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Supreme Court Tie Blocks Expansion of DACA and Creation of DAPA

Disappointing many, the U.S. Supreme Court has tied 4-4 in a case appealing a nationwide injunction on the Obama Administration’s executive action expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and creating the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) programs. United States v. Texas, No. 15-674 (June 23, 2016). The split leaves the district court injunction in place pending further action in the suit.

Immigration Showdown: Defeat for the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action Policies

On Thursday, June 23, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States reached a 4 – 4 tie on issues related to the validity of the Obama administration’s contested immigration programs, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). With this tie the injunction set by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas remains in force, preventing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from implementing the Obama administration’s deferred action policies. Now, immigration policy related to undocumented immigrants will be front-and-center in the upcoming election as the fate of the DAPA and expanded DACA programs may depend on who becomes the next president of the United States. United States v. Texas, No. 15-674 (June 23, 2016)

Deadlocked Supreme Court Presents Another Roadblock For President’s Immigration Actions

In a 4-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it could not reach a majority consensus on President Obama’s Executive Action on immigration. As a result, the Executive Action remains subject to an injunction blocking its implementation. The case will now return to Judge Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, to decide how to proceed with the case on the merits of the argument. While the case proceeds in the Federal Court in the Southern District of Texas, the undocumented workers, who would have benefited from the Executive Action, will not be able to seek protection from the threat of deportation and will remain ineligible for work authorization in the United States. United States v. Texas.

When Rolling the Dice Didn’t Lead to Success: Visa Options After the H-1B Cap Lottery

Employers seek predictability when hiring employees. You don’t need to be a mathematician (although that might help qualify you as an outstanding researcher) to know that the odds of being selected in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ H-1B cap lottery have decreased over the past four years. Each year the number of applicants for the H-1B cap lottery has increased, while the number of available H-1B visas has remained constant. This year 236,000 petitions were filed for only 85,000 available H-1B cap lottery slots. Employers may wish to examine the following options to increase the probability of retaining valued foreign national employees who were not chosen in the H-1B lottery.

Proposed Changes to E-Verify

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is in the process of reviewing public comments and considering revisions to its recently proposed changes to the E-Verify program.1 USCIS’ Supporting Statement provides that the proposed changes are aimed at assisting employers with preventing document fraud and with electronically verifying the employment authorization of employees with expiring temporary work authorization.2

Beware of Limits on Workers in U.S. on Tourist Visa

Noting media reports that up to 200 foreign workers hired by a Tesla contractor were able to come to the United States in tourist visa status to perform work at a construction project at a Tesla Motors Inc. paint facility in the United States, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter, dated June 7, 2016, to the heads of the State Department, Justice Department, Department of Labor, and Department of Homeland Security questioning how such individuals would be eligible to perform work in the U.S. in B visa status.

Business Immigration Zone: USCIS Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program Now in Effect

On June 8, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began a program – the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program (FWVP) – that allows certain Filipino World War II veteran family members who are ben­eficiaries of approved family-based immigrant visa petitions an opportunity to receive a discretionary grant of parole to come to the United States while they wait for their immigrant visa to become available. Notice of this action is published in 81 Fed. Reg. 28097 (May 9, 2016).

Business Immigration Zone: New USCIS 24-Month STEM OPT Extension Rule Now in Effect

The Department of Homeland Secur­ity’s (DHS) new 24-month optional practical training (OPT) extension for F-1 students with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees recently went into effect.

“Benching” Is Not Just for Athletes: A Timely Review of H-1B Wage Requirements

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has started to notify employers of whether their H-1B petitions were selected in USCIS’s fiscal year 2017 random selection process, or “lottery,” that took place in April of 2016. Approximately 85,000 H-1B workers selected in the quota will begin work in the United States on October 1, 2016, or shortly thereafter.

Federal Court Judge Quashes Challenge to Revised Visa Bulletin Dates

A U.S. District Court in Seattle has ruled that the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin which governs how immigrant visas subject to numerical limitations are allocated, and indicates when intending immigrants may apply for the last stage of the permanent visa process is not a final agency action or decision and, therefore, cannot be challenged in court. While it is estimated that 20,000 or more individuals relied upon the published dates to initiate filings prior to the roll-back, Chief Judge Ricardo S. Martinez determined that the court lacked jurisdiction because the bulletin does not constitute a final action under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), but instead merely sets out “informative” data.