Immigration Lawyer Orange County & Los Angeles, CA


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Recent Immigration News



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December, 2011

12/29/2011USCIS Executive Summary from 11/2/11 Teleconference on J-1 Waivers (Updated 12/29/11)(.pdf 172 KB) USCIS/DOS executive summary from the 11/2/11 teleconference regarding the adjudication of J-1 Exchange Visitor waivers of the two-year foreign residence requirement. more

12/23/2011AAO Sustains L-1A Appeal on Certification from CSC(.pdf 6536 KB) In a 12/15/11 decision, the AAO withdrew the denial and approved an L-1A petition, finding that the beneficiary would perform in a primarily managerial capacity, and noting that her supervision of employees in Chile is a managerial duty. more

12/22/2011Increased U.S. Visa Demand in Brazil and China (.pdf 66 KB) DOS deploys temporary employees in an effort to decrease wait times for visa applicants in Brazil. Mission Brazil processed 820,000 visas, and Mission China processed over one million visas in FY2011. more

12/22/2011DOL Notice of 2012 Adverse Effect Wage Rates for H-2A Workers DOL notice announcing the 2012 Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs) for H-2A workers. AEWRs are the minimum wage rates that DOL has determined must be offered and paid to H-2A workers. Notice is effective 12/22/11. (75 FR 79711, 12/22/11) more

12/21/2011 CA7 Upholds District Court’s Revocation of Citizenship (.pdf 544 KB) The court agreed with the district court’s finding that the defendant illegally procured his citizenship, noting he lacked the requisite good moral character due to two controlled substances violations committed during the relevant period. (U.S. v. Suarez, 12/16/11) more

12/21/2011ARB Remands, Finds ALJ Erred in Declining to Hear Complainant’s Wage Claim (.pdf 531 KB) The ARB found that 20 CFR §655.820 permits ALJ review of Complainant’s claim and the employer is liable for all LCA wages unless there was a bona fide termination of employment under 20 CFR §655.731(c)(7)(ii) or otherwise. (Matter of Univ. of Alabama, 11/30/11) more

12/21/2011ARB Affirms ALJ’s Order of Back Wages and Penalties for LCA Violations (.pdf 514 KB) The ARB affirmed the ALJ’s order that the employer, a computer consulting company, pay back wages to 10 H-1B employees for a total amount of $185,247.81 and penalties for willful violations in the amount of $72,000. (Matter of The Lambents Group, 11/30/11) more

12/21/2011Ombudsman Requires Form for EAD Cases (.pdf 484 KB) CIS Ombudsman requires customers to use Form DHS 7001 for all cases, including cases relating to Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). The form is required due to applicable privacy rules. more

12/19/2011DOL Updates Labor Certification Debarment List (.pdf 477 KB) A 12/19/11 Department of Labor list of employers, attorneys, and/or agents debarred from the permanent labor certification program, and list of employers debarred from the H-2A and H-2B temporary labor certification programs. more

12/19/2011DOJ Files National Origin Discrimination Suit against Home Health Care Company (.pdf 467 KB) Department of Justice press release announcing the filing of a motion to intervene in a lawsuit against Florida-based Home Care Giver Services Inc. The DOJ complaint alleges that the company discriminated against a USC when it terminated her based on her national origin. more

12/19/2011DOS Dedicates New Consular Compound in Mumbai, India (.pdf 38 KB) DOS press release announcing the dedication of the new Consulate facility, located in the Bandra-Kurla Complex of Mumbai. The $111 million project generated jobs in the U.S. and India and was completed in October 2011. more

12/19/2011ICE Updates List of SEVP Approved Schools (Updated 12/19/11) An updated list, as of 12/16/11, of ICE Student and Exchange Visitor Program approved schools. more

12/19/2011USCIS EB-5 Stakeholder Engagements for 2012 (.pdf 46 KB) USCIS invitation to EB-5 stakeholder engagements for 2012. Engagements offer the opportunity for USCIS to address topics of stakeholder interest. Specific registration information will be provided closer to each engagement. more

12/19/2011USCIS Seeks Comments on Draft RFE Template for I-129 L-1 Intracompany Transferees (Updated 12/19/11) (.pdf 96 KB) USCIS comment request on a draft Request for Evidence (RFE) template on Form I-129 L-1 Intracompany Transferees’ qualifying relationship of ownership and control, and evidence of doing business. Updated due date for comments is 1/17/12. more

12/19/2011LAC Practice Advisory: Implications of Judulang v. Holder for LPRs Seeking § 212(c) Relief and for Other Individuals Challenging Arbitrary Agency Policies This Practice Advisory describes the Supreme Court’s decision in Judulang v. Holder, which rejected the BIA's "comparable grounds" test for § 212(c) relief, and offers strategies for lawful permanent residents and others who may be affected by it. more

12/16/2011BALCA Vacates Denial, Cites Impact of H-2B Prevailing Wage Delay (.pdf 90 KB) BALCA found the employer’s noncompliance with 20 CFR §655.10(a)(2) justifiable where the employer waited more than 30 days after submitting its PWD request to file the H-2B and the offered wage exceeded the PWD that was issued. (Matter of Stan Sweeney, 11/30/11). more

12/16/2011BALCA Excuses Noncompliance with §655.10(a)(2) Due to H-2B PWD Delay (.pdf 99 KB) BALCA vacated the denial where the employer made every effort to comply with §655.10(a)(2) but was simply unable to file its application in time for its season as a result of the NPWC’s delay in issuing the PWD. (Matter of Gulf Coast Crawfishing Supply, 12/1/11). more

12/16/2011BIA Finds NTA Without Hearing Date Triggers “Stop-Time” Rule (.pdf 42 KB) The Board found that any period of continuous residence or continuous physical presence ends upon service of an NTA on the alien, even if the NTA does not include the date and time of the initial hearing. Matter of Camarillo, 25 I&N 644 (BIA 2011) more

12/16/2011BIA Says Adjustment under Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act Is an Admission (.pdf 19 KB) The Board found the respondent was admitted to the U.S. when he adjusted status under the Cuban Adjustment Act, and was thus subject to removal under INA § 237(a) following a drug trafficking conviction. Matter of Espinosa Guillot, 25 I&N Dec. 653 (BIA 2011) more

12/14/2011AAO Processing Times 12/1/11 (.pdf 136 KB) AAO Processing Times as of December 1, 2011. more

12/9/2011DOS Annual Immigrant Visa Waiting List Report (.pdf 638 KB) DOS annual report of immigrant visa applicants in the family and employment-based preferences registered at the National Visa Center as of 11/1/11. more

12/9/2011Visa Bulletin for January 2012 (.pdf 239 KB) DOS Visa Bulletin for January 2012. Section C addresses advance notification of diversity (DV) immigrant category rank cut-offs which will apply in February. Section D includes an update on China and India employment-based second preference visa availability. more

12/8/2011CA9 Reaffirms California First-Degree Burglary as an Aggravated Felony (.pdf 41 KB) The court held that Petitioner’s conviction of first-degree burglary is an aggravated felony as established by the state court’s abstract of judgment. The court also rejected Petitioner’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim. (Kwong v. Holder, 12/7/11) more


October, 2011

10/6/2011BIA on 5-Year Statute of Limitations for Rescission of LPR Status (.pdf 65 KB) The BIA held that the 5-year statute of limitations in §246(a) does not bar removal of an alien admitted on an immigrant visa because that section relates only to rescission of LPR status acquired through adjustment. Matter of Cruz de Ortiz, 25 I&N Dec. 601 (BIA 2011) more

10/6/2011Visa Bulletin for November 2011 (.pdf 67 KB) DOS Visa Bulletin for November 2011. Section C addresses advance notification of diversity (DV) immigrant category rank cut-offs which will apply in December. Section D addresses visa availability in the coming months. more

10/6/2011AAO Processing Times 10/1/11 (.pdf 134 KB) AAO Processing Times as of October 1, 2011. more

10/4/2011AAO Approves §212(i) Waiver for Dominican Spouse of USC (.pdf 4611 KB) In an unpublished 9/9/11 decision, the AAO considered evidence of extreme hardship to the citizen spouse, including the loss of property and employment in the U.S., as well as the disruption of her son’s medical treatment and special education. Courtesy of T.J. Mills.more

10/3/2011CA10 Says No IJ Error in Refusing Continuance for FB-4 §245(i) Beneficiary (.pdf 63 KB) The court held that although an IJ may continue proceedings pending adjudication of an I-130 with a current priority date, an IJ need not grant an indefinite continuance to await eligibility for adjustment. (Luevano v. Holder, 9/30/11) more


September, 2011

9/30/2011CBP Muster on Hajj 2010 (.pdf 138 KB) An undated CBP muster informing CBP officers of Hajj, a Muslim pilgrimage. The muster requires officers to use the same standards, procedures, and care with pilgrims as they afford to any traveler entering the U.S. more

9/30/2011CBP Muster on Operation No Refuge (.pdf 109 KB) An undated CBP muster informing CBP officers of Operation No Refuge, which involves identifying subjects who may be involved in or are the beneficiaries of illicit narcotics activities, and how to handle related cases.more

9/30/2011CBP Muster on Processing Citizens of Mexico Arriving by Air (.pdf 78 KB) An undated CBP muster informing CBP officers that a Mexican presenting a Diplomatic or Official Passport who is not assigned a post in the U.S. and enters for a visit of 6 months or less does not need to present a visa. more

9/30/2011CBP Muster on the Basic Elements of a Thorough Primary Inspection (.pdf 85 KB) An undated CBP muster informing CBP officers of the basic elements of a primary inspection. The muster indicates that recent testing by CBP shows a potential for inadmissible travelers to present fraudulent documents.more

9/30/2011CBP Muster on Travelers Destined to Lightering Vessels (.pdf 104 KB) An undated CBP muster informing CBP officers of visa classification eligibility for travelers destined to lightering vessels. The muster specifies when parole may be granted to travelers presenting a C-1 or D visa. more

9/30/2011CBP Muster on WHTI Requirements for Sea Passengers (.pdf 82 KB) An undated CBP muster informing CBP officers of WHTI requirements for sea passengers on “closed loop” cruise itineraries. The muster defines “closed loop” and states the document requirements under WHTI. more

9/30/2011USCIS Update on the Issuance of I-797 Receipt and Approval Notices (.pdf 76 KB) USCIS update on the new policy, effective 9/12/11, of sending I-797 notices directly to applicants and petitioners, stating that the agency will not suspend implementation of the policy, and providing guidance on the transition as well as with regard to premium processing. more

9/29/2011BALCA Discusses “Terms and Conditions” of Employment for Recruitment Purposes (.pdf 94 KB) Noting that the regulations do not require ads to include wages or benefits, BALCA held that the failure of the employer to list the optional benefit of faculty housing in its recruitment did not violate 20 CFR §656.17(f)(7). (Matter of Emma Willard School, 9/28/11) more

9/29/2011Senators Ask President Obama to Rescind Prosecutorial Discretion Initiatives, Dismantle Working Group (.pdf 726 KB) A 9/26/11 letter from 19 Senators asking President Obama to rescind the recent directives on prosecutorial discretion, dismantle the working group tasked with reviewing removal cases, and make DHS Secretary Napolitano available for questioning on DHS enforcement policies. more

9/28/2011DHS Publishes Map of LPR Trends between 1892 and 2010 (.pdf 4039 KB) DHS Office of Immigration Statistics map series providing information on the total numbers of individuals obtaining legal permanent resident (LPR) status each year during fiscal years 1892 to 2010, by U.S. state and region of residence.more

9/28/2011ICE Apprehends More than 2,900 Convicted Criminals in National Cross Check Operation (.pdf 52 KB) ICE press release announcing that 2,901 individuals with prior criminal convictions were taken into custody during a seven-day targeted enforcement, or Cross Check, operation which was carried out across all 50 states and four U.S. territories.more

9/28/2011CA2 Says NY Third-Degree Promoting Prostitution Is Not an Aggravated Felony (.pdf 27 KB) The court held that a violation of NY Penal Law §§20.00 and 230.25, for promoting prostitution in the third degree, is not an aggravated felony under INA §101(a)(43)(K)(i). (Prus v. Holder, 9/28/11)more

9/27/2011USCIS Presentation and Notes from 9/27/11 Teleconference on I-130s and Humanitarian Relief (Updated 9/27/11) (.pdf 409 KB) USCIS SCOPS official presentation and notes from the 9/27/11 teleconference with CSC on Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, under humanitarian relief. Topics include I-360 Conversion for Surviving Spouse, Section 204(l) of the INA, humanitarian reinstatement, and more. more

9/27/2011USCIS Opens 60-Day Comment Period on Proposed Rule Affecting Certain Pending EB-5 Petitions (.pdf 60 KB) USCIS update announcing a comment period on a proposed rule that would enable the agency to process certain EB-5 applications approved between 1995 and 1998. The public has 60 days, from 9/28/11 to 11/28/11, to submit comments. An advance copy of the proposal is provided.more

9/27/2011CA9 on Authentication of Foreign Documents (.pdf 25 KB) The court found that the IJ erred by refusing to allow Petitioner to authenticate foreign documents through his own testimony and concluded that he was statutorily eligible for adjustment of status as the unmarried son of a U.S. citizen. (Jiang v. Holder, 9/26/11)more

9/27/2011DHS PIA for ICE’s Alien Medical Tracking Systems (.pdf 236 KB) DHS Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) describing the IT systems that are used to track information from medical records for individuals in ICE custody, the data maintained in these medical tracking systems, the purposes for which the data is collected and used, and more. more

9/27/2011CA9 Finds ELF Is a Terrorist Organization; Grants Deferral under CAT (.pdf 57 KB) The court upheld the BIA’s findings that the Eritrean Liberation Front is a Tier III terrorist organization and that Petitioner engaged in terrorist activities, but finding the possibility of torture more likely than not, granted deferral. (Haile v. Holder, 9/26/11) more

9/27/2011CA7 Rejects Asylum Claim Based on Fear of Retribution from Co-Defendants (.pdf 87 KB) The court rejected Petitioners’ claim that the U.S. must grant them asylum because it placed them in danger by inducing their cooperation in a criminal visa fraud case, noting that the S visa might be more appropriate. (Jonaitiene v. Holder, 9/26/11) more

9/26/2011BIA Says IJ Scope of TPS Review Is Not Limited to Evidence Submitted to USCIS (.pdf 48 KB) The BIA held that the IJ may consider any material and relevant evidence in support of a TPS application that is renewed in removal proceedings, regardless of whether the evidence was previously considered by USCIS. Matter of Figueroa, 25 I&N Dec. 596 (BIA 2011) more

9/26/2011CA2 Says Petitioner’s Undocumented Husband Was “Available” to Testify (.pdf 97 KB) The court held that Petitioner’s undocumented husband was “available” to testify despite his fear of apprehension, noting that he would have been eligible for derivative asylum status and had every incentive to testify on his wife’s behalf. (Chen v. Holder, 9/23/11) more

9/23/2011CA9 Remands CAT Claim for Deferral of Removal from Honduras (.pdf 97 KB) The court found that the BIA mischaracterized the record with regard to one expert’s consistency with DOS reports, criticized the expert’s testimony for reasons not supported by the record, and failed to acknowledge a second expert witness. (Cole v. Holder, 9/22/11) more

9/23/2011CA3 Says Ten-Year Bar to Admissibility Trumps §245(i) Adjustment (.pdf 196 KB) The court gave deference to the BIA’s reasonable statutory interpretation that the ten-year bar under INA §212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) precludes adjustment of status under INA §245(i) and denied the petition for review. (Cheruku v. Att’y Gen. of the U.S., 9/22/11)more

9/22/2011BIA Says IJ Scope of I-751 Review Is Not Limited to Evidence Submitted to DHS (.pdf 28 KB) The BIA held that the IJ should consider new evidence submitted in support of a renewed I-751 with a waiver of the joint filing requirement regardless of whether the evidence was previously considered by DHS. Matter of Herrera Del Orden, 25 I&N Dec. 589 (BIA 2011)more

9/20/2011USCIS Announces Exhaustion of U Visas for FY2011 (.pdf 49 KB) USCIS press release announcing that the statutory maximum of 10,000 U visas was met for FY2011. USCIS will continue to accept and adjudicate new U visa petitions and will resume issuing U visas on October 1, 2011. more

9/20/2011CA9 Rejects Challenge to §212(c) Special Motion to Reopen Deadline (.pdf 41 KB) The court held that the April 26, 2005 deadline to file motions to reopen for §212(c) relief is a constitutionally sound procedural rule and that absent exceptional circumstances, petitioners that miss the deadline are not entitled to relief. (Luna v. Holder, 9/19/11) more

9/20/2011CA2 Says Firm Resettlement Inquiry Is Not Limited to Post-Persecution Ties (.pdf 28 KB) The court held that the firm resettlement inquiry requires consideration of all ties established by an alien in a third country before entering the U.S., including ties formed prior to the persecution giving rise to the asylum claim. (Tchitchui v. Holder, 9/19/11) more

9/19/2011National Benefits Center Processing Time Report (9/16/11) (.pdf 51 KB) NBC Processing Time Report released 9/16/11 with processing dates as of 7/31/11. more

9/19/2011Vermont Service Center Processing Time Report (9/16/11) (.pdf 61 KB) VSC Processing Time Report released 9/16/11 with processing dates as of 7/31/11. more

9/19/2011Texas Service Center Processing Time Report (9/16/11) (.pdf 57 KB) TSC Processing Time Report released 9/16/11 with processing dates as of 7/31/11. more

9/19/2011Nebraska Service Center Processing Time Report (9/16/11) (.pdf 57 KB) NSC Processing Time Report released 9/16/11 with processing dates as of 7/31/11. more

9/19/2011California Service Center Processing Time Report (9/16/11) (.pdf 55 KB) CSC Processing Time Report released 9/16/11 with processing dates as of 7/31/11.more

9/19/2011CA11 Says No §245(a) Adjustment for TPS Beneficiaries Who Enter without Inspection (.pdf 67 KB) The court affirmed the district court’s ruling that an alien who enters the United States without inspection is ineligible for adjustment of status under INA §245(a) even if granted temporary protected status under INA §244. (Serrano v. U.S. Att’y Gen., 9/16/11) more

9/16/2011ICE Announces Charges in Large Scale L.A.-Area Asylum Fraud Scheme (.pdf 77 KB) ICE press release announcing that the owner and an employee of New Arrival Immigration Service were charged with filing fraudulent asylum applications for Chinese clients claiming persecution based on their Christian beliefs. more

9/16/2011ICE Announces Guilty Pleas for Five Senior Managers of IFCO Systems (.pdf 111 KB) ICE press release announcing that five senior managers of IFCO pled guilty to hiring and employing unauthorized immigrants at IFCO plants nationwide between January 2003 and April 2006, when ICE conducted a worksite enforcement raid. more

9/15/2011CA9 Rejects Leap Year Argument in Defining “One Year” Term of Imprisonment (.pdf 36 KB) The court upheld the BIA’s finding that, for purposes of INA §101(a)(43)(F), a sentence of 365 days qualifies as a “term of imprisonment [of] at least one year,” even when the sentence was served in whole or in part during a leap year. (Habibi v. Holder, 9/14/11) more

9/15/2011AAO Remands for 212(e) Hardship Waiver Recommendation from WRD (.pdf 317 KB) Citing political and social turmoil and financial considerations, the AAO found that the applicant’s U.S. citizen spouse would suffer exceptional hardship whether he relocated to Pakistan, or if he were to remain in the U.S. without the applicant for two years. more

9/15/2011AAO Upholds Denial of 212(i) Fraud Waiver (.pdf 256 KB) The AAO upheld the denial of the 212(i) waiver, finding that the evidence presented did not support a finding that the applicant’s U.S. citizen spouse would suffer extreme hardship, or sufficient evidence that the applicant’s father was a U.S. citizen as purported. more

9/15/2011ICE Announces Federal Charges For Impersonating an ICE Officer (.pdf 48 KB) ICE press release announcing that Tommie Rand Pierce was arrested and charged with falsely assuming to be an ICE officer. The investigation has revealed more than 265 fraudulent immigration applications filed by Pierce and/or his assistants. more

9/15/2011ICE Announces Substantial Prison Sentences for Two Men Who Illegally Re-Entered U.S. After Deportation (.pdf 48 KB) ICE press release announcing that in two unrelated immigration cases, two men received substantial federal prison sentences following their convictions for illegally re-entering the U.S. after being previously deported. more

9/15/2011DOS Notifies USCIS of Exhaustion of Employment-Based Visa Numbers for FY2011 (.pdf 46 KB) A 9/15/11 memorandum from the Department of State Immigrant Visa Control Office notifying USCIS of the exhaustion of all employment-based visa numbers for FY2011.more

9/14/2011AAO Finds VSC Director Erred in Denying I-360 Petition for Battered Child (.pdf 319 KB) The AAO approved the I-360 filed by a battered child over 21, finding that the VSC Director incorrectly concluded that the petitioner must establish a parent-child relationship with the abusive parent on the date the petition was filed. Courtesy of Philip Smith. more

9/14/2011BIA Refuses to Apply Frivolous Asylum Bar to Derivative Child (.pdf 207 KB) In an unpublished decision, the BIA found that as the minor derivative of her mother's application, the respondent did not receive the necessary advisals, and held that the frivolousness finding applicable to her mother should not be applicable to her. Courtesy of Alan Lee. more

9/14/2011CA9 Says BIA Erred in Refusing to Permit Withdrawal of Prior Attorney’s Admissions (.pdf 260 KB) The court held that the attorney’s admission of the NTA’s allegation that Petitioner smuggled his brother was the result of ineffective assistance. The BIA erred in not permitting Petitioner to withdraw the admission. (Santiago-Rodriguez v. Holder, 9/9/11) more

9/14/2011VSC Stakeholder Meeting Minutes (5/6/2011) (.pdf 238 KB) The 5/6/11 unofficial VSC stakeholder meeting minutes address the AAO, TPS, SMI, I-130s, I-129Fs, 204(l), AWA, DOMA, consular returns, I-751s, VSC staffing and processing times, transformation, H-1Bs, Es, TNs, VIBE, Export Control, I-612s, Ls, and more. more

9/14/2011CA9 Says Incorrect Standards Were Applied in Refusing to Excuse Late Asylum Application (.pdf 236 KB) The IJ applied incorrect legal standards when finding Petitioner had not shown changed or extraordinary circumstances to excuse his late application and the IJ erred in finding that the application was not filed in a reasonable time period. (Singh v. Holder, 9/8/11)more

9/13/20112013 Diversity Visa Lottery Instructions (.pdf 220 KB) DOS instructions for the 2013 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2013). This year, natives from South Sudan and Poland are eligible, while Bangladesh natives are ineligible. Entries for the DV-2013 program must be submitted electronically between 10/4/11 and 11/5/11. more

9/13/2011OFLC Updates PERM FAQ on Recruitment Timelines and Time Periods (.pdf 18 KB) OFLC PERM FAQ, revised on 9/8/11, providing guidance on how to make timeline and time period calculations as outlined by the regulation. more

9/13/2011OFLC Publishes Guidance for H-2A Employers (.pdf 44 KB) OFLC filing tips to assist employers with the H-2A program by highlighting common mistakes which can delay the processing of an application, based upon the Chicago National Processing Center’s experiences in processing H-2A applications over the past 16 months. more

9/13/2011OFLC Publishes H-2A FAQs on Amendments, Extensions, and Abandonments/Terminations (.pdf 36 KB) OFLC H-2A FAQs addressing amendments to applications, post-certification changes to the end date of work, and post-certification notification to the Department regarding workers who have abandoned or have been terminated from their position.more

9/13/2011USCIS Warns the Public to Avoid Misleading Websites and Fees (.pdf 43 KB) USCIS alert announcing that some online businesses are charging fees to prepare USCIS forms which are, in most cases, the same as USCIS filing fees, and as a result, applicants are only paying for the preparation of their applications and not the official filing fees. more

9/12/2011OFLC Q&As on Delays in the Issuance of PWDs and H-1B LCAs (.pdf 51 KB) OFLC Q&As regarding delays in the issuance of prevailing wage determinations and H-1B Labor Condition Applications, including information on alternative sources for obtaining a prevailing wage in support of an H-1B application. more

9/12/2011OFLC Announcement on Plans to Re-Issue More Than 3,500 H-2B Wage Determinations (.pdf 50 KB) OFLC announcement regarding the re-issuing of wage determinations on more than 3,500 previously certified H-2B applications which must be completed prior to 9/30/11 in accordance with the shift in the effective date of the wage methodology final rule. more

9/12/2011Visa Bulletin for October 2011 (.pdf 41 KB) DOS Visa Bulletin for October 2011. Section C addresses advance notification of diversity (DV) immigrant category rank cut-offs which will apply in November. Section D addresses visa availability in the coming months. more

9/9/2011U.S. Consulate in Mumbai Resumes H and L Visa Processing (Updated 9/9/11) (.pdf 214 KB) DOS statement that the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai resumed issuing H and L interviews on 8/26/11, with the first appointments available on 9/6/11. The consulate stopped issuing H and L interview appointments in March 2011 due to aging infrastructure. more

9/9/2011Three Mexican Individuals Sentenced to Prison for Involvement in Human Trafficking Operation (.pdf 46 KB) ICE press release announcing that three men were sentenced to prison in Mexico for their roles in a human trafficking ring that operated between Mexico and the U.S. The men also are required to forfeit more than $10 million in assets toward the victims’ compensation.more

9/9/2011Mexican Woman Sentenced to Prison for Attempting to Smuggle Cash in Teddy Bears (.pdf 47 KB) ICE press release announcing that Jeanette Barraza-Galindo, of Monterrey, Mexico, was sentenced to two years in federal prison after she pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle $277,556 in cash stuffed inside of teddy bears and pillows, from the U.S. into Mexico. more

9/9/2011CA3 Sets Standard for Determining Whether LPR May Be Treated as an Applicant for Admission (.pdf 88 KB) The court held that the standard for determining whether an LPR should be treated as an applicant for admission, and thus paroled for prosecution, is probable cause to believe he has committed a crime under INA §212(a)(2). (Doe v. Att’y Gen. of the U.S., 9/8/11) more

9/8/2011CA5 Rejects BIA’s Interpretation of CSPA in Matter of Wang (.pdf 154 KB) The court held that the automatic conversion and priority date retention provisions of INA §203(h)(3) unambiguously apply to the entire universe of petitions described in INA §203(h)(2), including fourth preference petitions. (Khalid v. Holder, 9/8/11) more

9/8/2011CA6 Joins Sister Circuits in Upholding Matter of Acosta Hidalgo (.pdf 257 KB) The court upheld Acosta Hidalgo’s interpretation of 8 CFR §1239.2(f), that removal proceedings may only be terminated under that provision where DHS affirmatively attests to the alien’s prima facie eligibility for naturalization. (Shewchun v. Holder, 9/8/11) more

9/8/2011ICE Announces the Indictment of a Canadian Man for International Sex Tourism Charges (.pdf 241 KB) ICE press release announcing that a man from Quebec was indicted on charges of enticement of a minor, and traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. According to the announcement, the man allegedly traveled to PA to engage in sexual conduct with a minor.more

9/8/2011CA10 Rejects Political Opinion and Social Group Claim in MS-13 Case (.pdf 249 KB) The court found that Salvadoran women aged 12 to 25 who have resisted gang recruitment is sufficiently particular for purposes of a social group claim, but found that the proposed group failed the social visibility test. (Rivera-Barrientos v. Holder, 9/7/11) more

9/8/2011Danish Man Enters Guilty Plea in Child Pornography Case (.pdf 241 KB) ICE press release announcing that a man from Denmark pleaded guilty in the Western Dist. of MO to charges of extortion, and producing and transporting child pornography. He was arrested in Aug. 2010 when he traveled to the U.S., and faces up to 30 years in prison. more

9/8/2011CA7 Remands Colombian/FARC Asylum Claim, Remands for Further Proceedings (.pdf 329 KB) The court found that the BIA inexplicably focused only on the FARC’s burning of Petitioner’s trucks in concluding he was not persecuted and rejected the Board’s finding that even if he was persecuted, it was not due to a protected ground. (Escobar v. Holder, 9/7/11)more

9/8/2011USCIS Memo on the Adjudication of Child VAWA Self-Petitions Filed by Individuals over Age 21 (.pdf 257 KB) A 9/6/11 USCIS policy memo providing guidance on the continued eligibility for individuals to file a VAWA self-petition as a child over age 21, and younger than age 25, if the abuse was at least one central reason for the filing delay. This guidance is effective immediately. more

9/8/2011USCIS Q&As Regarding the CNMI Transitional Worker Classification (.pdf 269 KB) USCIS Q&As on the CNMI-only Transitional Worker visa classification, or CW classification. Topics include general information regarding the CW visa, requirements and questions for workers as well as for employers, and questions about travel. more

9/7/2011CA9 Limits CSPA Auto-Conversion and Priority Date Retention to F-2A Petitions (.pdf 56 KB) The court found reasonable the BIA’s decision in Matter of Wang that the CSPA under INA §203(h)(3) does not permit automatic conversion and/or priority date retention for derivative beneficiaries of F-3 and F-4 petitions. (De Osorio v. Mayorkas, 9/2/11) more

9/7/2011CA8 Says Evidence of Alienage was Lawfully Obtained (.pdf 24 KB) The court found no need for an evidentiary hearing where the record did not support Petitioner’s belief that his arrest was racially motivated, and found no evidence that Petitioner’s statements regarding alienage were involuntary. (Lopez-Gabriel v. Holder, 9/2/11) more

9/7/2011CA7 Recognizes Threat of “Honor Killing” as Basis for Social Group Claim (.pdf 146 KB) The court found that Petitioner is a member of the particular social group of women in Jordan who have allegedly flouted repressive moral norms and face a high risk of honor killing. (Sarhan v. Holder, 9/2/11) more

9/7/2011CA6 Finds No Jurisdiction to Review Decision to Enforce Removal Order (.pdf 24 KB) The court rejected Petitioner’s argument that the government’s act of enforcing a 1996 deportation order in 2009 amounted to a de facto final order of removal and dismissed the petition for lack of jurisdiction. (Casillas v. Holder, 9/2/11) more

9/7/2011CA9 Finds Jurisdiction to Review Denial of Relief Despite BIA Remand on Collateral Issue (.pdf 43 KB) The court found jurisdiction to review the BIA’s denial of relief where the BIA remands under 8 CFR §1003.1(d)(6) for completion of background checks that are required before alternative relief may be granted. (Li v. Holder, 9/1/11) more

9/7/2011CA7 Dismisses Petition for Review of U Visa Denial for Lack of Jurisdiction (.pdf 124 KB) The court found no jurisdiction to review the denial of Petitioner’s I-192 waiver as an ancillary decision made outside removal proceedings, and reaffirmed its prior holding that it lacked jurisdiction to review a U visa denial. (Torres-Tristan v. Holder, 9/1/11) more

9/6/2011CA3 Says INA §236(c) Only Authorizes Detention for a Reasonable Time (.pdf 203 KB) The court held that INA §236(c) authorizes detention only for a reasonable period of time at which point the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause requires the government to show that continued detention is required to further the statute’s purpose. (Diop v. ICE, 9/1/11) more

9/6/2011CA11 Upholds Adverse Credibility Determination in Venezuelan Asylum Case (.pdf 95 KB) The court upheld the adverse credibility finding where Petitioner claimed to be present at a rally where his mother was killed but presented no evidence that he was politically active, at the rally, or detained and beaten after. (Carrizo v. U.S. Att’y Gen., 8/31/11) more

9/2/2011Social Security Number Randomization FAQs (.pdf 103 KB) SSA explains the new process of randomization when assigning Social Security numbers and offers an FAQ to further answer questions on the new process. more

9/2/2011Invalid or Impossible Social Security Numbers (.pdf 30 KB) SSA lists Social Security numbers that are invalid or impossible to have because the numbers have never been assigned. more

9/1/2011AAO Approves §212(i) Waiver for Mexican Wife of U.S.C. (.pdf 360 KB) In an unpublished 8/10/11 decision, the AAO considered evidence of extreme hardship to the citizen spouse, including mental health issues and sensitivity to family separation, and took administrative notice of the dangers in Sinaloa due to TCOs. Courtesy of Philip Hornik. more

9/1/2011CA7 Reverses District Court, Says Padilla May Not be Applied Retroactively (.pdf 180 KB) Over dissent, the court held that the Supreme Court in Padilla v. Kentucky announced a new constitutional rule and its holding may not be applied to collateral appeals retroactively. (Chaidez v. U.S., 8/23/11) more

9/1/2011DOL Publishes New H-2B Prevailing Wage FAQ (.pdf 13 KB) DOL FAQ providing guidance to employers in understanding how the Service Contract Act (SCA) wages are used by the OFLC in issuing H-2B prevailing wage determinations. more

