Archives: Trump Administration

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New Public Charge Rule Seen as Latest Effort to Tighten Legal Immigration

Having focused on enforcement and illegal immigration, the Trump Administration has recently turned to legal immigration.  The new Public Charge rule which will go into effect on October 15, 2019, absent court action, will make it harder for some foreign nationals to obtain green cards or even to secure or extend temporary non-immigrant status.  What … Continue Reading

Could Venezuelans Gain TPS Eligibility?

The Trump Administration has been trying to put an end to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for many countries including: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal and Sudan. Upon legal challenges to TPS termination, the courts have delayed termination at least temporarily. The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) generally has the authority to designate … Continue Reading

Eugene Scalia May Become Next Leader of Labor Department

When Alexander Acosta resigned as Secretary of Labor, his deputy, Patrick Pizzella, took over as Acting Secretary. Rather than keeping Pizzella in place, President Donald Trump announced on July 18, 2019, that he intends to nominate Eugene Scalia, the son of late-Justice Antonin Scalia, as the new Secretary. President Trump tweeted that Eugene Scalia is … Continue Reading

Congressional Hearing on Immigration Backlog

The House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship called upon Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials to explain and report on the delays in immigration processing in a hearing on July 16, 2019. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-Cal.), who chaired the hearing, wanted an explanation for the 2.4 million application/petition backlog (the largest since the … Continue Reading

Challenge to DHS Authority to Issue STEM OPT Extension Rule May Proceed, Court Rules

The plaintiffs may continue their challenge to the DHS’ authority to establish both STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) and standard post-completion OPT, the District Court in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. DHS held on July 1, 2019. The Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (WashTech) has been fighting for practical training for students on various … Continue Reading

Blocked from Adding Citizenship Question to Census, Administration Moves to Gather Data

President Donald Trump announced that the Administration will not be proceeding with any further census litigation.  The 2020 Decennial Census, which is already being printed, will be sent out without a citizenship question.  Nevertheless, President Trump does want to obtain statistics on the number of residents in the country who are and are not U.S. … Continue Reading

Update: DACA Litigation

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients have been in limbo and at the center of various political debates ever since President Donald Trump attempted to end the program in 2017.  Put in place by the Obama Administration in 2012, DACA protects from deportation individuals who were brought to the United States by their parents … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Blocks Citizenship Question in the Census – For Now

The Commerce Department cannot include a citizenship question in the census – at least for now – according to the Supreme Court.  In Department of Commerce et al. v. New York et al., the Court, in a 5-4 decision written by Chief Justice Roberts, said the question could not be in the census because the … Continue Reading

Federal Judge Orders Administration to Provide More Specifics on Travel Ban Waivers

In Mosleh et al. v. Pompeo et al. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, Chief Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill ordered the Administration to show that delays in granting travel ban waivers to Yemeni relatives of U.S. citizens are “reasonable.” He opined that the government’s description of the process was “inadequate” and … Continue Reading

Brazil Lifts Visa Requirement for U.S. Citizens

In a move that likely will give a boost to the Brazilian tourism industry, the Brazilian government has announced that U.S. citizens can now visit Brazil without a visa. Citizens of Australia, Canada, and Japan also have received this cost-saving and time-saving benefit. This move was first discussed in March by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro … Continue Reading

Travel Restrictions to Cuba Affects Cruise and Other Industries

Critics say new federal restrictions on travel to Cuba may lead to a half million fewer visitors to the island annually and small, private business owners definitely will be hurt by confusion caused by those restrictions. In June 2017, President Donald Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum, “Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba,” … Continue Reading

Administration Ups Data Collection and General Surveillance

The Trump Administration has been stepping up the collection of data in general and more specifically from visa applicants and travelers. Here are a few new policies: A pilot program has been instituted at the border that would include DNA testing and fingerprinting of children under age 14. USCIS is collecting biometric data from most … Continue Reading

