EAH Immigration Blog

More on Foreign Students: Reporting Volunteer Positions During OPT

In a new “broadcast message,” SEVIS Response Center advises that foreign students engaging in volunteer work that is unrelated to their course of study does not qualify as optional practical training (OPT) and should not be listed as OPT employment. Reporting nonqualifying volunteer work as OPT employment could be considered a...
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1692 Hits

Overstay Report Prompts Changes to Policies Regarding Foreign Students and Unlawful Presence

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is required to present an annual report of the number of foreign nationals who are admitted but overstay. Overstays are defined as (1) individuals for whom no departure has been recorded and are likely still in the U.S., and (2) individuals who have a recorded...
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1532 Hits

Immigration Enforcement Measures Dominate Immigration Policy and Practice

Changes and enhancements to immigration enforcement measures continue to develop at a
breathtakingly rapid pace. Currently front and center is the Administration’s separation of family
members on the southern border, which has finally pushed the border wall from the spotlight.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ “zero-tolerance” policy for illegal border crossings resulted in
directing his attorneys to pursue criminal prosecutions for any individual caught crossing illegally,
sparked a national uproar. The President was forced to issue a new Executive Order on June 20,
which continues to produce confusion, uncertainty, and widespread criticism, never mind
abhorrent conditions for those affected. The fate of some 2,300 children separated from their
parents after crossing the southern border remains uncertain and bogged down in tremendous
bureaucratic red tape, and 17 states have now sued the government over its family separation
policy. Simply stated, the situation is a mess.

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1423 Hits

News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua: Due to the current unrest in Nicaragua, the U.S. embassy in Managua has significantly reduced its hours, and DOS has suspended almost all visa processing. The embassy is prioritizing U.S. citizen services, immigrant visa cases that...
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1504 Hits

Supreme Court Upholds Due Process Rights for Certain Immigrants in Removal Proceedings

Due process is an essential tenant of the rule of law. In the immigration context, there are certain standards that must be met to ensure a full and fair hearing for the immigrant. The immigration laws require that “Notices to Appear” (NTAs), which are essentially the immigration version of a charging...
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2464 Hits

Supreme Court Upholds Travel Ban

On June 26, the Supreme Court issued its much anticipated decision, upholding President Trump’s September 24, 2017 Proclamation (“Travel Ban 3.0”), which currently excludes nationals from seven countries, stating that the proclamation was “squarely within the scope of Presidential authority under the INA.” (Trump v. Hawaii, 6/26/18). The travel ban includes...
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1308 Hits

2020 Census Will Include Citizenship Question

Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution requires a census be taken every decade to ensure proper apportionment in the House of Representatives. The U.S. Census Bureau, overseen by the Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration, implements the census. Aside from just population, the census collects valuable data...
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1499 Hits

Burma Refugees

Burma (also known as Myanmar) is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia, nestled between Bangladesh and Thailand. Its 54 million citizens are ethnically diverse but overwhelmingly Buddhist, though the country has small groups of Christians and Muslims. Since receiving independence in 1948, the country has been defined by its ongoing internal...
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2035 Hits

Immigrant Visa (DS-260) and Nonimmigrant Visa (DS-160) Applications Likely to Include More Detailed History and Social Media Information

The State Department will likely require nonimmigrant and immigrant visa applicants to provide more detailed histories including social media platforms. In a notice of rulemaking governing electronic Forms DS-260 and DS-160, DOS detailed its intention to require visa applicants to provide identifiers for specified social media platforms during the preceding five...
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8544 Hits

DOS Guidance May Make It Harder for G-4s to Sponsor G-5 Personal Employees

In a recent cable to consular officers, the Department of State reviewed and amended its guidance regarding minimum wage requirements and presumption of ineligibility for visa issuance for A-3, C-3, and G-5 attendants, servants, and personal employees. Most significantly, DOS directs that consular officers must presume that an applicant is not...
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1487 Hits

President Reaffirms Desire to End “Catch and Release” at Border and Deploys National Guard

On April 6, 2018, President Trump published a memorandum directing the secretaries of Homeland Security, Defense, Justice, and Health and Human Services to update him regarding the steps being taken to end “catch and release” practices.  Catch and release is an unofficial name of a protocol that has been followed by...
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1408 Hits

ICE Detains Pregnant Women

ICE has changed its policies regarding the handling of pregnant women in detention, breaking from the previous practice of automatically releasing them. Under a new directive, immigration officers will no longer default to trying to release pregnant women in ICE custody. Instead, the policy requires a case-by-case evaluation, and ICE will...
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1285 Hits

News in Brief

USCIS To Destroy Undeliverable Green Cards and EADs After 60 Days: USCIS announced that it is now destroying permanent resident cards, employment authorization cards, and travel documents returned as undeliverable by the U.S. Postal Service after 60 business days if USCIS is not contacted with the correct address. Word to the...
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1596 Hits

Work Authorization for H-4 Victims of Domestic Violence

The H-4 visa is available for the spouses of those for nationals who have received an H-1B visa. However, unlike many other visa categories for spouses, there are conditions on H-4 visa holders who can apply for and receive work authorization. H-4 visa holders can receive an EAD work if they...
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2733 Hits

I-9 Compliance in a New World: It’s Not Just Paperwork

Question for employers: How does your company handle its I-9s? Have you even thought about it? Unfortunately, most employers tend to underthink this hugely important human resources component, which affects all its employees, not just foreign nationals. ICE has announced it will increase its worksite audits by “four or five times,”...
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1311 Hits

Independence of the Immigration Courts and Due Process Under Attack

The Trump Administration through the Department of Justice (DOJ) has, little by little, implemented a number of policies over the last year that have undermined the independence of the immigration courts and have weaken due process for foreign nationals. Some basics: The immigration courts play a key role in affording noncitizens...
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1530 Hits

Supreme Court Hands Down Two Immigration Cases: Certain Deportable “Crimes of Violence” Ruled Unconstitutionally Vague; Bond Hearings Not Automatic for Prolonged Detainees

The U.S. Supreme Court decided two important immigration cases recently, one holding that part of the law defining a “crime of violence” for deportability purposes was unconstitutionally vague, and the other case holding that there is no automatic right to a bond hearing for those detained for as long as six...
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1615 Hits

News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers: Parole for Entrepreneurs Moving Forward: The international entrepreneur rule allows certain entrepreneurs to be granted “parole” and remain in the U.S. while they develop their business idea. The rule was crafted late in President Obama’s term and was set to...
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1804 Hits

ICE Still Appearing at Courthouses

ICE has in place a policy governing interior enforcement actions at sensitive locations. These locations have been defined as schools, hospitals, houses of worship, religious/civil events (e.g., weddings and funeral), and public demonstrations (e.g., marches and rallies). Under its guidelines, if an enforcement action is set to take place at one...
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1590 Hits

Court Holds that Administration Cannot Withhold Federal Funds, Even from Sanctuary Jurisdictions

One of President’s Trump’s first actions in office was to make a show of withholding federal funds from sanctuary jurisdictions. In the “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” Executive Order, the President sought to “[e]nsure that jurisdictions that fail to comply with applicable Federal law do not...
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1658 Hits