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S&G Immigration Updates

Your source for timely updates on immigration matters

DHS Rescinds Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA):  What You Need to Know About the End of DACA
September 8, 2017

On September 5, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiated the orderly phase out of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DHS will provide a limited, six-month window during which it will consider certain requests for DACA and accompanying applications for work authorization, under specific parameters.

All DACA benefits are provided on a two-year basis, so individuals who currently have DACA will be allowed to retain both DACA and their accompanying work authorizations (EADs) until they expire, even if the expiration date is later than March 5, 2018.

It remains to be seen whether or not Congress acts to pass any protection or not, but in the meantime, DACA recipients (aka “Dreamers”) should be aware of the following, and take appropriate action:

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USCIS Releases New Form I-9
July 17, 2017

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification dated as of today, July 17, 2017.

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Department of State Will Begin Implementing 90-Day Travel and Refugee Ban Beginning June 29th, 2017 
June 29, 2017

Pursuant to the Supreme Court Ruling on June 26, 2017, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced by cable that it would begin implementing the more limited terms of President Trump’s Executive Order beginning at 8:00 PM (ET) on June 29. Executive Order 13780 suspends for 90 days the entry to the United States of, and the issuance of visas to, nationals of six designated countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

It is important to note that the Supreme Court’s partial lifting of the injunctions against the ban is to be enforced only against foreign nationals who do not have a credible claim of “a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” For a summary of what the ruling provided, please see our previous post on this topic.

The suspension of entry does not apply to:

  • Individuals who are inside the United States on June 29, 2017
  • Individuals who have a valid visa on June 29, 2017
  • Individuals who had a valid visa at 8:00 p.m. on January 29, 2017, even after their visas expire or they leave the United States
  • Any lawful permanent resident of the United States
  • Any dual national of a country designated under the Order when traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country
  • Any applicant who has been granted asylum or any refugee who has already been admitted to the United States, or any individual who has been granted withholding of removal, advance parole or protection under the Convention Against Torture

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Supreme Court Decides to Hear Travel and Refugee Ban Case and Clarifies Enforcement of Executive Orders Pending Hearing
June 27, 2017

On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court consolidated the two key cases in the travel and refugee ban litigation sparked by President Trump’s executive orders and decided that the case will be heard during the first session of the October 2017 term.  In the meantime, the Court will allow the administration to implement parts of President Trump’s second executive order (EO-2), which bans the entry of nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from the United States for at least 90 days and suspends the admission of all refugees for 120 days.

In a narrow decision, the Court ruled that the government can only enforce the travel ban against foreign nationals who do not have a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

Essentially, what this means is that individuals from the six countries already listed will be permitted to enter the United States if they have a “close familial relationship” with someone already here or if they have a “formal, documented” relationship with an American entity formed “in the ordinary course” of business.  However, the Court said that such relationships cannot be established for the purpose of avoiding the travel ban.

>> Read More for analysis of who is likely to be allowed to enter and who may experience difficulties entering the U.S.
 

Redesigned Permanent Resident Card and Employment Authorization Documents
May, 17, 2017

As we mentioned in an earlier post, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a redesign to the Permanent Resident Card (also known as the Green Card) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. USCIS began issuing new cards on May 1, 2017. For more information on the changes and additional information for both employers and employees, USCIS has provided a brief overview entitled “Redesigned Permanent Resident Card and Employment Authorization Document.”
 

A Harbinger For Some U.S. Visa Applicants of More Rigorous Vetting and Longer Waits for U.S. Visas?
May 16, 2017

On March 6th, President Trump issued a Memorandum Seeking Rigorous Evaluation of All Grounds of Inadmissibility. As a direct result of the March 6th Memorandum, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) has submitted a request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for emergency review and approval of its intention to collect supplemental information from visa applicants, and they asked OMB to approve their request by May 18th. The DOS proposes requesting the following information, if not already included in the application, from a subset of visa applicants worldwide, in order to more rigorously evaluate applicants for terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities:

