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US Immigration News

   

USCIS publishes Public Charge Rule

On August 12, 2019 USCIS published an Advance Copy of the final Public Charge Rule. The formal version will be published on August 14, 2019 and will take effect 60 days later, i.e., October 13, 2019. It will apply to applications filed on or after that date, and to benefits received on or after that date. It will not apply to benefits received before the effective date of the rule. Section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act states that non-citizens are inadmissible to the United States if they are “likely to become a public charge.” This law applies both…

Big changes to EB-5 program will take effect November 21, 2019

On July 24, 2019, USCIS published a new final rule making sweeping changes to the EB-5 immigrant investor program. Petitions filed on or after November 21, 2019 will be subject to the new rules. The changes include the following” The minimum investment amount will increase from $500,000 to $900,000 for targeted employment areas, and from 1 million to $1.8 million for other investments. Designation of targeted employment areas will be done by USCIS, not by the states, in order to eliminate “gerrymandered” TEAs. Immigrant investors who need to file new EB-5 petitions will be allowed to retain priority dates. Immigrant…

Recent threats of family immigration raids more bark than bite

With great fanfare, the Trump administration threatened to begin sweeping raids against undocumented families on Sunday July 13, 2019. According to news reports, these “raids” were directed against a very limited class of persons — family units that were (1) placed in an experimental expedited processing stream in Immigration Court in one of ten cities within the last year; AND (2) did not appear for their court hearing; AND (3) were ordered removed in absentia; AND (4) were sent a letter telling them to self-report to ICE for removal; AND (5) did not report. There are only about 2,000 persons…

F2A category becomes current for July 2019

The August 2019 Visa Bulletin announced that the 2A Family Second Preference class has become current. The 2A Family Second Preference includes spouses and unmarried minor children of lawful permanent residents. Until recently, there was about a two year backlog between filing the I-130 petition and availability of an immigrant visa. This backlog is due to the limited number of immigrant visas that are available every year in the preference categories. The 2A category was made current to ensure that all the available visas for this category were used up before the end of the U.S. fiscal year on September…

DHS files regulation to cancel H-4 EAD (but H-4 EAD still available for now!)

On February 20, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) filed a proposed regulation with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. The regulation is titled “Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization.” The regulation itself will not be published until the review by OMB is complete. However, the title of the Regulation leaves no doubt that the Trump Administration has taken an important next step to eliminate the H-4 EAD. It usually takes about 60 days for OMB to complete its review. At that point the proposed regulation will be published…

Update on third Trump travel ban

***UPDATE*** On June 26, 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, upheld the third Trump travel ban (as described below) in its entirety. The Supreme Court decision, including the inspiring and furious dissent by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, may be found by clicking here. 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…

USCIS continues to process DACA renewals

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services continues to process renewals for current and previous DACA recipients. Despite the cancellation of DACA by President Donald Trump in September 2017, federal district courts in both the Second Circuit and Ninth Circuit have issued orders keeping DACA in place. Appeals are pending in both courts. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to expedite the appeals of these cases. All eligible persons with current or previous DACA classification should file for renewals now while the court orders remain in effect. It is not necessary to wait until six months before your DACA expires. If you have…

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…