9/1/2011DOL Replaces PERM FAQ on Special Recruitment for College and University Teachers (.pdf 11 KB) DOL FAQ replacing the existing guidance on the use of an electronic or web-based national professional journal instead of a print journal when conducting recruitment for college and university teachers as specified under 20 CFR 656.18. more

9/1/2011Owner of an Iowa Roofing Company Pleads Guilty to Harboring Undocumented Individuals (.pdf 48 KB) ICE press release announcing that Samira Zuniga, the owner Xtreme Construction, pleaded guilty in federal court to harboring and conspiring to harbor undocumented individuals who were arrested while working on a residential roofing job in April of 2011. more

9/1/2011USCIS Memo on the Eligibility to Self-Petition as a Battered or Abused Parent of a U.S. Citizen (.pdf 80 KB) An 8/30/11 USCIS policy memo on the self-petitioning eligibility of a battered or abused stepparent or adoptive parent of a U.S.C., and the eligibility for VAWA relief after termination of a step-relationship. The final memo supersedes the 1/7/11 draft memo on this subject. more

9/1/2011CA8 Applies “Strong Presumption” of Service; Upholds In Absentia Order (.pdf 37 KB) In a case governed by the IIRIRA transitional rules, the court found that Petitioners failed to rebut the “strong presumption” of service where notice of proceedings was sent via certified mail and the record contained proof of delivery. (Patel v. Holder, 8/31/11) more


August, 2011

8/31/2011CA10 Says Padilla Does Not Apply Retroactively (.pdf 252 KB) The court found that although Padilla creates a new constitutional duty to inform a non-citizen criminal defendant of the immigration consequences of a plea, it does not apply retroactively to cases on collateral review. (U.S. v. Hong, 8/30/11) more

8/31/2011CA7 Finds IJ’s Interpretation of Precedent Overly-Broad in Vacating Adverse Credibility Assessment (.pdf 274 KB) The court found that the IJ erred in basing his negative credibility assessment on Petitioner’s submission of hospital certificates, which the IJ interpreted as suggesting Petitioner’s abortion was voluntary and not forced as she alleged. (Lin v. Holder, 8/30/11) more

8/31/2011CA5 on Simple Possession Waivers under INA §212(h) (.pdf 276 KB) The court held that an alien who has been convicted of two offenses of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana is ineligible for a waiver under INA §212(h), even if he previously received a §212(h) waiver for one of the offenses. (Rana v. Holder, 8/30/11) more

8/30/2011ICE Announces Fines and Probation in Worksite Enforcement Investigation (.pdf 47 KB) ICE press release announcing that Eurofresh, Inc., a large tomato producer in southern Arizona, was fined $600,000 and put on probation for a period of five years for knowingly hiring and continuing to employ unauthorized workers at the company between 2000 and 2006. more

8/29/2011CA6 Upholds Voluntary Departure Regulation at 8 CFR §1240.26(i) (.pdf 42 KB) The court held that 8 CFR §1240.26(i), which provides for the automatic termination of voluntary departure upon the filing of a petition for review, is valid given the AG’s statutory discretion to grant voluntary departure. (Hachem, et al. v. Holder, 8/29/11) more

8/29/2011DOJ Announces Employment Verification Settlement Agreement with Kinro Manufacturing Inc. (.pdf 24 KB) DOJ announcement of a settlement agreement with Kinro Manufacturing Inc., a manufacturer of parts for RVs and manufactured homes, to resolve allegations that non-U.S. citizens were subjected to excessive demands during the employment verification process. more

8/29/2011CIS Ombudsman Update Regarding 10/28/11 Deadline for Certain Widows and Widowers of U.S. Citizens (.pdf 27 KB) An 8/26/11 update from the CIS Ombudsman’s Office regarding the 10/28/11 deadline for certain eligible widows and widowers of U.S. citizens to file Form I-360 if seeking immigration benefits on the basis of their marriage to the deceased. more

8/29/2011BALCA on Verification of Sponsorship: Finds DOL Inconsistencies Problematic (.pdf 102 KB) BALCA found that where the employer mails the ETA 9089, the signed statement under penalty of perjury certifying to conditions of employment by itself places the employer in full compliance with 20 CFR §656.10(c). (Matter of Pickering Valley Contractors, 8/23/11) more

8/29/2011BALCA Says CO Should Have Considered whether Missing Document was Mere Oversight (.pdf 112 KB) BALCA found that where a page of the employee referral program was included in the documents provided to Employer’s counsel and was clearly intended to be included in the audit response, denial of certification was not warranted. (Matter of Core Solutions, 8/22/11) more

8/29/2011BALCA Vacates Denial; Finds Omission on ETA 9089 Harmless (.pdf 91 KB) BALCA held that where the employer failed to check the box in Section J-23 indicating that the beneficiary was employed with the employer, but the answer was provided in Sections K-6 and L-7, the error was harmless. (Matter of Nathan Littauer Hospital, 8/16/11) more

8/26/2011CA9 Finds Minor Who Lived in Iran for Six Years Did Not Abandon LPR Status (.pdf 73 KB) The court held that when determining whether a minor has abandoned LPR status, the intent of the LPR parents is imputed to the child until the child becomes an adult at which point he may legally demonstrate his individual intent. (Khoshfahm v. Holder, 8/25/11). more

8/26/2011CA7 Cites Recent Independence of South Sudan in Remand for Deferral under CAT (.pdf 107 KB) The court remanded in light of three undisputed legal errors in the BIA’s analysis, the government’s contention that it does not intend to remove Petitioner to Sudan, and the recent declaration of South Sudan’s independence. (Wani Site v. Holder, 8/26/11). more

8/26/2011USCIS Policy Memo on B-2 Extensions for Cohabitating Partners and Other Household Members of Principal Nonimmigrants (.pdf 59 KB) An 8/17/11 policy memo on the uniform and consistent processing of Form I-539 for changes to and extension of B-2 status for cohabitating nonimmigrant partners and other household members of principal nonimmigrants. more

8/26/2011USCIS Announces Revised and Shortened NCSC 1-800 Menu Options (.pdf 35 KB) USCIS announcement that on 8/29/11, the National Customer Service Center’s (NCSC) 1-800 phone number will implement shorter menus to provide streamlined access to live assistance, improved navigation, and the ability to reorganize menu options based on call volume. more

8/26/2011CA3 Says BIA Erred in Failing to Liberally Construe Pro Se Notice of Appeal (.pdf 138 KB) The court held that the BIA erred in dismissing Petitioner’s appeal as moot, and that the Board should have liberally construed the petition which incorrectly identified the IJ’s interlocutory ruling as the subject of appeal. (Higgs v. Att’y Gen. of the U.S., 8/25/11) more

8/26/2011CA7 Says Importation of Alien for Prostitution Is Not Categorically an Aggravated Felony (.pdf 133 KB) Importation of an alien for prostitution in violation of INA §278 is not categorically an aggravated felony “offense that relates to the owning, controlling, managing or supervising of a prostitution business” under INA §101(a)(43)(K)(i). (Rosario v. Holder, 8/24/11) more

8/26/2011CA7 Dismisses for Lack of Jurisdiction, Is Troubled by Proceedings (.pdf 82 KB) Though lacking jurisdiction to review the denial of Petitioner’s adjustment of status, the court noted that it might have weighed the equities differently than the IJ and reprimanded Petitioner’s attorney for his deficient performance. (Wroblewska v. Holder, 8/24/11)more

8/26/2011CA7 Says No §241(f) Waiver without Charge or Deportability Finding Based on Fraud (.pdf 99 KB) Based on the plain language of the statute, the court found Petitioner ineligible for a §241(f) waiver because he was never charged or found deportable on fraud grounds, and therefore also found him ineligible for §212(c) relief. (Torres-Rendon v. Holder, 8/23/11) more

8/26/2011CA9 Overrules Matsuk; Finds Jurisdiction to Review Particularly Serious Crime Determination (.pdf 81 KB) The court found jurisdiction to review the decision that a conviction is a particularly serious crime and remanded to the BIA for a clear explanation of its finding that Petitioner’s DUI conviction barred him from relief. (Delgado v. Holder, 8/19/11) more

8/26/2011CA9 on Credibility and Corroboration in Chinese Christian Asylum Case (.pdf 66 KB) The court held that although the adverse credibility finding was based on mischaracterizations of testimony and trivial inconsistencies, Petitioner failed to respond to the request for corroborative evidence or explain his failure to do so. (Ren v. Holder, 8/19/11) more

8/26/2011CA3 Says IJ Must Consider All Hashmi-Rajah Factors before Denying Continuance (.pdf 84 KB) Where Petitioner had an approved visa petition, the court found that the BIA erred in denying his motion to reconsider the denial of a continuance request based primarily on lack of visa availability and timing considerations. (Simon v. Holder, 8/17/11) more

8/26/2011CA3 on Legitimation and Derivative Citizenship under Former INA §321(a)(3) (.pdf 35 KB) The court found that under Cape Verde law, Petitioner is legitimated regardless of the fact that his natural father took no formal steps to assert paternity and is therefore, not eligible for derivative citizenship. (Brandao v. Att’y Gen. of the U.S., 8/16/11) more

8/26/2011CA8 Upholds Denial of Asylum for Venezuelan Woman (.pdf 36 KB) The court upheld the BIA’s conclusion that Petitioner failed to establish that she was targeted on account of her political opinion or sexual orientation, or that the treatment she experienced rose to the level of persecution. (Lopez-Amador v. Holder, 8/15/11)more

8/26/2011CA9 Finds Jurisdiction; Says BIA Remand Is a Final Order (.pdf 50 KB) The court held that the BIA’s reversal of asylum and remand for voluntary departure proceedings was a final order and that neither Dada v. Mukasey, nor the 2009 voluntary departure regulations undermines the court’s jurisdiction. (Pinto v. Holder, 8/12/11) more

8/25/2011District Court Upholds ARB Penalties in Physician H-1B Benching Case (.pdf 116 KB) The court upheld the judgment against a medical clinic owner for allegedly violating the INA by cutting the wages of H-1B physicians. Petitioner reduced the wages in part by requiring the doctors to pay J-1 waiver and H-1B fees and costs. (Kutty v. DOL, 8/19/11) more

8/25/2011USCIS Invitation to 9/21/11 Open House at CSC (.pdf 270 KB) USCIS invites stakeholders and the general public to a 9/21/11 open house at the California Service Center. Invitation includes registration information. more

8/25/2011DOL Issues H-2A 2010 Final Rule FAQs Round Three (.pdf 61 KB) DOL FAQs Round Three released regarding H-2A 2010 Final Rule, addressing what should be included in the ETA Form 790, where to find SOC codes and occupation titles, housing requirements, labor contractor requirements, and more. more

8/25/2011 District Court Upholds ARB Penalties in Physician H-1B Benching Case (.pdf 116 KB) The court upheld the judgment against a medical clinic owner for allegedly violating the INA by cutting the wages of H-1B physicians. Petitioner reduced the wages in part by requiring the doctors to pay J-1 waiver and H-1B fees and costs. (Kutty v. DOL, 8/19/11) more

8/24/2011 CA3 Vacates and Remands LGBT Asylum Case Finding Flawed BIA Analysis (.pdf 101 KB) The court remanded an LGBT asylum case, finding that the BIA incorrectly evaluated the petitioner's claim as though it was based on individualized persecution and erred in its analysis of changed country conditions. (Izquierdo v. Atty’ General of the U.S. 8/24/11) more

8/23/2011 Undocumented Nepali Man Convicted for Failure to Comply with Removal Order (.pdf 46 KB) ICE press release announcing that a citizen of Nepal was convicted on four counts of failing to comply with his order of removal. According to the announcement, the man attempted to thwart his removal by refusing to apply for a Nepali passport on four separate occasions. more

8/18/2011 White House Blog on Using Prosecutorial Discretion to Maximize Public Safety (.pdf 26 KB) White House blog announcing that DHS, along with DOJ, will be reviewing the current deportation caseload to clear out low-priority cases in order to better focus enforcement resources on removing individuals who have been convicted of crimes or pose a security risk. more

08/17/2011 Vermont Service Center Processing Time Report (8/17/11) (.pdf 1643 KB) VSC Processing Time Report released 8/17/11 with processing dates as of 6/30/11. more

8/17/2011 Texas Service Center Processing Time Report (8/17/11) (.pdf 1358 KB) TSC Processing Time Report released 8/17/11 with processing dates as of 6/30/11. more

8/17/2011 Nebraska Service Center Processing Time Report (8/17/11) (.pdf 1500 KB) NSC Processing Time Report released 8/17/11 with processing dates as of 6/30/11. more

8/17/2011 National Benefits Center Processing Time Report (8/17/11) (.pdf 667 KB) NBC Processing Time Report released 8/17/11 with processing dates as of 6/30/11.more

8/17/2011 California Service Center Processing Time Report (8/17/11) (.pdf 1212 KB) CSC Processing Time Report released 8/17/11 with processing dates as of 6/30/11. more

8/17/2011 Guatemalan Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Human Smuggling Case (.pdf 239 KB) ICE press release announcing that an undocumented man from Guatemala received 20 years in prison for his role in managing a human smuggling operation that used a drop house in Lancaster, CA, where smuggled individuals were held against their will and physically assaulted. more

8/17/2011 Iranian National Sentenced to Prison for Illegally Exporting Missile Components (.pdf 241 KB) ICE press release announcing that Davoud Baniameri, an Iranian national living in California, was sentenced to 51 months in prison for attempting to export missile parts and radio test sets to Iran, via the United Arab Emirates, without a license or approval from the U.S.more

8/16/2011 White House Releases 8/16/11 Immigration Action Update (.pdf 114 KB) White House Immigration Action Update e-newsletter circulated on 8/16/11 covers recent meetings held with representatives from various immigrant communities, updates on immigrant integration listening sessions, the one-year anniversary of the Blue Campaign, and more. more

8/15/2011 Former USCIS Supervisor Receives Five-Year Sentence for Fraud and Bribery Charges (.pdf 49 KB) ICE press release announcing that a former USCIS supervisor and his son were sentenced to 60 and 48 months in prison respectively, for conspiracy, bribery, and honest services wire fraud offenses. The former immigration services officer was also convicted of visa fraud. more

8/12/2011 CA6 Says BIA Remand for Voluntary Departure Is a Final Order Subject to Review (.pdf 74 KB) The court held that the BIA’s remand to the IJ for the sole purpose of allowing Petitioners to apply for voluntary departure was an administratively final order of removal for purposes of INA §242, subject to the court’s review. (Giraldo v. Holder, 8/12/11) more

8/12/2011 Dominican National Sentenced for Identity Theft and Unlawful Re-Entry (.pdf 47 KB) ICE press release announcing that a Dominican man received three years in jail plus supervised release for identity theft and falsely representing his citizenship, in addition to unlawfully re-entering the U.S. after he was removed in 2009 for a drug trafficking conviction. more

8/12/2011 CA1 Remands Albanian Asylum Claim to Reconsider Past Persecution (.pdf 71 KB) The court remanded the case for the BIA to reconsider evidence of the systematic and serious abuse of Petitioner’s children, which included two kidnappings, three beatings, and an aggravated rape as part of his claim for past persecution. (Precetaj v. Holder, 8/11/11) more

8/11/2011 CA9 Eliminates “Missing Element” Rule in Modified Categorical Approach (.pdf 287 KB) The en banc court overruled the court’s prior holding in Navarro-Lopez v. Gonzales, that the modified categorical approach does not apply when the crime of conviction is missing an element of the generic crime. (United States v. Aguila-Montes de Oca, 8/11/11) more

8/11/2011 USCIS Memo On AOS Adjudications For Individuals In the CNMI On or After 11/28/09 (.pdf 94 KB) USCIS 8/9/11 policy memo, effective immediately, providing guidance regarding the adjudication of family and employment-based Adjustment of Status (AOS) applications from individuals present in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) on or after 11/28/09. more

8/11/2011 CA9 Interprets Reach of SAW Confidentiality Provision (.pdf 63 KB) The court held that the SAW confidentiality provision, INA §210(b)(6)(A), applies exclusively to the application and that there is no violation when the challenged information is obtained via questioning at an inspection checkpoint. (Soriano-Vino v. Holder, 8/10/11) more

8/11/2011 DOJ Announces Settlement Over Allegations of Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination (.pdf 60 KB) DOJ press release announcing that a settlement agreement was reached with Summit Steel Fabricators Inc., resolving allegations that the company engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against non-citizens during the employment eligibility verification process. more

8/10/2011 USCIS Transcript from Announcement of Entrepreneur Initiatives (.pdf 152 KB) USCIS transcript of the 8/2/11 announcement by USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas of initiatives to promote startup enterprises and spur job creation. Q&As are included after the introduction. more

8/10/2011 USCIS Interim Memo on Requesting Expedited Local Processing of Form I-130 (.pdf 196 KB) An 8/8/11 USCIS interim memo for comment on responding to a DOS request to accept and process a locally filed Form I-130 at a U.S. embassy/consulate where USCIS does not have a presence where circumstances warrant expedited local processing. Comments due 8/24/11. more

8/10/2011 CA10 Says Colorado Felony Menacing Is an Aggravated Felony (.pdf 26 KB) The court held a conviction for felony menacing under Colo. Rev. Stat. §18-3-206(a) or (b) necessarily involves the threatened use of physical force and is therefore, an aggravated felony crime of violence under 18 USC §16(a). (Damaso-Mendoza v. Holder, 8/9/11) more

8/10/2011 Visa Bulletin for September 2011 (.pdf 50 KB) DOS Visa Bulletin for September 2011. Section C addresses advance notification of the diversity (DV) immigrant category rank cut-offs which will apply in October. Section D addresses the DV-2012 diversity lottery results. more

8/9/2011 AAO Grants §212(a)(9)(B)(v) Unlawful Presence Waiver for Israeli Spouse of USC (.pdf 483 KB) In an unpublished decision, the AAO sustained the I-601 appeal, finding that the applicant’s USC spouse would suffer extreme hardship based on factors which include substance abuse, emotional instability, and potential financial hardship. Courtesy of Elan Baret. more

8/9/2011 CA10 Dismisses, Says Petitioner Failed to Raise Substantial Constitutional Issue (.pdf 19 KB) The court held that Petitioner’s due process and equal protection arguments failed to demonstrate that he did not receive a fair hearing or was treated differently and that he failed to present a substantial constitutional issue. (Pizano-Zeferino v. Holder, 8/8/11) more

8/9/2011 CA5 on the Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine (.pdf 92 KB) The court dismissed the petition, finding that that Petitioner became a fugitive when he did not surrender for removal despite the fact that his address was known to authorities and DHS made no attempt to locate or arrest him. (Bright v. Holder, 8/8/11) more

8/8/2011 DOS Warns of Fraudulent Notices Sent to Diversity Visa Applicants (.pdf 36 KB) DOS announcement on the notable increase in fraudulent e-mails and letters sent to Diversity Visa (DV) applicants from scammers posing as the U.S. officials in an attempt to extract payment from DV applicants. Notice includes where and how to report fraudulent e-mails. more

8/8/2011 CBP Announces New Cards for Global Entry Members (.pdf 33 KB) CBP press release announcing that a new Global Entry version of the SENTRI card will now be issued to Global Entry members to allow expedited entry into the U.S. from Mexico and Canada using the NEXUS, SENTRI, and Ready Lanes at land ports of entry. more

8/8/2011 ICE Announces Jail Sentence for Unlawfully Re-Entering the U.S. (.pdf 48 KB) ICE press release announcing that a Mexican citizen, Rutilio Cabrera-Flores, was sentenced to 30 months in federal jail, plus an additional two years of supervised release, for unlawfully re-entering the U.S. following his removal to Mexico in 2009. more

8/5/2011 Four Individuals in Removal Proceedings Admit to Bribing ICE Official (.pdf 50 KB) ICE press release announcing that four undocumented individuals who were subject to removal due to previous criminal convictions pleaded guilty in federal court to bribing an ICE Enforcement and Removal Assistant to alter their reporting requirements and criminal histories. more

8/4/2011 CA3 Rejects Departure Bar at 8 CFR §1003.2(d) (.pdf 176 KB) The court held that the departure bar under 8 CFR §1003.2(d) is inconsistent with INA §§240(c)(6)(A) and (7)(A) which permits an alien to file one motion to reopen and one motion to reconsider without geographic limitation. (Espinal v. Att’y Gen. of the U.S., 8/3/11) more

8/3/2011 AAO Processing Times 8/1/11 (.pdf 112 KB) AAO Processing Times as of August 1, 2011. more

8/3/2011 Micronesian Couple Admits to Withholding Passport as Part of Forced Labor Scheme (.pdf 223 KB) DOJ press release announcing that a Micronesian couple living in Longview, WA, pleaded guilty to document servitude more

8/3/2011 CA10 Grants Rehearing En Banc in “Departure Bar” Case (.pdf 214 KB) e court granted rehearing en banc to revisit its prior holding that 8 CFR §1003.2(d) precludes consideration of a removed alien’s motion to reopen when filed within the 90 day time limit. AILA and AIC appear as amici. (Contreras-Bocanegra v. Holder, 8/2/11) more

8/2/2011 USCIS Q&As on Entrepreneurs and the EB-2 Immigrant Visa Category (.pdf 58 KB) USCIS Q&As provide information regarding entrepreneurs and the employment-based second preference (EB-2) immigrant visa category, including an explanation of the EB-2 visa category and definition of exceptional ability, as well as information about national interest waivers. more

8/2/2011 CA8 Rejects Social Group Claim in MS-13 Case (.pdf 27 KB) The court agreed with the BIA that “persons resistant to gang violence” are too diffuse to be recognized as a social group and that Petitioner’s family was no different from any other Salvadoran family that has experienced gang violence. (Costanza v. Holder, 8/1/11) more

8/2/2011 CBP Announces Global Entry Available at Canadian Preclearance Locations (.pdf 55 KB) CBP press release announcing that Global Entry kiosks are now available at Vancouver International and Ottawa’s MacDonald-Cartier Airports, and will be available at Montreal’s Trudeau International and Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airports by September 2011. more

8/2/2011 USCIS Updated Q&As on the Employer-Employee Relationship in H-1B Petitions (.pdf 80 KB) USCIS Q&As, updated by USCIS on 8/2/11, provide information in the context of H-1B petitions, regarding the establishment that an employer-employee relationship exists and will continue to exist with the beneficiary throughout the duration of the H-1B validity period. more

8/1/2011 Ombudsman Case Assistance Online Pilot Program (.pdf 72 KB) CIS Ombudsman’s Office fact sheet and Q&As on the Ombudsman Case Assistance Online pilot program, a new initiative allowing paperless submission of assistance requests. The pilot program is currently available in Texas and DC, with plans to expand nationwide in fall 2011. more

8/1/2011 USCIS Reminds H-2A and H-2B Petitioners of Prohibited Fees (.pdf 46 KB) USCIS alert reminds petitioners that certain fees may not be collected from H-2A and H-2B workers, including government-mandated fees that are prohibited under DOL rules, petition fees, attorney fees, recruitment costs, and any fees that are conditions of employment. more

8/1/2011 Texas Court Says Department of Public Safety’s Denial of Licenses Illegal (.pdf 2569 KB) The court granted declaratory judgment and enjoined the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) from enforcing rules which denied driver’s licenses to immigrants living and working in Texas with valid work authorization. (Salazar, et al v. TX DPS, et al, 7/27/11) more

8/1/2011 CA9 Finds Record Inconclusive Under Modified Categorical Approach (Updated 8/1/11) (.pdf 82 KB) The court found the record inconclusive as to how Cal. Health & Safety Code §11352(a) was violated and that the BIA erred in concluding the conviction was an aggravated felony. (Young v. Holder, 1/28/11; reh’g en banc granted 7/29/11) more


July, 2011

7/29/2011CA8 Rejects Claim, Says Petitioner Failed to Raise Question of Law (.pdf 72 KB) The court found jurisdiction to review nondiscretionary determinations underlying a denial of cancellation of removal, but declined to review Petitioner’s claim that the BIA improperly weighed the factors in its hardship determination. (Solis v. Holder, 7/28/11) more

7/29/2011ICE Alerts UNVA Students Pending Review of School's SEVP Certification (.pdf 67 KB) ICE SEVP notice to alert nonimmigrant Univ. of N. VA (UNVA) students that on 7/28/11, SEVP served UNVA with a Notice of Intent to Withdraw (NOIW) the school’s SEVP-certification and SEVIS access, and to provide the students with guidance and information on their options. more

7/29/2011SEVP Updates California Community Colleges on Full Course of Study Requirements (.pdf 26 KB) A 7/22/11 ICE SEVP broadcast message to inform DSOs at SEVP-certified California Community Colleges that all F-1 students who are enrolled in any of California’s community colleges must meet the full course of study requirements as directed in regulation, without amendment. more

7/29/2011ICE Announces Conviction of Salvadoran National for Sex Trafficking of a Child (.pdf 50 KB) ICE press release announcing that Jose Ciro Juarez-Santamaria, a Salvadoran national and MS-13 gang leader, was convicted of conspiracy, sex trafficking, and transportation of a minor for prostitution, for prostituting a 12-year-old female around the metropolitan D.C. area. more

7/29/2011French Citizen Passes Away While in ICE Custody (.pdf 46 KB) ICE press release announcing the death of 29-year-old Irene Bamenga, a French citizen and Angolan national who was being detained at the Albany County Jail in New York pending her removal to France. Bamenga was the ninth individual to pass away in ICE custody during FY2011. more

7/28/2011CIS Ombudsman Update on the USCIS Change of Address Process (.pdf 30 KB) A July 2011 CIS Ombudsman update provides information and resources for U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens on when and how to change an address with USCIS. more

7/28/2011CIS Ombudsman Update on Federal Change of Address Procedures (.pdf 36 KB) A July 2011 CIS Ombudsman update provides information and additional resources on the USCIS, DOS, EOIR, and BIA procedures, filing locations, and timeframes for submitting a change of address. more

7/28/2011ICE Announces 14-Defendant Federal Marriage Fraud Indictment (.pdf 82 KB) ICE press release announcing that a former immigration consultant and 13 others were indicted by a federal grand jury for their alleged participation in an immigration fraud scheme that involved arranging sham marriages to foreign nationals from Eastern Europe and Russia. more

7/28/2011DHS Publishes Fact Sheet on Border Patrol Apprehensions (.pdf 244 KB) DHS Office of Immigration Statistics July 2011 fact sheet provides information on recent trends in U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions and the gender, age, country of nationality, and geographic location of persons apprehended between 2005 and 2010. more

7/28/2011CA7 on the Effective Date of the Child Status Protection Act (.pdf 145 KB) Refusing to apply Chevron deference to the BIA’s decision, the court held that the CSPA applies to beneficiaries of previously approved visa petitions, but not those with applications adjudicated prior to CSPA’s enactment. (Arobelidze v. Holder, 7/27/11) more

7/28/2011Two Individuals Sentenced For Their Roles in a Fraudulent Document Ring (.pdf 78 KB) ICE press release announcing that two men received 42 and 43 months in prison for their roles in a fraudulent document trafficking organization based in Mexico, which operated 19 cells in 11 states and produced false identification cards for undocumented individuals. more

7/28/2011USCIS Releases EB-1 Statistics for FY2010 and FY2011 (.pdf 19 KB) USCIS statistics for FY2010 and FY2011, showing EB-1 receipts, approvals, denials, and RFE issuance by service center. FY2011 data is presented through July 19, 2011. more

7/27/2011USCIS Revised Invitation to EB-5 Quarterly Stakeholder Engagement on 9/15/11 (Updated 7/27/11) (.pdf 267 KB) USCIS revised invitation for an EB-5 stakeholder meeting on 9/15/11. The deadline for agenda items is 8/15/11. USCIS is specifically interested in receiving topics related to Form I-912A, Supplement to Form I-924. RSVP by 9/14/11 in order to participate in person or by phone. more

7/27/2011DOJ Settles Document Abuse Claim Against Louisiana Industrial Services Company (.pdf 214 KB) DOJ press release announcing that it reached a settlement agreement with Brand Energy and Industrial Services resolving allegations that the company engaged in a pattern or practice of document abuse by requesting DHS documents from newly-hired non-U.S. citizens. more

7/27/2011Costco Wholesale Corporation Joins the ICE IMAGE Program (.pdf 240 KB) ICE press release announcing that Costco Wholesale Corporation became a member of the ICE IMAGE program, which is a voluntary program that provides businesses with the screening tools to help prevent the hiring of unauthorized workers. more

7/27/2011EOIR Takes Disciplinary Action Against Four Attorneys (.pdf 245 KB) EOIR press release announcing the immediate suspension of three attorneys, and a final order of discipline given to another, for violations under the Rules of Professional Conduct for immigration attorneys and representatives. more

7/26/2011OFLC H-2B FAQ for Job Contractors (.pdf 253 KB) OFLC H-2B FAQ published on its website under “Job Contractors,” providing information about whether a job contractor can combine job opportunities with several of its joint employer employer-clients in a newspaper advertisement. more

7/26/2011OFLC H-2A FAQ on Staggered Dates of Need (.pdf 223 KB) OFLC H-2A FAQ published on its website under “Staggered Dates of Need,” providing information about whether an employer can file a single Application for Temporary Employment Certification for staggered dates of need. more

7/26/2011USCIS SCOPS Invitation to an I-140 Teleconference on 8/23/11 (.pdf 79 KB) USCIS SCOPS invitation to a teleconference on 8/23/11, hosted by NSC and TSC, regarding the Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. The deadline for submitting agenda items is 8/8/11. The invitation includes additional instructions and information. more

7/26/2011BIA on Changed Circumstances and the One-Year Asylum Deadline (.pdf 147 KB) In an unpublished decision, the BIA found that Respondent’s discovery of his HIV status was a changed circumstance excusing the late filing. The BIA also noted that an approved labor certification would qualify as an extraordinary circumstance. Courtesy of Paul O’Dwyer. more

7/26/2011OFLC Update on Incorporation of the New SOC 2010 (.pdf 44 KB) OFLC update regarding the incorporation of data based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC), as well as examples of the 2010 SOC and the 2000 SOC for selected occupations issued by the National Prevailing Wage Center. more

7/26/2011DOJ, DHS, and DOL Select Anti-Trafficking Coordination Teams (.pdf 45 KB) DOJ press release announcing the selection by DOJ, DHS, and DOL, of Pilot Anti-Trafficking Coordination Teams, which are comprised of federal agents and prosecutors who will implement a strategic law enforcement plan to combat identified human trafficking threats. more

7/26/2011USCIS Filing Tips from the 6/10/11 Teleconference on H-2A Petitions (Updated 7/26/11) (.pdf 474 KB) USCIS filing tips from its 6/10/11 teleconference on best filing practices for H-2A petitions, provided on templates of the ETA Form 9142 Section C and the revised I-129 Page 1. The original teleconference invitation is attached, following the teleconference notes. more

7/26/2011CA7 Upholds Removal of DEA Informer from Thailand (.pdf 83 KB) The court found that reasonable, substantial, and probative evidence presented on remand established a “serious reason to believe” that Petitioner is or has been a trafficker of heroin, thus barring her from relief from removal. (Pronsivakulchai v. Holder, 7/25/11) more

7/26/2011CA3 Says No Exception for Extended Absence from U.S. for Cancellation of Removal (.pdf 96 KB) The court found no humanitarian exception to the stop-time rule and upheld the denial of Petitioners’ cancellation applications despite the fact that they did not intend to stay outside the U.S. for more than 90 days. (Flores-Nova v. Att’y Gen. of the U.S., 7/25/11) more

7/26/2011California DREAM Act of 2011 (AB 130) Signed into Law (.pdf 26 KB) California bill (AB 130) signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on July 25, 2011. AB 130 would allow undocumented immigrants to receive private funds to attend state colleges and universities. The bill is set to take effect on January 1, 2012. more

7/25/2011USCIS EDIS July 2011 Bulletin (.pdf 104 KB) USCIS E-Filing External Data Interface Standards (EDIS) July 2011 Bulletin, providing updates and Q&As on Transformation and EDIS, including information on the initial phase of Transformation rolling out December 2011. more

7/25/2011Executive Order Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations (.pdf 64 KB) An Executive Order by President Obama, dated 7/24/11, establishing a sanctions program to block the property of significant transnational criminal organizations, and providing the criteria for the blocking of persons designated under the order. more

7/25/2011White House Memo on Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations (.pdf 59 KB) A 7/25/11 White House memorandum from President Obama to Congress, reporting a new Executive Order to declare a national emergency with respect to the threat that significant transnational criminal organizations pose to the U.S., and block the property of such groups. more

7/25/2011President Suspends Entry of Individuals Subject to UN Security Council Travel Bans (.pdf 72 KB) Presidential Proclamation made by President Obama, dated 7/25/11, suspending the entry of those individuals who are subject to UN Security Council travel bans and/or sanctions under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. more

7/25/2011White House Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime Fact Sheet (.pdf 62 KB) White House fact sheet on President Obama’s Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime (TOC), which seeks to reduce transnational organized crime from a national security threat to a manageable public safety problem. more