  • Travel history during the last fifteen years, including source of funding for travel
  • Address history during the last fifteen years
  • Employment history during the last fifteen years
  • All passport numbers and country of issuance held by applicant
  • Names and dates of birth for all siblings
  • Names and dates of birth for all children
  • Names and dates of birth for all current and former spouses, or civil or domestic partners
  • Social media platforms and identifiers, also known as handles, used during the last five years; and
  • Telephone numbers and email addresses used during the last five years

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USCIS Announces Targeted Use of Site Visits to Certain H-1B Employers to Detect
H-1B Visa Fraud and Abuse

May 2, 2017

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced in April multiple measures to deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse. The H-1B visa program is meant to help U.S. companies recruit highly skilled foreign nationals in specialty occupations when there is a shortage of such qualified professional workers in the country. Yet, according to USCIS, the perception among some Americans is that too many American workers who are as qualified, willing and deserving to work in professional fields have been ignored by U.S. employers or unfairly disadvantaged by the availability of foreign nationals on H-1B visas. Thus, USCIS intends to make it a priority to protect American workers by combating fraud in employment-based immigration programs, including the H-1B visa program.

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Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") Announces New Office for Victims of Illegal Immigrant Crime
April 27, 2017

DHS Secretary John F. Kelly announced yesterday the official launch of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (“VOICE”), designed to assist victims of crimes committed by removable criminal foreign nationals.

The VOICE office was created in response to the Executive Order issued by President Trump on January 25th entitled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,which directed DHS to create an office to support victims of crimes committed by removable criminal foreign nationals.

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United States District Court Judge Blocks Trump Administration from Withholding Federal Funds from Sanctuary Cities
April 26, 2017

On April 25, 2017, United States District Court Judge William Orrick imposed a temporary injunction [link to court .pdf version of court order] on any attempts by the Trump administration to enforce portions of an executive order that called for the withholding of federal funds from sanctuary cities. 

The executive order, which President Trump signed in January, directed the Attorney General to withhold funds from any state that the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security designated as a “sanctuary jurisdiction” and to take “appropriate enforcement action” against any jurisdiction with had “statute, policy, or practice that prevents or hinders the enforcement of Federal law.”

The County of Santa Clara and the City and County of San Francisco sued to prevent enforcement of the order, arguing that the portion seeking to withhold federal funds was unconstitutional.  Judge Orrick’s April 25 decision temporarily bars the federal government from withholding federal funding from sanctuary cities until it determines whether that portion of the executive order does, in fact, violate the separation of powers doctrine, and the Fifth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

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Employers Should Review USCIS Fillable Forms I-9 Completed Based on Download From USCIS Website Between November 14 and November 17, 2016 for Social Security Number Glitch
April 25, 2017

Any employer who used the revised fillable Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, downloaded from the USCIS website between November 14 and November 17, 2016 should review those forms to ensure that their employees' Social Security numbers appear correctly in Section 1. USCIS announced on April 17th that there was a temporary "glitch" when the revised fillable Form I-9 was first published on November 14, 2016.  Numbers entered in the Social Security number field were transposed when employees completed and printed Section 1 using a computer.

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Starting May 1, 2017 USCIS Will Issue Redesigned Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents
April 19, 2017

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) just announced a redesign to the Permanent Resident Card, commonly known as the Green Card, and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. Although USCIS will begin issuing the new cards on May 1, 2017, both existing and new cards will be valid until their expiration date.

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President Trump Issues March 6th Executive Order Revising Travel Ban
March 8, 2017

On January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry” (“January 27th Executive Order”), which was the subject of swift litigation in multiple jurisdictions around the country. Notably, on February 3, 2017, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a nationwide temporary restraining order prohibiting the federal government from enforcing certain sections of the January 27th Executive Order. This decision was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the implementation of the January 27th Executive Order has been postponed since that time.

On March 6, 2017, the President signed a revised Executive Order with the same title, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry” (“March 6th Executive Order”), scheduled to take effect on March 16, 2017. The March 6th Executive Order expressly revokes the January 27th Executive Order as of March 16, 2017. Its content is very similar to that of the January 27th Executive Order with a several significant differences....

