EAH Immigration Blog

USCIS Lockbox Centers Experiencing Significant Delays for Processing Receipt Notices

USCIS recently acknowledged that its lockbox facilities are experiencing significant delays for processing receipt notices. This is a result of increased filings in recent weeks coupled with facility capacity restrictions necessary to protect the health and safety of the lockbox workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. The uptick in filings is likely...
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Court Victory in FOIA Delays Class Action

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, on December 17, granted summary judgment in favor of two nationwide classes suing the DHS, USCIS, and ICE for failing to timely produce the class members’ immigration files (A-Files). The court found that the agencies’ practice of failing to produce the...
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Federal Judge Orders DHS to Restore DACA and Accept Initial DACA Applications

On December 4, U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York ordered the DHS to begin accepting new applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The court had previously held that Chad Wolf was not lawfully serving as DHS Acting Secretary when he issued a...
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High Hopes and Significant Challenges for Biden Administration on Immigration Policy

In a recent article in the Washington Post, readers were asked for the one word that sums up 2020. “Exhausting” was one of the top three words. Exhausting (and relentless, too) is an apt description of the four-year long frontal attack on immigration law, policy, and procedu res imposed by the...
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IMMIGRATION UPDATES

Status of Declaration of Self-Sufficiency (Form I-944) in Limbo as Courts Decide Its Fate and USCIS Considers Whether to Continue to Implement As of this writing on August 17, USCIS has not provided guidance on whether the Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, Form I-944, is required in adjustment of status cases outside of...
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567 Hits

USCIS FEE INCREASES

Naturalization, Adjustment, and Other USCIS Fees to Increase Significantly on October 2 On October 2, 2020, new fees for filing USCIS applications and petitions go into effect, as well as the elimination of certain fee exemptions and changes to fee-waiver requirements. The final rule increases USCIS fees by a weighted average...
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GOVERNMENT AGENCY UPDATES

Department of Homeland Security: USCIS, ICE, and CBP USCIS USCIS Extends 60-Day Period for Responses DueThe due date for responses to all USCIS requests for evidence (RFEs) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs) dated before September 2 is automatically extended 60 days. USCIS Offices Reopened for Most Nonemergency ServicesUSCIS reopened...
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News in Brief

Acting DHS Secretary and Deputy Named to Posts Illegally: The Government Accounting Office found that, under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, current Acting DHS Secretary, Chad Wolf, as well as Kenneth Cuccinelli, the current “Senior Official Performing the Duties of” DHS Deputy Secretary, were named to their positions by...
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TRAVEL UPDATES

National Interest Exception to Travel Bans Foreign nationals who are subject to the current travel bans may apply for what is called a “national interest exception,” which are being decided by consular officers abroad. Individuals seeking such are directed to follow the instructions on the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate’s website...
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News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: Children Currently in Detention Ordered Released: Due to COVID-19, U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee ordered that all children currently held at ICE Family Residential Centers (FRCs) for more than 20 days must be released by July 17, 2020,...
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Additional Employment-Based Visas Expected Starting October 1 – One Silver Lining of the Pandemic

The State Department’s Visa Control and Reporting Division – the division that is responsible for establishing cut off dates in the monthly Visa Bulletin – estimates that there will be an additional 57,200 visas available for employment-based immigrants in the FY2021, which begins October 1, 2020. This is because there has...
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Obtaining Stamp (I-551) That Extends Green Card

There are times when a lawful permanent resident (LPR), in order to extend his green card, needs a stamp in her passport, called an I-551 (ADIT) stamp. In the past, an LPR typically was able to schedule an appointment with a local USCIS office to obtain an ADIT stamp from USCIS...
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9306 Hits

USCIS Seeks $1.2 Billion in Emergency Funding to Avoid Furloughing Employees

In May, USCIS first notified Congress of a projected budget shortfall and asked for $1.2 billion in emergency funding that would stretch into the beginning of the next fiscal year. Recently, USCIS formally notified the American Federation of Government Employees that nearly 70 percent of the agency’s employees could face extended...
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Regressive Changes to Employment Authorization for Foreign Nationals Seeking Asylum

In an upsetting move, USCIS issued a new rule drastically limiting foreign national’s eligibility for employment authorization based on a pending asylum application. The rule is scheduled to go into effect on August 25, 2020. Absent good cause, foreign nationals who entered the United States without authorization are ineligible for work...
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Another Blow to Asylum Seekers: Supreme Court Holds Restrictions on Removal Orders Do Not Violate Constitution

In another June decision, the Supreme Court held that restrictions on the ability of asylum seekers to obtain review of expedited-removal orders under a federal habeas statute do not violate the Constitution’s Suspension Clause or Due Process Clause. The Supreme Court ruled that asylum seekers with expedited orders of removal seeking...
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Supreme Court Blocks Trump’s Attempt to Terminate DACA

In a narrow 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court blocked, perhaps only temporarily, President Trump’s attempt to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The majority held that the Administration failed to provide adequate reasoning to justify ending the DACA program, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. The Court reasoned that...
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COVID 19 – UPDATE: Department of Homeland Security: USCIS, ICE, and CBP

USCIS USCIS Offices Reopened for Most Nonemergency Services As of June 4, 2020, many domestic USCIS field offices and asylum offices re-opened for normal face-to-face services to the public on an appointment basis. Application support centers (ASCs) remain closed but are expected to open beginning in mid-July. This means all in-person...
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Other Travel Restrictions

With specific exceptions, foreign nationals who have been in any of the following countries during the past 14 days may not enter the United States: China; Iran; European Schengen area; United Kingdom; Republic of Ireland; and Brazil. Exceptions are available for essential workers. Moreover, the United States, Canada, and Mexico are...
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Presidential Proclamation Extends Travel Ban

Effective June 24, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation that extends his previous order that banned certain immigrant visas from being issued by the Department of State and suspends the entry of foreign nationals who are outside of the United States who need to apply for an H-1B, H-2B, J-1 and...
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New More-Stringent Requirements in “Cancellation of Removal” Cases Involving Medical Hardship; Could Set Precedent for Other Hardship Cases

On March 31, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the appellate level administrative court for immigration matters, held in a cancellation of removal case (a remedy available to LPRs who are in deportation proceedings) that, to the extent that a claim is based on the health of a qualifying relative, an...
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578 Hits