7/25/2011White House Releases Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime (.pdf 852 KB) President Obama’s July 2011 Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime, released by the White House on 7/25/11, establishes priority actions aimed at reducing transnational organized crime from a national security threat to a manageable public safety problem.more

7/25/2011CA2 Refuses to Dismiss Based on Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine (.pdf 272 KB) Comparing the facts to Gao v. Holder where it applied the fugitive disentitlement doctrine to dismiss the case, the court found Gao’s case “extreme” and Petitioner’s case more “normal” and denied the government’s motion to dismiss. (Wu v. Holder, 7/19/11) more

7/25/2011CA11 on “Sought to Acquire” under the Child Status Protection Act (.pdf 275 KB) The court found that the term “sought to acquire” lawful permanent residence within one year of a visa number becoming available is broad enough to encompass substantial steps taken toward the filing of the application. (Medina Tovar v. U.S. Att’y Gen., 7/19/11) more

7/25/2011CA7 Finds Illinois Domestic Battery Is an Aggravated Felony (.pdf 282 KB) The court held that a violation of 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-3.2(a)(1) for intentionally causing bodily harm to a family member is a crime of violence under 18 USC §16(a) and is therefore, an aggravated felony. (Castellanos v. Holder, 7/20/11) more

7/25/2011CA9 Says Violation of California Counterfeiting Statute Is an Aggravated Felony (.pdf 215 KB) The court found that willfully manufacturing, intentionally selling, and knowingly possessing for sale more than 1,000 articles bearing a counterfeit trademark in violation of Cal. Penal Code §350(a)(2) is an aggravated felony. (Rodriguez-Valencia v. Holder, 7/21/11) more

7/25/2011CA9 Remands, Finds Counsel Rendered Ineffective Assistance (.pdf 230 KB) The court found that counsel’s failure to file a stay of voluntary departure, or seek any other avenue of relief, was not a tactical decision and that Petitioner was prejudiced by counsel’s assistance in his efforts to adjust his status. (Singh v. Holder, 7/21/11) more

7/25/2011CA7 Finds Third Party Standing in Case Challenging Constitutionality of Removal (.pdf 300 KB) The court found that Petitioner had third party standing to advance the argument that his removal would violate the constitutional rights of his U.S. citizen children, but joined other circuits in rejecting the merits of the argument. (Marin-Garcia v. Holder, 7/22/11)more

7/25/2011CA9 Remands for BIA to Decide if Consultant’s Actions Excuse Untimely Asylum Application (.pdf 236 KB) On rehearing, the court held that the BIA erred as a matter of law in finding that fraudulent deceit by an immigration consultant cannot constitute an “extraordinary circumstance” that excuses an otherwise untimely asylum application. (Viridiana v. Holder, 7/19/11) more

7/25/2011BIA Finds California Assault Statute Is an Aggravated Felony Crime of Violence (.pdf 214 KB) The BIA held that assault with the intent to commit a felony in violation of Cal. Penal Code section 220 is categorically a crime of violence under 18 USC §16, and is therefore an aggravated felony. Matter of Martinez, 25 I&N Dec. 571 (BIA 2011) more

7/25/2011ALJ Finds Employer Liable for LCA Wages for Failure to Pay Transportation Costs (.pdf 179 KB) The ALJ found that the employer’s failure to prove every element of a bona fide termination, including payment of the H-1B employee’s return trip home, leaves the employer liable for wages for the entire period of authorized employment on the LCA. (2011-LCA-00005, 6/30/11) more

7/22/2011ICE Announces Prison Sentence for Russian National in Export Smuggling Case (.pdf 47 KB) ICE press release announcing that Sergey Korznikov was sentenced to six months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to smuggle military equipment from the U.S. to Russia to be resold to individuals. His co-conspirator was sentenced to 32 months in prison and fined $10,000. more

7/22/2011District Court Orders USVerify to Return Client I-9 Data to LexisNexis (.pdf 319 KB) Order for injunctive relief issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, ordering USVerify to return and transmit to LexisNexis in a usable and accessible format, all I-9 data provided by LexisNexis or its customers. more

7/21/2011ICE Announces Guilty Plea for Falsifying Student Information (.pdf 78 KB) ICE press release announcing that a former university employee who reportedly made repeated false SEVIS entries as a DSO, pled guilty in federal court to concealing and shielding foreign college students who were in violation of the terms of their student visas. more

7/21/2011ICE Announces Fines for Hiring Undocumented Employees (.pdf 50 KB) ICE press release announcing that 14 New England companies have been fined in FY2011 after I-9 inspections uncovered various violations that enabled the companies to hire undocumented workers. more

7/20/2011Vermont Service Center Processing Time Report (7/20/11) (.pdf 488 KB) VSC Processing Time Report released 7/20/11 with processing dates as of 5/31/11. more

7/20/2011Texas Service Center Processing Time Report (7/20/11) (.pdf 381 KB) C Processing Time Report released 7/20/11 with processing dates as of 5/31/11. more

7/20/2011Nebraska Service Center Processing Time Report (7/20/11) (.pdf 466 KB) NSC Processing Time Report released 7/20/11 with processing dates as of 5/31/11. more

7/20/2011California Service Center Processing Time Report (7/20/11) (.pdf 403 KB) CSC Processing Time Report released 7/20/11 with processing dates as of 5/31/11. more

7/20/2011National Benefits Center Processing Time Report (7/20/11) (.pdf 245 KB) NBC Processing Time Report released 7/20/11 with processing dates as of 5/31/11. more

7/20/2011BIA Remands, Orders Consideration of Worsening Conditions for Christians in Iraq (.pdf 312 KB) In an unpublished and redacted decision, the BIA found that conditions in Iraq have changed to such an extent since the respondent’s prior removal hearing that the proceeding should be reopened to consider her application for asylum. Courtesy of Steven N. Garmo. more

7/20/2011DOJ OSC Letter Responds to Document Abuse Question (.pdf 281 KB) DOJ Office of Special Counsel (OSC) letter responding to a question of whether it would be discriminatory for an employer to limit the list of acceptable documents in Section 2 of the Form I-9 based on an employee’s citizenship or immigrant status as identified in Section 1. more

7/20/2011CBP Launches “Don’t Be Fooled” Campaign to Combat Human Trafficking (.pdf 266 KB) CBP press release announcing the launch of two public service announcements as part of its “Don’t Be Fooled” campaign, which is a public awareness campaign designed to educate citizens and encourage public vigilance to fight human trafficking within local communities. more

7/19/2011EOIR Takes Disciplinary Action Against Three Attorneys (.pdf 55 KB) EOIR press release announcing the immediate suspension of one attorney, and the final orders of discipline given to two others, for violations under the Rules of Professional Conduct for immigration attorneys and representatives. more

7/18/2011AILA Comments on USCIS Changes to Overseas I-130 Filings (.pdf 76 KB) AILA’s comments in response to the USCIS final rule on process changes to Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for petitioners residing overseas. more

7/18/2011USCIS Report on All Form Types Performance Data for FY2011 (.pdf 81 KB) USCIS report published on 7/18/11 provides the total number of receipts and approvals, by quarter, for all applications and petition form types submitted to USCIS for adjudication, as of 3/31/11. more

7/18/2011USCIS Report on T and U Visa Statistics for the Second Quarter of FY2011 (.pdf 47 KB) USCIS report published on 7/18/11 contains information on T and U visa petitions as of 4/30/11, including the number of receipts, approvals, denials, and pending cases, displayed for the second quarter of FY2011, and by office. more

7/18/2011USCIS Report on T and U Visa Statistics (.pdf 47 KB) USCIS report published on 7/18/11 contains information on T and U visa petitions as of 4/30/11, including the number of receipts, approvals, denials, and pending cases, displayed by fiscal year and by office. more

7/18/2011USCIS Report on Regular and Military Form N-400 Performance Data (.pdf 202 KB) USCIS report published on 7/18/11 provides information on regular and military service naturalizations, including office locations, receipts, approvals, denials, and cases pending, displayed by fiscal year October 2009 through April 2011, with current year-to-date figures. more

7/18/2011USCIS Report on Regular and Military Form N-400 Average Cycle Time (.pdf 40 KB) USCIS report published on 7/18/11 provides the service-wide military naturalization average cycle times by month, as of 4/30/11. more

7/18/2011USCIS Report on Relative Petitions Form I-130 Performance Data (.pdf 381 KB) USCIS report published on 7/18/11 contains information on the number of alien relative petitions received, approved, denied, and pending, from October 2009 through March 2011, displayed by fiscal year quarter and by USCIS office. more

7/18/2011USCIS Report on H-2A Performance Data by State and Company (.pdf 481 KB) USCIS report published on 7/18/11 contains information on the number of I-129 Temporary Agricultural Worker (H-2A) cases received, approved, and denied during the second quarter of FY 2011, with data as of 3/31/11, displayed by state and petitioning company. more

7/18/2011USCIS Report on Posthumous Citizenship N-644 Performance Data (.pdf 77 KB) USCIS report published on 7/18/11 contains information on posthumous citizenship applications with data as of 3/31/11, including the number of receipts, approvals, denials, and pending cases, displayed by office for each fiscal year since 1991, and quarterly for FY2011. more

7/18/2011USCIS Report on Certificate of Citizenship N-600 Performance Data (.pdf 61 KB) USCIS report published on 7/18/11 contains information on the adjudication of applications for certificates of citizenship for the second quarter of FY2011, with data as of 3/31/11, including the number of receipts, approvals, denials, and pending cases, shown by office. more

7/18/2011USCIS Report on Adjustment of Status I-485 Performance Data (.pdf 463 KB) USCIS report published on 7/18/11 contains information on adjustment of status applications as of 4/30/11, including the number of receipts, approvals, denials, and pending cases, displayed by fiscal year and by office. more

7/18/2011CIS Ombudsman Recommendation on EAD Processing (.pdf 305 KB) A 7/18/11 CIS Ombudsman recommendation on how USCIS could improve employment authorization document (EAD) processing, such as by reestablishing local authority to adjudicate EAD requests and by establishing uniform processing time goals for EAD applications. more

7/18/2011CA7 on Continuous Physical Presence for Cancellation of Removal (.pdf 104 KB) The court held that Petitioner’s continuous presence was interrupted when she signed Form I-826, Notice of Rights and Request for Disposition, and returned to Mexico in a formal, documented process while facing threat of removal. (Reyes-Sanchez v. Holder, 7/14/11) more

7/18/2011USCIS Publishes Data Reports on New Web Page (.pdf 46 KB) USCIS news release announcing the availability of agency performance data reports with the launch of a new website. Initial reports cover naturalization and adjustment of status performance data, as well as T and U visa statistics, and more. more

7/18/2011DOJ Files Lawsuit over Alleged Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination (.pdf 46 KB) DOJ press release announcing that it filed a lawsuit against Mar-Jac Poultry Inc. of GA, alleging that the company subjected newly hired non-U.S. citizens to discriminatory documentary requirements by requiring them to produce specific documentation during the I-9 process. more

7/15/2011BIA Says §212(h) Cannot Waive Conviction for Purposes of Cancellation Eligibility (.pdf 24 KB) The BIA concluded that INA §212(h) cannot waive the effect of a conviction for a controlled substance violation to overcome the bar to cancellation of removal under §240A(b)(1)(C), and dismissed the appeal. Matter of Bustamante, 25 I&N Dec. 564 (BIA 2011)more

7/15/2011BIA Says Maximum Possible Sentence Determines Eligibility for Petty Offense Exception (.pdf 30 KB) The BIA found that the maximum possible sentence for an offense, rather than the standard range under the State's sentencing guidelines, determines an alien's eligibility for the petty offense exception. Matter of Ruiz-Lopez, 25 I&N Dec. 551 (BIA 2011) more

7/15/2011BIA Finds Attorney’s 6-Month Suspension Justified (.pdf 20 KB) The BIA granted EOIR’s motion for summary adjudication, and found that nonidentical reciprocal discipline of an attorney does not amount to “grave injustice” where the attorney has engaged in wide-ranging misconduct. Matter of Salomon, 25 I&N Dec. 559 (BIA 2011) more

7/15/2011CA7 Remands Macedonian Asylum Case; Discusses Persecution vs. Harassment (.pdf 94 KB) The court found that the harm suffered by Petitioners by the paramilitary police unit rose to the level of persecution where the couple was robbed, the husband beaten, the wife sexually molested, and her parents rendered unconscious. (Stanojkova v. Holder, 7/14/11) more

7/15/2011CA9 Finds Pro-Labor Position Constitutes Protected Political Opinion (.pdf 46 KB) The court found that the BIA ignored the anti-government opinion Chinese officials imputed to Petitioner as motivation for abuse, and erroneously concluded that his pro-labor activities did not constitute an expression of political opinion. (Hu v. Holder, 7/14/11) more

7/15/2011CA9 Remands for Credibility Evaluation in “Reason to Believe” Case (.pdf 56 KB) The court found that the IJ’s failure to evaluate Petitioner’s credibility in determining whether there was “reason to believe” he was knowingly engaged in drug trafficking was a fundamental flaw that precludes effective review. (Gomez-Granillo v. Holder, 7/14/11) more

7/15/2011DOS Announces Suspension of Visa Services at U.S. Embassy in Damascus (.pdf 43 KB) DOS press release announcing that as of July 12, 2011, visa services at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus have been suspended until further notice. The Embassy will continue to process visa applications for individuals interviewed prior to the suspension of visa services. more

7/15/2011ICE Announces Prison Sentence for harboring Undocumented Workers (.pdf 48 KB) ICE press release announcing that a Mexican national was sentenced to 46 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution for harboring undocumented individuals whom he employed to work at several of the Mexican restaurants that he owned across in NY, OH, PA, and WV. more

7/14/2011CA9 En Banc Court Overrules Equal Protection Holding in Lujan-Armendariz (.pdf 154 KB) The en banc court held that equal protection does not require treating, for immigration purposes, an expunged state conviction of a drug crime the same as a federal drug conviction that has been expunged under the FFOA. (Nunez-Reyes v. Holder, 7/14/11) more

7/14/2011ICE Announces Prison Sentence for Holding Smuggled Individuals Hostage (.pdf 48 KB) ICE press release announcing that a Mexican national in Texas was sentenced to 11 years and eight months in prison for his role in a May 2010 hostage-taking case that involved 10 undocumented individuals smuggled into the U.S. He faces removal after completing his sentence. more

7/14/2011ICE Announces Sentence for Bringing Minor to U.S. for Illicit Sexual Activity (.pdf 48 KB) ICE press release announcing that a CA man was sentenced to 51 months in prison for traveling with the intent to engage in sexual activity with a Mexican minor. The man reportedly spent time with a 16-year-old girl in Mexico, and then paid a smuggler to bring her to the U.S. more

7/13/2011CBP Announces Sentence for Attempting to Enter the U.S. Unlawfully (.pdf 215 KB) CBP press release announcing that Tomas Avila-Martinez, a Mexican national with a prior drug conviction, was sentenced to 51 months in prison for attempting to unlawfully re-enter the U.S. after he had been previously removed.more

7/13/2011USCIS Update and Q&As Regarding the End of Moscow Parole Program (.pdf 249 KB) USCIS update announcing that the agency will no longer offer parole to Lautenberg category members who are denied refugee status in Moscow. Individuals who have been offered parole by USCIS in Moscow should arrive in the U.S. by 9/30/11. Q&As on this topic follow the update. more

7/12/2011Visa Bulletin for August 2011 (.pdf 52 KB) DOS Visa Bulletin for August 2011. Section D addresses September visa availability, explaining that heavy applicant demand for numbers in the Family First (F1) preference could require retrogression of some of the September F1 preference cut-off dates.more

7/11/2011CA9 Finds Nexus in Mexico Whistleblowing Asylum Case (.pdf 32 KB) The court held that exposure of corruption in the Mexican government and Petitioner’s refusal to accede to corrupt demands were political acts that qualify Petitioner as a whistleblower for asylum and withholding of removal. (Perez-Ramirez v. Holder, 7/8/11) more

7/11/2011DOJ Announces Guilty Pleas in Human Trafficking Case (.pdf 47 KB) DOJ press release announcing that a Georgia couple pleaded guilty in federal court to felony offenses that include harboring an undocumented individual for financial gain, in relation to a scheme to compel the labor of a young woman from the Kingdom of Swaziland.more

7/11/2011CA9 Finds California 2nd Degree Burglary Is Not an Aggravated Felony or CIMT (.pdf 75 KB) The court held that second-degree burglary in violation of California Penal Code §459 is not an aggravated felony theft offense and that the BIA misread Ninth Circuit case law in concluding that the offense qualifies as a CIMT. (Hernandez-Cruz v. Holder, 7/8/11) more

7/11/2011CA5 Rejects Equitable Estoppel Claim in Derivative Citizenship Case (.pdf 96 KB) In a case involving an 11-year delay in adjudicating a certificate of citizenship, the court held that Petitioner failed to show affirmative government misconduct beyond negligence and was not entitled to terminate proceedings. (Robertson-Dewar v. Holder, 7/8/11)more

7/11/2011CA2 Awards EAJA Fees in Colombian Asylum Case (.pdf 41 KB) The court found that the BIA committed significant errors of law that prejudiced Petitioners’ case such that the position of the government was not substantially justified. The court awarded $9,690 in fees and $751.04 in costs. (Gomez-Beleno v. Holder, 7/7/11) more

7/11/2011DOS Announces Visa Restrictions on Iranian Officials for Human Rights Abuses (.pdf 37 KB) DOS press release announcing that on 7/8/11, the U.S. and the U.K. imposed new U.S. visa restrictions on more than 50 Iranian officials who have participated in the commission of human rights abuses related to political repression in Iran. more

7/8/2011ICE Secure Communities Activated in Three Additional Missouri Counties (.pdf 51 KB) ICE press release announcing the activation of Secure Communities in Callaway, Jefferson, and Johnson counties in Missouri. With the addition of these three counties, ICE is using this capability in 46 Missouri jurisdictions. more

7/8/2011DOL Announces Prince George’s County Public Schools to Pay $4.2 Million in Back Wages (.pdf 22 KB) DOL press release announcing that Maryland’s Prince George’s County Public Schools system has agreed to pay $4.2 million in back wages due to H-1B employees because the employees were required to pay fees that the school system should have paid.more

7/7/2011ICE Announces Conviction for Mexican Man Who Misused a U.S. Citizen Passport (.pdf 48 KB) ICE press release announcing that Ramiro Ramirez-Macias was convicted of smuggling methamphetamine and misusing a U.S. citizen passport during his smuggling attempt. Ramirez-Macias was identified by a fingerprint database at the Port of Entry as a Mexican citizen. more

7/7/2011CBP Announces Sentence for Undocumented Individual Attempting Unlawful Re-Entry (.pdf 51 KB) CBP press release announcing that Daniel Elias Rangel-Gonzalez was sentenced to 33 months in prison for attempting to unlawfully re-enter the U.S. after he had been previously removed. He was previously convicted in March 2010 for corporal injury to a spouse or co-habitant.more

7/6/2011CA6 Finds Jurisdiction to Review Denial of Venue Transfer (.pdf 243 KB) Finding the Supreme Court decision Kucana v. Holder controlling, the court held that it had jurisdiction to decide whether the immigration judge’s denial of a venue-transfer motion was an abuse of discretion. (Dugboe v. Holder, 7/6/11)more

7/6/2011CA9 on Definition of “Conviction” under INA §101(a)(48) (.pdf 230 KB) The court found that the right to appeal a sentence on remand does not alter the conclusion that Petitioner was “convicted” under INA §101(a)(48), which requires only a formal judgment of guilt, not that all appeals be exhausted or waived. (Planes v. Holder, 7/5/11)more

7/5/2011DOS Practice Alert: Suspension of All Visa Services at U.S. Embassy, Sana'a (.pdf 96 KB) U.S. Embassy in Sana'a, Yemen announced the suspension of all visa services until further notice. U.S. Department of State hopes to resume normal processes soon. An e-mail and website announcement are included.more

7/5/2011DOS Report on Mission to Iraq, Israel, and the West Bank (.pdf 45 KB) Report from Eric Schwartz, Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration on his May 2011 trip to Iraq, Israel, and the West Bank, detailing U.S. efforts to support displaced Iraqis, African migration to Israel, and U.N. humanitarian work in the West Bank. more

7/5/2011Changes in Visa Reciprocity for Turkey, Japan, and Sweden (.pdf 16 KB) Department of State updates to the visa reciprocity tables, including changes to the documents section for Turkey, and changes in police records information for Japan and Sweden. more

7/5/2011Iraqi Refugee Processing Fact Sheet (.pdf 540 KB) USCIS fact sheet on Iraqi refugee processing including information on the resettlement process for Iraqi refugees, security checks, procedures for Iraqi citizens currently in the U.S., living outside Iraq, and living in Iraq, and Special Immigrant Visas for Iraqis. more

7/5/2011CA4 on Circuit Court Jurisdiction and Venue (.pdf 46 KB) The court held that INA §242(b)(2) does not deprive it of subject matter jurisdiction and that 28 USC §1631, which speaks of jurisdiction, permits the court to transfer in the “interest of justice” when venue is lacking (Sorcia v. Holder, 7/1/11)more

7/5/2011CA9 on Impact of Recent Supreme Court Decisions on Equitable Tolling (.pdf 54 KB) The court held that under Holland v. Florida, individuals who are not entitled to counsel can justify the equitable tolling of a limitations period, such as the motion to reopen deadline, where counsel’s behavior is egregious. (Avagyan v. Holder, 7/1/11) more

7/1/2011CA3 on Jurisdiction over Requests for Consent to Reapply for Admission (.pdf 141 KB) The court held that the immigration judge does not have jurisdiction to consider a request for consent to reapply for admission under INA §212(a)(9)(C)(ii) because Congress delegated that authority to DHS. (Sarango v. Att’y Gen. of the U.S., 6/30/11) more

7/1/2011USCIS Announces More Than 24,000 New Citizens At Fourth of July Celebrations (.pdf 45 KB) USCIS press release announcing that more 24,000 new citizens will be naturalized during Fourth of July naturalization ceremonies, including eight ceremonies that will be held specifically for members of the U.S. armed forces. more

7/1/2011CA2 on Priority Date Retention under the CSPA (.pdf 37 KB) The court found that the Child Status Protection Act, INA §203(h)(3), does not entitle an alien to retain the priority date of an aged-out family preference petition if the petition cannot be “converted to [an] appropriate category.” (Li v. Renaud, 6/30/11) more

7/1/2011CA9 Remands, Finds Nexus in Armenian Whistleblowing Asylum Claim (.pdf 37 KB) The court granted the petition for review in a case involving an Armenian petitioner who faces retaliation from a notorious criminal for pursuing his prosecution and exposing his ties to corrupt government officials. (Antonyan v. Holder, 6/29/11) more

7/1/2011CA9 Declines to Review Denial of Stay of Removal (.pdf 62 KB) The court found no jurisdiction to review the BIA’s interim order denying a stay of removal pending the disposition of Petitioner’s motion to reopen, because it was not part of a “final order of removal” as defined under INA §101(a)(47). (Shaboyan v. Holder, 6/29/11) more


June, 2011

6/30/2011USCIS Announces Rebecca S. Carson as New Chief of Staff (.pdf 27 KB) USCIS press release announcing Rebecca S. Carson as the new Chief of Staff of USCIS, effective June 27, 2011.more

6/30/2011ICE Announces Michigan Dairy Farmers Guilty of Employing Undocumented Individuals (.pdf 47 KB) ICE press release announcing that a Michigan dairy farm and its two owners pleaded guilty to charges of employing 78 different undocumented individuals between 2000 and 2007, which represented 75% of their work force. more

6/30/2011USCIS Agenda and Presentation for EB-5 Quarterly Stakeholder Engagement (Updated 6/30/11) (.pdf 447 KB) USCIS agenda, presentation, and written Q&As for the 6/30/11 stakeholder teleconference on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program. The original invitation follows the additional documents. more

6/30/2011DOL Announces Nearly $84 Million in Grants for Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers (.pdf 64 KB) DOL press release announcing nearly $84 million in grants through the National Farmworker Jobs Program for career training and housing assistance for migrant and seasonal agricultural workers. more

6/29/2011SEVP 6/17/11 Message Regarding Special Relief for Libyan Students (.pdf 211 KB) ICE SEVP broadcast message to all SEVIS users, dated 6/17/11, providing an update about special relief that is available for certain F-1 Libyan students who have suffered severe economic hardship as a result of the civil unrest in Libya since February 2011. more

6/29/2011CA10 Finds Jurisdiction to Review Continuance Denial in Light of Kucana (.pdf 220 KB) Reversing course from Yerkovich v. Ashcroft, the court found that the Supreme Court’s decision in Kucana v. Holder makes it clear that the denial of a request for a continuance is reviewable. (Jimenez-Guzman v. Holder, 6/28/11) more

6/29/2011Presidential Memorandum on Unexpected Refugee Needs Related to Libya and Côte d'Ivoire (.pdf 210 KB) A 6/9/11 Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of State authorizing assistance for the purpose of meeting unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs related to the humanitarian crises resulting from the violence in Libya and Côte d'Ivoire. more

6/28/2011USCIS PowerPoint Presentation for 6/28/11 Teleconference on Employment-Based I-485s (Updated 6/28/11) (.pdf 1056 KB) USCIS Service Center Operations PowerPoint presentation from the 6/28/11 stakeholder teleconference on Employment-Based Forms I-485, hosted by TSC and NSC. Original invitation and updated TSC e-mail protocol follows presentation. more

6/28/2011Executive Order Establishes SelectUSA Initiative to Encourage Global Investment in the U.S. (.pdf 34 KB) Executive Order signed by President Obama on 6/15/11, establishing the SelectUSA Initiative, a government-wide initiative to attract and retain investment in the American economy by encouraging and facilitating optimal business investment in the U.S. more

6/28/2011Supreme Court Rejects Equal Protection Challenge to Former Citizenship Provisions (.pdf 59 KB) The Court upheld the Ninth Circuit which found that the imposition of a 5-year residence requirement only on USC fathers before citizenship could be conferred to a child born abroad out of wedlock does not violate equal protection. (Flores-Villar v. U.S., 6/13/11)more

6/28/2011BIA Remands for Further Fact Finding in Domestic Violence Asylum Case (.pdf 576 KB) In an unpublished decision, the BIA remanded for entry of a new decision, calling for further factual development and arguments specific to the gender-based asylum claim, consistent with the Attorney General’s directive in Matter of R-A-. Courtesy of Aleksander Milch. more

6/28/2011BIA Addresses Whistleblowing as a Basis for Asylum (.pdf 34 KB) The BIA found that retaliation for opposition to state corruption may form the basis for a claim based on political opinion if, post-REAL ID, the actual or imputed anti-corruption belief was one central reason for the harm. Matter of N-M-, 25 I&N Dec. 526 (BIA 2011) more

6/28/2011DOJ Sues Farmland Foods Inc. over Allegations of Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination (.pdf 23 KB) DOJ press release announcing a lawsuit filed before OCAHO alleging that Farmland Foods Inc. of MO engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination by imposing unnecessary documentary requirements on non-citizens while establishing their authorization to work in the U.S.more

6/27/2011DOL June 2011 PERM Statistics (.pdf 100 KB) DOL’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification published PERM statistics from June 2011, including total number of PERM applications received, educational level of active PERM cases, processing status of active PERM cases, and processing priority dates.more

6/27/2011DOJ Resolves Allegations of Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination against AAP (.pdf 34 KB) DOJ press release announcing a settlement agreement with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), resolving allegations that the organization impermissibly allowed employment postings on its website that limited applications to U.S. citizens and certain visa holders.more

6/27/2011DOJ Settles with Canvas Corporation over Citizenship Status Discrimination Claim (.pdf 23 KB) DOJ press release announcing a settlement agreement with Canvas Corporation, a vending company based in Woodbury, N.Y., over allegations that the company engaged in a pattern or practice of citizenship status discrimination by preferring to hire only U.S. citizens. more

6/27/2011CA9 Allows Consideration of Alien’s Admission in Determining Removability (.pdf 40 KB) Clarifying Cheuk Fung S-Yong v. Holder, the court held that an IJ may consider an alien’s admissions regarding removability if they are corroborated by the narrow set of documents that are part of the record of conviction. (Pagayon v. Holder, 6/24/11)more

6/24/2011EOIR Announces Disciplinary Action Taken Against Nine Attorneys (.pdf 55 KB) EOIR press release announcing that it has taken disciplinary action against nine attorneys for violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct for immigration attorneys and representatives. Two attorneys were immediately suspended and seven attorneys received final orders.more

6/24/2011BIA Addresses K-2 Age Out Eligibility for Adjustment of Status (.pdf 37 KB) The BIA concluded that the derivative child of a fiancée visa holder is not ineligible for adjustment of status simply by virtue of having turned 21 after admission to the U.S. on a K-2 visa. Matter of Le, 25 I&N Dec. 541 (BIA 2011) more

6/24/2011BIA on Derivative Eligibility for Late Initial TPS Registration (.pdf 24 KB) The BIA held that an applicant for late initial TPS registration filing as the child of a TPS eligible alien need only establish that he or she qualified as a child at the time of the initial registration period. Matter of N-C-M-, 25 I&N Dec. 535 (BIA 2011) more

6/24/2011North Carolina E-Verify Law (HB 36) Signed Into Law (.pdf 67 KB) North Carolina bill (HB 36) signed into law by Gov. Beverly Perdue on June 23, 2011. HB 36 mandates the use of E-Verify on newly hired employees for all employers with 25 or more employees. more

6/23/2011BALCA Says CO Erred in Finding University Did Not Meet the Definition of “Employer” (.pdf 93 KB) BALCA held that the CO’s finding that the employer did not have a physical location but rather only a P.O. box was clearly erroneous where Section H-1 included a mailbox number located at a building on the university campus. (Matter of Tarleton State Univ., 6/20/11) more

6/23/2011BALCA Remands to Allow Employer to Submit Evidence of Job Requirements (.pdf 93 KB) BALCA found that the CO abused his discretion in treating the request for reconsideration as a request for BALCA review, thus precluding the employer from presenting evidence that the job requirements are normal to the occupation. (Matter of RMS Computer, 6/16/11) more

6/23/2011CA10 Says Constitutionality of Plea Is Not an Element of Proving “Conviction” (.pdf 27 KB) The court rejected Petitioner’s argument that in light of Padilla v. Kentucky, the government must prove in immigration proceedings that the alien received constitutionally adequate advice about the consequences of his criminal plea. (Waugh v. Holder, 6/22/11) more

6/23/2011CA9 Finds California Concealed Weapon Conviction Is a Firearms Offense (.pdf 37 KB) The court held that a conviction for carrying a concealed weapon under California Penal Code §12025(a) is categorically a removable firearms offense under INA §237(a)(2)(C). (Gil v. Holder, 6/22/11)more

6/23/2011CA9 on Retroactivity of Unlawful Presence Under §212(a)(9)(C)(i)(I) (.pdf 51 KB) The court held that unlawful presence under §212(a)(9)(C)(i)(I) may accrue prior to IIRIRA’s 4/1/97 effective date and that the alien must remain outside the U.S. for 10 years to be eligible for the 212(a)(9)(C)(ii) exception. (Carrillo de Palacios v. Holder, 6/21/11) more

6/23/2011CA9 Says Corroboration Not Required When Determining Timeliness of Asylum Claim (.pdf 63 KB) The en banc court found that the BIA improperly imported the corroboration requirement of INA §208(b)(1)(B)(ii), governing the merits of asylum, into §208(a)(2)(B), requiring applications to be filed within one year of arrival in the U.S. (Singh v. Holder, 6/17/11) more

6/23/2011CA11 Rejects Ineffective Assistance Claim Where Counsel Conceded Removability (.pdf 69 KB) The court held that substantial evidence supports the BIA’s finding that counsel made a reasonable strategic decision in conceding removability for Petitioner’s misrepresentation where Petitioner was eligible for §237(a)(1)(H) waiver. (Ali v. U.S. Att’y Gen., 6/22/11)more

6/22/2011CA3 Directs BIA to Grant Withholding to Uzbek Nationals (.pdf 256 KB) The court directed the BIA to grant withholding of removal without remand finding that despite two opportunities, the BIA failed to support its conclusion that Petitioners are a danger to the U.S. with substantial evidence. (Yusupov v. Att’y Gen. of the U.S., 6/16/11) more

6/22/2011CA8 on False Claims to U.S. Citizenship by Unaccompanied Minors (.pdf 78 KB) Over dissent, the court vacated the removal order and remanded to the BIA to clarify the standard it uses in applying the inadmissibility provision for a false claim to U.S. citizenship, INA §212(a)(6)(C)(ii), to unaccompanied minors. (Sandoval v. Holder, 6/14/11) more

