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Possible Changes to U.S. Business Immigration Law and Policy Under the New Administration

This article covers proposed legislation, sub-regulatory changes, and—from a practical standpoint—the process/timing for implementing changes under the new administration. Please note that while legislative immigration reform does take time to implement, sub-regulatory changes can be implemented immediately without a formal rule-making process. Moreover, existing regulations need only go through the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) rulemaking process to be modified or rescinded. To help clarify current law and polices from a corporate immigrant standpoint, below we have outlined the following:

Immigration Compliance Dangers in the Shared Economy

There is no greater area of innovation then the shared economy. Companies like Uber, Lyft, AirBnB are among the leaders in technical innovation and business strategy. At the heart of the shared economy is the idea that those doing the work at companies are freelancers rather than employees.

New I-9 Handbook for Employers

USCIS’s new M-274 “Handbook for Employers with Guidance for Completing Form I-9” is now available. In addition to detailed I-9 completion instructions, the Handbook contains guidance on Photocopying and Retention, Unlawful Discrimination and Penalties, E-Verify. It also contains FAQs as well as images of sample documents.

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.

Ninth Circuit Upholds Suspension of Executive Order's Travel and Refugee Ban

Executive Summary: The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the district court’s decision to enjoin the federal government from enforcing key portions of President Trump’s Executive Order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The Ninth Circuit’s decision means that, for the time being, key provisions of the Executive Order will not be enforced, and the U.S. will continue to admit approved refugees, as well as travelers with valid U.S. visas from the seven impacted nations (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen).

President Trump’s Initial Immigration Executive Orders: The Building Blocks to an Immigration Plan?

On January 25, 2017, the Trump administration turned its focus to immigration by issuing two executive orders satisfying key campaign promises. At first blush, the executive orders appeared to cover issues related to illegal immigration and the building of President Trump’s border wall. But on a closer look, these executive orders appear to be the key building blocks associated with the Trump administration’s immigration strategy.

UPDATE: Ninth Circuit Upholds TRO Halting President Trump’s Immigration Travel Ban

On Thursday, February 9, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) emergency motion for a stay in a case that suspended implementation of certain sections of an executive order (EO) issued by President Donald Trump restricting admission to the United States of foreign nationals from designated countries and certain refugees. State of Washington, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 17-35105 (9th Cir., February 9, 2017). At this time, foreign nationals can continue to apply for admission to the United States and eligibility for entry is not restricted by country of nationality.

President's Immigration Ban Remains Blocked

After hearing an emergency oral argument late Tuesday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower federal court judge and late today upheld the nationwide temporary restraining order that blocks the president’s controversial immigration executive order. The executive order, which had prevented refugees from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the country, in addition to some green card and visa holders from those countries, continues to be temporarily enjoined from being enforced by border officials. Visas that had been revoked by the order have been reinstated, visa processing at U.S. consulates around the world continues to be administered as normal, and travelers from these nations, as well as vetted refugees from all nations, will continue to be permitted to enter the U.S.

Ninth Circuit Denies Government’s Motion to Stay District Court’s Order Blocking Travel Ban

In a unanimous opinion, a three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the stay of President Trump’s travel ban. The Court found in favor of the State of Washington on all of its arguments and held that the Administration had not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of the case. Some commentators have noted that the President could address his national security concerns by rewriting the Executive Order to more specifically address the infirmities noted by the Court, including specifically eliminating lawful permanent residents (i.e., green card holders) from the ban. President Trump, however, upon hearing of the decision immediately tweeted: “SEE YOU IN COURT.”

UPDATE: Executive Order's Travel and Refugee Ban Temporarily Suspended

On Friday, February 3, 2017, a Federal District Court judge issued a nationwide suspension of President Trump’s Executive Order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” For more information on that Executive Order, please see our February 1 Alert. On Saturday, February 4, 2017, the Trump Administration asked the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to overrule the judge, but it refused on February 5. Thus, the U.S. is currently admitting approved refugees, as well as travelers with valid U.S. visas from the seven impacted nations, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.