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Total Articles: 10

Update: The Diversity Lottery Will Restart Following Resolution of Technical Issue

We previously reported on the Department of State’s acceptance of applications for the diversity immigrant lottery. Since then, the DOS has announced on the Diversity Lottery website:

DHS Uses the Power of Policy to Alter Immigration Without Legislation

Efforts to reform our nation’s immigration system through legislation are frequently contentious and can become embroiled in larger legislative debates that make the passage of a bill into law a complicated process and, often, an unlikely prospect.

White House Releases Trump Administration Immigration Policy Priorities

On October 8, 2017, the White House released a list of immigration priorities addressing border security, interior enforcement, and a merit-based immigration system. The priority list calls for the hiring of 10,000 ICE agents, 300 federal prosecutors, 370 immigration judges and 1,000 ICE attorneys. The Department of Homeland Security would be authorized to raise and collect fees from visa services and border crossings to fund border security and enforcement activities.

Trump Administration Issues “Principles” in Exchange for Relief for DACA Recipients

Deferred action for DACA recipients will start to expire in March 2018 and there is still no certainty about what will happen to them. Amidst legal challenges to the rescission of DACA, the introduction of a number of statutory fixes, and a supposed “deal” between President Trump and Democratic leaders to protect the “Dreamers,” there is now a new twist. The Trump Administration has announced a list of principles to include in any deal for the Dreamers. Those principles, some of which derive from the President’s various Executive Orders, include:

Insights: Options for Haitians in TPS

In May, the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for Haitians was extended for six months, until January 22, 2018. Generally extended in 18-month intervals, then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly had extended the Haitian TPS for six months only because “Haiti has made progress across several fronts since the devastating earthquake . . . [and] [t]he Haitian economy continues to recover and grow, and 96 percent of people displaced by the earthquake and living in internally displaced person camps have left those camps.”

USCIS Reinstates Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

On October 3, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will begin accepting premium processing requests for all categories of H-1B petitions. In March 2017, USCIS had suspended the premium processing program for H-1B petitions, citing the need to reduce its overwhelming processing backlog. During the past several months, USCIS has phased in premium processing for certain limited categories of H-1B petitions. USCIS’s latest announcement allows employers to file premium processing requests for all H-1B categories, including H-1B visa extension of stay petitions, and also allows employers to upgrade pending petitions to premium processing.

Bills in Congress Would Give Undocumented Children Path to Citizenship

Introduced by Senators Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.), the “Solution for Undocumented Children through Careers Employment Education and Defending Our Nation” (SUCCEED) Act would provide undocumented children with the opportunity to earn and keep legal status. SUCCEED provides a 15-year path to citizenship.

Presidential Proclamation Alters Travel Ban

The White House issued a Presidential Proclamation on September 24, 2017, that imposes new travel restrictions on Iran, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Syria, as well as newly added countries North Korea, Chad, and Venezuela. The new restrictions are the result of the government’s review of worldwide visa security measures ordered in the March 6, 2017 Executive Order Number 13780 travel ban. Parts of the Proclamation went into effect immediately, and the rest will go into effect on October 18, 2017.

Immigration Compliance: Anticipated Changes Call for Employer Diligence

While employers are always juggling their compliance obligations, immigration issues have taken on particular importance under the Trump administration. In this podcast, Shareholder Jorge Lopez from Littler’s Miami office, along with Sean McCrory out of Littler’s Dallas office, discuss key workplace compliance issues. They review I-9 and visa requirements and the potential for an increase in ICE audits and worksite visits. Jorge and Sean also address the uncertainty surrounding the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and TPS (temporary protected status) programs. They offer employers tips on how to be proactive in light of expected changes in policy and enforcement priorities.

New Presidential Proclamation Restricts Travel from Eight Countries

On September 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued a “Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats” (hereinafter “the Proclamation”). A follow-up to Executive Order 13780: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States (popularly known as the “travel ban”) issued on March 6, 2017, the Proclamation was issued on the same day Executive Order 13780 was set to expire. That order barred citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen who lack a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” from entering the United States.