laws’

The Department of Justice filed suit in March challenging California’s so-called sanctuary laws. DOJ asserts that the state laws are preempted by federal law and requests injunctions to halt their enforcement. On June 20, 2018, during a hearing on the injunction request, the parties were questioned by U.S. District Court Judge John Mendez, a George … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Upholds Travel Ban 3.0

The U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision has held that President Donald Trump’s Proclamation No. 9645, known as “Travel Ban 3.0,” can stand. Trump, et al. v. Hawaii, et al., No. 17-965 (June 26, 2018). Certain individuals from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen will continue to be subject to the … Continue Reading

Latest ICE Aggressive Enforcement Targets Northern Ohio Meat Processing Plants

On June 19, 2018, unannounced ICE raids resulted in the arrest of more than 140 workers at four meat processing plants in Ohio. ICE calls this its largest workplace raid in recent history. According to Fresh Mark, it is a member of ICE’s voluntary IMAGE (ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers) Program. Fresh Mark … Continue Reading

Administration Considering New Rule on Lawfully Present Immigrants Who Use Public Benefits?

The Trump Administration reportedly is considering a new rule that would make it easier for the government to deny visas to individuals on “public charge” grounds. This has drawn the criticism of many New York legislators. The Administration may have been contemplating the move for a while. In January 2017, when the first travel ban … Continue Reading

State Department to Release New Visa Restrictions on Students from China

New restrictions on visas for citizens of China are expected as soon as June 11, 2018, according to the Associated Press. These restrictions, the report states, would target students in high-tech fields such as robotics and aviation. The changes would be part of the Trump Administration’s national security strategy to protect American’s intellectual property and … Continue Reading

Program for Foreign Entrepreneurs to End

On May 29, 2018, DHS published a proposed rule to remove the International Entrepreneur Parole Program (IER). This was hardly unexpected. Since January 25, 2017, when President Donald Trump issued the Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements executive order, it has been clear that the Administration would seek to eliminate the IER as being an … Continue Reading

TN Visa Program Subject to Higher Scrutiny, Possible Limits

It has been reported that the Trump administration is working toward limiting the number of TN visas. Based on the precepts of the Buy American, Hire American executive order, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has made reducing the TN program part of the renegotiation of NAFTA. The Administration reportedly wants to limit the number of … Continue Reading

Number of Government Enforcement Investigations Doubles

ICE announced its enforcements investigations in the last seven months have already doubled last year’s total. Since October 2017, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) opened 3,510 worksite investigations, initiated 2,282 I-9 audits, and made 594 criminal and 610 administrative worksite-related arrests. Thomas Homan, Acting Director of ICE, predicted in October 2017 that ICE would quadruple … Continue Reading

Requirements for H-1B Petitions Involving Third-Party Worksites Are Unlawful, Lawsuit Alleges

USCIS has exceeded its authority in issuing additional requirements on H-1B petitions involving third-party worksites, a suit filed in New Jersey seeking a temporary restraining order alleges. Just before the 2019 H-1B filing deadline, USCIS issued a memorandum clarifying that petitioners who send employees to third-party worksites must provide significantly more evidence to show that … Continue Reading

Major Change in USCIS Policy on Accrued Unlawful Presence Likely to Impact F, M and J Status Holders

USCIS has posted a policy memorandum that will radically change current policy for students and exchange visitors.  The policy makes it much more likely that those in F, M or J status will find themselves accruing unlawful presence and becoming subject to three and ten-year bars to admission. Under current policy there is a distinction between … Continue Reading
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