E-1/E-2 Treaty Visas Option for New Zealanders

The U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, Scott P. Brown, has announced that eligible New Zealand nationals may apply for E-1/E-2 Treaty Investor Visas: “We’ve listened. And as of June 10, New Zealand business owners and New Zealand citizens essential to those companies are going to be able to reside and work in the United States … Continue Reading

New DS-160 Form Seeks Social Media Information, Affecting Millions of Visa Applicants

Two years ago, then-Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, proposed collecting 15 years of travel, address and employment history and 5 years of social media platforms, identifiers, phone numbers and emails from visa applicants selected for “extreme vetting.” It was predicted that this would affect only 0.5% of all visa applicants – approximately 65,000 annually. As of … Continue Reading

UPDATE: House Passes Bill on DACA, Unlikely To Be Taken up by Senate

We wrote yesterday on the U.S. Supreme Court declining to expedite review of DACA, as well as the recent and current legislative activity regarding the program. Later in the day on June 4th,  the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Dream and Promise Act which would grant permanent residence status and a path to citizenship … Continue Reading

DACA Program Continues as U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Expedite Consideration of Cases

The “Dreamers” have received another reprieve from the U.S. Supreme Court. DACA litigation has been in the news since September 2017, when then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the DACA program would be terminated. In response to that announcement, multiple lawsuits were filed in federal courts in California, New York, Maryland, Texas, and the District of … Continue Reading

Bill in Congress Aimed at Protecting H-4 Employment as Program Rescission Progresses

Concerns regarding the rescission of the H-4 EAD Rule have heightened in the wake of the publication of the Department of Homeland Security’s Spring 2019 Regulatory Agenda. In response, two California congresswomen, Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-Cal.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Cal.), reintroduced a bill to protect those work authorizations – The H-4 Employment Protection Act. Both … Continue Reading

Insights: Pros and Cons of Registering for E-Verify

Immigration enforcement is a major focus of attention of the Trump Administration – including in the business immigration context. One measure of this interest is the increase in I-9 audits. ICE reported that worksite investigations surged in FY 2018 by “300 to 750 percent” over FY 2017. Given that, many employers are considering whether to … Continue Reading

Trump Introduces Outlines of Immigration Reform in Advance of 2020 Campaign

President Donald Trump has introduced the broad outlines of his proposal for immigration reform. The “merit and heart system” focuses on security and establishing a more fully merit-based system for permanent residence (“green card”) status. What do we know about the proposal so far? In terms of security, it includes: Construction of parts of the … Continue Reading

What Processing Delays in Immigration Cases Mean

Long USCIS processing delays are now the norm for all types of immigration cases. Indeed, the delays have reached crisis levels. Processing times increased by 46% over the past two fiscal years and 91% since FY 2014. In fact, even though applications declined by 17% in FY 2018, processing times continued to rise. In some … Continue Reading

H-2B Visa Allotment Increased in Advance of Summer Season

At the end of March 2019, the Trump Administration announced that it would release another 30,000 H-2B visas for seasonal employees for use through the end of September 2019. The annual allocation had been capped at 66,000 for the full year. In 2017 and 2018, the Administration increased the allocation by 15,000 visas. However, on … Continue Reading

Federal Court Blocks DHS Policy on Unlawful Presence for Foreign Students, Exchange Visitors

On August 8, 2018, DHS issued a new policy that announced that foreign students would begin accumulating “unlawful presence” if any violation of status had occurred, whether known to the student or not. On May 3, 2019, in Guilford College et al. v. DHS, Judge Loretta C. Biggs in the U.S. District Court for the Middle … Continue Reading

L Visa Classification Process Restricted for Canadians Applying at Ports of Entry

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed in 1992 was meant to make North America more competitive in the global economy by reducing trade barriers and increasing business development among the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  It essentially created a free-trade zone, but always faced criticism.  Opponents believed and have argued, among other things, that … Continue Reading
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