Articles Posted in Miscellaneous

474805022-300x129Earlier today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, announced that the Trump administration will begin phasing out Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (“DACA”). The decision to begin to unwind DACA will affect approximately 800,000 individuals (also known as “Dreamers”), who have benefited from DACA.

The Obama administration announced the implementation of DACA on June 15, 2012. Under DACA, children who came to the United States without valid immigration status were given the ability to stay in the United States without being deported. These individuals were also eligible to apply for work authorization, allowing them to work in the United States.  In order to be eligible for DACA, individuals had to have:

  • Come to the United States before their 16th birthday;

On August 21, 2017, the U.S. Department of State announced a temporary suspension of nonimmigrant visa services in Russia. The move comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on July 30th, 2017, thaunited-states-flag-1423259-300x223t he was expelling 755 employees of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Russia from the country, effective September 1, 2017. The move to expel American diplomats was made in retaliation for Congress passing new sanctions against Russia on July 27, 2017, for Russia’s interference in the 2016 United States Presidential Election.

As a result of having to send 755 employees out of Russia, the State Department has announced that from August 23, 2017, through August 31, 2017, the processing of nonimmigrant visas in Russia will be suspended. All individuals with nonimmigrant visas interviews scheduled in Russia during this period are being contacted by the United States Embassy in Moscow to have their interviews rescheduled.

On September 1, 2017, processing of nonimmigrant visas is scheduled to resume at the United States Embassy in Moscow only. The State Department will no longer process nonimmigrant visas at the U.S. Consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Vladivostock. Because of how large Russia is, this will cause a significant burden on many visa seekers who will now have to travel long distances to Moscow. In addition, because the U.S. Embassy in Moscow will be the only location where nonimmigrant visas will be processed, the normal wait time to obtain a nonimmigrant visa interview in Russia is expected to increase significantly. Therefore, individuals thinking about obtaining a nonimmigrant visa in Russia should plan accordingly, and allow themselves additional time to obtain a visa. In addition, individuals who are eligible to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. facility outside of Russia should strongly consider doing so.

waiting-1476663-225x300On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order banning individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries (Sudan, Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Syria) from entering the United States. On February 3, 2017, a federal judge in Washington issued a temporary restraining banning the Federal Government from enforcing the order. The temporary restraining order was later upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on February 9, 2017.

Based on the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, President Trump withdrew the executive order, and signed a new executive order on March 6, 2017. Among other things, the new order bans foreign nationals from six of the original countries listed in the first order (Iraq is excluded), from entering the United States if they do not currently have a valid visa to enter the United States. In addition, unlike the first order, which had a blanket ban against travel from citizens of those countries, citizens of the six affected countries may travel to the United States if they: (1) are U.S. lawful permanent residents; (2)  are traveling on a diplomatic visa;  or (3) are traveling after already being granted asylum in the United States, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture.

On March 8, 2017, the State of Hawaii, along with a United States citizen of Egyptian descent, filed a motion with the U.S. District Court in Hawaii, seeking a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the travel ban. In their filing to the Court, Plaintiffs claimed that the travel ban discriminated against Muslims, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

brussels-airport-1458203-300x207On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”.  On February 3, 2017, a federal court in the State of Washington, issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the federal government from enforcing the executive order. The temporary restraining order was later upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on February 9, 2017.

On March 6, 2017, the President withdrew his previous executive order, and signed a new executive order (“The Order”). Unless a federal court issues a temporary restraining order against the O it is slated to go into effect on March 16, 2017.

The Order Bans Entry into the United States of Foreign Nationals from Six Predominantly Muslim Countries:

170127ny-2-nr-300x273On February 20, 2017, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, issued two memoranda dramatically changing how DHS treats foreign nationals illegally in the United States. Touching on numerous immigration issues, the memoranda will make it easier for foreign nationals to be quickly removed from the United States without going through normal immigration court procedures. The memoranda will also dramatically increase the number of foreign nationals that DHS will target for deportation. Below are some of the ways that the memoranda will dramatically affect foreign nationals illegally living in the United States.

Increased Use of Expedited Removal

Pursuant to U.S.C. § 1225(b)(1), any foreign national who arrives at a United States port of entry and is inadmissible under 8 U.S.C.§ 1182 (a)(6)(C) (misrepresentations and false claims to U.S. citizenship) or 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(7) (lack of valid entry documents), is subject to expedited removal. Expedited removal is a procedure which allows a DHS official to remove a foreign national from the United States without a hearing before an immigration judge. Foreign nationals facing expedited removal, usually do not have access to an attorney, and are usually removed from the United States within days (or even sometimes hours) of their entry into the country.

On October, 26, 2016, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, announced the extension of Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) for certain Nepalese nationals in the United States nepal-pokara-1475073through June 24, 2018. Prior to Secretary Johnson’s announcement, TPS was only available to Nepalese nationals through December 24, 2016.

On April 25, 2015, Nepal was struck by a devastating 7.8 earthquake. The earthquake left thousands dead and devastated the capital city of Kathmandu and nearby towns and villages. In response to the earthquake, on June 24, 2015, Secretary Johnson designated Nepal for TPS. This designation allowed Nepalese nationals in the United States on June 24, 2015, to temporarily remain in the country, with work authorization, through December 24, 2016.

On October 26, 2016, Secretary Johnson extended Nepal’s TPS designation through June 24, 2018. Secretary Johnson also automatically extended work authorization for Nepalese nationals on TPS through June 24, 2017, in order to give U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) time to issue new Employment Authorization Documents (“EAD”). Until a TPS beneficiary receives their new EAD, they may work for any employer by providing their employer with their old TPS-related EAD; and a copy of the Federal Register notice announcing the automatic extension.

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On September 30, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), announced the publication of a new form, Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Document). The purpose of the new form, is to make it easier for lawful permanent residents whose travel documents are lost, stolen or destroyed, to obtain carrier documentation which will allow them to board an aircraft bound for the United States.

Form I-131A will allow lawful permanent residents to obtain carrier documentation if:

  • They are returning from temporary overseas travel of less than one year, and their green card has been lost, stolen or destroyed; or