6/22/2011CA8 Rejects §245(i) Claim for K-1 Entrant Who Did Not Marry Petitioner (.pdf 100 KB) The court held that 8 CFR §245.1(c)(6)(i) is a permissible construction of INA §245 and bars a K-1 visa holder from adjusting status on any basis other than marriage to the U.S. citizen petitioner notwithstanding §245(i). (Birdsong v. Holder, 6/13/11) more

6/22/2011EOIR Announces Disciplinary Action Taken against 30 Attorneys (.pdf 101 KB) EOIR press release announcing the latest disciplinary actions that were taken against 30 attorneys for violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct. The announcement lists 18 attorneys who were immediately suspended and 12 attorneys who received final orders.more

6/22/2011DOS Q&A Regarding New Safeguards for the J-1 Summer Work Travel Program (.pdf 69 KB) DOS response to a J-1 visa question taken during the 6/20/11 daily briefing addresses new procedures for the Summer Work Travel program which are aimed at providing stronger protections and making it a more viable program.more

6/22/2011ICE Announces the Activation of Secure Communities in Four Additional Georgia Counties (.pdf 78 KB) ICE press release announcing the activation of Secure Communities in Coffee, Dougherty, Grady, and Jeff Davis counties. With the expansion of Secure Communities to these four additional counties, ICE is now using this capability in 38 Georgia jurisdictions.more

6/22/2011ICE Secure Communities Activated in Four Additional Michigan Counties (.pdf 78 KB) ICE press release announcing the activation of Secure Communities in Bay, Lapeer, Midland, and Saginaw counties. With the expansion of Secure Communities to these four additional counties, ICE is now using this capability in 27 Michigan jurisdictions. more

6/22/2011ICE Secure Communities Activated in Seven Additional Ohio Counties (.pdf 78 KB) ICE press release announcing the activation of Secure Communities in Auglaize, Carroll, Columbiana, Erie, Holmes, Medina, and Mercer counties. With the expansion of Secure Communities to these seven counties, ICE is now using this capability in 84 Ohio jurisdictions.more

6/22/2011ICE Secure Communities Activated in an Additional Alabama County (.pdf 78 KB) ICE press release announcing the activation of the Secure Communities program in DeKalb County, Alabama. With the expansion of Secure Communities to this additional county, ICE is now using this capability in 31 Alabama jurisdictions.more

6/22/2011ICE Announces the Arrest of More Than 2,400 Undocumented Individuals in Cross Check Operation (.pdf 103 KB) ICE press release announcing that more than 2,400 undocumented individuals with prior criminal convictions were arrested in May 2011 as a result of a targeted Cross Check operation which was carried out across all 50 states over a seven-day period. more

6/21/2011DHS Memo on Secure Communities Complaints Protocol (.pdf 419 KB) DHS 6/14/11 memorandum by Margo Schlanger of the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and Gary Mead of ICE, setting out how CRCL and ICE will address civil rights complaints involving state and local law enforcement and ICE's Secure Communities program.more

6/17/2011DHS Plan for State and Local Law Enforcement Secure Communities Trainings (.pdf 468 KB) The DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and ICE outline of the plan for a series of training /awareness briefings on the Secure Communities program designed for use by state and local law enforcement agency personnel during daily briefings. more

6/17/2011ICE Memo on Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion Consistent with the Civil Immigration Enforcement Priorities (.pdf 614 KB) ICE 6/17/11 memorandum by Director John Morton issuing guidance to ICE personnel on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion. The memo also sets forth which agency employees may exercise prosecutorial discretion and what factors should be considered. more

6/17/2011ICE Memo on Prosecutorial Discretion Regarding Certain Victims, Witnesses, and Plaintiffs (.pdf 2737 KB) ICE 6/17/11 memo from Director John Morton setting policy on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in removal cases involving victims and witnesses of crime, including domestic violence, and individuals involved in non-frivolous efforts related to civil rights protection. more

6/17/2011ICE Revised Immigration Detainer Form I-247 (6/11) (.pdf 2262 KB) ICE revised immigration detainer Form I-247, issued in June 2011. The form instructs that state and local authorities are not to detain an individual for more than 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays, and requires local law enforcement to provide a copy to detainees. more

6/17/2011DOL Signs Declarations with Guatemala and Nicaragua on Labor Rights Awareness (.pdf 496 KB) DOL 6/16/11 announcement on the signing of joint declarations with the governments of Guatemala and Nicaragua to cooperate in informing workers in the U.S. of their labor rights. more

6/17/2011ICE Secure Communities Activated in Three Additional South Carolina Counties (.pdf 46 KB) ICE press release announcing the activation of Secure Communities in Clarendon, Fairfield and Lee counties. With the addition of these three counties, Secure Communities is now activated in 32 South Carolina jurisdictions.more

6/17/2011ICE Secure Communities Activated in Five Additional Alabama Counties (.pdf 46 KB) ICE press release announcing the activation of Secure Communities in Lamar, Lawrence, Marengo, Marion and Monroe counties. With the addition of these five counties, Secure Communities is now activated in 30 Alabama jurisdictions.more

6/15/2011TEGL 32-10, Change 1: H-2A Labor Certification Process for Occupations Engaged in Sheepherding and Goatherding (.pdf 134 KB) DOL 6/14/11 Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) on updated special procedures in the H-2A program for employers who apply for the labor certifications to hire temporary agricultural foreign workers to perform sheepherding and/or goatherding activities.more

6/15/2011TEGL 15-06, Change 1: H-2A Labor Certification Process for Occupations Involved in Open Range Production of Livestock (.pdf 1177 KB) DOL 06/14/11 Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) on updated special procedures in the H-2A program for employers who apply for the labor certifications to hire temporary agricultural foreign workers in the open range production of livestock in the U.S.more

6/15/2011TEGL 17-06, Change 1: H-2A Labor Certification Process in the Itinerant Animal Shearing Industry (.pdf 112 KB) DOL 06/14/11 Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) on updated special procedures in the H-2A program for employers who apply for labor certifications to hire temporary agricultural foreign workers in the itinerant animal shearing industry in the United States. more

6/14/2011USCIS Launches E-Verify Driver's Licenses Validation Feature in Mississippi (.pdf 260 KB) USCIS announcement and fact sheet on the launch of Records and Information from DMVs for E-Verify (RIDE), a new feature which allows USCIS’s E-Verify program to validate the authenticity of Mississippi driver’s licenses used by employees as Form I-9 identity documents. more

6/13/2011District Court Applies Kazarian in Upholding EB-1 Denial for Film/Television Producer (.pdf 72 KB) The district court found that although USCIS erred by heightening the requirements for at least four of the evidentiary criteria, its decision that Plaintiff did not demonstrate sustained acclaim was not arbitrary or capricious. (Rijal v. USCIS, 2/22/11) more

6/13/2011ICE Announces the Conviction of a Nigerian Woman in Labor Trafficking Case (.pdf 101 KB) ICE press release announcing the conviction of Bidemi Bello, a citizen of Nigeria, for trafficking two women and forcing them to work as her nannies. The charges in the conviction include forced labor, labor trafficking, and document servitude, and alien harboring.more

6/13/2011ICE Announces Sentence for Korean-Born Pastor Convicted of Visa Fraud (.pdf 85 KB) ICE press release announcing that the owner and operator of the former California Union University was sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to forfeit the property housing the former school as a result of his conviction for visa fraud and money laundering.more

6/13/2011CIS Ombudsman Tips for Getting the Most Out of NCSC Calls (.pdf 82 KB) CIS Ombudsman update provides information to help customers get the most out of their calls to the USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC), including services covered by the NCSC, how to prepare for an NCSC call, what to do during the call, service requests, and more.more

6/13/2011USCIS Announces Naturalization Ceremonies to Commemorate Flag Day 2011 (.pdf 65 KB) USCIS press release announcing two special naturalization ceremonies, one in Washington, D.C., and another in Baltimore, MD, as part of USCIS’s Flag Day 2011 celebration.more

6/13/2011Vermont Service Center Processing Time Report (06/13/11) (.pdf 293 KB) VSC Processing Time Report released 06/13/11 with processing dates as of 04/30/11.more

6/13/2011Texas Service Center Processing Time Report (06/13/11) (.pdf 251 KB) TSC Processing Time Report released 06/13/11 with processing dates as of 04/30/11.more

6/13/2011Nebraska Service Center Processing Time Report (06/13/11) (.pdf 270 KB) NSC Processing Time Report released 06/13/11 with processing dates as of 04/30/11.more

6/13/2011National Benefits Center Processing Time Report (06/13/11) (.pdf 53 KB) NBC Processing Time Report released 06/13/11 with processing dates as of 04/30/11.more

6/13/2011California Service Center Processing Time Report (6/13/11) (.pdf 210 KB) CSC Processing Time Report released 06/13/11 with processing dates as of 04/30/11.more

6/13/2011Visa Bulletin for July 2011 (.pdf 77 KB) DOS Visa Bulletin for July 2011. Section C addresses advance notification of the diversity (DV) immigrant category rank cut-offs which will apply in August.more

6/13/2011EOIR Announces the Investiture of a New Immigration Judge (.pdf 34 KB) EOIR press release announcing that Madeline Garcia was sworn in as a new immigration judge, and that she will preside at the Atlanta Immigration Court. The press release includes biographical information about the new judge.more

6/10/2011DOJ Announces Indictment in Case Alleging Domestic Servitude of a Filipina National (Updated 6/10/11) (.pdf 268 KB) DOJ press release announcing that a federal grand jury indicted a husband and wife of Upper Marlboro, MD, on charges related to an alleged scheme to compel the labor and domestic service of a Filipina national. The couple is also charged with alleged immigration violations. more

6/10/2011Grand Jury Indicts Couple on Charges Involving Domestic Servitude (.pdf 1658 KB) Federal grand jury indictment charging a MD couple with forced labor conspiracy and harboring a domestic worker for financial gain. The indictment alleges the defendants procured a fraudulent B-1 visa to bring the victim to the U.S. to work as their domestic servant. more

6/10/2011DOJ Preliminary Plan for Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules (.pdf 1291 KB) DOJ Preliminary Plan for Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules, dated May 18, 2011, creates an internal working group that would review existing regulations, collaborate with rulemaking components, solicit public comment, and recommend revisions. more

6/10/2011Alabama Immigration Law (HB 56) Signed Into Law (.pdf 116 KB) Alabama immigration bill (HB 56) signed into law by Gov. Robert Bentley on June 9, 2011. HB 56 mandates the use of E-Verify, and requires schools to verify the immigration status of students and parents. The bill is set to take effect on Sept. 1, 2011. more

6/10/2011ICE Announces Eligibility of Certain Libyan Students for Employment Authorization (.pdf 50 KB) ICE press release announcing employment authorization eligibility for certain F-1 Libyan students who have suffered severe economic hardship as a direct result of the civil unrest in Libya since February 2011. more

6/9/2011BIA Says Arriving Aliens Subject to Expedited Removal May Be Placed in §240 Proceedings (.pdf 50 KB) The BIA found that DHS has the discretion to place arriving aliens in removal proceedings under INA §240, even if they may also be subject to expedited removal under INA §235(b)(1)(A)(i). Matter of E-R-M- & L-R-M, 25 I&N Dec. 520 (BIA 2011) more

6/9/2011BIA Dismisses Appeal of Derivative Spouse Who Cannot Independently Qualify for TPS (.pdf 59 KB) The BIA held that an alien seeking TPS as a derivative spouse must be from a state designated for TPS eligibility and found that the IJ properly denied the respondent’s application for TPS as a late initial registrant. Matter of Echeverria, 25 I&N Dec. 512 (BIA 2011) more

6/9/2011USCIS Fact Sheet on National Initiative to Combat Immigration Services Scams (.pdf 38 KB) USCIS fact sheet on the national, multi-agency initiative to combat immigration scams involving the unauthorized practice of immigration law that was launched by DHS, DOJ, and the FTC on 6/9/11. more

6/9/2011DHS, DOJ, and FTC Collaborate to Combat Immigration Services Scams (.pdf 26 KB) Joint DHS, DOJ, and FTC press release on the 6/9/11 launch of a national initiative designed to stop immigration scams that involve the unauthorized practice of immigration law, through enforcement, education, and continued collaboration. more

6/9/2011DOS OIG and Broadcasting Board of Governors Report on DOS Youth Programs (.pdf 232 KB) DOS OIG and the Broadcasting Board of Governors report finding that there is insufficient oversight within the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of DOS youth exchange programs. more

6/9/2011BIA Finds Conviction for Violating Kansas No-Contact Provision Is a Removable Offense (.pdf 20 KB) The BIA found that a conviction for violation of the no-contact provision of a protection order issued under the Kansas Protection from Abuse Act constitutes a removable offense under INA §237(a)(2)(E)(ii). Matter of Strydom, 25 I&N Dec. 507 (BIA 2011) more

6/9/2011ICE Secure Communities Activated in Nine Additional Indiana Counties (.pdf 50 KB) ICE press release announcing the activation of Secure Communities in Bartholomew, Brown, Clay, Crawford, Daviess, Delaware, Gibson, Greene, and Johnson counties. With the addition of these nine counties, Secure Communities is now activated in 43 Indiana jurisdictions. more

6/9/2011BALCA Vacates Denial, Discusses Timing of Recruitment in Relation to PWD (.pdf 92 KB) The court held that 20 CFR 656.40(c) does not require that the employer’s first recruitment step begin during the validity period of the prevailing wage determination, only that some recruitment step be initiated during that time. (Matter of Horizon Computer, 5/25/11) more

6/8/2011USCIS 6/1/11 Edition of the Handbook for Employers, M-274 Manual (.pdf 3930 KB) A 6/1/11 edition of USCIS’ M-274, Handbook for Employers, which provides guidance to employers on I-9 compliance. more

6/8/2011USCIS I-9 Questions and Answers (.pdf 116 KB) USCIS Q&As provide information about who needs to complete the Form I-9, how to complete the Form I-9, acceptable documents for I-9 purposes, and more. more

6/8/2011CA2 on Burden of Proof and Evidence of Good Faith Marriage (.pdf 61 KB) The court held that the burden is on the alien to prove a good faith marriage for waiver of the joint filing requirement for removal of conditions and that the IJ did not err in attaching significance to the couple’s post-marriage actions. (Boluk v. Holder, 6/7/11) more

6/6/2011OIG Report on the Supervision of Undocumented Individuals Commensurate With Risk (.pdf 1226 KB) DHS OIG report assessing and making recommendations with regard to the effectiveness of ICE’s decision-making process on whether to detain undocumented individuals or to place them in supervised release. more

6/6/2011ICE Announces Sentence for Chinese National in Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals Trafficking Case (.pdf 54 KB) ICE press release announcing that Shengyang Zhou, a Chinese national, was sentenced to 87 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution for trafficking in counterfeit versions of the weight-loss drug known as “Alli.” Zhou will be removed from the U.S. after his sentence. more

6/6/2011CA9 Says EAD Grant Does Not Confer Admission Status for Cancellation of Removal (.pdf 54 KB) The court held that the grant of work authorization pending the approval of adjustment of status does not confer admission status on an undocumented alien for purposes of calculating seven years continuous residence for cancellation. (Guevara v. Holder, 6/3/11) more

6/6/2011USCIS Policy Memo on Requests to Expedite Adjudication of Form I-601 (.pdf 166 KB) USCIS 5/9/11 policy memo on how USCIS processes requests to expedite the adjudication of Forms I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, filed by individuals outside of the U.S. The receipt notice template, Appendix 41-5, is attached following the memo. more

6/6/2011CA9 on “Admitted in Any Status” for Cancellation of Removal (.pdf 49 KB) The court held that an approved I-130 Petition for Alien Relative does not confer admission status on an undocumented alien for purposes of showing seven years of continuous residence for cancellation of removal. (Vasquez de Alcantar v. Holder, 6/3/11) more

6/3/2011DOJ Announces the Unveiling of an Initiative to Combat Immigration Services Scams (.pdf 68 KB) DOJ announcement regarding the national launch of a multi-agency effort to combat immigration services scams. DHS, DOJ, and the Federal Trade Commission are leading the initiative and will host a launch event on 6/9/11, in Washington, DC. more

6/3/2011DOJ Announces Settlement with Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (.pdf 73 KB) DOJ press release announcing a settlement with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) under which MCSO will continue to provide access to the sources of information that the Department determines are pertinent to its Title VI investigation of the sheriff’s office. more

6/3/2011USCIS Teleconference Invitation on Best Practices for Filing H-2A Petitions (.pdf 56 KB) USCIS invitation to a teleconference on 6/10/11, to discuss best filing practices for H-2A petitions. RSVP by 6/9/11 in order to participate. Additional information and call-in instructions are included on the invitation. more

6/3/2011ICE Announces Arrests in a Case Involving Alleged Document Fraud (.pdf 48 KB) ICE press release announcing that 11 people have been arrested in Morgan County, CO, following a grand jury indictment that charges 20 people, including the 11 individuals who were arrested, with possessing or using false documents to unlawfully gain employment in the U.S. more

6/2/2011DOS Announces the Completion of its U.S. Passport Agency Expansion Project (.pdf 36 KB) DOS press release announcing that the agency has completed its passport agency expansion project, which consisted of opening new passport agencies in GA, NY, TX, CA, and VT, and opening public windows at existing agencies in AR and NH. more

6/2/2011Class Action Lawsuit Challenges Georgia HB 87 (.pdf 245 KB) Class action complaint filed by a coalition of civil rights groups and individual attorneys, including the National Immigration Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union, and AILA Past President, Charles Kuck, challenging Georgia’s “Show Me Your Papers” law, HB 87. more

6/2/2011DOS Announces the Completion of its U.S. Passport Agency Expansion Project (.pdf 36 KB) DOS press release announcing that the agency has completed its passport agency expansion project, which consisted of opening new passport agencies in GA, NY, TX, CA, and VT, and opening public windows at existing agencies in AR and NH. more

6/2/2011ICE Announces Former Serbian Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Immigration Fraud (.pdf 50 KB) ICE press release announcing that Zeljko Zekic pleaded guilty to lying to federal immigration officials during his application for refugee status about his job and residence during the Bosnian War of 1992 to 1995. Zekic has been placed in removal proceedings. more

6/2/2011ICE Announces Visa Fraud Conviction for Man who Lived in Rwanda during 1994 Genocide (.pdf 48 KB) ICE press release announcing that a Kansas man, Lazare Kabaya Kobagaya, who previously resided in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, was convicted of visa fraud for lying about where he resided during that time period in order to gain entry into the U.S. more

6/2/2011CA9 Says Reinstatement Does Not Apply to Petitioner Who Sought Relief Pre-IIRIRA (.pdf 57 KB) The court held that reinstatement of removal under INA §241(a)(5) is impermissibly retroactive when applied to individuals who applied for discretionary relief prior to IIRIRA’s effective date. (Chay Ixcot v. Holder, 6/1/11) more

6/2/2011USCIS Temporarily Suspends the Use of VIBE in the H-2A Program, Offers H-2A Checklist and Q&A (Updated 6/2/11) (.pdf 68 KB) USCIS alert announcing the temporary suspension of VIBE in the H-2A program until 7/18/11, and providing an optional H-2A checklist and Q&As offered to H-2A petitioners. USCIS also is planning a stakeholder engagement to discuss best filing practices for H-2A employers. more

6/2/2011USCIS Checklist for H-2A Petitioners (.pdf 109 KB) USCIS optional checklist for petitioners requesting H-2A temporary agricultural workers includes information about general petition requirements, additional documentation to show the workers qualify for H-2A employment, H-2 Eligible Countries List requirements, and more. more

6/2/2011USCIS Q&As for H-2A Petitioners (.pdf 99 KB) USCIS Q&As address who may file the Form I-129 as an H-2A petitioner, who may be an “agent-petitioner” for H-2A classification, who may assist petitioners in filling out the Form I-129, what agents and associations need to know about requesting H-2A workers, and more. more

6/1/2011USCIS Announces New Online Citizenship Resource Center (.pdf 79 KB) USCIS bulletin announcing and inviting visitors to the new Citizenship and Resource Center, a Web portal that has information and resources on U.S. citizenship. A link to the Citizenship Resource Center is provided in the bulletin. more

6/1/2011USCIS Verification and Records DC Offices Remain Closed on 6/2/11 Due Power Outage (Updated 6/2/11) (.pdf 38 KB) USCIS announcement that the Verification and Records offices in Washington, DC, continue to be closed on 6/2/11 due to a power outage. The offices also were closed on 6/1/11. Tier 2 customer support calls have been rerouted to the Nebraska Verifications Operations Centers. more

6/1/2011CA9 Affirms Oh v. Gonzales, Says 30-Day Appeal Deadline Is Not Jurisdictional (.pdf 236 KB) Finding no ambiguity, the court refused to apply Brand X and Chevron deference to the BIA’s decision in Liadov and concluded that the 30 day deadline for appeals under 8 CFR §1003.38 is not jurisdictional. (Irigoyen-Briones v. Holder, 5/31/11) more

6/1/2011U.S. Embassy in Kabul Returns to Full Visa Service on 6/1/11 (.pdf 212 KB) U.S. Embassy Kabul announcement of the return to full visa services for the first time in 20 years, beginning on 6/1/11. As a result of the return to full service, applicants for immigrant visas as well as nonimmigrant visas will be able to have scheduled interviews in Kabul. more

6/1/2011CA2 Remands for BIA Clarification on the Concept of Legitimation (.pdf 284 KB) In a case involving a claim for derivative citizenship, the court remanded to the BIA to clarify how it interprets “legitimation” under INA §101(c)(1) and to explain how its understanding of legitimation applies to Jamaican law. (Watson v. Holder, 5/31/11) more


May, 2011

5/31/2011DOJ Announces Three Convicted in Human Trafficking Case on Long Island, NY (.pdf 77 KB) DOJ press release announcing that three men were convicted of charges relating to sex trafficking, conspiracy, forced labor, harboring undocumented individuals, and the transportation of undocumented individuals. The men are awaiting sentencing. more

5/31/2011USCIS Presentation from 5/31/11 Teleconference on Customer Service (Updated 5/31/11) (.pdf 551 KB) USCIS SCOPS PowerPoint presentation from the 5/31/11 monthly stakeholder engagement to discuss customer service at USCIS service centers. The teleconference was hosted by VSC and CSC. Original invitation follows the presentation. more

5/31/2011ICE Announces Charges against Florida Man Accused of Falsely Posing as an Immigration Attorney (.pdf 47 KB) ICE press release announcing charges against Levy Garcia Crespo for allegedly making false statements in connection with purported immigration services. Crespo is accused of submitting fraudulent paperwork to USCIS and falsely representing himself as an immigration attorney. more

5/31/2011DOS Announces New J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program Website (.pdf 38 KB) DOS press release announcing that the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs will launch a new J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program website on 6/1/11. more

5/31/2011U.S. Attorney Announces Charges against Florida Man Accused of Falsely Representing Himself as an Immigration Attorney (.pdf 21 KB) Southern District of Florida press release announcing that Levy Garcia Crespo of West Palm Beach was charged in federal court for allegations of making false statements in connection with purported immigration services. If convicted, Crespo could face five years in prison. more

5/27/2011CA2 Asks BIA to Reconsider Continuance for Arriving Alien (.pdf 31 KB) In a case involving an arriving alien adjustment of status, the court found that the BIA erred in denying Petitioner’s continuance on the ground that it lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate adjustment applications for arriving aliens. (Freire v. Holder, 5/27/11) more

5/27/2011DHS Preliminary Plan for Retrospective Regulatory Review (.pdf 520 KB) DHS Preliminary Plan for Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations, dated May 18, 2011, identifies a number of USCIS, CBP, and ICE regulations that are candidates for review at three stages: recently published regulations, in-progress review, and long-term review. more

5/26/2011Supreme Court Says Arizona E-Verify Law Is Not Preempted (.pdf 305 KB) The Court held that the Legal Arizona Workers Act which mandates E-Verify and permits the suspension or revocation of business licenses for knowingly employing unauthorized workers is not preempted by federal immigration law. (Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, 5/26/11) more

5/25/2011USCIS Announces Launch of Federal Initiative to Raise Awareness Regarding Citizenship (.pdf 232 KB) USCIS press release announcing the launch of a federal initiative to raise awareness about the rights, responsibilities, and importance of U.S. citizenship. USCIS Director Mayorkas will launch the initiative online on 5/25/11. more

5/25/2011Complaint against Infosys Brings B-1 in Lieu of H-1B under Fire (.pdf 854 KB) Civil complaint filed in the Circuit Court of Lowndes County, Alabama against Infosys Technologies, alleging that the company illegally employed B-1 visa holders on company projects in an effort to avoid the restrictions and limitations of the H-1B program. more

5/25/2011House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Impact of Zadvydas v. Davis (.pdf 240 KB) Testimony from the 5/24/11 hearing before the House Judiciary Committee titled “H.R.1932, the Keep Our Communities Safe Act of 2011” including discussion on the impact of Zadvydas v. Davis on ICE detentions. more

5/25/2011ICE Secure Communities Activated in Ten Additional Alabama Counties (.pdf 241 KB) ICE press release announcing the activation of Secure Communities in Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman, Franklin, Jackson, Shelby, and Talladega counties. ICE is now using this capability in 25 Alabama jurisdictions. more

5/25/2011CA4 Says Inconclusive Conviction Record Is Insufficient to Meet Cancellation Burden (.pdf 233 KB) The court rejected the argument that Petitioner satisfied his burden of proof to demonstrate he had not been convicted of an aggravated felony by presenting an inconclusive, though complete, record of conviction. (Salem v. Holder, 5/24/11) more

5/24/2011CA8 Remands for BIA Finding on Equitable Tolling of MTR Deadline (.pdf 37 KB) The court remanded for the BIA to determine whether the motion deadline is equitably tolled based on ineffective assistance of counsel, and if so, to rule on the motion whether on the basis of the departure bar or other grounds. (Ortega-Marroquin v. Holder, 5/23/11) more

5/24/2011CA1 Upholds Adverse Credibility in Ivory Coast Claim (.pdf 128 KB) Over dissent, the court denied the petition, noting that Petitioner used nearly identical language to describe his mistreatment as that used in an Amnesty International report, and where his testimony was inconsistent and uncorroborated. (Dehonzai v. Holder, 5/23/11) more

5/23/2011USCIS Updated RFE Template for I-129 P-3 Culturally Unique Artists and Entertainers (.pdf 324 KB) USCIS RFE template for Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, seeking P-3 classification for culturally unique artists and entertainers. The final date for stakeholder viewing is 6/6/11. Service centers will use the template effective immediately. more

5/23/2011USCIS Updated RFE Template for I-129 P-2 Exchange Artists or Entertainers (.pdf 327 KB) USCIS RFE template for Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, seeking P-2 classification for reciprocal exchange artists or entertainers. The final date for stakeholder viewing is 6/6/11. Service centers will use the template effective immediately. more

5/23/2011USCIS Updated RFE Template for I-129 P-1B Entertainment Groups and Performers (.pdf 339 KB) USCIS RFE template for Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, seeking P-1B classification for internationally recognized entertainment groups and performers. The final date for stakeholder viewing is 6/6/11. Service centers will use the template effective immediately. more

5/23/2011USCIS Updated RFE Template for I-129 P Essential Support Workers (.pdf 325 KB) USCIS RFE template for Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, seeking P-1S classification for essential support workers. The final date for stakeholder viewing is 6/6/11. Service centers will use the template effective immediately. more

5/23/2011USCIS Updated RFE Template for I-129 P-1A Athletes and Teams (.pdf 339 KB) USCIS RFE template for Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, seeking P-1A classification for internationally recognized athletes and teams. The final date for stakeholder viewing is 6/6/11. Service centers will use the template effective immediately. more

5/23/2011USCIS E-Verify Connection Issue 3, May 2011 (.pdf 384 KB) E-Verify Connection for May 2011 covers E-Verify Self Check, the launch of I-9 Central, E-Verify web pages now available in Spanish, an updated list of federal contractors enrolled in the E-Verify program, the Form I-9 final rule, and more. more

5/23/2011USCIS Invitation to Citizenship Public Education and Awareness Initiative Pre-Screening Event (.pdf 112 KB) USCIS invitation to a 5/24/11 pre-screening of materials for the Citizenship Public Education and Awareness Initiative. Through the initiative, USCIS will use multilingual media to raise awareness among immigrants about the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship. more

5/23/2011ICE SEVP Notice to Schools on the Accreditation of English Language Training Programs Act (.pdf 43 KB) A 5/18/11 SEVP memo on the Accreditation of English Language Training Programs Act, which requires that any English language training program seeking to enroll F nonimmigrant students be accredited by an agency that is recognized by the Dept. of Education, effective 6/12/11. more

5/23/2011CBP Announces Important Information Regarding NSEERS (.pdf 19 KB) CBP bulletin recapping the 4/27/11 DHS Federal Register notice through which the Department announced it was removing the list of countries whose nationals have been subject to the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) registration process. more

5/23/2011Secretary of State Clinton Announces Changes to Iranian Student Visa Validity (.pdf 37 KB) A statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announcing that qualified Iranian students and exchange visitors are eligible to receive two-year, multiple entry visas as of 5/20/11. A video message and Persian version of the statement also are available. more

5/23/2011DOS Announces Changes to Iranian Student Visa Validity (.pdf 35 KB) DOS press release announcing that as of 5/20/11, certain qualified Iranian applicants for visas in the F, J, and M categories are eligible for two-year, multiple entry visas. This is an increase in the current visa validity of three months, single entry. more

5/20/2011CBP Border Patrol Apprehension Statistics (.pdf 22 KB) CPB released a report on 5/19/11 of statistics on U.S. Border Patrol's total apprehensions of undocumented individuals by fiscal year, from FY1999 through FY2010. The report also includes a breakdown of such apprehensions from Mexico, and from countries other than Mexico. more

5/20/2011DOL Announces Back Wages and Penalties for Violating H-2A Program (.pdf 25 KB) DOL press release announcing an order for Global Horizons, Inc. to pay $153,000 in back wages to 88 workers, plus $194,000 in penalties, for violating provisions of the H-2A program. Under the order, Global Horizons will be debarred from the H-2A program for three years. more

5/20/2011CA6 Remands for BIA Finding on Whether Citizenship Revocation Is Persecution (.pdf 56 KB) The court remanded the case, finding that the BIA failed to consider whether the revocation of Petitioner’s Estonian citizenship on account of her Russian ethnicity amounted to persecution. (Stserba v. Holder, 5/20/11) more

5/19/2011USCIS Announces Proposed Changes to EB-5 Processing (.pdf 72 KB) USCIS press release announcing proposed changes to USCIS’s processing of EB-5 cases, including an accelerated adjudication process, the creation of specialized intake teams for I-924 applications, and an expert board to render decisions on EB-5 Regional Center applications. more

5/19/2011Message from Director Mayorkas on Proposed Changes to EB-5 Processing (.pdf 59 KB) Message from USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas regarding proposed changes to USCIS’s processing of EB-5 cases posted by USCIS on 5/19/11, including an accelerated adjudication process, the creation of specialized intake teams for I-924 applications, and more. more

5/19/2011USCIS Proposed EB-5 Operational Changes for Comment (.pdf 303 KB) USCIS 5/19/11 operational proposal for comment on proposed changes to USCIS’s processing of EB-5 cases, including an accelerated adjudication process, with premium processing, and more. Comments are due 6/17/11. The proposal is attached following the instructions. more

5/19/2011USCIS Update and Fact Sheet on the Extension and Re-Designation of Haiti for TPS (.pdf 195 KB) USCIS update and fact sheet on the 18-month extension and re-designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) providing information about application procedures and filing instructions for Haiti TPS. The fact sheet is attached following the update. more

5/19/2011ICE Announces Prison Sentence for Mexican National in Human Smuggling Case (.pdf 51 KB) ICE press release announcing that Miguel Alvarado-Casas, a Mexican national unlawfully residing in Houston, TX, was sentenced to 100 months in federal prison for his part in a conspiracy to transport undocumented individuals. He will be removed after completing his sentence. more

5/18/2011White House Blog on Entrepreneurs as Key to Fixing Our Immigration System (.pdf 142 KB) White House blog highlights a 5/12/11 roundtable discussion on fixing our immigration system so it works for the 21st Century economy, which included calls for clarity on the importance of immigrant entrepreneurs and simpler rules to navigate the legal immigration system. more

5/18/2011DOJ Settles with NJ Employer over Allegations of Citizenship Status Discrimination (.pdf 75 KB) DOJ press release announcing a settlement with Iflowsoft LLC over allegations that the New Jersey computer programming services provider engaged in a pattern or practice of citizenship status discrimination by preferring to hire temporary visa holders over U.S. citizens. more

5/18/2011Vermont Service Center Processing Time Report (5/17/11) (.pdf 322 KB) VSC Processing Time Report released 5/17/11 with processing dates as of 3/31/11. more

5/18/2011Texas Service Center Processing Time Report (5/17/11) (.pdf 285 KB) TSC Processing Time Report released 5/17/11 with processing dates as of 3/31/11. more

