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Total Articles: 14

Trump’s Third Travel Ban Blocked By Federal Court

For the third time this year, a federal district court has blocked a presidential travel ban from taking effect. Judge Derrick K. Watson, from the District of Hawaii, today granted a motion for a temporary restraining order that bars the federal government from enforcing President Trump’s September 24 travel ban (Travel Ban 3.0) on a national level, once again setting up a showdown at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and possibly the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lawsuits Over Rescission of DACA

On September 6, 2017, the day after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the rescission of DACA, 15 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s DACA rescission. The states included in the lawsuit are Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

Supreme Court's Partial Reinstatement of Trump's Travel Ban Has Implications for Employers of Foreign Nationals

In an order issued on Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to allow President Trump's travel ban to be partially reinstated until the Court hears oral arguments on the ban's lower court challenges later this year. The travel ban was blocked from taking effect by a federal court in March.

Trump Administration Rescinds DAPA Program

DHS Secretary Kelly has rescinded DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanents). DAPA was meant to 1) provide undocumented parents of U.S. citizens or Green Card holders with a way to remain in the U.S. with work authorization and 2) expand DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) by encompassing a wider range of ages and arrival dates and lengthening the duration of deferred action and work authorization per application from two to three years. Created by President Obama by an executive order, DAPA was quickly enjoined by the courts as an unacceptable expansion of executive power. The Obama administration appealed to the Supreme Court, and just one year ago, the lower court ruling was affirmed by default as a result of the Supreme Court deadlocking at 4 to 4. The case has since been stalled.

Supreme Court: Gender-Based Distinctions in Immigration Law Violates Equal Protection

A federal citizenship statute setting different residency requirements for U.S. citizen fathers and mothers seeking to transmit birthright citizenship to their non-marital children born outside the U.S. violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled. Sessions v. Morales-Santana, No. 15-1191 (June 12, 2017).

Different Path, Same Result: 9th Circuit Becomes Latest Appeals Court To Reject Trump’s Travel Ban

Several weeks ago, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction that blocks President Trump’s second executive order attempting to institute a travel ban against those arriving from several specific Muslim countries (EO-2) from taking effect, largely basing its decision on a conclusion that the executive order violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

Ninth Circuit Blocks Travel Ban

Joining the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and using President Donald Trump’s tweets to support its decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Hawaii v. Trump has continued to block the revised travel ban.

Extreme Vetting, Consulates, and New Form

In a series of cables sent in mid-March, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had ordered Consulates abroad to begin preparing for “extreme vetting.” Then, the court in Hawaii v. Trump enjoined the President’s revised travel ban, and Tillerson issued another cable that suspended enforcement on the six countries in the Executive Order: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The Secretary also indicated that Consulates could not request information until additional collection was approved by the Office of Management and Budget after a notice-and-comment period.

State Department Proposes Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants

To evaluate terrorism or national security-related ineligibilities of visa applicants, the Department of State has requested emergency review and public comment on a new rule on the collection of additional information from some visa applicants.

Opposition to Travel Ban EO Includes Tech Firms and Others

After oral arguments on February 9th, the Ninth Circuit denied the government’s request to reinstate the travel ban EO. State of Washington v. Trump.

New USCIS Rule Amending Several Employment-Based and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs Will Take Effect on January 17, 2017

Beginning on January 17, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will implement a new rule that amends certain regulations relating to employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs. The rule's goal is to ease U.S. employers’ ability to hire and retain high-skilled personnel who have been granted employment-based immigrant visas and are waiting to become lawful permanent residents. The rule effectively improves the job mobility process for those workers by allowing them to accept promotions, change employers, change positions with current employers, and pursue other employment opportunities.

USCIS Will Begin Accepting Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for FY2018 in April 2017

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept new H-1B petitions subject to the annual quota for fiscal year 2018 (FY2018) starting in April of 2017 (April 1, 2017 falls on a Saturday, so USCIS will accept cap-subject petitions for the year starting on the following business day, Monday, April 3, 2017). Employers may want to begin identifying current and future employees who may require new H-1B visas to work in the United States. Individuals currently holding F-1 student or J-1 trainee visas, individuals seeking to change to H-1B status from another visa status (such as L-1, TN, O-1, or E-3), and individuals outside of the United States commonly require a cap-subject H-1B petition to be filed on their behalf.

New Regulations Commencing May 10, 2016

Starting May 10, 2016, a new regulation published last month by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) takes effect which increases the work authorization extension period from 17 to 24 months for F-1 students holding U.S. degrees in a designated Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) field.

Bipartisan I-Squared Act Introduced to Reform Business Immigration System

On January 13, 2015, Senators Hatch (R-Utah), Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Rubio (R-Fla.), Coons (D-Del.), Flake (R-Ariz.), and Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced the Immigration Innovation (“I-Squared”) Act of 2015, a major immigration reform bill addressing the high-skilled and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) immigration programs. Similar to the I-Squared Act of 2013 (S.169) and the high-skilled provisions of the comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the Senate in 2013 (S.744), the bill raises the allocations for H-1B skilled worker visas and employment-based green cards while forging a middle ground between the more restrictive skilled worker provisions in the 2013 Senate bill and the much higher caps in the 2013 I-Squared Act.