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Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of DACA

A three-judge panel for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a nationwide preliminary injunction issued by a California district court, temporarily preventing the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The order requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to continue to accept renewal applications. The Ninth Circuit, which is the first appeals court to rule on the matter, found that DACA “was a permissible exercise of executive discretion” and thus the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits.

PODCAST: Immigration Insights: Need-To-Know Updates for Employers

In this episode, Jamie Dietz and Tina Ho discuss the current business immigration landscape, from recent guidance and policy memos to practical insights for employers on understanding and preparing for this constantly evolving area.

Department of Homeland Security Fall 2018 Agenda Portends Big Changes for H-1B Visa, Other Programs

The Department of Homeland Security’s latest Regulatory Agenda promises some big changes, especially for the H-1B visa program.

DHS Releases Ambitious 2018 Regulatory Agenda

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its fall 2018 regulatory agenda, laying out its rulemaking goals through 2019. The published timeline is aspirational and does not represent a strict schedule. In fact, many items on the agenda are familiar carryovers from the past. Because the rulemaking process is multipronged, the time between the introduction of a proposed rule and implementation of the final rule can be lengthy. For that reason, regulatory agendas are perhaps most beneficial in that they provide insight into the agency’s priorities and give the public a general idea of what the agency hopes to accomplish in the foreseeable future.

Ice Delivers Over 2,700 I-9 Audit Notices In July 2018

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) were out in force during the week of July 16 delivering Notice of Inspection (NOI)/audit notices. Incredibly, HSI served 2,738 NOIs and made 32 arrests in a one-week period. This is a massive operation and more NOIs than usually are delivered in a year’s time.

USCIS Will Begin Accepting Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for Fiscal Year 2020 on April 1, 2019

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept new H-1B petitions subject to the annual quota for fiscal year 2020 (FY 2020) starting April 1, 2019. Employers should identify any current or future employees who may require new H-1B visas to work in the United States. Individuals currently holding F-1 student 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 the United States likely will require cap-subject H-1B petitions to be filed on their behalf.

Increased Unannounced Site Visits from USCIS Fraud Detection Arm

Historically, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has been the primary auditor of companies using H-2B visa to hire temporary, seasonal workers. But amid debates over the cap on H-2B visas and an expressed need for more H-2B workers the USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security unit (FDNS) is getting into the mix and conducting unannounced site visits.

New USCIS Policy Memo and Efforts to Combat Fraud in the H-1B Visa Program

Starting October 1, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin implementing its June 28, 2018 policy memorandum1 to prioritize the removal of foreign nationals from the United States on the basis of public safety, in compliance with Executive Order 13768.2 Under this policy memorandum, the USCIS will issue Notices to Appear (NTAs) to a wider class of foreign nationals who are removable when there is evidence of fraud, criminal activity, or when the foreign national is denied an immigration benefit and is unlawfully present in the United States.

Employment-Based Petitions Exempt (at Least for Now) Under New NTA Policy

Beginning October 1, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will begin a staggered rollout of a new notice to appear (NTA) policy. The first phase of the rollout does not include employment-based petitions.

Diversity Lottery Registration to Open

USCIS has announced that the 2020 Diversity Lottery will open for registration at noon EST on October 3, 2018 and run until noon EST on November 6, 2018. Fifty thousand green cards will be available.