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5/18/2011Nebraska Service Center Processing Time Report (5/17/11) (.pdf 293 KB) NSC Processing Time Report released 5/17/11 with processing dates as of 3/31/11. more

5/18/2011National Benefits Center Processing Time Report (5/17/11) (.pdf 83 KB) NBC Processing Time Report released 5/17/11 with processing dates as of 3/31/11. more

5/18/2011California Service Center Processing Time Report (5/17/11) (.pdf 240 KB) CSC Processing Time Report released 5/17/11 with processing dates as of 3/31/11. more

5/18/2011EOIR Guidance on Applications for Suspension/Cancellation Once Numbers are No Longer Available (.pdf 567 KB) EOIR memo (OPPM 11-01) from Chief Immigration Judge Brian M. O’Leary providing guidance on the procedures for handling applications for suspension of deportation/cancellation of removal once numbers are no longer available in a fiscal year. This memo replaces OPPM 99-2. more

5/18/2011DOJ Announces Appointment of Juan Osuna as Permanent EOIR Director (.pdf 215 KB) DOJ press release announcing the appointment of Juan Osuna as the permanent Director for the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). Juan Osuna has served as Acting Director of EOIR since December 2010. more

5/18/2011Minnesota Court Says Padilla v. Kentucky Applies Retroactively (.pdf 296 KB) The court found that the Supreme Court decision in Padilla v. Kentucky is not a new rule of constitutional criminal procedure and therefore applies retroactively to cases on collateral review. (Campos v. Minnesota, 5/16/11) more

5/18/2011USCIS Alert on the Extension and Re-Designation of Haiti for TPS (.pdf 256 KB) USCIS alert on the re-designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and 18-month extension of Haiti’s current TPS designation. The alert also indicates that USCIS is planning to post a Federal Register notice to provide additional guidance on this matter. more

5/18/2011CA9 Says WA Criminal Assistance Is Not Categorically an Aggravated Felony (.pdf 240 KB) The court held that Petitioner’s misdemeanor conviction for rendering criminal assistance in violation of Wash. Rev. Code §9A.76.080 is not categorically an aggravated felony obstruction of justice crime under INA §101(a)(43)(S). (Hoang v. Holder, 5/17/11) more

5/17/2011DOJ Settles with Maricopa Community College District over Allegations of Discrimination (.pdf 47 KB) DOJ press release announcing a settlement reached with the Maricopa County Community College District in Arizona over allegations that the district engaged in discriminatory practices against non-citizens in the hiring and employment eligibility verification process. more

5/17/2011USCIS Announces Centralization of Form I-130 Filing (.pdf 57 KB) USCIS press release announcing that effective 8/15/11, petitioners residing outside of the U.S. may file I-130s at the Chicago Lockbox facility. The announcement coincides with a DHS final rule on revised filing instructions published in the Federal Register on 5/17/11. more

5/17/2011DHS Secretary Napolitano Announces TPS Extension for Haiti Beneficiaries (.pdf 23 KB) DHS press release on Secretary Napolitano’s announcement of the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti beneficiaries, which will be effective 7/23/11, and will allow eligible beneficiaries to remain in the U.S. for an additional 18 months, through 1/22/13. more

5/16/2011Five Arrested in Texas in Connection with Alleged H-2B Fraud Scheme (.pdf 97 KB) Press release from the office of U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy of the Western District of Texas announcing the arrest of five individuals who were indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and to encourage aliens to illegally enter and reside in the U.S. more

5/16/2011USCIS Straight from the Source for May 2011 (.pdf 149 KB) USCIS May edition of Straight from the Source covers the new fact sheet on public charge, the launch of I-9 Central, E-Verify web content now available in Spanish, policy memos, public engagements, and more. more

5/16/2011USCIS Teleconference Invitation on H-1B Cap Exemption for Related or Affiliated Nonprofit Entities (.pdf 60 KB) USCIS invitation to a 5/26/11 teleconference on H-1B cap exemption issues for nonprofit entities claiming cap exemption based on relation to or affiliation with an institute of higher education. Information for joining the call is provided. RSVP by 5/25/11. more

5/16/2011BALCA Remands, Finds Employer’s Failure to Include PWD Addendum was Inadvertent (.pdf 114 KB) BALCA found that the CO abused his discretion in refusing to consider whether the absence of a prevailing wage addendum was mere oversight as opposed to an inability or refusal to produce the document. (Matter of Washington Hospital Center, 5/13/11) more

5/16/2011BIA Sets Forth Framework for Firm Resettlement Findings (.pdf 117 KB) The BIA set forth a framework for firm resettlement determinations, focusing exclusively on the existence of an offer of permanent resettlement, and allowing for the consideration of direct and indirect evidence. Matter of A-G-G, 25 I&N Dec. 486 (BIA 2011) more

5/16/2011USCIS Announces Second Edition of Civics and Citizenship Toolkit (.pdf 233 KB) USCIS bulletin announcing that a revised and expanded edition of the Civics and Citizenship Toolkit is available as of 5/16/11. The announcement includes additional details about the second edition as well as information for requesting a free copy. more

5/16/2011CA1 Finds Rape of Cambodian Woman Was Not Politically Motivated (.pdf 58 KB) The court upheld the IJ’s denial of asylum, finding that the evidence suggested that the rapist took personal advantage of information that Petitioner was vulnerable in her husband’s absence, not that the rapes were politically motivated. (Pheng v. Holder, 5/12/11) more

5/13/2011BIA Provides Framework for Assessing Mental Competency (Updated 5/13/11) (.pdf 37 KB) The BIA set forth a framework to assess the competency of respondents in proceedings and remanded, finding good cause to believe Respondent was not competent to proceed. Courtesy of the Univ. of Houston Immigration Clinic. Matter of M-A-M-, 25 I&N Dec. 474 (BIA 2011) more

5/13/2011Grassley Sets His Sights on B-1 in Lieu of H-1B (.pdf 765 KB) Letter from Senator Grassley (R-IA) to Secretary of State Clinton and DHS Secretary Napolitano expressing concern over allegations of misuse of B-1 business visitor visas and requesting “a thorough review” of the B-1 in lieu of H-1B provision in the Foreign Affairs Manual. more

5/13/2011AAO Affirms Denial of I-829 for EB-5 Investor (.pdf 2393 KB) The AAO found that Petitioner failed to employ the requisite number of employees during or within a reasonable time of the conditional period and that Petitioner made a willful misrepresentation of material fact in an effort to mislead USCIS as to his eligibility. more

5/13/2011ICE Announces Dominican Man Sentenced for Drug Smuggling Conviction (.pdf 55 KB) ICE press release announcing that a Dominican national was sentenced to 286 months in federal prison for his role in smuggling cocaine and heroin through the Port of Savannah. He was previously removed from the U.S. and faces removal following his sentence. more

5/13/2011OCAHO Says Reporting Unauthorized Workers Is Not Protected Under INA §274B (.pdf 18 KB) OCAHO found that there is no cause of action under INA §274B(a)(5), where the employee alleges retaliation for reporting the presence of undocumented workers or other violations that fall under INA §274A. (Cavazos v. Wanxiang, 4/27/11) more

5/13/2011ICE Announces Three Sentenced for the Making and Selling of Fraudulent ID Documents (.pdf 48 KB) ICE press release announcing that three Mexican nationals were sentenced to federal prison for charges relating to the trafficking of identification documents and the possession of document-making implements. The three men will be removed following their sentences. more

5/13/2011ICE Announces Expanded List of STEM-Designated Degree Programs (.pdf 48 KB) ICE press release announcing the release of an expanded list of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degree programs that qualify eligible graduates on student visas to extend their post-graduate Optional Practical Training. more

5/13/2011ICE 2011 Revised STEM-Designated Degree Program List (.pdf 96 KB) On 5/12/11, ICE published an expanded list of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degree programs that qualify eligible graduates on student visas for an Optional Practical Training extension. The additions are indicated on the list in bold type. more

5/13/2011USCIS Announces New I-9 Central Web Resource (.pdf 47 KB) USCIS press release announcing the launch of I-9 Central, an online resource that provides information and guidance to help employers and employees complete the Form I-9 and better understand the I-9 process. The announcement includes more details and a link to I-9 Central. more

5/13/2011BALCA Finds Employer’s Recruitment Report Insufficient (.pdf 125 KB) BALCA found that the employer’s recruitment report merged the reasons for rejecting the two applicants, and while the reasons for rejection may have been lawful, the report did not specify which grounds apply to which candidate. (Matter of Quantifi, Inc., 5/12/11) more

5/12/2011Visa Bulletin for June 2011 (.pdf 51 KB) DOS Visa Bulletin for June 2011. Section D explains that the determination of the June cut-off dates was delayed in order to monitor the demand by applicants to “upgrade” their status from Employment Third to Employment Second preference. more

5/12/2011Texas Court Says Padilla v. Kentucky Applies Retroactively (.pdf 229 KB) The court found that the Supreme Court decision in Padilla v. Kentucky applies retroactively and affirmed the vacatur of Appellee’s 1994 conviction where counsel failed to inform him of the immigration consequences of a guilty plea. (Texas v. Golding, 5/12/11) more

5/12/2011White House Announces Support for President’s Commitment to Immigration Reform (.pdf 50 KB) White House press release providing statements expressing support for President Obama’s commitment to fix America's broken immigration system from business leaders, elected officials, civic leaders, and immigration reform advocates. more

5/12/2011CA9 Remands for Decision on Whether CA Failure to Register Is a CIMT (.pdf 30 KB) The court remanded to the BIA to determine whether failure to register as a sex offender under California law constitutes a CIMT given the “significant intervening developments” in CIMT analysis since the BIA’s 2007 decision. (Pannu v. Holder, 5/11/11) more

5/12/2011USCIS Guidance on Request for Evidence Standards (.pdf 164 KB) A 1/6/05 memo by USCIS Director of Service Center Operations, Fujie O. Ohata, providing guidance to service centers limiting the use of requests for evidence not supported by the INA, the regulations, or form instructions. more

5/12/2011ICE Secure Communities Activated in Six Additional Missouri Counties (.pdf 50 KB) ICE press release announcing the activation of Secure Communities in Barton, Cedar, Putnam, Saint Clair, Sullivan, and Vernon counties in Missouri. With the expansion of Secure Communities to these six counties, ICE is now using this capability in 41 Missouri jurisdictions. more

5/12/2011ICE Secure Communities Activated in Two Additional Ohio Counties (.pdf 50 KB) ICE press release announcing the activation of Secure Communities in Stark and Tuscarawas counties in Ohio. With the expansion of Secure Communities to these two counties, ICE is now using this capability in 77 Ohio jurisdictions. more

5/12/2011ICE Announces New Special Agent in Charge of the HSI Office in St. Paul (.pdf 49 KB) ICE press release announcing that Director John Morton has named Michael Feinberg as special agent in charge of the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) office based in the Twin Cities. Feinberg will supervise special agents in 14 offices across MN, NE, IA, ND, and SD. more

5/11/2011BALCA Tolls the Filing Period for Requesting Reconsideration (.pdf 104 KB) BALCA tolled the filing period for a reconsideration request that was postmarked 86 days after the denial, where the employer never received the denial and the CO failed to present evidence to invoke a presumption of receipt. (Matter of Cumberland Food Mkt., 2/24/11) more

5/11/2011CA3 Says Withdrawal of Application for Admission Interrupted Physical Presence (.pdf 286 KB) Upon return from a trip to Canada, Petitioner knowingly withdrew his application for admission in lieu of a formal admissibility determination, such that his continuous presence was terminated for cancellation purposes. (Demandstein v. Att’y Gen. of the U.S., 2/24/11) more

5/11/2011Local CBP Office Contact Information (Updated 5/11/11) (.pdf 390 KB) Through collaboration with the AILA national CBP liaison committee and local AILA CBP chapter liaisons, AILA has compiled a list of local liaisons to assist members in dealing with the various CBP ports. more

5/11/2011USCIS Agenda for 5/12/11 Teleconference on L-1B Specialized Knowledge (Updated 5/11/11) (.pdf 141 KB) USCIS agenda for its 5/12/11 teleconference on the interpretation of the term specialized knowledge and the relevant factors that should be considered in determining L-1B eligibility. Information for joining the call is provided on the invitation following the agenda. more

5/10/2011NY Education Department Guidance on Registering Noncitizen Students (.pdf 257 KB) An 8/30/10 memo from the New York State Education Department providing guidance to school districts on their obligations in enrolling students and making residency determinations, particularly with respect to noncitizen students. more

5/10/2011CBP Publishes Guidance for International Travelers on Forms I-192, I-212, and I-824 (.pdf 258 KB) CBP guidance published on 5/9/11 providing information for international travelers regarding Forms I-192, I-212, and I-824, as well as a listing and the associated contact information for the designated ports that accept such forms in advance of travel. more

5/10/2011White House Blog on the President’s Immigration Speech and Engaging Americans in the Debate (.pdf 241 KB) White House blog post about President Obama’s 5/10/11 speech on immigration in El Paso, TX, with details for watching the speech live at 3:30 p.m. EDT. The blog also includes an invitation and information for the public to join a national conversation on immigration. more

5/10/2011DOJ Announces Sentencing in Forced Labor Trafficking Case (.pdf 233 KB) DOJ press release announcing that an Uzbek national was sentenced to 12 years in prison plus three years of supervised release for his role in a racketeering and forced labor enterprise. He also was ordered to pay restitution to foreign worker fraud and forced labor victims. more

5/9/2011CA9 Says BIA Failed to Consider Service to the Community in §212(c) Case (.pdf 38 KB) The court remanded, finding that the BIA failed to consider all of the positive factors bearing on Petitioner’s application for 212(c) relief because it did not consider substantial evidence of Petitioner’s value and service to the community. (Zheng v. Holder, 5/6/11) more

5/6/2011DOJ/Education Letter on the Education Rights of All Children Regardless of their Immigration Status (.pdf 168 KB) A 5/6/11 DOJ/Education Dear Colleague letter, pursuant to Plyler v. Doe, sent to public school districts reaffirming their obligation under federal law to provide equal educational opportunities to children residing in their districts regardless of immigration status. more

5/6/2011USCIS Announces the Launch of E-Verify Spanish Website (.pdf 271 KB) USCIS announcement about its new E-Verify Spanish website which provides the Spanish version of E-Verify web pages for employers and employees to view important information. The announcement includes a link to the new website. more

5/6/2011DHS Annual Flow Report on Refugees and Asylees Admitted into the U.S. During 2010 (.pdf 539 KB) DHS May 2011 Annual Flow Report provides information on the number of individuals admitted as refugees or granted asylum in the U.S. in 2010. According to the report, during 2010, 73,293 individuals were admitted as refugees and 21,113 individuals were granted asylum. more

5/5/2011GAO Report on DHS Efforts to Identify, Address, and Share Information on Overstays (.pdf 1797 KB) GAO report examines the extent to which DHS takes action to address overstays, and the extent to which it identifies overstays and shares the information among its border security and immigration enforcement components as well as other federal, state, and local agencies. more

5/5/2011OIG Report on DHS Efforts to Screen Foreign Nationals Overseas (.pdf 3253 KB) A redacted DHS OIG report evaluating how biographic and biometric information is shared among DHS components, and whether the existing levels of cooperation, resources, and technology are adequate for officers to screen and process foreign nationals seeking to enter the U.S. more

5/5/2011AG Exercises Review Authority in DOMA Case (.pdf 11 KB) The AG vacated the BIA’s order and remanded the matter to the BIA to determine whether and how the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act impacts respondent’s eligibility for cancellation of removal. Matter of Dorman, 25 I&N Dec. 485 (AG 2011) more

5/5/2011ICE Announces the Passing of an El Salvadoran National While in ICE Custody (.pdf 46 KB) ICE press release announcing that Miguel Hernandez, a 54-year-old El Salvadoran national, passed away at a Georgia medical center after collapsing at the North Georgia Detention Center. He was the eighth individual to pass away in ICE custody in FY 2011. more

5/5/2011ICE Announces Sentence for Honduran Citizen with an Aggravated Criminal Conviction (.pdf 46 KB) ICE press release announcing that Erick Garcia-Sandobal, a Honduran citizen, was sentenced to 87 months in federal prison for having an aggravated felony conviction and being in the U.S. without authorization after removal. more

5/5/2011OIG Report on the Office of Investigations' Efforts between 10/1/09 and 12/31/10 (.pdf 2142 KB) DHS OIG report on the Office of Investigations’ investigative efforts into allegations of misconduct involving DHS employees, contractors, grantees, and programs between 10/1/09 and 12/31/10, which resulted in 519 arrests and 416 convictions. more

5/5/2011CA9 Says Res Judicata Binds IJ/BIA to Proceed with §212(c) Case (.pdf 43 KB) The court held that res judicata binds the BIA to the district court’s decision that Petitioner is eligible for §212(c) relief and that Blake and Brieva do not constitute a change in the law to bar res judicata. (Paulo v. Holder, 5/4/11) more

5/4/2011CIS Ombudsman Recap of 3/24/11 Teleconference on Form I-129 Export Controls Requirements (Updated 5/4/11) (.pdf 115 KB) CIS Ombudsman Office recap of its teleconference, “Export Controls Requirements on Form I-129: A Conversation with the Commerce Department.” The recap includes an overview as well as Q&As addressing the process for obtaining an export controls license and more. more

5/4/2011CIS Ombudsman Recap of 3/15/11 Teleconference on Family-Based Visa Retrogression (Updated 5/4/11) (.pdf 79 KB) CIS Ombudsman Office recap of its teleconference, “Family Based Visa Retrogression: What it is and How does it Impact Applicants?” The recap covers what retrogression is, why retrogression happens, and how retrogression impacts applicants. more

5/4/2011CIS Ombudsman Recap of 1/31/11 Teleconference on CSPA (Updated 5/4/11) (.pdf 125 KB) CIS Ombudsman Office recap of its teleconference, “Child Status Protection Act: How Is It Working for You?” which included an interview with AILA member Charles Wheeler. Topics include CSPA and employment derivatives, visa retrogression and CSPA beneficiaries, and more. more

5/4/2011USCIS Final I-140 E11 RFE Template (.pdf 396 KB) USCIS final RFE template for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, seeking E11 classification as an individual of extraordinary ability. Final date for stakeholder viewing is 5/17/11. Service Centers will begin using the template immediately, effective 5/4/11. more

5/4/2011CA9 Discusses Credibility and Corroboration in Asylum (.pdf 80 KB) The court found that where the IJ has reason in the record to doubt credibility, an absence of evidence may suffice to reject credibility where the need for the evidence is plain and the evidence is reasonably accessible. (Singh v. Holder, 5/3/11) more

5/4/2011ICE Announces Indictment against TVU President for Student Visa Fraud Scheme (.pdf 245 KB) ICE press release announcing the president of Tri-Valley University (TVU) was indicted for her alleged role in an F-1 visa fraud scheme. The alleged charges include visa fraud, making false statements to a government agency, and harboring undocumented individuals. more

5/4/2011USCIS Invitation for EB-5 Quarterly Stakeholder Engagement (.pdf 266 KB) USCIS invitation to participate in an upcoming stakeholder teleconference on 6/30/11 to discuss the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program. Agenda items may be submitted until 5/27/11. RSVP by 6/29/11. The invitation includes additional information and instructions. more

5/4/2011USCIS Fact Sheet on Public Charge (.pdf 249 KB) USCIS fact sheet provides information about public charge determinations, including the background and definition, as well as which benefits are subject to public charge consideration, to help noncitizens make decisions about whether to apply for certain public benefits. more

5/3/2011AAO Processing Times 5/1/11(.pdf 83 KB) AAO Processing Times as of May 1, 2011. more

5/3/2011BIA Says Personal Service of NTA on Minor Was Effective(.pdf 19 KB) The BIA held that service of an NTA on a minor 14 years of age or older at the time of service is effective, even though notice was not also served on an adult with responsibility for the minor. Matter of Cubor-Cruz, 25 I&N Dec. 470 (BIA 2011) more

5/3/2011BIA Vacates IJ Decision, Finds IJ Made "Inappropriate Remarks"(.pdf 371 KB) The BIA found that inappropriate remarks by the IJ called the fairness of the proceedings into question, and that the IJ's finding that the respondent's claims were frivolous did not comport with prior BIA precedent. Courtesy of Christopher Helt. more

5/3/2011DOL Announces H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant Competition(.pdf 19 KB) DOL press release announcing the availability of approximately $240 million through an H-1B technical skills training grant competition, which will fund projects to help workers update current skills or acquire new ones. Information for prospective applicants is provided. more

5/2/2011USCIS Announces Implementation of Secure Mail Initiative(.pdf 85 KB) USCIS press release announcing the full implementation of the Secure Mail Initiative, which is now being used for the delivery of permanent resident cards and documents pertaining to travel and employment authorization. more

5/2/2011USCIS Interim Memo on H-1B Cap Exemptions Based on Affiliation(.pdf 382 KB) USCIS 4/28/11 policy memo establishes interim guidance for comment to give deference to prior H-1B cap exemption determinations for nonprofit entities made by USCIS since 6/6/06. The memo is in effect until further notice. Comments are due 5/16/11. Memo follows instructions. more

5/2/2011USCIS Final Memo on Coordinating Adjudications for Individuals in Removal Proceedings(.pdf 61 KB) USCIS 2/8/11 final policy memo provides guidance for coordination with ICE on the adjudication of applications and petitions for individuals in removal proceedings. The final memo supersedes an interim memo for comment on this subject posted by USCIS on 2/8/11. more

5/2/2011DOJ Announces Settlement with Wendy’s Franchise Owners over Citizens-Only Employment Policy(.pdf 58 KB) DOJ press release announcing a settlement with the corporate owner of several Wendy’s restaurants in Maine, over allegations that the Restwend-owned Wendy’s restaurants instituted a policy of refusing to hire individuals believed to be non-U.S. citizens since at least 2009. more

5/2/2011CA10 Rejects BIA Interpretation of Moral Turpitude in Tobar-Lobo (.pdf 54 KB) The court vacated the order of removal, finding that a violation of Colo. Rev. Stat. §18-3-412.5(1)(a), (3), misdemeanor failure to register as a sex offender, is not a crime involving moral turpitude. (Efagene v. Holder, 4/29/11) more

5/2/2011CA9 Says Additional Incidents of Persecution Cast Doubt on Credibility(.pdf 32 KB) The court held that the inclusion of three additional incidents of arrest and mistreatment that were added to Petitioner’s claim in a supplemental declaration materially altered his claim in a way that casted doubt on his credibility. (Zamanov v. Holder, 4/29/11) more


April, 2011

4/29/2011USCIS Policy Memo on T and U Extensions(.pdf 146 KB) USCIS 4/19/11 final policy memo providing guidance about the extension of status for T and U nonimmigrant visas , including any related adjustment of status applications. This memo supersedes the interim memo posted by USCIS on 2/23/11. more

4/29/2011USCIS Policy Memo National Guard Naturalization(.pdf 1999 KB) USCIS 1/24/11 final policy memo providing guidance on the eligibility of members of the National Guard to naturalize under INA §329. This memo supersedes the interim memo for comment posted by USCIS on 1/27/11. more

4/29/2011USCIS RFR Tip Sheet on the Refugee Process(.pdf 992 KB) USCIS tip sheet provides information for applicants about filing a Request for Review (RFR) after USCIS has denied their application for refugee status, including information about deadlines, format, content, what the applicants might expect to happen next, and more. more

4/29/2011BALCA on Multiple Prevailing Wage Determinations(.pdf 97 KB) BALCA held that where the employer receives more than one prevailing wage determination based on variations of the minimum job requirements (primary and alternative), the employer must abide by the higher wage. (Matter of Take Solutions, 4/28/11) more

4/29/2011White House Summary of the President’s Meeting with Influential Hispanics about Immigration(.pdf 51 KB) Readout of President Obama’s 4/28/11 meeting with influential Hispanics on fixing the broken immigration system, during which the President reiterated his commitment to CIR. The meeting announcement and background on the Administration’s immigration policy also is attached. more

4/28/2011CA2 on “Parole” in the Adjustment of Status Context(.pdf 63 KB) The court held that the requirement that an alien be “paroled into the United States” in order to seek adjustment of status under INA §245(a) is not satisfied by the alien’s release on “conditional parole” under INA §236(a)(2)(B). (Cruz-Miguel v. Holder, 4/27/11) more

4/27/2011DHS Presentation on Form I-9 from 3/22/11 Training Workshop(.pdf 907 KB) DHS presentation on Form I-9 from a 3/22/11, “Fostering Compliance Through Education and Partnership” training workshop conducted in Los Angeles, CA. more

4/27/2011DHS Presentation on E-Verify from 3/22/11 Training Workshop(.pdf 2747 KB) DHS presentation on E-Verify, Employment Eligibility Verification, from a 3/22/11, “Fostering Compliance Through Education and Partnership” training workshop conducted in Los Angeles, CA. more

4/27/2011USCIS Policy Memo on the Centralization of AWA-Related Adjudications(.pdf 270 KB) USCIS 4/22/11 policy memorandum provides supplemental guidance on the centralization of Adam Walsh Act (AWA) related petitions at the Vermont Service Center for adjudication and review. This memo supersedes the interim memo posted by USCIS on this subject on 3/24/11. more

4/27/2011CBP Announces Agreement with Korea on Trusted Traveler Arrangement(.pdf 226 KB) CBP press release announcing that CBP and the Korea Immigration Service signed a joint statement agreeing to work toward mutually recognized, expedited international travel initiatives, and that Korea is the first Asian country to commit to such an arrangement. more

4/27/2011CBP Announces New Ready Lane at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry(.pdf 219 KB) CBP press release announcing that on 5/2/11, it will open a new Ready Lane for travelers with approved Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology enabled travel documents at the Otay Mesa border crossing. more

4/27/2011BALCA on Roaming Employees and Proper Filing Location(.pdf 1948 KB) BALCA vacated the denial, finding that the employer presented full time, permanent, bona fide job opportunities and that the application listed the proper filing location even though the work site was unanticipated rather than fixed. Matter of Amsol, Inc. (9/3/09). more

4/25/2011BALCA Affirms Denial, Though CO Was “Arguably Incorrect”(.pdf 83 KB) Constrained procedurally by 20 CFR §656.27(c) and unable to consider new evidence submitted by the employer with its request for review, BALCA affirmed the CO’s finding that Computer magazine was not a professional journal. (Matter of Ifuturistics, 4/21/11) more

4/25/2011BALCA Remands Where Employer’s Only Omission was Failure to Check Box M-1(.pdf 93 KB) BALCA remanded the case to the CO for reconsideration where the employer failed to check Box M-1 on the ETA 9089, which asks whether the application was completed by the employer, but provided the preparer’s name and signature. (Matter of Heso Electric, 4/21/11) more

4/25/2011CA3 Adopts Harmless Error Test Where BIA Applied Wrong Standard of Review(.pdf 83 KB) The court adopted a harmless error analysis and concluded that the BIA’s erroneous de novo review of the IJ’s factual findings was not only harmless, but was, if anything, favorable to Petitioner. (Yuan v. Att’y Gen. of the U.S., 4/22/11) more

4/25/2011CA9 Says Alien’s Admissions at Pleading Stage Relieved Government of Burden(.pdf 92 KB) The court held that admissions made by an alien or through counsel, that are accepted by the IJ at the 8 CFR §1240.10(c) pleading stage are binding; no further evidence concerning the facts admitted or law conceded is necessary. (Perez-Mejia v. Holder, 4/21/11) more

4/25/2011ICE Announces Prison Sentence for Impersonating ICE Officer(.pdf 73 KB) ICE press release announcing a three-year prison sentence for Frank Salvador Solorza, a Bay area man convicted of attempting to extort money from six individuals while posing as a federal immigration officer. more

4/22/2011USCIS Policy Memorandum on Recommending the Revocation of a U.S. Passport(.pdf 402 KB) USCIS 4/15/11 interim memo for comment provides procedural guidance for USCIS employees on making requests for the revocation of U.S. Passports to DOS. The memo is in effect until further notice. Comments are due 5/5/11. The memo is preceded by an instructions page. more

4/21/2011GAO Report on Convicted and Incarcerated Undocumented Immigrants(.pdf 6893 KB) GAO report on statistics associated with incarcerated undocumented immigrants, including the number and nationalities of incarcerated undocumented immigrants, the types of offenses for which they were arrested and convicted, and the costs associated with their incarceration. more

4/21/2011GAO Report on the DHS Visa Security Program(.pdf 703 KB) GAO report on the DHS Visa Security Program (VSP) assesses the ability of ICE to measure the program’s objectives and performance, challenges to VSP operations, and ICE efforts to expand the program. more

4/21/2011USCIS Invitation to Teleconference on Evidentiary Standards of O Visas(.pdf 87 KB) USCIS invitation to a 4/28/11 teleconference seeking stakeholder feedback on the evaluation of evidence submitted on behalf of O-1 nonimmigrants and the current adjudicatory standards for these petitions. Invitation includes registration and call-in information. more

4/21/2011President Obama Addresses Immigration Reform at the Facebook Townhall(.pdf 46 KB) Transcript of President Obama’s remarks to an immigration-related question during a live Facebook Townhall meeting on April 20, 2011. more

4/21/2011ICE Secure Communities Activated in Wicomico County, Maryland(.pdf 78 KB) ICE press release announcing the activation of Secure Communities in Wicomico County, Maryland. Nationwide, ICE is using this capability in 1,211 jurisdictions in 41 states. more

4/21/2011CRS Report on the Changing Demographic Profile of the U.S.(.pdf 564 KB) A 3/31/11 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report on the U.S. demographic changes that have occurred since 1950, including how immigration has influenced both the size and age structure of the U.S. population, and how such changes will reshape the nation through 2050. more

4/20/2011EOIR Announces Disciplinary Action Taken against 15 Attorneys(.pdf 59 KB)EOIR press release announcing the recent disciplinary actions taken against 15 attorneys for violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct for immigration attorneys and representatives. The announcement also includes information about the reinstatement of two attorneys. more

4/20/2011BIA Remands, Says IJs May Not “Leap Frog” Over Step 2 of Silva-Trevino(.pdf 48 KB) The BIA held that evidence outside the record of conviction may only be considered in determining whether a conviction is a CIMT when the record itself does not conclusively answer that question. Matter of Ahortalejo-Guzman, 25 I&N Dec. 465 (BIA 2011) more

4/20/2011ICE Secure Communities Activated in Seven Additional Missouri Counties(.pdf 96 KB) ICE press release announcing the activation of Secure Communities in seven additional Missouri counties. With the expansion of Secure Communities to these seven counties, ICE is using this capability in 35 Missouri jurisdictions. more

4/20/2011BALCA Says NOF with Wage Equal to 99.51% of Prevailing Wage Is Insufficient(.pdf 93 KB) BALCA refused to apply Superior Landscape to round up the wage on the NOF that was 99.51% of the prevailing wage. ALJ Vittone concurred, but noted that the CO has the discretion to take a reasonable approach in cases like this. (Matter of Baily Int’l., 4/19/11) more

4/19/2011ICE Announces Prison Sentence for Virginia Korean Club Owners(.pdf 96 KB) ICE press release announcing that the owner and madame of a Korean club in Falls Church, VA, were sentenced for conspiracy to harbor undocumented individuals, marriage fraud, and other charges. Both individuals will be removed from the U.S. after their prison sentence. more

4/19/2011BALCA Upholds Denial, Finds Recruitment Report Insufficient(.pdf 94 KB) BALCA found that where the recruitment report was signed only by the attorney, without indicating that the attorney is an appropriate representative under §656.10(b)(2)(ii), the employer failed to attest to the results of its recruitment. (Matter of Frontline, 4/8/11) more

4/19/2011National Benefits Center Processing Time Report (04/18/11)(.pdf 82 KB) NBC Processing Time Report released 04/18/11 with processing dates as of 02/28/11. more

4/19/2011Vermont Service Center Processing Time Report (04/18/11)(.pdf 322 KB) VSC Processing Time Report released 04/18/11 with processing dates as of 02/28/11. more

4/19/2011Texas Service Center Processing Time Report (04/18/11)(.pdf 287 KB) TSC Processing Time Report released 04/18/11 with processing dates as of 02/28/11. more

4/19/2011California Service Center Processing Time Report (4/18/11)(.pdf 237 KB) CSC Processing Time Report released 04/18/11 with processing dates as of 02/28/11. more

4/19/2011Nebraska Service Center Processing Time Report (04/18/11)(.pdf 222 KB) NSC Processing Time Report released 04/18/11 with processing dates as of 02/28/11. more

4/19/2011BALCA Says Wall Street Journal Is Not a Professional Journal(.pdf 87 KB) BALCA upheld the CO’s denial, finding that the Wall Street Journal, an authority on a wide variety of social, current event, and business topics, is a newspaper, not a professional journal for purposes of 20 CFR §656.17(e)(1)(i)(B)(4). (Matter of HSBC, 4/18/11) more

