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US Immigration News

   

Update on third Trump travel ban

As of October 24, 2017, all provisions of the second Trump travel ban (Travel Ban 2.0) have expired. Due to the federal court injunctions issued by federal courts in Hawaii and Maryland, many of these provisions were never enforced, at least against persons with significant ties to persons or organizations in the United States. Also on October 24, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States dismissed all appeals of the federal court orders on the grounds the cases no longer presented a live case or controversy. On September 24, 2017 President Trump issued a “proclamation” instituting a third travel…

USCIS resumes premium processing of all H-1B petition categories

On October 3, 2017, USCIS announced it would resume premium processing of all categories of H-1B petitions. Premium processing has been suspended for most categories of H-1B petitions since April 2017. For an additional filing fee of $1,225, USCIS will either approve, deny, or issue an RFE on H-1B petitions within 15 calendar days of filing. This is good news for “cap gap” beneficiaries and other persons in need of rapid processing of their H-1B petitions. Any pending H-1B petition can be upgraded to premium processing by filing the I-907 form and paying the premium processing fee.

Trump cancels DACA program to outrage of millions

On September 5, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be cancelled. Sessions’s announcement was a hate-filled blistering attack on Dreamers, referring to them as criminals, and accusing them of stealing the jobs of hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens. Opposition to the announcement was immediate and continues to grow across the country. We call on all decent minded Americans to contact your U.S. Representative and Senators to demand the passage of new legislation to restore the DACA program including a path to permanent status for DACA recipients. In a…

Supreme Court leaves orders blocking travel ban in effect for most immigrants

On June 26, 2017 the Supreme Court of the United States issued an order agreeing to review the decisions of the Fourth Circuit and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Both of these courts had issued nation-wide orders blocking the Trump travel ban for nationals of Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yeman. The decision to review the cases was expected given the importance of these cases. In addition, the Supreme Court left in place the restraining orders blocking enforcement of the travel ban in most cases. The Supreme Court ruled that the travel ban could not be enforced against anyone…

“Hire American” – What does it mean for H-1Bs?

On April 18, 2017 President Trump signed a new executive order described as “Buy American and Hire American.” News accounts and presidential speeches suggested the new Executive Order would severely restrict the availability of H-1B visas. This order came out just a few days after completion of the H-1B filing season and the H-1B lottery, when H-1Bs were already in the news. During the campaign, Trump had threatened to abolish the H-1B program entirely. In reality, the new Order does not change the existing H-1B program in any way. The only specific reference to H-1Bs stated: “In order to promote…

H-1B Cap Reached for FY 2018 – First receipts received

USCIS announced on April 7, 2017 that the H-1B cap has been reached for both the 65,000 “bachelor’s cap” visas as well as the additional 20,000 visas for persons holding U.S. master’s degrees. As a result, USCIS holds a lottery to determine which petitions will be accepted, and which will be returned to the petitioners. USCIS has not yet announced how many petitions were received, or when the lottery was held. However, lawyers, including our office, are reporting that receipts have started arriving. As of April 17, 2017, all of the reported receipts so far have been for “Masters Cap”…

Second Trump travel ban blocked by U.S. Federal Court

On March 15, 2017, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii issued a nationwide restraining order blocking implementation of the second Trump travel ban. The travel ban would have gone into effect on March 16, 2017. As a result, the second travel ban is not in effect. The second travel ban blocks entry to the United States for citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries, including Iran, Syria, Lybia, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia. It also blocks all entry by refugees. Unlike the first travel ban, the new travel ban does not…

Appeals Court upholds order blocking Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban

On Thursday February 9, 2017 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an historic decision upholding the lower court’s order blocking Donald Trump’s travel ban. On January 27, 2017, Trump issued an Executive Order prohibiting entry to the United States by any non-citizen from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The order also blocked entry to the United States by all refugees regardless of their country of origin. Finally, the order stated that when processing of refugees resumed, preference would be given to “religious minorities.” In practice this meant Christian minorities in Muslim countries. The State of Washington filed suit in U.S….

Seattle Federal Judge blocks Trump order nationwide – Travel resumes as of February 4

Late Friday afternoon on February 3, 2017, Judge James Robart of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington issue a sweeping Temporary Restraining Order blocking the Trump travel ban nationwide. Shortly after the order was issued, both Customs and Border Protection and the State Department lifted restrictions on travelers from the seven banned countries (Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and Lybia). Airlines appeared to be boarding passengers with valid visas. Click here for a copy of the Order. Early Saturday morning, Donald Trump abusively referred to Judge Robart as a “so-called judge” but had not otherwise…

Victory! Federal judge blocks Trump immigration order.

Late in the evening on Saturday January 28, 2017, Federal District Judge Ann Donnelly issued a nation-wide temporary injunction prohibiting the removal of persons from the United States based on Donald Trump’s Executive Order issued just 24 hours earlier. This case was brought in the name of Hameed Darweesh. Mr. Darweesh is an Iraqi translator who assisted the U.S. military in Iraq for ten years. He was issued a Special Immigrant Visa to the United States, and was in transit when the Executive Order was issued. He was arrested and detailed upon his arrival in the United States based on…