Tuesday, September 5, 2017

DACA is not unconstitutional

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is unconstitutional and is being "rescinded.'
'We cannot admit everyone who would like to come here,' Sessions told reporters at the Justice Department.
The states of New York and Washington said ahead of Sessions' announcement that if President Donald Trump ended the program they would challenge the decision in court. Sessions said the immigration program was responsible for jobs being denied to Americans, and for a surge of minors at the southern border. - Robert Shroeder, MarketWatch

This statement by the Attorney General is not true.  DACA is not unconstitutional and no federal court has successfully found DACA unconstitutional. Presidents from Eisenhower to Kennedy to Nixon to Ford to Carter to Reagan to Clinton to both Bushes and Obama have used their discretion under U.S. immigration laws to grant admissibility to aliens or to deport them. Were all of these presidents' actions in exercising their discretion "unconstitutional"?  I think not.
I guess it depends on how many people you want to help or hurt. Obama clearly wanted to help children brought here by their parents. These children did not have legal capacity to break the law.
Or a president can do what Donald Trump has done and hurt more than 800,000 American children and their families, friends and employers.
It depends on whether the president has good character and decency.

Monday, August 28, 2017

USCIS expands in-person interviews for certain immigration benefit applicants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin expanding in-person interviews for certain immigration benefit applicants whose benefit, if granted, would allow them to permanently reside in the United States. This change complies with Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” and is part of the agency’s comprehensive strategy to further improve the detection and prevention of fraud and further enhance the integrity of the immigration system.
Effective Oct. 1, USCIS will begin to phase-in interviews for the following:
  • Adjustment of status applications based on employment (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).
  • Refugee/asylee relative petitions (Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition) for beneficiaries who are in the United States and are petitioning to join a principal asylee/refugee applicant.
Previously, applicants in these categories did not require an in-person interview with USCIS officers in order for their application for permanent residency to be adjudicated. Beyond these categories, USCIS is planning an incremental expansion of interviews to other benefit types.
“This change reflects the Administration’s commitment to upholding and strengthening the integrity of our nation’s immigration system,” said Acting USCIS Director James W. McCament. “USCIS and our federal partners are working collaboratively to develop more robust screening and vetting procedures for individuals seeking immigration benefits to reside in the United States.”
Conducting in-person interviews will provide USCIS officers with the opportunity to verify the information provided in an individual’s application, to discover new information that may be relevant to the adjudication process, and to determine the credibility of the individual seeking permanent residence in the United States.  USCIS will meet the additional interview requirement through enhancements in training and technology as well as transitions in some aspects of case management.

Monday, April 17, 2017

H-1B visa random selection process ends for FY2018

USCIS announced on April 7, 2017, that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2018. USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap.

USCIS received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 3, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 11, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.

The agency conducted the selection process for the advanced degree exemption first. All unselected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 cap.

Friday, April 7, 2017

USCIS reaches H-1B visa cap in less than seven days

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 7) - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has reached the congressionally mandated 65,000 visa H-1B cap for fiscal year 2018. USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap.
The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not duplicate filings.
USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.  However, please keep in mind USCIS suspended premium processing April 3 for up to six months for all H-1B petitions, including cap-exempt petitions. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, will also not be counted toward the congressionally mandated FY 2018 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:
Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.
U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require specialized knowledge.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Illegal immigration is a problem, but ...

 I don't know where U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (R.-AL) got her information for her illegal immigration op-ed in the Montgomery (Alabama) Advertiser, but I can guess.
  Presidential executive orders affecting immigration have been issued by Republican and Democratic presidents for more than 60 years, beginning with Dwight Eisenhower in 1953 (administration of the Refugee Relief Act of 1953) and 1960 (creation of a Committee on Migratory Labor).
  First, a split decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is not a "final blow" to President Obama's executive orders on immigration. Deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), whose parents brought them into the United States illegally, stands and moves forward.  Deferred action for parents of Americans (DAPA) was stayed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court's split means the Fifth Circuit's injunction stands and DAPA is halted. When a ninth justice is sworn in, the issue will be back.
  President Obama did not "bypass Congress". He exercised his prosecutorial discretion to tell the Department of Homeland Security -- in the case of DAPA -- not to deport about 3.6 million eligible aliens and to focus its limited resources on getting rid of criminal aliens.
  Most federal appellate courts have determined that states do not have standing to challenge executive orders. The U.S. Supreme Court was expected to vote that way with a full complement of nine justices, but the court is one short.
  The fact is there are more deportations and fewer new illegal arrivals during the first seven years of the Obama Administration than during all eight years of the George W. Bush Administration.
  Rep. Roby is right. Illegal immigration is a problem. But Congress is not going to do anything about it. You can count on it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

H-1B random selection process completed for FY 2017

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7, 2016, that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2017. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap.
USCIS received over 236,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 9, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.
The agency conducted the selection process for the advanced degree exemption first. All unselected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.
As announced on March 16, 2016, USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases no later than May 16, 2016.
USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will also not be counted towards the congressionally mandated FY 2017 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:
  • Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
  • Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
  • Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
  • Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position. U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge in fields such as science, engineering, and computer programming.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

H-1B visa cap reached in just seven days

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B visa cap for fiscal year (FY) 2017. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced-degree exemption.

USCIS uses a computer-generated process, also known as the lottery, to randomly select the petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 visas for the general category and 20,000 for the advanced-degree exemption.

First, USCIS randomly selects petitions for the advanced-degree exemption. All unselected advanced-degree petitions will become part of the random selection process for the 65,000 general cap. The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not duplicate filings.

Before running the lottery, USCIS will complete initial intake for all filings received during the filing period, which ended April 7. Due to the high number of petitions, USCIS is not yet able to announce the date it will conduct the random selection process.

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, will also not be counted toward the congressionally mandated FY 2017 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge in fields such as science, engineering and computer programming. Normally, when the H-1B visa cap is reached this quickly, it is a sign that the U.S. economy is improving.