4/18/2011CBP Carrier Information Guide(.pdf 8478 KB) CBP Carrier Information Guide lists the U.S. documentary requirements for entry in and departure from the U.S. The guide also discusses document examplars, visa classifications, fineable offenses, reference charts, APIS, potential human trafficking, and more. more

4/18/2011Suspension of Routine Visa Services at U.S. Embassy, Sana'a (.pdf 68 KB)>U.S. Embassy in Sana'a, Yemen announced the suspension of routine visa services until further notice. U.S. Department of State hopes to resume normal processes soon. more

4/18/2011OIG Report on the Management of Mental Health Cases in Immigration Detention(.pdf 2880 KB) DHS OIG report finding that ICE has limited oversight for mental health cases across immigration detention centers, and is not fully aware of all detainees with mental health conditions. The report includes 20 recommendations to improve the management of mental health cases. more

4/18/2011USCIS Announcement and Q&As on Final Rule on Employment Eligibility Verification Form (updated 4/18/11)(.pdf 129 KB) USCIS press release and Q&As announcing a final rule that adopts without change a 2008 interim rule amending DHS regulations on the acceptable documents for the completion of Form I-9. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on 4/15/11 and effective 5/16/11. more

4/18/2011CA9 Upholds Denial of Sexual Orientation Asylum Claim from Mexico(.pdf 64 KB) The court found that substantial evidence supported the conclusion that Petitioner’s failure to report the sexual abuse he suffered undermined his claim that he was unable to seek protection from the state against his abusers. (Castro-Martinez v. Holder, 4/15/11) more

4/18/2011BALCA Upholds Denial for Lack of Evidence of Ability to Pay(.pdf 95 KB) In a case involving a consulting company where the ability to pay salaries largely depends on the generation of funds by the consultants, BALCA upheld the denial for failure to show sufficient funds to pay the alien’s salary. (Matter of Continental Systems, 4/7/10) more

4/18/2011BALCA Finds No Business Necessity for 2-Year Experience Requirement for Cook(.pdf 119 KB) BALCA found the employer’s “self-serving” letter failed to demonstrate that the 2-year experience requirement for the position of restaurant cook arose out of business necessity. Dissenting and concurring opinions included. (Matter of La Cantina Toscana, 4/7/10) more

4/15/2011ICE Announces McDonalds Employees Indicted For Conspiring to Sell Stolen Identities(.pdf 48 KB) ICE press release announcing that five McDonalds employees were indicted for conspiring to sell the stolen identities of U.S. citizens. more

4/14/2011USCIS Announces Final Rule on Employment Eligibility Verification Form(.pdf 89 KB) USCIS press release announcing a final rule that adopts without change a 2008 interim rule amending DHS regulations on the documents that are acceptable for the completion of Form I-9. The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on 4/15/11 and effective 5/16/11. more

4/14/2011USCIS Invitation to VSC Spring Stakeholder Conference(.pdf 59 KB) USCIS invitation to the VSC Spring 2011 Semi-Annual Stakeholder Conference on 5/6/11 in New York City. The tentative agenda includes panels on I-129s, family-based petitions, TPS, and more. Submit agenda items by 4/15/11, and RSVP by 4/25/11. Contact information is included. more

4/14/2011BIA Says IJ's Conclusions on Extrajudicial Killing Were Not Speculative(.pdf 99 KB) The BIA found that an IJ may make reasonable inferences from direct and circumstantial evidence, and is not required to accept respondent's account where other plausible views of the evidence are supported by the record. Matter of D-R-, 25 I&N Dec. 445 (BIA 2011) more

4/14/2011USCIS Policy Memo on Appellate Jurisdiction for I-360s Filed by Certain Afghan or Iraqi Nationals(.pdf 55 KB) USCIS 4/12/11 final policy memo on adjudicating I-360 petitions filed by Afghan or Iraqi nationals who worked for the U.S. Government, and on jurisdiction over appeals relating to such petitions. This memo supersedes the interim memo for comment posted by USCIS on 3/17/11. more

4/14/2011USCIS Policy Memo on Centralized Orphan Processing in Nepal(.pdf 52 KB) USCIS 8/27/10 final policy memo on implementation of the Nepal Initiative, which centralizes adjudication of clearly approvable Forms I-600 filed on behalf of children residing in Nepal. This memo supersedes the interim memo for comment posted by USCIS on 8/27/10. more

4/14/2011CA8 Instructs District Court to Vacate Revocation of Labor Certification(.pdf 82 KB) The court found jurisdiction to review DHS’s invalidation of the labor certification under 20 CFR §656.30(d), and found that the government ignored significant evidence refuting the allegation that the labor certification was fraudulent. (Sugule v. Frazier, 4/4/11) more

4/14/2011USCIS Alert for Foreign Nationals Impacted by Civil Unrest or Natural Disasters(.pdf 62 KB) USCIS alert offering tips for foreign nationals that have been affected by civil unrest or severe environmental disasters, and information about temporary relief measures that may be available to eligible foreign nationals. more

4/13/2011District Court Says Employee Has Right to Remain in U.S. While Extension Application Is Pending(.pdf 177 KB) The court held that ICE may not arrest an H-1B employee for whom a timely-filed extension application is pending and that “work authorization is part and parcel of their authorization to be in the country, not a separate matter.” (El Badrawi v. U.S., 4/11/11) more

4/13/2011DOJ Announces Settlement in Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination Case(.pdf 232 KB) DOJ press release announcing a settlement with LF Staffing Services Inc., in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, over allegations they had engaged in improperly pre-screening job applicants and rejecting valid work authorization documents presented by certain groups of immigrant workers. more

4/13/2011CBP Q&As on Closed Loop Voyages(.pdf 212 KB) CBP Q&As about “closed loop” voyages or itinerary, where a vessel departs from a U.S. port or place and returns to the same U.S. port upon completion of the voyage. more

4/13/2011ICE Secure Communities Activated in Seven Additional Michigan Counties(.pdf 241 KB) ICE press release announcing the activation of Secure Communities in Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, and Ottawa counties in Michigan. With the expansion of Secure Communities to these counties, this capability is now used in 14 Michigan jurisdictions. more

4/13/2011ICE Secure Communities Activated in Three Additional Maryland Counties(.pdf 242 KB) ICE press release announcing the activation of Secure Communities in Alleghany, Garrett, and Washington counties in Maryland. With the expansion of Secure Communities to these three counties, this capability is now being used in 21 Maryland jurisdictions. more

4/13/2011ICE Secure Communities Activated in Four Additional Ohio Counties(.pdf 241 KB) ICE press release announcing the activation of Secure Communities in Crawford, Miami, Shelby, and Wayne counties in Ohio. With the expansion of Secure Communities to these counties, this capability is now being used in 60 Ohio jurisdictions. more

4/13/2011USCIS Executive Summary from O Visa Teleconference on 3/24/11 (Updated 4/13/11)(.pdf 382 KB) USCIS executive summary from the 3/24/11 teleconference on O nonimmigrant visas, which includes an overview for agents filing as petitioners, as well as general contract and itinerary requirements, and more. Q&As and the original invitation for the engagement are attached. more

4/12/2011USCIS Data on I-140 Approvals and Denials(.pdf 90 KB) USCIS data tables providing statistics on approvals and denials for I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, from FY2005 through FY2010, for the E-11 classification, Alien of Extraordinary Ability, as well as the E-12 classification, Outstanding Professor or Researcher. more

4/12/2011CA9 Reverses Course on Acosta v. Gonzales(.pdf 53 KB) The court gave Chevron and Brand X deference to Matter of Briones, and held that aliens who are inadmissible under INA §212(a)(9)(C)(i)(I) may not seek adjustment of status under INA §245(i). (Garfias-Rodriguez v. Holder, 4/11/11) more

4/11/2011CA9 Says BIA Has Jurisdiction to Review Post-Removal Motion(.pdf 49 KB) The court reaffirmed Coyt v. Holder and found that 8 CFR §1003.2(d) does not bar BIA jurisdiction to review a motion to reconsider and reopen filed after the petitioner has been involuntarily removed from the United States. (Reyes-Torres v. Holder, 4/7/11) more

4/11/2011CA9 Upholds Requirement that Past Persecution Occur in Country of Removal(.pdf 32 KB) The court upheld 8 CFR §1208.16(b)(1)(i), requiring past persecution to have occurred in the country of removal, and denied asylum to Petitioner who suffered spousal abuse only in the U.S. (Gonzalez-Medina v. Holder, 4/7/11) more

4/8/2011Visa Bulletin for May 2011 (.pdf 43 KB) DOS Visa Bulletin for May 2011. Section C addresses advance notification of the diversity visa (DV) immigrant category rank cut-offs, which will apply in June. Section D addresses visa availability in coming months. more

4/8/2011USCIS Announces that it Continues to Accept FY2012 H-1B Petitions (.pdf 56 KB) USCIS press release announcing that it continues to accept FY2012 H-1B cap-subject petitions, and that it will provide regular updates on the processing of such petitions on its website. As of 4/7/11, approximately 5,900 H-1B cap-subject petitions were receipted.more

4/7/2011CA9 Reverses Course on “Exceptional Circumstances” (Updated 4/7/11) (.pdf 112 KB) On rehearing, the court found that its original opinion interpreted the “exceptional circumstances” safe harbor for aliens removed in absentia too broadly and dismissed the petition for review. Original opinion follows. (Vukmirovic v. Holder, 4/6/11)more

4/7/2011DHS April 2011 Annual Flow Report on FY2010 Naturalizations (.pdf 314 KB) DHS April 2011 Annual Flow Report presents information on the number and characteristics of foreign nationals aged 18 years old and over who were naturalized during FY2010. According to the report, in 2010, the total number of persons naturalizing was 619,913.more

4/7/2011CA3 Finds Limited Jurisdiction over Decision to Deny Sua Sponte Reopening (.pdf 191 KB) The court has jurisdiction over the denial of a sua sponte motion to recognize when the BIA has made an error of law. The BIA erred in finding that Petitioner’s health issues were irrelevant to his persecution claim. (Pllumi v. Att’y Gen. of the U.S., 4/6/11) more

4/7/2011CA9 on “Changed Circumstances” and the One-Year Asylum Deadline (.pdf 59 KB) “Changed circumstances” does not require an entirely new conflict in the applicant’s country of origin, nor does the law preclude an applicant who has always feared persecution from seeking asylum because the risk of persecution increases. (Vahora v. Holder, 4/5/11) more

4/7/2011District Court Finds Padilla Cannot Be Applied Retroactively (.pdf 83 KB) The court held that generic warnings about the possibility of deportation are not sufficient to cure prejudice in a mandatory deportation case, but that Padilla cannot be applied retroactively in post-conviction proceedings. (Hernandez v. Florida, 4/6/11)more

4/7/2011USCIS Invitation to NBC Overview Webinar and Teleconference (.pdf 62 KB) USCIS invitation to a 5/2/11 webinar and teleconference hosted by the National Benefits Center (NBC). RSVP by 4/27/11 in order to participate. more

4/7/2011USCIS Q&As About Same or Similar Occupational Classifications under AC21 (.pdf 98 KB) USCIS Q&As about same or similar occupational classifications under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (AC21) includes an explanation of occupational classification, what qualifies as a same or similar occupational classification, and more. more

4/6/2011ICE Announces Policy for Resumed Removals to Haiti (.pdf 218 KB) ICE press release announcing that the agency is resuming the limited removal of convicted criminal Haitians with final orders of removal. At this time, ICE is not removing non-criminal Haitian nationals unless they are determined to be a significant national security threat.more

4/6/2011USCIS Final Policy Memo on Advance Parole EAD (.pdf 308 KB) USCIS 12/21/10 final policy memorandum to permit the issuance of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), Form I-766, with an advance parole endorsement. On 2/11/11, USCIS posted the interim version of this memo for comment.more

4/6/2011U.S. Embassy in Cairo Resumes Full Visa Services on 4/10/11 (.pdf 213 KB) U.S. Embassy in Cairo announced resumption of full visa and consular operations beginning 4/10/11. Embassy will contact individuals with cancelled appointments due to the previous suspension of visa services. Announcement includes instructions for rescheduling appointments.more

4/6/2011CA7 Says §212(h) Cannot Waive Conviction Barring Cancellation (.pdf 276 KB) For purposes of cancellation of removal, the court held that a conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia is an offense “relating to a controlled substance” under INA §212(a)(2), and that INA §212(h) cannot serve to waive the conviction. (Barma v. Holder, 4/5/11)more

4/5/2011USCIS Policy Memorandum on Implementation of the Perez-Olano Settlement (.pdf 140 KB) USCIS 4/4/11 policy memorandum guides USCIS personnel in processing requests to reopen petitions for Special Immigrant Juvenile status and related applications for adjustment of status filed under the Perez-Olano Settlement Agreement. more

4/5/2011DOL FAQs on Job Contractors Filing Requirements (.pdf 270 KB) DOL FAQs to assist job contractor employers and their clients with applying for H-2B labor certifications following the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania decision in CATA v. Solis. more

4/5/2011USCIS Policy Memorandum on Implementation of the Help HAITI Act (.pdf 58 KB) USCIS 3/13/11 policy memorandum providing guidance on the vital aspects of processing applications for adjustment of status filed under the Help HAITI Act of 2010, which took effect on 12/9/10. On 1/3/11, USCIS posted an interim version of this memo for comment. more

4/5/2011DOL FAQ on Requesting an Extension When Documentation Cannot be Timely Submitted (.pdf 54 KB) DOL FAQ addressing how an employer can request an extension from the Atlanta National Processing Center when documentation in response to a decision or request for information cannot be submitted in a timely manner.more

4/5/2011DOS Announces Ribbon-Cutting for New El Paso Passport Agency (.pdf 37 KB) DOS press release announcing the 4/8/11 ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of the El Paso Passport Agency. The press release includes the address and additional information about the new facility. more

4/5/2011CA5 Finds Administrative Voluntary Departure Interrupts Continuous Residence (.pdf 115 KB) The court held that Petitioner’s administrative voluntary departure interrupted his continuous residence such that he was never eligible for LPR status under IRCA, and is therefore now not eligible for LPR cancellation of removal. (Ramos-Torres v. Holder, 4/4/11)more

4/5/2011USCIS Invitation to O & P Engagement with Director Mayorkas on 4/13/11 (.pdf 94 KB) USCIS invitation to a 4/13/11 meeting hosted by Director Alejandro Mayorkas on the broader issues of importance to the arts, entertainment, and modeling industries in the O and P nonimmigrant classifications. RSVP by 4/12/11 in order to participate in person or by phone.more

4/4/2011DOL Announces Prince George’s County Schools Charged with H-1B Violations (.pdf 57 KB) DOL press release announcing that Prince George’s County Public Schools was charged with violating provisions of the H-1B program by illegally reducing the wages of 1,044 foreign teachers hired under the H-1B program by requiring the teachers to pay $4,224,146 in fees.more

4/4/2011USCIS Q&As on Extension of OPT and F-1 Status under the H-1B Cap-Gap Regulations (.pdf 131 KB) USCIS Q&As addressing the automatic extension of post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) and F-1 student status in the U.S. for certain students with pending or approved H-1B petitions for an employment start date of 10/1/11, under the FY2012 H-1B cap.more

4/4/2011ICE Announces Sentencing in Scheme to Recruit Undocumented Workers (.pdf 49 KB) ICE press release announcing the owner of Lucky employment agency was sentenced to two years in prison, three years probation, and forfeiture of $5,200, for conspiring to transport and harbor undocumented workers. She is expected to be deported after completing her sentence. more

4/4/2011District Court Throws Out K-1 Class Action Lawsuit (.pdf 82 KB) In a case involving consular returns of K-1 petitions, the court adopted the magistrate’s finding that the doctrine of consular nonreviewability allows DOS to charge USC petitioners with fraud without providing the opportunity to respond. (Tran v. Napolitano, 3/29/11) more

4/4/2011USCIS Invitation to a 4/26/11 Teleconference on Appeals and Motions (.pdf 65 KB) SCOPS invitation to a monthly Service Center stakeholder engagement on 4/26/11, hosted by NSC and TSC, which will cover appeals and motions, and will include a discussion of Form I-290B appeals and motions, as well as Form EOIR-29 appeals. more

4/4/2011District Court Allows AC21 §106(c) Portability Case to Proceed (.pdf 91 KB) The court denied the government’s motion to dismiss in part, in a case challenging the denial of adjustment of status where the I-140 was withdrawn by the previous employer after the I-485 had been pending for more than 180 days. (Ravulapalli v. Napolitano, 3/29/11)more

4/4/2011BALCA on Alternative Job Requirements (.pdf 83 KB) BALCA vacated the denial, where the employee did not meet the minimum requirements of a bachelor’s degree plus 12 months experience, but did meet the alternative requirements of a bachelor’s degree and no experience. (Matter of Enterprise Business Solutions, 3/29/11) more

4/4/2011BALCA Questions Materiality of Omissions on the PERM Form (.pdf 90 KB) BALCA remanded finding that the CO failed to explain why the omission of the preparer’s title, where the preparer’s complete information was elsewhere on the form, and the omission of the skill level in Section F-4, were material (Matter of Shastriji Donuts, 3/29/11) more

4/4/2011CA9 Clarifies Standard for Stays of Removal in Light of Nken v. Holder (.pdf 47 KB) The court held that where the alien makes a threshold showing that irreparable harm is probable absent a stay, the court will then weigh the equities according to the general balancing approach set forth in Abassi v. INS. (Leiva-Perez v. Holder, 4/1/11) more

4/4/2011CA9 on Casas-Castrillon Bond Hearings (.pdf 65 KB) The court held that the district court has habeas jurisdiction to review a bond determination for an alien facing prolonged detention while a petition for review is pending, and that the government must prove that detention is justified. (Singh v. Holder, 3/31/11) more

4/4/2011CA9 Says WA Third Degree Child Molestation Is a Crime of Child Abuse (.pdf 25 KB) The court held that a felony conviction for third-degree child molestation in violation of Wash. Rev. Code 9A.44.089 constitutes a crime of child abuse within the meaning of INA §237(a)(2)(E)(i). (Jimenez-Juarez v. Holder, 3/31/11) more

4/4/2011CA9 Refuses to Impute Physical Presence of Mother to Child (.pdf 25 KB) The court upheld the BIA’s determination that the physical presence of Petitioner’s mother could not be imputed to her for purposes of qualifying for cancellation of removal under INA §240A(b)(1). (Saucedo-Arevalo v. Holder, 3/29/11) more

4/4/2011IJ Says Aged-Out K-2 May Proceed with Adjustment of Status (.pdf 5092 KB) The IJ found that the respondent, who entered the U.S. on a K-2 visa and turned 21 before filing for adjustment of status based on her mother’s marriage to the petitioning U.S. citizen, is nonetheless eligible for adjustment. Courtesy of Jeremy McKinney.more

4/4/2011AAO Processing Times 4/1/11 (.pdf 83 KB) AAO Processing Times as of April 1, 2011.more

4/1/2011USCIS and DOS Launch Pilot Program for Overseas I-730 Processing (.pdf 76 KB) USCIS alert announcing the launch of a USCIS/DOS pilot program to test new processing procedures for Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, follow-to-join cases in five locations. All other posts will continue to follow existing procedures for these cases.more

4/1/2011USCIS Announces the H-1B FY2012 Cap Season is Open as of 4/1/11 (.pdf 142 KB) USCIS announcement that as of April 1, 2011, the agency is accepting H-1B petitions subject to the FY2012 cap. A copy of H-1B FY2012 Cap Season webpage on the USCIS website follows the announcement.more

4/1/2011USCIS Alert and Q&As for Japanese Nationals Impacted by Earthquake and Tsunami (Updated 4/1/11) (.pdf 105 KB) USCIS alert, with Q&As attached, for individuals impacted by the 3/11/11 earthquake and tsunami, addressing temporary relief measures and certain U.S. immigration benefits available upon request for nationals of Japan.more

4/1/2011EOIR Swears in Three Immigration Judges (.pdf 31 KB) EOIR press release announcing the investiture of three immigration judges, two of whom will serve as assistant chief immigration judges, and one of whom will join the immigration judge corps in Boston, MA. The press release includes biographical information about the judges.more


March, 2011

3/31/2011DOS Announces Ribbon-Cutting for New San Diego Passport Agency (.pdf 36 KB) DOS press release announcing the 4/4/11 ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of the San Diego Passport Agency. The announcement also provides the address and additional information about the new facility.more

3/31/2011Presidential Memorandum on Regulatory Compliance (.pdf 30 KB) A 1/18/11 Presidential Memorandum from President Obama for the heads of executive departments and agencies, directing the public disclosure of information concerning the agencies’ regulatory compliance and enforcement activities.more

3/31/2011DHS March 2011 Annual Flow Report on Individuals who became LPRs in 2010 (.pdf 337 KB) DHS March 2011 Annual Flow Report presents information obtained from applications for Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status on the number and characteristics of individuals who became LPRs of the U.S. during FY2010. In 2010, 1,042,625 individuals became LPRs of the U.S. more

3/31/2011USCIS Invitation to Teleconference on Expiration of SSI Benefits and Derivative Refugee and Asylee Issues (Updated 3/31/11) (.pdf 90 KB) USCIS invitation to a 4/21/11 teleconference with USCIS, SSA, HHS, CBP, and DOS, discussing the expiration of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for certain noncitizens and the derivative refugee and asylee immigration process. more

3/31/2011USCIS Reminds Citizenship and Integration Grant Applicants of April 1 Deadline (.pdf 226 KB) USCIS reminder that the deadline to apply for funding under the FY2011 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program is 4/1/11. The reminder includes filing instructions and contact information. An original news release, fact sheet, and stakeholder invitation are also attached. more

3/30/2011DOS Invitation to a DOS/USCIS Teleconference on Guatemala Adoptions (.pdf 44 KB) DOS invitation to a 3/31/11 teleconference with its Office of Children’s Issues and USCIS on the status of intercountry adoption processing in Guatemala, focusing on the remaining “grandfathered” adoption cases that involve U.S. citizens. Call-in information is included. more

3/30/2011GAO Report on DHS Progress and Challenges in Securing the U.S. Borders (.pdf 386 KB) GAO report on DHS progress and challenges in securing the U.S. borders addresses DHS capabilities to enforce security at or near the borders, interagency coordination and oversight of information sharing and enforcement efforts, and management of technology programs. more

3/29/2011CA9 Attributes Lie of One Spouse to the Other in Assessing Credibility (.pdf 31 KB) The court held that a deception unrelated to escaping immediate danger or gaining entry into the United States can form the basis for an adverse credibility determination, even if it turns out to be irrelevant to the claim. (Singh v. Holder, 3/25/11) more

3/29/2011CA7 on “Persecution by Proxy” in Chinese Christian Case (.pdf 108 KB) The court found that Petitioner failed to establish that he had suffered past persecution, where his claim was primarily based on the arrest of his parents in 1982, and that he did not establish an individualized risk of future persecution. (Ni v. Holder, 3/25/11)more

3/28/2011USCIS 4/8/11 Meeting Invitation on Mandatory E-Filing (.pdf 93 KB) USCIS Office of Transformation Coordination invitation to a meeting on 4/8/11, to discuss a proposed rule for mandatory electronic filing of applications and petitions for immigration benefits. RSVP by 3/30/11 in order to participate in person or by phone. more

3/28/2011CA6 Finds Michigan Possession with Intent to Deliver Is an Aggravated Felony (.pdf 70 KB) The court rejected the argument that a violation of Mich. Comp. Laws §333.7401(2)(d)(iii) was comparable to the misdemeanor federal provision, 21 USC §841(b)(4), because the amount of marijuana is not an element of the federal felony. (Garcia v. Holder, 3/28/11) more

3/28/2011CA3 Remands for Analysis of Evidence of Forced Abortion (.pdf 171 KB) The court held that the IJ/BIA erred in focusing solely on the date of Petitioner’s abortion set forth in her husband’s asylum claim, while failing to consider corroborating evidence of the date presented in her own claim. (Dong v. Att’y Gen. of the U.S., 3/25/11) more

3/28/2011Attorney General Statement and Letter on Litigation Involving DOMA (.pdf 102 KB) Statement by Attorney General Eric Holder on 2/23/11 announcing that DOJ will no longer defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in litigation. A letter from Attorney General Holder to Congress regarding the decision is also attached.more

3/25/2011ICE Announces Two Illinois Businesses Join the IMAGE Program (.pdf 85 KB) ICE press release announcing that Utility Concrete Products LLC and StormTrap LLC are the two most recent Illinois companies to become members of the IMAGE program, which provides businesses with screening tools to help prevent the hiring of unauthorized employees.more

3/25/2011CRS Report: Overview of Immigration Issues in the 112th Congress (.pdf 232 KB) A 3/21/11 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report on immigration issues in the 112th Congress including border issues, worksite enforcement, employment eligibility verification, permanent admissions, temporary workers, and noncitizen eligibility for federal benefits.more

3/25/2011ICE Announces New Office in Northern Michigan (.pdf 78 KB) ICE press release announcing that it opened a new permanent facility in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, MI, on 3/25/11, which will house both Enforcement Removal Operations as well as Homeland Security Investigations.more

3/25/2011CA1 Remands 18-Year Old Asylum Claim of Peruvian Military Officer (.pdf 124 KB) The court rejected the argument that the Shining Path was motivated by revenge, and remanded for a determination whether “Peruvian military officers whose names are associated with [the massacre at] Accomarca” is a social group. (Castaneda-Castillo v. Holder, 3/24/11)more

3/25/2011CA5 on Jurisdiction Where BIA Sua Sponte Reconsiders Underlying Order (.pdf 124 KB) The court found that it retains jurisdiction over a petition for review despite the BIA’s sua sponte reconsideration and revision of the order under review, where the BIA did not materially change or vacate the order. (Espinal v. Holder, 3/24/11) more

3/25/2011ICE Announces Anchorage Man Sentenced for Falsely Claiming U.S. Citizenship (.pdf 77 KB) ICE press release announcing that Alvaro Jimenez-Aguilar was sentenced to time served plus one year of supervised release for falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen and filing a false Social Security application. He will be processed for removal. more

3/25/2011USCIS Final Policy Memorandum on Fee Waiver Guidelines (.pdf 103 KB) USCIS 3/13/11 policy memorandum on fee waiver guidelines as established by the final rule of the USCIS fee schedule. USCIS posted the interim memorandum for public comment from 11/22/10 – 12/7/10, reviewed the comments received, and approved the final memorandum on 3/13/11.more

3/24/2011USCIS O Visa Teleconference Invitation and Q&As (Updated 3/24/11) (.pdf 137 KB) USCIS invitation, general information, and Q&As for a 3/24/11 teleconference to discuss O nonimmigrant visas. Topics will include an overview for agents filing as petitioners, and contracts and itineraries requirements. The invitation includes dial-in information. more

3/24/2011USCIS Interim Memo on Adjudication of Adam Walsh Act Related Petitions (.pdf 185 KB) USCIS 3/24/11 interim memo for comment on the centralization of all identified Adam Walsh Act related petitions at the Vermont Service Center for adjudication and review. The memo is in effect until further notice, and follows the instructions page. Comments are due 4/7/11. more

3/24/2011CSC Invitation to April 27, 2011, Quarterly Stakeholder Meeting (.pdf 38 KB) California Service Center (CSC) invitation to participate in person or by phone in its 04/27/11 quarterly external stakeholder meeting. Register by COB 04/15/11 and questions due by COB 04/08/11.more

3/24/2011BALCA on Alternative Job Requirements (.pdf 91 KB) The Board upheld the CO’s denial, finding the job’s alternative requirements of 17 years of experience was not substantially equivalent to the primary requirements of a Bachelor’s degree plus five years of experience. (Matter of Donna Ricco-FYC Apparel, 3/23/11) more

3/24/2011CIS Ombudsman Update on H-2B Petition RFEs (.pdf 39 KB) A 3/23/11 CIS Ombudsman update on H-2B Petition RFEs issued by USCIS that question the ”temporary” nature of the employer’s business need for foreign labor. Topics include a “temporary” employment need, and additional information that may help USCIS adjudicate the petition.more

3/24/2011CIS Ombudsman Recommendation to USCIS on Customer Complaints (.pdf 182 KB) CIS Ombudsman recommendation to USCIS published on 3/23/11, recommending that USCIS establish a better means of informing the public on how to submit general complaints, and that USCIS publish the collected complaint data for public scrutiny.more

3/24/2011CA9 Remands to BIA for Consideration of Gabryelsky Relief (.pdf 37 KB) The court held that former INA §212(c) applies in deportation proceedings that commenced before the April 1, 1997 effective date of IIRIRA, even if the proceedings include deportation charges based on post-IIRIRA offenses. (Pascua v. Holder, 3/23/11) more

3/24/2011CA9 Finds Jurisdiction to Review Final Removal Order under VWP (.pdf 39 KB) The court found jurisdiction to review the final order issued by DHS against a visa waiver entrant, but concluded that Petitioner failed to show that the allegedly unknowing waiver of his right to a removal hearing resulted in prejudice. (Bingham v. Holder, 3/23/11) more

3/23/2011ICE Announces Prison Sentence for Employing Undocumented Individuals (.pdf 78 KB) ICE press release announcing that Hua Huang was sentenced to 12 months in prison for charges related to transporting, harboring, and hiring undocumented individuals to work at the Chinese restaurant that she managed, as well as conspiring to commit visa fraud. more

3/23/2011CBP Announces Ready Lane to Open at the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge (.pdf 234 KB) CBP press release announcing that a designated Ready Lane will open at the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge on 3/28/11, which will be dedicated for the exclusive use by travelers with Radio Frequency Identification-enabled entry documents. more

3/23/2011DOL Announces Partnership with El Salvador to Protect Migrant Workers’ Rights (.pdf 220 KB) DOL press release announcing that Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and El Salvador Minister of Foreign Affairs Hugo Martinez signed an agreement to help protect the rights of El Salvadoran migrant workers who work in the U.S. Details on the agreement are included. more

3/23/2011ICE Announces Death of a Bosnian National in ICE Custody (.pdf 237 KB) ICE press release announcing that Amra Miletic, a Bosnian national, passed away as the result of a heart attack. Miletic was a U.S. permanent resident in removal proceedings due to her criminal history. She is the seventh detainee to pass away in ICE custody in FY2011. more

3/22/2011USCIS Straight from the Source for March 2011 (.pdf 239 KB) USCIS March edition of Straight from the Source covers E-Verify Self Check, protections for human trafficking victims, H-1B cap exemptions based on relation and affiliation, the proposed H-1B electronic registration system, policy memos, national engagements, and more. more

3/22/2011CA9 Remands Indo-Fijian Asylum Claim (.pdf 68 KB) The IJ/BIA erred in failing to conduct an individualized analysis of changed conditions after Petitioner established past persecution, and the BIA abused its discretion in denying Petitioner’s motion to reopen following the 2006 coup in Fiji. (Ali v. Holder, 3/18/11) more

3/22/2011CA7 Upholds Denial of Motion Raising Religious Persecution Claim (.pdf 121 KB) The court rejected Petitioner’s argument that her attorney was ineffective for failing to present her claim of persecution in China as a life-long practicing Catholic or to inform her that a claim of religious persecution was relevant. (Jiang v. Holder, 3/18/11)more

3/22/2011U.S. Attorney Announces 18 Year Prison Sentence for ICE Attorney (.pdf 91 KB) U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Central District of California press release announcing that ICE Assistant Chief Counsel Constantine Peter Kallas received a 212 month federal prison sentence for taking nearly half a million dollars in bribes from immigrants. more

3/22/2011ICE Announces Prison Sentence for Leader of Human Smuggling Ring (.pdf 50 KB) ICE press release announcing that Eduardo Alvarez-Marquez was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for conspiracy to smuggle into the U.S. undocumented individuals previously convicted of aggravated felonies, and harboring an undocumented individual.more

3/22/2011BIA on Adjustment of Status for K-1 Nonimmigrants (.pdf 42 KB) The BIA held that an alien who enters on a K-1 visa and timely enters into a bona fide marriage with the petitioning spouse, remains eligible to adjust status under INA §245(a) despite termination of the marriage. Matter of Sesay, 25 I&N Dec. 431 (BIA 2011) more

3/21/2011USCIS Announcement and Fact Sheet on the 3/21/11 Launch of E-Verify Self Check (Updated 3/21/11) (.pdf 229 KB) USCIS press release and fact sheet on E-Verify Self Check, which was launched on 3/21/11 for users in AZ, ID, CO, MS, VA, and DC. The fact sheet, which addresses workers, employers, privacy, and more, follows the press release. Original alert and transcripts also provided. more

3/21/2011CA3 Upholds Denial of Chinese Family Planning Asylum Claim (.pdf 116 KB) The court found that Petitioners did not demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution based on the birth of their two U.S. citizen children, or that they would be subjected to fines rising to the level of persecution. (Chen v. Att’y Gen. of the U.S., 3/18/11) more

