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Trump’s Enforcement Priorities for the Removal of Immigrants

Trump has issued an Executive Order that greatly broadens the enforcement priorities for immigrants. High enforcement priorities include immigrants that are detained, have been convicted of ANY criminal offense, committed acts that could constitute a criminal offense, or are subject to a final order of removal. Following the Executive Order, ICE has increased the number of raids, resulting in detention of hundreds of immigrants.

If you or someone you know falls under the above categories or is concerned about their immigration status under the new enforcement priorities, you should contact one of our experience immigration attorney.

STEM OPT regulation is coming soon

In response to a federal court decision, the DHS has made it a priority to introduce new proposed rulemaking on STEM EADs. A federal court found that the prior rule was invalid on procedural grounds because the government did not go through the proper notice and comment period. This new proposed rule should be released in the next month or so.

EADs for I-140 beneficiaries and other good news

USCIS has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking allowing certain beneficiaries of approved I-140s to obtain work authorization, clarifying the meaning of portable work authorization and removing restrictions on the ability to change jobs, as well as providing relief to certain individuals with long pending adjustments.  The notice indicates that the actual proposed rule would be released next spring and a final rule would take affect  fall of next year or later.

Work with your attorney to monitor this development.



TPS for Yemen!

After much delay, the U.S. has finally designated Yemen for Temporary Protected Status. Certain Yemenis who have been continuously physically present since today, September 3, and who have continuously resided in the U.S. since today, September 3, may be able to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The application period begins today and ends March 1, 2016. Yemen is designated for TPS through March 3, 2017, unless this designation is extended.

Applicants who receive TPS can also receive a work permit, which in turn allows them to obtain a Social Security number and driver’s license. It also places them in lawful status. This can provide an path to lawful permanent resident status (a green card).

If you or someone you know may qualify for this or have questions about this, you should immediately contact an experienced immigration law attorney.

New Adjustment of Status/EAD rules coming soon

The USCIS is moving forward with its visa modernization plan. It has published plans to amend the regulations “governing the adjustment of status process and employment-based immigration. Through this rule, DHS proposes to allow certain approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) beneficiaries to obtain work authorization, clarify the meaning of portable work authorization, and remove unnecessary restrictions on the ability to change jobs or progress in careers, as well as provide relief to workers facing lengthy adjustment delays.”

Stay tuned for further developments.

New Information for H-1B workers and employers

In a recent decision, an H-1B employee was denied a visa because his employer transferred him to a new Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). In Matter of Simeio, the USCIS held that an employer must not only obtain and post a new LCA, but that it must also file an amended H-1B petition. This was a departure from previous guidance, which suggested that obtaining and posting a new LCA was sufficient.

The USCIS recently issued new guidance on implementing Simeio. It is important for H-1B employers and employees to pay careful attention to this guidance. If employers do not comply, they could be facing significant fines and penalties. The H-1B employee could be deemed out of status and subject to removal.

Prudent H-1B employers and employees will consult with counsel before making changes to the conditions or locations of employment.

Breaking News: Major Immigration Reforms Announced

As you may have heard, the President has announced a series of Executive Actions that provide a good start to a positive impact on the ability of numerous noncitizens to obtain immigration benefits. While the details of some of these changes and the application procedure for others have not been worked out, I want to summarize these changes because you, your family, or your friends may benefit from them. As a whole, the Executive Actions shift immigration enforcement priorities and suggest some rules that might be implemented. How this shift might impact you requires the government to make an individualized determination about you and your situation.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is being expanded. DACA work permits will now be issued for three years instead of two and the government is working to develop a way for those with two-year work permits to obtain the three-year work permits. More significantly, DACA will be available for individuals who entered before they turned 16, if they entered before January 1, 2010, no matter how old they are now. The educational and other requirements remain the same.

Deferred Action has been expanded to parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanents, regardless of the children’s age. This program, called Deferred Action for Parents (DAP), is available to those who have been in the U.S. since January 1, 2010, pass background checks, and pay taxes.

The Executive Action will seek to reform the employment-based immigration process in a number of important respects. Certain foreign investors will be eligible for parole into the U.S. so they can enter while pursuing lawful permanent resident status. An expanded group, including entrepreneurs, researchers, inventors, and founders will be eligible for national interest waivers.

Rule changes are being proposed to permit individuals with approved I-140 petitions whose priority dates are not current to preregister for adjustment of status so they can obtain work authorization and advance parole. Certain H-4 spouses will be eligible for work authorization.

There are other smaller changes that will result in new guidance concerning the standards for L-1B visas, job portability, OPT, and PERM.

The government will also expand the provisional waiver program to include spouses and children of lawful permanent residents as well as U.S. citizens. This will reduce the uncertainty in the visa and waiver process for those whose who have been unlawfully present in the U.S. and it will reduce wait times abroad.

These changes, both large and small, may apply to you or someone you know. It is important that you consult with me as soon as possible so we can review your eligibility for these new benefits and if you qualify, begin the process of applying for them.

Please call me at my office at (248) 643-0642 or email us at contactus@marshalhyman.com so we can work to help you.