15 Feb 2018
This afternoon, the U.S. Senate failed to pass a bipartisan immigration bill that would have provided protection for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and increase funding for border security. The bill needed 60 votes to proceed, but only received 54 votes.
A different immigration bill, which was promoted by the Trump Administration, only garnered 39 votes. That bill would have protected DACA recipients, massively increase funding for border protection, and also eliminate the diversity visa lottery, along with most forms of family-based immigration.
14 Feb 2018
On Tuesday, February 13, 2018, a federal district judge ruled that the Trump Administration must continue to process renewal applications under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, along with applications for those who were previously enrolled, but whose enrollment lapsed before September 5, 2017. This is the second federal district judge to rule against President Trump on his attempt to end the program. Instructions for applying to renew DACA benefits are available on the “USCIS website.
07 Feb 2018
On February 6, 2018, President Trump ordered the creation of a National Vetting Center, saying it is needed “…to better identify individuals seeking to enter the country who present a threat to national security, border security, homeland security, or public safety.” The center, which will be run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is to be established within six months, and will serve to centralize the vetting of foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States.
It should be noted that the DHS, U.S. Department of State (DOS), and related agencies already perform extensive vetting of foreign nationals. Further, these agencies already have systems in place to share information about foreign nationals who apply for U.S. immigration benefits.
30 Jan 2018
As has been widely reported, the Trump Administration is planning to rescind an Obama era policy granting work permits to certain spouses of H1B workers. When it was implemented in 2015, the rule change was heralded as a landmark in U.S. immigration policy because, for the first time, it allowed nearly 42,000 H-4 spouses to earn an income and contribute to the economy. But now, businesses are preparing to deal with the fallout of the proposed rule change. Read more.
25 Jan 2018
This evening, the Trump Administration sent Congress a proposal for an immigration reform bill that would provide relief to 1.8 million “dreamers” (i.e. undocumented foreign nationals brought to the United States as children), while also providing funding for a U.S. / Mexico border wall and eliminating most forms of family-based immigration. Read more.
19 Jan 2018
This afternoon, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the legal challenge to the latest travel ban imposed by President Trump. The travel ban applies to citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Chad, Yemen, along with citizens of North Korea and some government officials from Venezuela. The case will be heard by the court this spring, and is expected to be decided by June 2018.
16 Jan 2018
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is taking the unorthodox step of asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a federal district court’s nationwide injunction blocking the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In addition, the DOJ has appealed this decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which is the usual method of challenging a district court’s injunction. However, rather than waiting to see how the Ninth Circuit rules on this issue before petitioning the high court, the DOJ is also asking for the Supreme Court to intercede directly.
15 Jan 2018
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now, once again, accepting applications to renew benefits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This comes following a preliminary injunction issued by a federal district court on January 9, 2018, temporarily preventing the Trump Administration from winding down the DACA program. Instructions for applying to renew DACA benefits are available on the USCIS website.
10 Jan 2018
Last night, a federal judge in California temporarily blocked the Trump Administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Per the court order, anyone who had DACA status as of the date President Trump ordered that the program be rescinded, September 5, 2017, may renew their DACA status while the lawsuits challenging the end of the program remain pending.
In the meantime, President Trump met with Congressional leaders yesterday to discuss a possible long-term solution for DACA recipients, commonly known as ‘dreamers’. President Trump and some Republican members of Congress seem willing to strike a deal with Democrats to protect dreamers, so long as additional border protection is provided.
09 Jan 2018
Murthy Law Firm attorneys discuss the fate of the program that allows certain H-4 spouses to apply for employment authorization documents (EADs) in this special teleconference held on January 9, 2018 for members of the Telugu Association of North America (TANA). Now this discussion is available for all stakeholders who rely on MurthyDotCom to stay informed about the U.S. immigration system. The MP3 is available to listen through your browser. It will soon be listed among our iTunes audio offerings.
09 Jan 2018
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on January 8, 2017 that the temporary protected status (TPS) designation for certain nationals of El Salvador will be terminated as of September 9, 2019. Under the Trump Administration, the DHS has announced the termination of TPS designations for citizens of numerous countries, including Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nicaragua. Read more.
09 Jan 2018
New York City has historically been a beacon for immigrants hoping to build a new life in the United States. As America was emerging as a land of opportunity, millions of immigrants disembarked on the shores of Ellis Island in Upper New York Bay after long, treacherous journeys from their native countries, ready to chase their dreams in an unfamiliar country. The city has remained one of the most diverse regions in the world, a metropolitan melting pot where 48 percent of small business owners and 45 percent of the overall workforce are immigrants. But according to a recent profile in The New York Times, the Trump Administration’s hardline stance on immigration is threatening New York City’s status as a prime destination for immigrants, to the detriment of our nation as a whole. Read more.
09 Jan 2018
It seems that the Trump Administration is no longer pursuing efforts to eliminate extensions of H1B status beyond the standard six-year max, as permitted by the American Competitiveness in the Twenty First Century Act (AC21). The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) noted that it is not seeking to reinterpret section 104(c) of AC21, which allows for three-year extensions based on an approved I-140.
The USCIS further appears to have acknowledged that it has no discretion to deny one-year H1B extensions permitted under AC21 section 106(b). This is consistent with the legal analysis made by the Murthy Law Firm in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, “Legislative Barriers Likely Prevent Trump from Eliminating AC21 H1B Extensions” (03.Jan.2018).
03 Jan 2018
In recent days, news of a potential change in policy related to the American Competitiveness in the Twenty First Century Act (AC21) has begun to spread throughout the legal and immigrant communities. Sources claim that the Trump Administration is considering regulatory changes to the policy regarding H1B extensions beyond the standard 6-year maximum. There certainly are changes to the AC21 regulations that could be made. But, without Congressional approval, the plain language of the statute makes it unlikely that the Administration could completely eliminate the ability of H1B workers to extend status beyond six years. Read more.