Archives: Trump Administration

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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

Temporary Protected Status for Honduras to End in January 2020

In a not unexpected move, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen M. Nielsen, announced on May 4, 2018 that Temporary Protected Status would terminate for Honduras on January 5, 2020. This will give the approximately 60,000 Honduran TPS beneficiaries eighteen months to arrange for their departure or seek an alternative lawful immigration status.  The American … Continue Reading

Temporary Protected Status for Nepal to End in June 2019

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 9,000 Nepalis nationals who have been living in the United States since 2015 will terminate as of June 24, 2019. The Secretary of DHS Kirstjen Neilsen stated, “[T]he disruption of living conditions in Nepal from the April 2015 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks that served as the basis for its TPS … Continue Reading

Administration Pushes to Add Extreme Vetting to All Nonimmigrant Visa Applications

Proposed changes to Form DS-160 would include aspects of “extreme vetting” in all nonimmigrant visa applications. The public has until May 29, 2018, to submit comments to the Trump Administration proposal. Visa applicants would be required to submit five years of social media handles on specific platforms and five years of phone numbers and email … Continue Reading

USCIS Releases Improvements to E-Verify System

After gathering feedback and extensive testing, USCIS has unveiled an updated and modernized E-Verify system to improve the user experience, efficiency, and reduce errors. Enhanced features include: Expanded helper text and visuals; Real-time feedback on errors; Auto-scroll feature that takes the user to the next section; Streamlined case creation and case closure; Modernization to reduce … Continue Reading

USCIS Introduces Onsite Training Restriction on Staffing Agencies Hiring OPT STEM Students

The 2016 STEM regulations made it more difficult for staffing agencies and consulting companies to sponsor graduating F-1 OPT employees for the two-year STEM OPT extension. According to the regulations, the training plan must be signed by the entity that has a bona fide employment relationship with the student and the bona fide employer must … Continue Reading

Update on Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians

Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians will terminate on March 31, 2019. USCIS has now published filing instructions in the Federal Register for those Liberians affected who wish to extend their employment authorization through the DED termination date.  Employment authorization is automatically extended until September 30, 2018 for Liberian DED beneficiaries who have employment authorization documents … Continue Reading

Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians to End

Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians, a humanitarian relief program similar to TPS (Temporary Protected Status), will terminate on March 31, 2019 according to a formal memo released by President Donald Trump. Liberian DED was set to expire on March 31, 2018. President Trump announced that there will be twelve-month wind down period to ease the transition … Continue Reading

New USCIS Guidance Clarifies Requirements for H-1B Petitions Involving Third-Party Worksites

Further to President Donald Trump’s Buy American and Hire American executive order, which directs the DHS to protect the interests of U.S. workers and make sure that there is no fraud, abuse, or circumvention of the laws, USCIS has issued a new policy memorandum, “Contracts and Itineraries Requirements for H-1B Petitions Involving Third-Party Worksites.” The … Continue Reading
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