EAH Immigration Blog

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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2148 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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9835 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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1572 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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1484 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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1380 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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1704 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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3050 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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1400 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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1616 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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1710 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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1908 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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1673 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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1736 Hits

OIG Reports Poor Conditions in ICE Detention Facilities

The Office of Inspector General for DHS, the “watchdog” of the department, conducted random site visits at six ICE detention facilities to determine whether the baseline standards of detainee treatment were being met. The resulting report exposed numerous unsatisfactory conditions at several ICE detention facilities. One of the facilities was not...
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1881 Hits

Consular Officers Given Greater Flexibility on Validity Period of Nonimmigrant Visas

A DOS revised note provides guidance to consular officers on how and when to issue nonimmigrant visas for a shorter period of time, or a fewer number of admissions (entries), than that prescribed on the basis of reciprocity if warranted in an individual case. DOS advises that limitations of visa validity...
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1510 Hits

CBP Sending Compliance Emails to Warn VWP Entrants of I-94 Expiration Date

CBP recently announced that it has implemented two new traveler compliance initiatives to allow Visa Waiver Program (VWP) (ESTA) travelers to check the status of their stay in the United States. A new feature added to the I-94 website under the “View Compliance” tab allows VWP travelers to check the status...
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2540 Hits

Administration Announces Implementation of New Refugee Screening Procedures

When the executive order travel bans were issued, they included directives to the DHS Secretary to review the security risks posed by refugee admissions. In January, DHS announced that additional security enhancements and recommendations to strengthen the integrity of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) have been implemented. The new measures...
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1310 Hits

Revamping Interviewing Schedule to Address Asylum Backlog

USCIS is no longer scheduling affirmative asylum cases based on a “first in, first scheduled” basis. Now, cases that have been pending less than 21 days will be scheduled first, working backwards toward older cases. This new scheduling approach is purposefully aimed at deterring “individuals from using asylum backlogs solely to...
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3153 Hits

AG May Make New Administrative Closure Rules

Systemic and crippling court backlogs are a source of frustration for all sides — ICE, immigrants, and immigration judges alike. Administrative closure is a key tool used by immigration judges to prioritize cases and manage their ever-growing case load. It allows a judge to use discretion and allows immigrants to pursue...
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1777 Hits

More Updates on TPS: Syrians, El Salvadorans, and Haitians

DHS Secretary Nielsen has determined that an extension of the Temporary Protected Status designation for Syria is warranted pursuant to INA §244(b)(1)(A) (ongoing armed conflict) and INA § 244(b)(1)(C) (temporary but extraordinary conditions). The designation has been extended for another 18 months, through September 30, 2019. However, there is a small...
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1707 Hits