3/21/2011USCIS Announces It Will Start Accepting FY 2012 H-1B Petitions on 4/1/11 (.pdf 62 KB) USCIS press release announcing that it will start accepting cap-subject H-1B petitions for FY2012 on April 1, 2011, noting that cases will be considered accepted on the date USCIS receives a properly filed petition, not the date that the petition is postmarked.more

3/18/2011DOL Announcement and Fact Sheet on Proposed Rule Revising the H-2B Program (Updated 3/18/11) (.pdf 604 KB) DOL announcement and fact sheet on the proposed rule that was published in the Federal Register on 3/18/11, which proposes to amend the H-2B regulations governing the process by which employers apply for a temporary labor certification to hire employees in H-2B status.more

3/18/2011DOL Announces Website for Public Feedback on Regulations (.pdf 209 KB) DOL press release announcing a new online tool to collect public feedback on ways to improve regulations and the department’s regulatory review process. The online tool is part of the department’s compliance with Executive Order 13563. Comments are due by 3/31/11. more

3/18/2011Temporary Closure of U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Pakistan (.pdf 216 KB) The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and the U.S. Consulates General in Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar have been closed until further notice except for emergency U.S. Citizen services. Closures were ordered due to possible violent demonstrations. more

3/18/2011Temporary Suspension of Visa Services at AIT (.pdf 241 KB) The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) has suspended routine visa services as of March 18, 2011, until further notice, in order to provide support in assisting American citizens evacuating from Japan to Taiwan. Emergency visa services remain available.more

3/16/2011USCIS Announces Comment Period on Prevailing Wage Rates for H-2B Construction Workers in Guam (.pdf 111 KB) USCIS press release announcing a 30-day comment period on the proposed prevailing wage rates for H-2B construction workers in Guam, and the system that the Governor of Guam uses to determine such rates. The comment period will be published in the Federal Register on 3/17/11.more

3/16/2011CRS Report: U.S. Immigration Policy on Temporary Admissions (.pdf 526 KB) A 2/28/11 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report about U.S. immigration policy on temporary admissions covers policy tensions, nonimmigrant categories, periods of admission, work authorization, grounds for removal, visa and admission trends, and more. more

3/16/2011ICE Announces Prison Sentence for Unlawful Re-Entry (.pdf 238 KB) ICE press release announcing that Marlon Yobel Ruiz-Bardales, a Guatemalan national, was sentenced in Rhode Island to two years in federal prison for unlawfully re-entering the U.S. after he was previously deported.more

3/16/2011Presidential Memorandum on Unexpected Refugee Needs Related to Cote d’Ivoire (.pdf 214 KB) A 3/7/11 Presidential Memorandum from President Obama to the Secretary of State authorizing assistance for the purpose of meeting unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs related to the humanitarian crisis resulting from unrest in Cote d’Ivoire. more

3/15/2011USCIS Invitation to E-Verify Self Check Webinars (.pdf 95 KB) USCIS invitation to participate in an upcoming E-Verify Self Check webinar on 3/16/11 or 3/17/11. During each webinar, USCIS will describe the service, discuss the availability, and provide a demonstration. The invitation includes registration information. more

3/15/2011Vermont Service Center Processing Time Report (03/14/11) (.pdf 293 KB) VSC Processing Time Report released 03/14/11 with processing dates as of 01/31/11. more

3/15/2011Texas Service Center Processing Time Report (03/14/11) (.pdf 254 KB) TSC Processing Time Report released 03/14/11 with processing dates as of 01/31/11. more

3/15/2011Nebraska Service Center Processing Time Report (03/14/11) (.pdf 215 KB) NSC Processing Time Report released 03/14/11 with processing dates as of 01/31/11. more

3/15/2011National Benefits Center Processing Time Report (03/14/11) (.pdf 53 KB) NBC Processing Time Report released 03/14/11 with processing dates as of 01/31/11. more

3/15/2011California Service Center Processing Time Report (03/14/11) (.pdf 208 KB) CSC Processing Time Report released 03/14/11 with processing dates as of 01/31/11. more

3/15/2011CA10 Accords Chevron Deference to Matter of Briones (.pdf 93 KB) The BIA was justified in departing from the law of the case and the court’s mandate in following Briones and concluding that petitioner could not adjust under §245(i) because he was inadmissible under §212(a)(9)(C)(i)(I). (Padilla-Caldera v. Holder, 3/14/11) more

3/15/2011DHS Announcement on Reducing Regulatory Burden (.pdf 40 KB) DHS press release announcing a comment period published in the Federal Register on 3/14/11, on the development of a plan for review of its significant regulations, under which it will identify and eliminate obsolete rules while modernizing requirements, where applicable. more

3/15/2011USCIS Notice Regarding the Perez-Olano Settlement Agreement (.pdf 130 KB) USCIS notice that certain persons who applied for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification on or after 5/13/05, and whose petitions were denied or revoked, may be eligible to file a motion to reopen. The Perez-Olano settlement is accessible through the notice.more

3/14/2011CA9 Upholds IJ Denial of Motion to Suppress (.pdf 72 KB) The court found that the county deputy sheriff’s detention of Petitioners at a gas station while waiting for an immigration agent to arrive did not constitute an egregious violation of Petitioners’ Fourth Amendment rights. (Martinez-Medina v. Holder, 3/11/11) more

3/14/2011CA11 Remands for Modified Categorical Analysis (.pdf 94 KB) The court held that a violation of 18 USC §892(a) for making an extortionate extension of credit, is not categorically an aggravated felony crime of violence under INA §101(a)(43)(F). (Accardo v. U.S. Att’y Gen., 3/10/11) more

3/14/2011USCIS Instructions on Request for Review of Refugee Status Denial (.pdf 195 KB) USCIS instructions on writing and filing a Request for Review (RFR) of a denial of an application for refugee status. Instructions include information on the filing deadline, signature requirement, G-28s, and more. more

3/14/2011DHS PIA for the E-Verify Self Check (.pdf 272 KB) DHS Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) for the E-Verify Self Check service, available for individuals to check their own work authorization status prior to employment, and to facilitate the correction of potential errors in federal databases that feed into the E-Verify process.more

3/14/2011BALCA Assesses Feasibility of Training a U.S. Worker (.pdf 90 KB) Noting that the alien could train a U.S. worker, BALCA clarified that the regulations require a general showing that it is no longer feasible to train, not that it is no longer feasible for the employer to train. (Matter of Rooted & Grounded Nursery, 3/11/11) more

3/14/2011BALCA Remands for Materiality Assessment of Section M-1 (.pdf 121 KB) BALCA found that where the preparer signed and dated the certification block in Section M, remand is warranted for a determination as to why completion of Section M-1 on Form 9089 is material in the review of a mailed-in application. (Matter of Steve’s Bakery, 3/9/11)more

3/14/2011Limited Emergency NIV Appointments at U.S. Embassy, Tokyo (.pdf 51 KB) U.S. Embassy in Tokyo advises that NIV applicants with appointments this week should reschedule. Emergency NIV appointments will be available under very limited circumstances.more

3/14/2011USCIS Announces Protection for Victims of Human Trafficking and Other Violations (.pdf 67 KB) USCIS press release announcing that A-3 and G-5 visa holders who are victims of human trafficking, sexual exploitation, or other violations, who have filed civil action against their employer, can remain and work in the U.S. while their civil cases are pending. more

3/11/2011USCIS Announces Relief for Japanese and Other Nationals Stranded due to Earthquakes and Tsunami (.pdf 72 KB) USCIS alert that Japanese and other foreign nationals stranded in the U.S. due to the 3/11/11 earthquakes and tsunami devastation in the Pacific who have exceeded or are about to exceed their authorized stay in the U.S. may be permitted up to an additional 30 days to depart. more

3/11/2011DOJ Announces Prison Sentence for Immigration Fraud Scheme (.pdf 218 KB) DOJ press release announcing that Richard A. Murdock was sentenced to 30 months in prison for immigration fraud and tax evasion charges related to his role in fraudulently procuring visas from the U.S. Embassy in London, including L-1A visas for two co-conspirators. more

3/11/2011OIG Report on CBP Implementation of WHTI (.pdf 1314 KB) DHS OIG Report finds that while CBP has generally successfully implemented the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), it needs to continue to improve its inspection procedures. more

3/10/2011BALCA Remands, Finds Evidence of FEIN Sufficient (.pdf 91 KB) BALCA held that the submission of the employer’s business licenses that list its FEIN and match the number provided on the labor certification was sufficient to establish that the employer is a bona fide entity. (Matter of Michael Gorham Racing Stable, 3/9/11) more


February, 2011

02/18/2011 USCIS Statement of Intent Regarding the Form G-28 USCIS announcement that, until further notice, DHS Disciplinary Counsel does not intend to initiate disciplinary action against practitioners based solely on failure to submit Form G-28 in relation to pro bono services provided at group assistance events. more

02/18/2011 OFLC Round 1 FAQs on the H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 Programs DOL OFLC Round 1 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) addressing the H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 programs. For the purpose of these FAQs, “LCA” and “ETA Form 9035/9035E” are interchangeable. more

02/18/2011 BIA On Cancellation of Removal Stop-Time Rule The BIA held that when continuous residence stops upon commission of an offense pursuant to INA §240A(d)(1), the accrual of continuous residence does not restart upon the alien’s departure and reentry into the U.S. Matter of Nelson, 25 I&N Dec. 410 (BIA 2011). more

02/18/2011 USCIS Announcement and Invitation for Transformation Webinars USCIS announcement that it will host two webinars on USCIS Transformation, first on 3/1/11 for those that do not provide direct legal support to applicants, and then on 3/4/11 for licensed attorneys. Invitation includes instructions for registration and participation. more

02/17/2011 USCIS Update Regarding Delayed Immediate Relative Petitions USCIS update regarding its plan to expedite adjudication of delayed Forms I-130 that were transferred from CSC to TSC in November 2010. The 2/9/11 alert advising that petitioners will see an action on their case from either CSC or TSC by the end of February is attached. more

02/17/2011 CA9 Upholds Removal of Palestinian Citizen with Alleged Ties to Hamas The court held that the BIA’s determination that Petitioner was inadmissible in that he was likely to engage in terrorist activity or provide material support to a terrorist organization was supported by substantial evidence. (Abufayad v. Holder>, 2/16/11) more

02/17/2011 ICE Secure Communities Activated in First Three Colorado Counties ICE press release announcing that Secure Communities is now activated in Arapahoe, Denver, and El Paso counties in Colorado. With the expansion of Secure Communities to these three counties, ICE is using this capability in 1049 jurisdictions in 39 states. more

02/17/2011 CA4 Reverses BIA, Remands MS-13 Asylum Claim The court found that the BIA’s determination that “family members of those who actively oppose gangs in El Salvador by agreeing to be prosecutorial witnesses” was not a particular social group, was manifestly contrary to law. (Crespin-Valladares v. Holder, 2/16/11) more

02/17/2011 CBP Announces Sentence for Undocumented Individual in Ohio CBP press release announcing that an undocumented individual from Mexico was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison after he fled from Sandusky Bay Border Patrol agents in Ohio. The individual will be deported after he completes his sentence. more

02/17/2011 CA1 Says Expedited Removal Breaks Physical Presence for Cancellation The court denied the petition for review, finding the BIA’s determination that an expedited removal order halts continuous physical presence for purposes of cancellation of removal was reasonable. (Vasquez v. Holder, 2/16/11) more

02/17/2011 USCIS Policy Memo on Revocation of VAWA-Based Self-Petitions USCIS 12/15/10 policy memo on the revocation of VAWA-based self-petitions (Forms I-360) restates the VAWA revocation policy that was originally issued in a 8/5/02 memo. more

02/16/2011 USCIS Naturalization Ceremony Commemorates Black History Month USCIS press release announcing that 50 new citizens were naturalized during a special ceremony held at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, which commemorated Black History Month. more

02/16/2011 USCIS Presentation on AAO Precedent Decision Process USCIS presentation from the AAO on precedent decisions, including a history of these decisions, what a precedent decision is, and more. AILA more

02/16/2011 ICE Announces Secure Communities Activated in Santa Fe County, All New Mexico ICE press release announcing that Secure Communities is now activated in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. With the expansion of Secure Communities to Santa Fe County, ICE is using this capability in all New Mexico jurisdictions. more

02/16/2011 ICE Announces Prison Sentence for Unlawful Re-Entry ICE press release announcing that a Mexican national was sentenced to 57 months in prison for unlawfully re-entering the U.S. after being deported in 1994 following a felony conviction. Jesus Arturo Maciass-Nevarez will be deported again after he serves his current sentence. more

02/16/2011 CA7 Upholds Use of Collateral Estoppel in Removal Case of Former Nazi The court denied the petition for review, finding that Petitioner was afforded a full and fair opportunity to litigate his claims in denaturalization proceedings, and upheld the IJ’s application of the collateral estoppel doctrine. (Firishchak v. Holder, 2/14/11) more

02/16/2011 BALCA Affirms Denial, Discusses Documentation of Headhunter Recruitment BALCA found that the recruitment documentation did not show that the employment agencies recruit for software engineers, that they actually solicited for the position, or that the solicitation occurred during the proper time period. (Matter of Unica Corp., 2/9/11) more

02/15/2011 USCIS Straight from the Source for February 2011 USCIS February edition of Straight from the Source, a summary of USCIS news and highlights over the last month, covers the new Employment Authorization/Advance Parole cards, an overview of the National Benefits Center, policy memos, national engagements, and more. more

02/15/2011 Vermont Service Center Processing Time Report (2/14/11) VSC Processing Time Report released 2/14/11 with processing dates as of 12/31/10. more

02/15/2011 Texas Service Center Processing Time Report (2/14/11) TSC Processing Time Report released 2/14/11 with processing dates as of 12/31/10. more

02/15/2011 Nebraska Service Center Processing Time Report (2/14/11) NSC Processing Time Report released 2/14/11 with processing dates as of 12/31/10. more

02/15/2011 National Benefits Center Processing Time Report (2/14/11) NBC Processing Time Report released 2/14/11 with processing dates as of 12/31/10. more

02/15/2011 California Service Center Processing Time Report (2/14/11) CSC Processing Time Report released 2/14/11 with processing dates as of 12/31/10. more

02/15/2011 CA6 Remands, Finding Past Persecution in Sierra Leone Withholding Claim The court held that the record established that Petitioner was targeted for his political opinion when his house was burned down, and the totality of the circumstances, including his son’s murder, satisfies a finding of past persecution. (Vincent v. Holder, 2/15/11) more

02/15/2011 CA9 Remands VAWA Special-Rule Cancellation Case The court held that the mistreatment of Petitioner’s children by their LPR father constituted battery, a heightened level of violence is not required, and the IJ erred in relying on state law to determine what constitutes battery. (Lopez-Birrueta v. Holder, 2/14/11) more

02/15/2011 Chamber of Commerce Comments on I-9 Procedural and Technical Errors The U.S. Chamber of Commerce comments to ICE Director John Morton and USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas on the need to more efficiently and clearly address procedural and technical I-9 errors in the employment eligibility verification process. more

02/14/2011 DHS Secretary Napolitano Announces FY2012 Budget Request DHS press release on Secretary Napolitano’s unveiling of the FY2012 budget request. The press release breaks down FY2012 budget priorities, such as securing and managing U.S. borders, as well as enforcing and administering immigration laws, and links to a fact sheet. more

02/14/2011 Tri-Valley University Response to SEVP Notice of Intent to Withdraw Tri-Valley University (TVU) letter written by its President regarding ICE’s decision to withdraw the school’s SEVIS approval. The letter, which has been redacted, includes responses to the unresolved issues listed in the SEVP Notice of Intent to Withdraw letter. more

02/14/2011 VSC Stakeholder Newsletter, February 2011 The VSC offers the first Stakeholder Newsletter, which includes guidance on expedite requests, quality review, fee reimbursement, U visas, TPS, helpful hints, contact information, and more. more

02/14/2011 USCIS Notice of US-VISIT Phone Outage USCIS notice that US-VISIT is experiencing an unanticipated phone outage, and as a result, desk phones are unable to make outgoing or receive incoming calls. Anyone wishing to contact a US-VISIT employee is advised to reach them via e-mail or cell phone. more

02/14/2011 BALCA Remands Finding Internet Job Search Posting Sufficient BALCA found that the employer’s job search web advertisement met the requirements of 20 CFR §656.17(f) where the search results listed the employer as “confidential” but the name of the employer was disclosed in the advertisement itself. (Matter of Dr. Deza, 2/11/11) more

02/14/2011 BALCA Finds SWA Job Order Must Comply with §656.17(f) BALCA upheld the denial where the SWA job order contained a requirement not included on the ETA 9089, reasoning that a job order is the functional equivalent of a newspaper ad and is subject to 20 CFR §656.17(f)(7). (Matter of Hayward Unified School District, 2/10/11) more

02/14/2011 ICE Announces Prison Sentence for Exploiting Workers and Harboring Undocumented Individuals ICE press release announcing that a Thai national on an E-2 Visa was sentenced to 366 days, and ordered to pay fines and restitution, for exploiting his Thai employees, harboring undocumented individuals, and failing to pay taxes. He will be deported following his sentence. more

02/14/2011 USCIS Memo on Advance Parole Employment Authorization Document USCIS 12/21/10 interim memo for comment to permit issuance of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), Form I-766, with an advance parole endorsement. The memo is in effect until further notice, and follows the comment instructions page. Comments are due 2/28/11. more

02/14/2011 CA1 Upholds Denial of Asylum for Coptic Christian from Egypt The court found (1) the harm Petitioner suffered did not rise to the level of persecution; (2) a lack of connection between the harm and government action or inaction; and (3) no nexus to show that the harm was on account of his religion. (Morgan v. Holder, 2/11/11) more

02/14/2011 CA9 Rejects Equal Protection Challenge to 10-Year Non-LPR Cancellation Rule The court found a rational basis for requiring 10 years continuous residence with exceptions for certain absences, as opposed to a total-number-of-days requirement where Petitioners fell short of 10 years by only a few weeks. (Hernandez-Mancilla v. Holder, 2/10/11) more

02/11/2011 USCIS Announces Single Card for Employment and Travel Authorization USCIS update announcing the agency will now issue employment and travel authorization on a single card for certain applicants filing an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, Form I-485. The update includes USCIS Q&A with more information. more

02/11/2011 Visa Bulletin for March 2011 DOS Visa Bulletin for March 2011. Section C addresses advance notification of the diversity (DV) immigrant category rank cut-offs which will apply in April. Section D addresses retrogression of family preference cut-off dates. more

02/11/2011 ICE Announces Conviction of Owners of Paso Hotel of Smuggling and Harboring Undocumented Individuals ICE press release announcing that the owner of the Gateway Hotel in Paso, Texas was convicted of conspiring to smuggle and harbor undocumented individuals for financial gain. more

02/11/2011 ICE Announces Results from Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats (ACTT) ICE press release announcing the results to date of ACTT. ACTT is a collaborative enforcement effort launched in September 2009 in Arizona and Mexico to combat individuals and criminal organizations that pose a threat to communities on both sides of the border. more

02/11/2011 ICE Announces Four Puerto Rican Businesses Join IMAGE Program USCIS 1/26/11 interim memo for comment on USCIS policy for including information about the opportunity to file a motion to reopen or reconsider when issuing a written denial of a petition or application. The memo is in effect until further notice. Comments are due 2/14/11. more

02/10/2011 ICE Announces First New York Business to Join IMAGE Program ICE press release announcing that American Defense Systems, Inc. of Long Island, New York, is the first company in the state to join the IMAGE program, which provides businesses with screening tools to help prevent the hiring of unauthorized employees. more

02/10/2011 ICE Announces First Medical Center to Join IMAGE Program ICE press release announcing that Saints Medical Center of Massachusetts is the first medical center in the country to become a member of the IMAGE program, which provides businesses with screening tools to help prevent the hiring of unauthorized employees. more

02/10/2011 ICE Announces Prison Sentence for Smuggling Deaths ICE press release announcing that a male citizen of El Salvador was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in a 2008 human smuggling operation that resulted in the death of three Mexican nationals. He will be subject to removal upon completion of his sentence. more

02/09/2011 DHS Announces the Creation of a TWIC-Annotated B-1 Visa DHS press release announcing the creation of an annotated version of the B-1 visa that will make foreign maritime workers eligible to apply for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). The announcement includes additional details on the application process. more

02/09/2011 USCIS Alert on Delayed Immediate Relative Petitions USCIS alert announcing its plan to expedite adjudication of delayed Forms I-130 that were transferred from CSC to TSC in November 2010. The alert advises that petitioners will see an action on their case from either CSC or TSC by the end of February. more

02/09/2011 SDNY Orders Government to Provide Searchable FOIA Documents The court held that the government violated the FRCP by failing to produce FOIA records in a reasonably usable form, and that electronic FOIA documents must be provided in an electronically searchable and organized manner. (NDLON v. ICE, 2/7/11) more

02/09/2011 SEVP Notice of Intent to Withdraw Letter from ICE to Tri-Valley University ICE asserts that Tri-Valley University failed to comply with federal regulations for students in a Notice of Intent to Withdraw letter. Violations include failure to require students to attend class and failure to report changes in school and student information in SEVIS. more

02/09/2011 CBP Announces Results of Multi-Agency Effort to Secure Arizona Border CBP press release announcing the results to date of the Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats, a collaborative effort set up to combat threats to communities along the Arizona/Mexico border. The press release also includes information about other border security efforts. more

02/09/2011 ICE Secure Communities Activated in Eight Missouri Counties ICE press release announcing that Secure Communities is activated in Boone, Cape Girardeau, Cass, Cole, Dunklin, Jasper, Marion, and Saint Charles counties. With the expansion of Secure Communities to these counties, ICE is using this capability in 20 Missouri jurisdictions. more

02/08/2011 ICE Notice to Former F-1 Students of Tri-Valley University ICE notice to former F-1 students of Tri-Valley University (TVU) that the records of all F-1 students enrolled at TVU as of 1/18/11 were terminated, and that those students should contact the SEVP Response Center. The notice includes contact and additional information. more

02/08/2011 U.S. Embassy, Mexico Reports Problems with Visa Call Center U.S. Embassy, Mexico reports problems for applicants in reaching the Visa Call Center. Additionally, the Embassy reports confusion during the transition to new ASCs. DOS is aware of these problems, and they are working to correct them. more

02/08/2011 AAO Processing Times 2/1/11 AAO Processing Times as of February 1, 2011. more

02/08/2011 SEVP Guidance on F-1 Transfers from Tri-Valley University A 2/7/11 message from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to all SEVIS users regarding the transfer of F-1 students associated with Tri-Valley University (TVU). more

02/08/2011 USCIS Memo on Handling Applications for Individuals in Removal Proceedings USCIS 2/8/11 interim memo for comment on guidance for coordination with ICE on the adjudication of applications and petitions involving individuals in removal proceedings before the EOIR. Memo follows instructions, and is in effect until further notice. Comments due 2/22/11. more

02/08/2011 ARB on Reimbursement for Travel Time The ARB found that the H-1B employee was entitled to two days of wages for travel he undertook while employed to install a computer system, despite the employer’s policy to not compensate employees for travel time. (Matter of Integrated Informatics, 1/31/11) more

02/07/2011 BIA Overrules Matter of Shanu Regarding “Date of Admission” for CIMT Removability The BIA held that a conviction for a CIMT triggers removability under INA §237(a)(2)(A)(i) only if the crime was committed within five years of the date of the admission by virtue of which the alien was then in the U.S. Matter of Alyazji, 25 I&N Dec. 397 (BIA 2011) more

02/07/2011 CA11 on Aggravated Felony Bar to §212(h) Waivers The bar to a §212(h) waiver for a person who has “previously been admitted” as an LPR and has been convicted of an aggravated felony since such admission, does not apply to persons who adjusted to LPR status in the U.S. (Lanier v. U.S. Att’y Gen., 2/4/11) more

02/07/2011 CA6 Upholds IJ Denial of Social Group Claim from Guinea The court held that the immigration judge reasonably determined that “women subjected to rape as a method of government control” is not a particular social group because of its general, far-reaching, and circular nature. (Kante v. Holder, 1/7/11) more

02/04/2011 FTC Shuts Down Immigration Scam At the request of the FTC, a federal judge has shut down an operation that allegedly set up fake websites to mimic official government sites, and duped consumers into paying fees up to $2,500 by claiming the fees would cover USCIS processing for immigration benefits. more

02/04/2011 USCIS Alert: Winter Storm Closes Several Offices NSC and TSC were closed due to severe winter weather during the week of 1/31/11. USCIS announced that customers who made timely filings will not be affected by these closures and need not contact Customer Service. more

02/04/2011 CA9 Upholds Jury Verdict Against Arizona Rancher for Assault and IIED The court upheld the verdict in favor of 4 immigrants on claims of assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress against an Arizona rancher. The case was presided over by the late Chief Judge (D. Ariz.), John Roll. (Vicente v. Barnett, unpublished, 2/3/11) more

02/04/2011 CA9 Finds IJ Abused Discretion in Refusing Continuance Applying Matter of Hashmi, the court remanded the case to the IJ to afford Petitioner the opportunity to apply for adjustment, noting that USCIS delay in adjudicating I-130s is no reason to deny a reasonable continuance request. (Malilia v. Holder, 2/3/11) more

02/03/2011 ICE Promotes Human Trafficking Awareness with U.S. Attorney ICE press release announcing it held a joint event with the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York to promote awareness of human trafficking and forced labor, and to discuss unified enforcement efforts against criminal organizations that enslave innocent victims. more

02/03/2011 ICE Secure Communities Activated in Six Northern California Counties ICE press release announcing the activation of Secure Communities in Inyo, Amador, Calaveras, Glenn, Modoc and San Benito counties. With the expansion of Secure Communities to these six counties, ICE is using this capability in 52 California jurisdictions. more

02/03/2011 DOS Announces Status of U.S. Citizen Evacuations from Egypt DOS press release announcing that more than 1,900 U.S. citizens and their family members have been evacuated from Egypt in an operation that began on 1/31/11. DOS will proceed with evacuation efforts on 2/3/11 and assess the need to continue flights beyond that. more

02/03/2011 CA6 Says “Departure Bar” to Motions to Reopen Is Not a Jurisdictional Rule The court held that 8 CFR §1003.2(d) is not a jurisdictional rule, and therefore, the BIA may not disclaim jurisdiction to review Petitioner’s motion to reopen, which was filed after he departed the United States under an order of removal. (Pruidze v. Holder, 2/3/11) more

02/03/2011 Westat Report on E-Verify Nonusers Westat report submitted to DHS in December 2010, with the results of a nationwide survey of companies that have never used E-Verify, finding that the principal reason for nonparticipation appears to be a lack of awareness about the program. more

02/03/2011 CA5 Refuses Stand-Alone §212(h) Waiver for Deportable Person The court rejected the argument that a §212(h) waiver may stand alone, and found that the BIA properly determined that Petitioner was ineligible for a waiver because he was inside the U.S. and had not also filed for adjustment of status. (Cabral v. Holder, 2/2/11) more

02/02/2011 USCIS Memo on Evaluation of Evidence Submitted with Certain I-140 Petitions USCIS 12/22/10 policy memo providing guidance regarding the analysis that adjudicators should use when evaluating evidence submitted in support of Forms I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, filed under certain employment-based immigrant classifications. more

02/02/2011 ICE Secure Communities Activated in Two Maryland Counties ICE press release announcing that Secure Communities is now activated in Dorchester and Talbot counties. With the expansion of Secure Communities to these two counties, ICE is using this capability in nine Maryland jurisdictions. more

02/02/2011 ICE Secure Communities Activated in Two Ohio Counties ICE press release announcing that Secure Communities is now activated in Ashtabula and Jefferson counties. With the expansion of Secure Communities to these two counties, ICE is using this capability in 16 Ohio jurisdictions. more

02/02/2011 OIG Report on CBP Transportation of Detainees DHS OIG report finds that the CBP Transportation Program Management Office has not developed an effective plan to provide ground transportation for detainees, and makes recommendations to help CBP identify and implement comprehensive ground transportation solutions. more

02/02/2011 OIG Report on Identification of Removable Criminals DHS OIG report on whether ICE is identifying all criminals in federal and state custody that are eligible for removal. The report finds that ICE identified 99% of the removable criminals in federal custody in FY2009, but the rates were lower among the states reviewed. more

02/02/2011 CA9 Finds No Nexus to Political Opinion in Indian Asylum Claim The court found that the harm Petitioner suffered at the hands of the Indian police was motivated by the desire to stop publication of Petitioner’s father’s book, rather than to persecute Petitioner for his political opinion. (Sharma v. Holder, 2/1/11) more

02/02/2011 CA3 on Prosecution vs. Persecution The court denied the petition for review, finding insufficient evidence that the prosecution of Petitioner by the Chinese government for assisting illegal immigrants from North Korea would be based on his political opinion. (Li v. Att’y Gen. of the U.S., 2/1/11) more

02/02/2011 Attorney General Announces Counter-Trafficking Initiative Remarks by Attorney General Eric Holder on 2/1/11 announcing the launch of a Human Trafficking Enhanced Enforcement Initiative to streamline federal criminal investigations and prosecutions of human trafficking. more

02/02/2011 GAO Report on Northern Border Security GAO report on border security finds that DHS improved northern border security coordination through interagency forums and joint operations, and recommends that DHS enhance oversight and assessment of interagency coordination. more

02/02/2011 CA2 Asks BIA to Clarify “Aggravating Circumstances” Standard in Forced IUD Case The court vacated Matter of M-F-W-, and remanded to the BIA to articulate the standard it applied in determining that aggravating circumstances did not exist to raise Petitioner’s forced IUD insertion to the level of persecution. (Wong v. Holder, 2/1/11) more

02/02/2011 EOIR Issues FY2010 Statistical Year Book EOIR FY2010 Statistical Year Book, which includes a compilation of figures and tables on individuals who have appeared before an immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals. more

02/01/2011 USCIS Memo Regarding Notice to Applicants About the Ability to File Motions to Reopen or Reconsider USCIS 1/26/11 interim memo for comment on USCIS policy for including information about the opportunity to file a motion to reopen or reconsider when issuing a written denial of a petition or application. The memo is in effect until further notice. Comments are due 2/14/11. more


January, 2011

01/31/2011 ICE Announces Houston Woman Sentenced to Prison for Involvement in Human Smuggling Business ICE press release announcing that a Mary Jesse Cuadros was sentenced to 22 months imprisonment for conspiring to transport and harbor an undocumented Honduran national within the U.S., resulting in his death. more

01/31/2011 DHS Readout of Secretary Napolitano’s Remarks on Border Security DHS press release on Secretary Napolitano’s speech at the University of Texas at El Paso, in which she highlighted efforts to secure the Southwest border, and also noted efforts to enforce current immigration laws, and step up labor enforcement. more

01/31/2011 CRCL January 2011 Newsletter DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) January 2011 newsletter includes a message from CRCL Officer Margo Schlanger, information about its E-Verify educational videos co-produced with USCIS, its backlog reduction initiative for EEO complaints, and more. more

01/31/2011 CIS Ombudsman Quarterly Update January 2011 The CIS Ombudsman Quarterly Update for January 2011 includes a message from CIS Ombudsman January Contreras, a highlight of current areas of focus, including concerns with the DHS interim rule on professional conduct for practitioners and G-28 requirements, and more. more

01/31/2011 OCAHO Assesses Penalties Against Subway Restaurant for I-9 Violations OCAHO found that the penalties sought by ICE were disproportionate to the company’s size and resources, and ordered the respondent to pay $27,150 in civil penalties for failure to prepare and/or properly complete I-9 forms. (U.S. v. Snack Attack Deli, Inc., 12/22/10) more

01/31/2011 U.S. Travel Warning Issued for Travel to Egypt DOS authorized the voluntary departure of dependents and non-emergency employees of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. The Embassy is open for emergency services for U.S. citizens only until further notice. No arrangements have been announced for rescheduling IV or NIV appointments. more

01/31/2011 BALCA Affirms Denial of Unsigned ETA 9089 Submitted by Mail BALCA affirmed the CO’s denial and rejected the employer’s argument that he was forced to submit the application without the alien’s signature because the alien currently works in a rural region of Kosovo with limited mail service. (Matter of Café Italiano, 1/27/11) more

01/31/2011 CA10 Upholds Denial of Christian Indonesian Asylum Claim The court found that the harm suffered by Petitioner did not rise to the level of persecution and that her returns to Indonesia, and the presence of family in Indonesia without further violence, undercut her fear of future persecution. (Ritonga v. Holder, 1/28/11) more

01/31/2011 CA9 Finds Record Inconclusive Under Modified Categorical Approach The court remanded, finding the record inconclusive as to how Petitioner violated Cal. Health & Safety Code §11352(a), and that the BIA erred in concluding he had been convicted of an aggravated felony trafficking offense. (Young v. Holder, 1/28/11) more