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Department of Homeland Security Issues Two Memos Regarding Implementation of Two Recent Executive Orders on Immigration Enforcement
February 27, 2017

On February 20, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") issued a pair of memos outlining how DHS will implement the President's two recent executive orders concerning immigration enforcement. The DHS memos rescind earlier guidance and now, more broadly define the immigrants in the country illegally who are considered "priorities for removal."  The memos also announce a planned expansion in the law enforcement resources dedicated to federal immigration enforcement activities.

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Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds the Temporary Restraining Order on Enforcement of President Trump's January 27th Executive Order
February 10, 2017

On February 9, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously denied the U.S. Department of Justice’s emergency motion requesting an administrative stay of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington’s February 3, 2017 temporary restraining order. In its decision, the court found that the DOJ failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal and also failed to show that the lack of a stay would cause irreparable injury. Further, the court expressed its concern with the lack of specific evidence from the DOJ in support of its national security claims, while emphasizing the "ample evidence" presented by Washington and Minnesota (“the states”) with regard to the harm suffered by their universities, students, businesses and families if the temporary restraining order were to be lifted.

>> Read More
 

Oral Argument Scheduled for Today on Enforcement of President Trump's January 27th Executive Order
February 7, 2017

On February 3, 2017, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a temporary restraining order, prohibiting the federal government from enforcing certain sections of President Trump’s January 27, 2017 Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” (“Executive Order”). The affected sections include those which:

  • suspend “immigrant and nonimmigrant entry” into the U.S. for nationals from the seven designated countries for 90 days;
  • suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (“USRAP”) for 120 days;
  • upon resumption of the USRAP, prioritize refugee claims of certain religious minorities;
  • indefinitely suspend the entry of Syrian refugees into the U.S.; and
  • allow for case-by-case refugee admissions, insofar as it purports to prioritize refugee claims of certain religious minorities.

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Summary of Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry
February 2, 2017

On January 27th, President Trump issued an executive order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry” which:

  • Suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days with possible exceptions to be made on a case-by-case basis: if it is in the national interest; if the person does not impose a risk and is a religious minority facing religious persecution; if the person’s admission is required to conform U.S. conduct to an international agreement; or when the person is already in transit to the U.S. and denying admission would cause a hardship
  • During the current fiscal year, reduces the admission of refugees to the U.S. from the current level of 110,000 set by the Obama administration to 50,000
  • Directs the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) to determine the extent to which state and local jurisdictions may have greater involvement in determining the placement or resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions

>> Read More


Firm Establishes Team and Site to Keep Clients Up To Date With Immigration Issues
February 1, 2017

In response to the executive order issued on January 27th as well as related concerns about changes in the administration of existing programs, Shipman & Goodwin’s Immigration Law Practice Group has formed an interdisciplinary team of attorneys to assist our clients with addressing the effects of this order and anticipated future orders on their employees, students and general business practices. Because of its scope, this executive order, as well as the two that have preceded it, has had an immediate and profound impact on all our clients, individual or institutional, public or private, national or international, regardless of their size, mission, location, or scope of operation. We will provides basic analysis of this executive order and highlight concerns raised by the order.  Although the Administration has issued some clarification of the order, we have received many reports of differing interpretations at ports of entry. Several courts have issued temporary injunctions limiting enforcement of parts of the order. Drafts of potential additional orders are being circulated in news media. In light of the complexity of our immigration laws and regulations, both news and social media reports contain inaccurate statements.  In addition, many immigration issues are fact specific. We intend to keep clients updated as developments arise, and we invite you to subscribe to the blog to receive updates by email.

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These materials have been prepared by Shipman & Goodwin LLP for informational purposes only.  They are not intended as advertising and should not be considered legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not create, a lawyer-client relationship. Viewers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

Immigration Team:

For Immigration and Employment Matters:

    
Brenda Eckert         Ashley Mendoza

For Educational Institutions:

    
Linda Yoder               Benjamin FrazziniKendrick

For ICE Enforcement Issues:


Michael Chase

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