EAH Immigration Blog

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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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DACA Lawsuit Results in Nationwide Injunction

Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the federal district court in Brooklyn has stepped into the DACA debate and issued an injunction ordering the Administration to keep DACA in place as it was before the Administration announced termination of the program. However, USCIS has announced that it is not accepting DACA...
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Immigration Reform Updates

President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program has served as a catalyst to reform the country’s broken immigration system quickly. Over the past five months since the announcement that DACA would be terminated on March 5, popular and political support for DACA gained momentum. The President also expressed a...
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USCIS Will Accept Credit Card Payments for Most Common Petitions and Applications

This month, USCIS announced that it will now accept credit card payments for 41 of its fee-based forms being processed at USCIS lockbox facilities. These forms include the I-130 petition for relatives, I-140 petitions for employees, and I-485 green card applications. The Form I-129 is not included, meaning that fees...
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Senate Appropriations Bill and Immigration

In November, the Senate published its proposed budget for FY2018 Department of Homeland Security funding. Some $53 billion is doled out over 12 major components and agencies that make up one of the largest departments in the U.S. government. While the bill is still pending and will be amended, it...
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Increased Worksite Enforcement and Audits of H-1B (and L-1) Petitions

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted an audit of the H-1B program and determined that USCIS employer site visits were being conducted in a sparse and inefficient manner. The purpose of these visits is to determine if the foreign national is working at the jobsite indicated in the petition,...
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DOJ Plans Further Reforms to Immigration Court Proceedings

Attorney General (AG) Jeff Sessions has expressed his frustration with the pace of case processing before the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), and its immigration court. The agency is facing a caseload of 650,000, which has far outstripped the agency’s resources to hear cases in a timely manner. The...
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New Homeland Security Secretary

On December 5, the Senate confirmed Kirstjen M. Nielsen as the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary with a 62-37 vote. She was sworn in the following day. While Secretary Nielsen is the first former DHS employee to hold the position, many senators who voted against confirmation noted that...
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The Top 10 List: The Top Ten Threats to Immigrants, Their Employers, and Their Families in 2018

Below is our top 10 list of changes that the current administration has put into place, without legislation or regulations, that drastically change the immigration landscape for employers, immigrants, and their families: 10. USCIS increases site visits to employers who hire H-1B and L-1 nonimmigrant workers. 9. Consular officers re-adjudicate...
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