01/31/2011 CA2 Finds New York Penal Law §263.05 Is an Aggravated Felony The court held that New York Penal Law §263.05, use of a child in a sexual performance, is not divisible, and any conviction under it is categorically an aggravated felony offense involving sexual abuse of a minor offense. (Oouch v. Holder, 1/28/11) more

01/31/2011 CA9 Upholds Prior Decision on Review of Sua Sponte Reopening The court held that the Supreme Court decision, Kucana v. Holder, did not change the court’s holding in Ekimian v. INS that there is no sufficiently meaningful standard to allow court review of sua sponte reopening. (Mejia-Hernandez v. Holder, 1/27/11) more

01/28/2011 USCIS Final Memo on Implementation of Increased Fees for Certain H-1B and L-1 Petitions USCIS 1/18/11 policy memo providing guidance on the implementation of increased fees for certain H-1B and L-1 petitions under Public Law 111-230. The 10/7/10 interim memo for comment published by USCIS follows the final policy memo. more

01/28/2011 USCIS Announcement on Beta-Testing VIBE USCIS announcement that the agency is beta-testing the web-based Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE), and petitioners may begin seeing VIBE-related Requests for Evidence. more

01/28/2011 White House Fact Sheet on President Obama’s Plan to Fix Our Broken Immigration System White House fact sheet released after the 2011 State of the Union Address on President Obama’s plan to win the future by fixing our broken immigration system. more

01/27/2011 USCIS Announces FY2011 H1B Cap Reached USCIS press release announcing that the FY2011 cap-subject H-1B petition cap has been reached as of 01/26/2011. more

01/27/2011 DHS State of America’s Homeland Security Address DHS remarks by Secretary Janet Napolitano on the overall state of our homeland security, including major initiatives involving border security and immigration in the coming year, such as strengthening the legal immigration system, and rolling out E-Verify “Self Check.” more

01/27/2011 USCIS Interim Memo on the Eligibility for Members of the National Guard to Naturalize USCIS 1/27/11 interim memo for comment providing field guidance on the eligibility for members of the National Guard to naturalize under section 329 of the INA. Comments are due 2/10/11. The memo is in effect until further notice. Memo follows the instructions page. more

01/27/2011 CRS Report on the U.S. Foreign-Born Population A 1/18/11 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report presenting information and data on key geographic, demographic, social, and economic characteristics and trends of the foreign-born population residing in the U.S. that is relevant to prominent immigration policy issues. more

01/27/2011 CRS Report on U.S. Refugee Resettlement Assistance A 1/4/11 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report on U.S. refugee resettlement assistance includes a discussion of existing resettlement assistance programs, key challenges and issues in providing effective assistance, and policy options to reform the current system. more

01/27/2011 BALCA Reverses Denial, Finding Adequate Proof of Employee Referral Program BALCA found that the recruitment report, showing that more than 90% of the applications received came from the ERP, was adequate documentation of the ERP as a method of recruitment notwithstanding the undated notice of the program. (Matter of AQR Capital, 1/26/11) more

01/27/2011 EOIR Announces 10th Anniversary of the BIA Pro Bono Project EOIR press release announcing the 10th anniversary of the BIA Pro Bono Project. The Project was implemented in 2001 to improve access to legal information and increase pro bono representation for individuals being detained while their immigration cases are under appeal. more

01/27/2011 USCIS Announcement of Field Office and Facilities Closings for 1/27/11 USCIS fact sheet on naturalization includes information about the naturalization process, such as eligibility requirements and provisions for the naturalization of children under the age of 18, and naturalization statistics. In FY2010, 675,967 individuals were naturalized. more

01/27/2011 CA10 Says No §212(h) Waiver for Possession of Marijuana in a Drug-Free Zone The court found that possession of less than one ounce of marijuana in a drug-free zone in violation of Utah Code Ann. §58-37-8(2)(a)(i) and (4)(a)(ix) is not “simple possession” that would qualify for a waiver under INA §212(h). (Olivan-Duenas v. Holder, 1/26/11) more

01/27/2011 CA3 Finds Tampering with Evidence an Aggravated Felony and Particularly Serious Crime The court held that tampering with physical evidence in violation of New York Penal Law §215.40(2) is an aggravated felony under INA §101(a)(43)(S) and a particularly serious crime rendering Petitioner ineligible for withholding of removal. (Denis v. Holder, 1/26/11) more

01/27/2011 ICE Announces Attorney Indicted for Visa Fraud and Harboring Undocumented Individuals ICE press release announcing the indictment of an immigration attorney, Parmesh N. Dixit, of Alpharetta, Georgia, on charges of visa fraud, conspiracy, and harboring undocumented individuals for the purpose of private financial gain. more

01/27/2011 CA2 Finds No Proof that VWP Entrant Waived Right to Contest Removal The court declined to adopt a presumption that a person cannot enter on a visa waiver without automatically waiving the right to contest removal, and remanded, finding the record silent as to whether Petitioner actually waived his right. (Galluzzo v. Holder, 1/26/11) more

01/26/2011 U.S. Embassy, London I-601 Waiver Applications and Checklist I-601 waiver applications will now be accepted at U.S. Embassy, London for applicants within the U.K. The embassy also now adjudicates waiver applications submitted at other embassies in the region. Additionally, DOS offers a waiver checklist for assistance. more

01/26/2011 CA1 Rejects Asylum Claim Based on Fear of FGM to Daughter The court denied Petitioners’ motion to remand, rejecting their attempt to base a claim for asylum on the fear that their recently born U.S. citizen daughter would be subjected to FGM upon the family’s removal to Guinea. (Mariko v. Holder, 1/24/11) more

01/26/2011 CA2 Upholds BIA Denial of Chinese Family Planning Claim The court found that the harm inflicted on Petitioner, who was punched repeatedly by family planning officials and detained for two days after his wife was taken away for an abortion, did not rise to the level of persecution. (Liu v. Holder, 1/24/11) more

01/25/2011 CA7 Declines to Remand for Review by Three-Member BIA Panel The court rejected Petitioner’s argument that the 3-page opinion issued by a single BIA member could only have been appropriately rendered by a 3-member panel, and that 8 CFR §1003.1 clearly allows a single member to issue such an opinion. (Ward v. Holder, 1/21/11) more

01/25/2011 DOJ OSC Winter 2011 Newsletter DOJ Office of Special Counsel (OSC) newsletter for the first quarter of 2011, covering new guidance on Social Security number mismatches, telephone interventions, recent OSC enforcement activity, the new website launched by the Criminal Rights Division and OSC, and more. more

01/25/2011 DOJ Seeks Judicial Forfeiture of Real Estate in SEVIS Investigation Justice Department Complaint for Forfeiture against real estate owned by an officer of Tri-Valley University in connection with ICE investigation of alleged SEVIS violations. Courtesy of Adam Rosen. more

01/25/2011 Signature Requirements for USCIS Forms USCIS offers legal requirements for signatures on all petitions and applications, as well as signatures by attorneys and accredited representatives for Form G-28. USCIS notes that signatures must be original for each form submitted. more

01/25/2011 USCIS Teleconference Invitation to Discuss the Help Haiti Act of 2010 USCIS invitation for a 2/9/11 teleconference on the Help Haiti Act of 2010, with the purpose of providing families of paroled Haitian orphans with information about filing for lawful permanent residence in order to get a green card. Instructions for the call are included. more

01/25/2011 ICE Announces Texas Truck Driver Re-Sentenced for Deaths of 19 Victims in 2003 Smuggling Operation ICE Press Release announcing that the driver of the truck used in a smuggling operation that resulted in the deaths of 19 foreign nationals in Victoria, TX, was re-sentenced to 33 years and nine months in federal prison for charges relating to the 19 deceased victims. more

01/24/2011 USCIS Announces Special Naturalization Ceremony in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. USCIS press release announcing that the agency celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during a special naturalization ceremony that was held on 1/21/11 at the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro, N.C. more

01/24/2011 USCIS Fact Sheet on Naturalization USCIS fact sheet on naturalization includes information about the naturalization process, such as eligibility requirements and provisions for the naturalization of children under the age of 18, and naturalization statistics. In FY2010, 675,967 individuals were naturalized. more

01/24/2011 USCIS Memo on TPS Adjudications Involving “No Jail” or “No Incarceration” Certifications USCIS 1/21/11 policy memo providing guidance on the adjudication of TPS applications and administrative appeals involving a “no jail” or “no incarceration” certification, and a reminder on cases involving certain potential misdemeanors. more

01/24/2011 AAO Approves L-1A Petition on Certification From CSC On certification by the CSC, AAO withdraws denial and approves an L-1A petition, finding that beneficiary would perform managerial duties more than 51% of the time, based on petitioner’s reasonable needs and stage of development. Courtesy of Dehai Tao. more

01/24/2011 ICE Announces Rhode Island Man Sentenced for Posing as an Attorney and Federal Agent ICE press release announcing that Audeliz Villegas was sentenced to six months in prison, three years supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution to two victims that he defrauded while posing as an immigration attorney and impersonating a federal immigration agent. more

01/21/2011 BALCA Vacates Denial, Sets Standard for Documentation of Employee Referral Programs For employee referral programs, an employer must document 1) the program offers incentives to employees for referral; 2) the program was in effect during the recruitment period; and 3) the employees were on notice of the job opening. (Matter of Sanmina-Sci, 1/19/11) more

01/21/2011 USCIS RFE Template for I-140 E11 Alien of Extraordinary Ability USCIS updated RFE template for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, seeking E11 immigrant classification. The updated template will be posted online until 2/4/11 for stakeholder visibility. USCIS Service Centers will use the template effective immediately. more

01/21/2011 CBP Provides Six-Month Club Updates CBP provides updates to its six-month club members including a list of current member countries as well as passport validity rules for travelers. more

01/21/2011 CA9 Finds Immigration Consultant Fraud Excuses Late-Filed Asylum Application The court held that the immigration consultant fraud that caused the late filing of Petitioner’s application constitutes an “extraordinary circumstance” warranting tolling of the deadline under INA §208(a)(2)(D) and 8 CFR §208.4(a)(5). (Viridiana v. Holder, 1/19/11) more

01/21/2011 ICE Announces First Minnesota Business to Join the IMAGE Program ICE press release announcing that Ryt-way Industries LLC is the first Minnesota business to become a member of the IMAGE program, which provides businesses with the screening tools to help prevent the hiring of unauthorized employees. more

01/21/2011 CA9 Reverses Adverse Credibility in Chinese Christian Asylum Claim The court reversed the adverse credibility finding as improperly based on the IJ’s perception of Petitioner’s ignorance of Christian doctrine, misstatements that did not go to the heart of the claim, and insufficient evidence of evasiveness. (Li v. Holder, 1/19/11) more

01/21/2011 CA4 Denies Salvadoran Withholding Claim Based on Social Group The court held that young, Americanized, well-off Salvadoran male deportees with criminal histories who oppose gangs is not narrow or enduring enough to clearly delineate its membership or readily identify its members. (Lizama v. Holder, 1/19/11) more

01/20/2011 USCIS Invitation to a Meeting on the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program USCIS invitation to a meeting about the FY2011 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program on 2/3/11. Individuals must RSVP by 2/2/11 to participate in person or by telephone. The invitation includes registration information and instructions, a news release, and a fact sheet. more

01/20/2011 U.S. Consulate General in Karachi, Pakistan Announces Expansion of Visa Services U.S. Consulate General in Karachi, Pakistan, announced the significant expansion of visa services. Beginning on 2/1/11, all residents of Sindh and Balochistan should apply in Karachi for various NIV visas. more

01/20/2011 USCIS Updated Invitation and Date Change for National Stakeholder Meeting (Updated 1/20/11) USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas issued an updated invitation to the national stakeholder meeting on 2/2/11. Participants that have not yet responded must RSVP by 2/1/11 to participate in person or by telephone. The meeting was originally scheduled for 1/26/11. more

01/19/2011 CA2 Clarifies Prior Holding on Cancellation of Removal Stop-Time Rule The court clarified that language in prior case law indicating that the stop-time rule is triggered on the date the alien commits a predicate offense, not upon conviction, is not dicta and precludes Petitioner’s contrary argument. (Baraket v. Holder, 1/18/11) more

01/19/2011 ICE Announces the Death of a Mexican National in ICE Custody ICE press release announcing the death of Juan Palomo-Rodriguez, 30, a Mexican national in ICE Custody. He passed away at Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center as a result of natural causes. Rodriguez is the fourth detainee to pass away while in ICE custody in FY2011. more

01/19/2011 ICE Announces Secure Communities Activated in Athens County, Ohio ICE press release announcing that Secure Communities has been activated in Athens County, Ohio. With the expansion of Secure Communities to Athens County, ICE is now using this capability in 15 Ohio jurisdictions. more

01/19/2011 USCIS Announces Results of a Customer Satisfaction Survey on E-Verify USCIS press release announcing some of the results of a customer satisfaction survey taken by employers that are currently enrolled in the E-Verify program. The press release also cites information included in a GAO report on the E-Verify program. more

01/19/2011 Update on USCIS Lockbox Processing The AILA/USCIS Liaison Committee provides an update for members on procedures at USCIS Lockboxes and how to resolve problems relating to the lockboxes. more

01/19/2011 USCIS Customer Satisfaction Survey on E-Verify USCIS report on the customer satisfaction of companies currently enrolled in E-Verify. In addition to rating overall satisfaction, users evaluated different aspects of the program, such as registration, tutorial, ease of use, technical assistance, and customer service. more

01/19/2011 DOL Announces Final Rule to Revise Wage Calculations for the H-2B Program DOL press release announcing the Employment and Training Administration’s publication of a final rule that revises the wage calculations for the H-2B program. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on 1/19/11. more

01/18/2011 DHS Inspector General Announces Retirement DHS press release announcing the retirement of Richard L. Skinner, the first Senate confirmed Inspector General of DHS. more

01/18/2011 AAO Grants §212(i) Waiver for Russian Spouse of USC In an unpublished 10/06/10 decision, the AAO granted a §212(i) waiver. The AAO found that the applicant’s U.S. citizen wife would suffer extreme emotional and financial hardship due to family and job separation if she were to relocate to Russia. Courtesy of Kenneth White. more

01/18/2011 Vermont Service Center Processing Time Report (1/14/11) VSC Processing Time Report released 1/14/11 with processing dates as of 11/30/10. more

01/18/2011 Nebraska Service Center Processing Time Report (1/14/11) NSC Processing Time Report released 1/14/11 with processing dates as of 11/30/10. more

01/18/2011 Texas Service Center Processing Time Report (1/14/11) TSC Processing Time Report released 1/14/11 with processing dates as of 11/30/10. more

01/18/2011 California Service Center Processing Time Report (1/14/11) CSC Processing Time Report released 1/14/11 with processing dates as of 11/30/10. more

01/18/2011 National Benefits Center Processing Time Report (1/14/11) NBC Processing Time Report released 1/14/11 with processing dates as of 11/30/10. more

01/18/2011 USCIS Announces New Countries Eligible to Participate in the H-2A and H-2B Programs USCIS press release announcing that DHS, in consultation with DOS, has identified 53 countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs for the coming year. The list of eligible countries also was published in the Federal Register on 1/18/11. more

01/18/2011 USCIS Interim Memo on Adjustment of Status Applications from Certain Individuals in the CNMI USCIS 1/14/11 interim memo for comment on the adjudication of adjustment of status applications from individuals present in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) on or after 11/28/10. Comments are due 1/31/11. The memo follows the instructions page. more

01/18/2011 USCIS Interim Memo on Extension of the Validity of Medical Certifications on the Form I-693 USCIS 1/14/11 interim memo for comment on extending the validity of civil surgeon endorsements on the Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, for adjustment of status applicants. Comments are due 1/31/11. The memo follows the instructions page. more

01/18/2011 USCIS Draft Memo on the Definition of “Internationally Recognized” for the P-1 Classification USCIS draft memo for comment on the processing of Forms I-129 filed on behalf of P-1 nonimmigrants, with regard to whether the definition of “internationally recognized” encompasses only foreign-based groups. Comments are due 1/31/11. The memo follows the instructions page. more

01/14/2011 GAO Report on the H-1B Program GAO report finding that demand for new H-1B workers tended to exceed the cap from 2000 to 2009, and that reforms are needed to minimize the risks and costs of the H-1B program. GAO recommends that DHS and DOL work to improve the efficiency and monitoring of the program. more

01/13/2011 ICE Announces the Distribution of Over $2.3 Million to State and Local Law Enforcement in New York ICE press release announcing the distribution of more than $2.3 million to state and local law enforcement agencies in New York, forfeited by IFCO Systems North America, as a result of a settlement of IFCO’s liability associated with the employment of undocumented workers. more

01/13/2011 ICE Announces Secure Communities Activated in Saline County, Kansas ICE press release announcing that Secure Communities is now activated in Saline County, Kansas. With the expansion of Secure Communities to Saline County, ICE is now using this capability in two Kansas jurisdictions. more

01/13/2011 ICE Announces Secure Communities Activated in All Wisconsin Counties ICE press release announcing that Secure Communities is now activated in all 72 counties in Wisconsin. With the statewide expansion of Secure Communities to all Wisconsin counties, ICE is now using this capability in 969 jurisdictions across 37 states. more

01/13/2011 ICE Announces Secure Communities Leads to the Removal of 461 Convicted Criminals from Sacramento County, California ICE press release announcing that the activation of Secure Communities in Sacramento County a year ago has resulted in the removal of 461 convicted criminals from the U.S. Sacramento County is one of 41 California jurisdictions in which ICE has activated this capability. more

01/13/2011 USCIS Employment-Based Inventory of Pending AOS Cases USCIS inventory of employment-based AOS cases pending at the Service Centers and Field Offices as of 1/5/11. more

01/13/2011 BALCA Applies HealthAmerica, Finds CO Should Have Considered Evidence BALCA held that the CO erred in refusing to consider evidence of website postings submitted with the employer’s request for reconsideration where the documents were held by the employer under the PERM record-keeping provisions. (Matter of Hawthorne Suites, 1/12/11) more

01/13/2011 BALCA Finds Documentation of Employer Website Posting Insufficient BALCA upheld the CO’s denial, finding that the website print-out did not comply with the regulation requiring dated copies of the posting, and that the statement of the company official did not comply with the format specified in the FAQ. (Matter of EZChip, 1/12/11) more

01/13/2011 BALCA Upholds CO’s Denial Where Employer Lost Original PWD Where the employer lost the original prevailing wage determination, BALCA concluded that a new PWD obtained outside the applicable time period does not cure the error of failure to retain documentation under 20 CFR §656.10(f). (Matter of Apollo Consulting, 1/12/11) more

01/13/2011 USCIS Draft Memo on Requests to Expedite Adjudication of Form I-601 USCIS draft policy memo for comment on the processing of requests to expedite the adjudication of Forms I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, filed by individuals outside the U.S. Comments are due 1/28/11. The memo follows the instructions page. more

01/13/2011 CA4 Finds Virginia First Offender Adjudication Is Not a Conviction The court held that Petitioner’s disposition for possession of marijuana under Virginia Code §18.2-251, a first offender deferred adjudication statute, did not constitute a “conviction” under INA §101(a)(48). (Crespo v. Holder, 1/11/11) more

01/12/2011 USCIS Fact Sheet on the Legal Rights Available to Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence USCIS fact sheet containing information on the legal rights available to immigrant victims of domestic violence in the U.S. and facts about immigrating on a marriage-based visa. The fact sheet also includes a link to a printable brochure containing the same information. more

01/12/2011 Visa Bulletin for February 2011 DOS Visa Bulletin for February 2011. Section C addresses advance notification of diversity (DV) immigrant category rank cut-offs which will apply in March. Section D addresses retrogression of family cut-off dates. more

01/12/2011 CA5 Finds No Nexus in Family-Based Albanian Social Group Claim Over dissent, the court found that the extensive, credible record of kidnapping and harm to petitioner’s family members evidenced a quintessentially personal motivation of revenge, not one based on membership in a social group. (Demiraj v. Holder, 1/11/11) more

01/12/2011 ARB on Administrative Notice of Discovery Abuse in H-2A Case In an H-2A back pay/civil penalty case, the ARB found that the ALJ erred in taking administrative notice of respondent’s prior discovery abuse because the noticed facts were not generally known or verifiable. (Matter of Global Horizons Manpower, 12/21/10) more

01/11/2011 ICE Announces Prison Sentence for Maryland Man Impersonating a Federal Immigration Agent ICE press release announcing eight year prison sentence for Robert Fred Mejia for conspiring to impersonate an ICE officer and other charges. As a result of the fraud, between 50 and 250 victims from the District of Columbia and Virginia lost between $400,000 and $1 million. more

01/11/2011 Employer’s Confusing Address Leads to BALCA Remand BALCA remanded the case for processing, finding sua sponte that the employer’s mailing address could have confused the U.S. Postal Service and could explain why the employer did not receive the audit notification letter. (Matter of 41st Street Corp., 1/7/11) more

01/11/2011 ICE Announces Sentencing for Indiana Restaurant Owner ICE press release announcing that the former owner of a Chinese restaurant in Indiana was sentenced in federal court to three years in prison for concealing undocumented employees and mail fraud. more

01/11/2011 BALCA Remands Finding Evidence of Job Order Placement Sufficient BALCA remanded the case for certification, finding that 20 CFR §656.17(e)(2) only calls for “placement” of an SWA job order, and that the CO’s request for documentation that the job order was actually run was unreasonable. (Matter of Mandy Donuts, 1/7/11) more

01/11/2011 USCIS Interim Memo for Comment on Handling of Regressed AOS Cases Interviewed at Field Offices USCIS 1/11/11 interim memo for comment provides guidance on handling of AOS cases interviewed at USCIS field offices that have been impacted by visa retrogression. The memo is in effect until further notice. Comments are due 1/26/11. more

01/11/2011 USCIS 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Naturalization Ceremonies USCIS announces 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Day naturalization ceremonies. Announcement includes a list of events occurring between 1/11/11 and 1/21/11. more

01/11/2011 USCIS Releases Revised M-274, The Handbook for Employers A 1/05/11 edition of the M-274, Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification Form) from USCIS. more

01/11/2011 US Embassy in Mexico City Issued FAQs on New NIV Procedures FAQs from the US Embassy in Mexico City on the new nonimmigrant visa procedures which took effect on 1/10/11. Please note that DOS website erroneously listed the start date of these new procedures as 1/10/10. more

01/10/2011 USCIS Memo on the Approval of Petitions and Applications After the Death of the Qualifying Relative A 12/16/10 USCIS policy memorandum providing guidance on the approval of petitions and applications after the death of the qualifying relative in light of the new section 204(l) of the INA. more

01/10/2011 EOIR Announces the Swearing In of Its First Immigration Judge in 2011 EOIR press release announcing that Chief Immigration Judge Brian M. O’Leary invested David H. Paruch on 1/7/11. Judge Paruch is the first immigration judge to join EOIR in 2011 and will preside in Detroit, Michigan. The announcement also includes biographical information. more

01/07/2011 USCIS Invitation and Date Change to Quarterly National Stakeholder Meeting (Updated 1/7/11) USCIS updated invitation to its quarterly national stakeholder meeting with agency program officers and directorates on 2/24/11. Participants must RSVP by 2/23/11. The invitation includes contact information and instructions. This meeting was originally scheduled for 2/10/11. more

01/07/2011 USCIS 12/16/10 Presentation on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program USCIS presentation on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program from the 12/16/10 stakeholder engagement. Topics include EB-5 updates, visa usage, and inquiries, as well as Regional Center statistics, and questions submitted by stakeholders. more

01/07/2011 USCIS Policy Memo on the End of Religious Worker I-360/I-485 Concurrent Filings (Updated 1/7/11) USCIS 11/9/10 policy memo on the treatment of religious worker I-360/I-485 concurrent filings in light of the Ninth Circuit's mandate overturning the injunction in Ruiz-Diaz v. U.S. The interim memo published by USCIS for comment follows the final memo. more

01/07/2011 USCIS Draft Memo on Eligibility to Self-Petition as a Battered or Abused Parent of a U.S. Citizen USCIS draft memo for comment regarding guidance on amendments to the INA that extend the ability to self-petition to battered parents of U.S. Citizens, and on work authorization for approved VAWA self-petitioners. Comments are due 1/24/11, and instructions are included. more

01/07/2011 CA7 Discusses Temporal Limitation of 1988 ADAA Aggravated Felony Provision The court discussed the circuit split on whether the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, which made an aggravated felony conviction a deportable offense, can be applied to pre-ADAA convictions, but denied the petition for failure to exhaust. (Alvarado-Fonseca v. Holder, 1/6/11) more

01/06/2011 USCIS Invitation to Quarterly EB-5 Stakeholder Engagements in FY2011 USCIS invitation to upcoming stakeholder engagements on the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. The next engagement will be held on 3/17/11. Invitation includes registration information to participate in person or by phone. Registration for the next engagement is due 3/14/11. more

01/06/2011 USCIS Publishes Form M-767, Important Information for New Citizens USCIS Form M-767, Important Information for New Citizens, includes information and resources for new U.S. citizens, including citizenship rights and responsibilities, as well as how to update social security information, register to vote, apply for a U.S. passport, and more. more

01/06/2011 BALCA Discusses the NOF “Offered Wage” Under 20 CFR §656.17(f)(7) The “offered wage” is the wage offered to the alien at the time the ETA 9089 is filed. BALCA rejected the argument that the NOF was sufficient where the employer raised the wage after posting to a rate above the NOF range. (Matter of O’Brien & Van Stiphout, 1/3/11) more

01/06/2011 BALCA Upholds Denial Based on NOF Wage Deficiency BALCA rejected the argument that the DOL FAQs create the impression that the Notice of Filing need only include the prevailing wage, and affirmed the CO’s denial where the NOF contained a wage less than that offered to the alien. (Matter of Alum-A-Lift, 1/3/11) more

01/06/2011 ICE Announces Prison Sentence for Jamaican Citizen in Florida ICE press release announcing that a Jamaican man was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison for charges related to the false impersonation of a U.S. citizen and unlawfully returning to the U.S. after having been deported. more

01/06/2011 CA11 on Definition of “Conviction” Under INA §101(a)(48) Adopting the approach of the Second, Third, and Fifth Circuits, the court held that a guilty plea and a finding of guilt, with a sentence of time served, qualifies as a “conviction” under INA §101(a)(48). (Rodriguez v. USCIS, 1/4/11) more

01/06/2011 CA9 Dissent Says Attorneys Have a Duty to Investigate All Grounds for Asylum The court denied rehearing and rehearing en banc where the attorneys failed to inquire into and raise FGM as a basis for asylum from Eritrea. Judge Pregerson dissented, citing the adverse effect the decision will have on asylum seekers. (Teclezghi v. Holder, 1/4/11) more

01/05/2011 CA9 Finds IJ Erred in Requiring Corroboration of Inconclusive Conviction Record The REAL ID Act did not overrule Sandoval-Lua, which held that the alien’s burden of proving eligibility for cancellation is met where the record of conviction is inconclusive as to whether the crime is an aggravated felony. (Rosas-Castaneda v. Holder, 1/4/11) more

01/05/2011 USCIS Memo on a New Discretionary Exemption for Activities and Associations Relating to the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front A 12/29/10 USCIS policy memorandum providing guidance on the implementation of a new discretionary exemption under INA Section 212(d)(3)(B)(i) for activities and associations relating to the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF). more

01/05/2011 USCIS Memo on a New Discretionary Exemption for Material Support to the All India Sikh Students Federation-Bittu Faction A 12/29/10 USCIS policy memorandum providing guidance on the implementation of a new discretionary exemption under INA Section 212(d)(3)(B)(i) for material support to the All India Sikh Students Federation-Bittu Faction (AISSF-Bittu). more

01/05/2011 USCIS Executive Summary from Teleconference on the Fee Waiver Form and Final Fee Rule (Updated 1/5/11) USCIS executive summary on the 11/22/10 teleconference which was held to discuss the new Form I-912, Request for a Fee Waiver, and the final fee rule that took effect on 11/23/10. Original invitation follows summary. more

01/05/2011 Reminder: USCIS Requires Revised I-212 Form After 1/6/11 USCIS requires 11/23/10 edition of Form I-212 after 1/6/11. more

01/05/2011 Reminder: USCIS Requires Revised I-129S Form After 1/6/11 USCIS requires 11/23/10 edition of Form I-129S after 1/6/11. more

01/05/2011 AAO Processing Times 1/1/11 AAO Processing Times as of January 1, 2011. more

01/05/2011 ICE Secure Communities Activated in Pettis County, Missouri ICE press release announcing that Secure Communities is now activated in Pettis County, Missouri. With the expansion of Secure Communities to Pettis County, ICE is now using this capability in six Missouri jurisdictions. more

01/05/2011 ICE Secure Communities Activated in Licking County, Ohio ICE press release announcing that Secure Communities is now activated in Licking County, Ohio. With the expansion of Secure Communities to Licking County, ICE is now using this capability in nine Ohio jurisdictions. more

01/04/2011 DOL to Propose Rule Revising H-2B Procedures DOL notice of a forthcoming proposed rule that would re-engineer the H-2B labor certification process to enhance transparency and strengthen program integrity and worker protections. The public may comment on the proposed rule when it is published in the Federal Register. more

01/04/2011 CA9 Remands Wife’s Asylum Claim, Upholds Adverse Credibility for Husband In a case involving separate claims of a couple from Egypt, the court upheld the IJ’s adverse credibility determination as to the husband, but remanded the wife’s claim where the BIA failed to address the IJ’s findings as to her testimony. (Rizk v. Holder, 1/3/11) more

01/04/2011 USCIS Invitation to the Asylum Division Quarterly Stakeholder Meeting USCIS invitation to its 1/25/11 Asylum Division quarterly stakeholder meeting in Washington, D.C. Suggestions for agenda items should be submitted by 1/11/11. Participation must be confirmed by 1/21/11. The invitation includes contact information and additional instructions. more

01/04/2011 USCIS Announces the Implementation of the Help HAITI Act USCIS press release announcing the implementation of the Help HAITI Act of 2010, which authorizes USCIS to grant lawful permanent resident status to certain orphaned children from Haiti, and revisions to the USCIS Haitian Child Paroled Under Special Circumstances webpage. more

01/04/2011 DOS Announces a Redesigned Birth Abroad Certificate DOS redesigned the Consular Report of Birth Abroad, which became effective 1/3/11. Changes include centralizing production to U.S. passport centers within the U.S., rather than abroad and using the gender neutral "parent," rather than "mother" or "father" on the form. more

01/03/2011 USCIS Interim Memo for Comment on Implementation of the Help HAITI Act of 2010 USCIS 12/21/10 interim memo for comment provides guidance on processing applications for adjustment of status filed under the Help HAITI Act of 2010. The memo is in effect until further notice. Please email comments to opefeedback@uscis.dhs.gov. Comments are due 1/14/11. more

01/03/2011 AAO Grants §212(i) Waiver In an unpublished 10/07/10 decision, the AAO granted a §212(i) waiver. The AAO considered evidence of emotional and financial hardship to the U.S. citizen spouse including sensitivity to family separation. Courtesy of Raquel E. Hecht. more

01/03/2011 DOJ OIL October 2010 Litigation Bulletin DOJ Office of Immigration Litigation October 2010 Bulletin includes an article on circuit court approaches to the demonstration of prejudice when an agency violates regulations, an asylum case on resistance to China’s coercive population control policies, and more. more

01/03/2011 CA11 Says No Judicial Review of Adjustment While Proceedings Are Pending The court held that the district court lacked jurisdiction under the Administrative Procedure Act to review the denial of Petitioner’s adjustment of status application, where Petitioner is currently in removal proceedings. (Ibarra v. Swacina, 12/28/10) more

01/03/2011 CA9 on District Court Review of Adjustment Denial The court held that the district court lacks jurisdiction to review an alien’s challenge to the government’s denial of an application for adjustment of status while removal proceedings are simultaneously pending. (Cabaccang v. USCIS, 12/29/10) more

01/03/2011 ICE Announces Prison Sentence for a Citizen of the Dominican Republic ICE press release announcing that a man from the Dominican Republic was sentenced to 25 months in prison for unlawfully returning to the U.S. after being deported. The man will be subject to removal proceedings after he completes his current sentence. more

01/03/2011 DOJ OIL August 2010 Litigation Bulletin DOJ Office of Immigration Litigation August 2010 Bulletin covers terrorist exemptions under the INA, whether women in China who have been subjected to forced marriage and involuntary servitude can constitute a particular social group for purposes of asylum, and more. more

01/03/2011 DOJ OIL July 2010 Litigation Bulletin DOJ Office of Immigration Litigation July 2010 Bulletin covers the application of the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule in removal proceedings, Guatemalan women as a particular social group for purposes of asylum, and summaries of court decisions. more

Information provided courtesy from AILA's InfoNet (www.aila.org). Copyright © 1993-2007, American Immigration Lawyers Association. 918 F Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004.


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