Current Administration & Immigration

When there is a change in the party controlling the White House, we can expect shifts, rollbacks, and some raveling of existing policies. Action taken since the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump has proven more vigorous than most. This portal has been established to provide readers with links to follow important changes that may affect immigrants, employers of immigrants, or the immigration process.

 

NewsFlash! Trump, GOP Senators Propose Bill to Modify Immigration System, Slash Visa Numbers

Today, President Trump announced his support for a bill proposed by Republican Senators Tom Cotton (AR) and David Perdue (GA) that, if passed, would make massive changes to the U.S. immigration system. Read more.

 

Parole Program for Entrepreneurs Delayed, Risks Being Cancelled

31 Jul 2017

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) delayed the effective start date of the parole program for entrepreneurs until March 14, 2018. The DHS apparently will use the additional time to evaluate whether the proposed entrepreneur program should be eliminated altogether, in light of President Trump’s January 25, 2017 executive order. This executive order calls for parole to be granted “… only on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the plain language of the statute, and in all circumstances only when an individual demonstrates urgent humanitarian reasons or a significant public benefit derived from such parole.” Anyone interested in providing feedback should submit comments to the DHS by August 10, 2017. Read more.

 

Supreme Court Further Restricts Enforcement of Trump Administration Travel Ban

19 Jul 2017

In a brief, unsigned Opinion today, the United States Supreme Court allowed a lower court’s restrictions on the Trump Administration’s travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries to remain in place. The Supreme Court had previously allowed parts of the travel ban to go into effect, but ruled that it could not be enforced against persons with close family ties in the United States.  Read more.

 

Federal Judge Expands List of Qualifying U.S. Relatives for Exemption to Travel Ban

14 Jul 2017

On Thursday, July 14, 2017, a federal district court judge issued a preliminary injunction, preventing the Trump Administration from imposing the travel ban on those who have “…grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States.” This expands the list of qualifying relatives, which also includes parents, spouses, children, and siblings, and fiancé/es. More details on the travel ban, and the various exemptions, is available in the MurthyDotCom NewsFlash, Partial Travel Ban Goes Into Effect, DOS Explains Implementation (29.Jun.2017).

 

Trump Backs Off Promise to Terminate DACA, but Cancels Its Expansion and DAPA

13 Jul 2017

The Trump Administration will keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in place for the time being, but has rescinded a memo from then-President Obama that was to expand DACA and create the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made this announcement on June 15, 2017, immediately following President Trump’s signing of a memo to rescind DAPA and the expanded version of DAPA.  Read more.

 

Four Middle-Eastern Airlines Allow Laptops on Flights to the U.S.

08 Jul 2017

Major news media recently announced there would be a laptop ban in the cabins of most Middle-Eastern flights bound for the United States. What has been largely unreported is that the ban has been lifted against four major carriers. The four airlines are Etihad, Emirates, Qatar, and Turkish Airlines. This is particularly helpful for the many hundreds of thousands of passengers using those airlines each year to travel to the U.S. from India and other countries in Asia and the Far East.  Read more.

 

NewsFlash! Partial Travel Ban Goes Into Effect, DOS Explains its Implementation

29 Jun 2017

Last night, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued a cable to all U.S. embassies and consulates, providing instructions on how the partial travel ban is to be implemented. This is in response to a U.S. Supreme Court decision on June 26, 2017 to allow President Trump’s March 6, 2017 executive order (EO) to go into effect, but only against those who cannot demonstrate “… a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”  Read more.

 

NewsFlash! Supreme Court Temporarily Reinstates Parts of Travel Ban, Will Hear Case Fall 2017

26 Jun 2017

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider an appeal by the Trump Administration regarding the decision of several lower courts to block President Trump’s March 6, 2017 executive order that was to impose a travel ban on citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries. Moreover, until the case is heard by the court this coming fall, the Supreme Court is allowing the travel ban to go into effect, but it cannot be “enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” MurthyDotCom will post more details on this developing story as the information becomes available.

 

Trump Amends Travel Ban to Push Back Expiration Date

14 Jun 2017

This afternoon, President Trump amended the effective date of the travel ban he created by executive order (EO) to prevent it from expiring. This travel ban was originally scheduled to go into effect on March 16, 2017, and then expire after 90 days. However, it has been blocked by federal courts from going into effect. Today’s amendment of the EO serves to delay the effective date of the travel ban until 72 hours after all applicable blocks by federal courts are lifted, assuming that ever occurs. The travel ban would then remain in effect for 90 days from that date.

 

NewsFlash! 9th Circuit Rules Against Trump Travel Ban

12 Jun 2017

This afternoon, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal district judge’s decision to block implementation of President Trump’s proposed travel ban, created by executive order in March 2017. The Trump Administration has been handed a string of defeats by federal courts related to the travel ban, including a May 25, 2017 decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a nationwide block of the travel ban. The Trump Administration has already appealed the ruling by the Fourth Circuit to the United States Supreme Court.

 

NewsFlash! Parole Program for Entrepreneurs in Jeopardy

07 Jun 2017

According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, the parole program for entrepreneurs, which was scheduled to go into effect in July 2017, is now being re-reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. As explained in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, Final Rule to Create Parole Program for Entrepreneurs Published (01.Feb.2017), the Trump Administration implemented a regulatory freeze earlier this year, which caused a delay in the implementation of this program, and there were suggestions that “the rule will be scrapped altogether.” At this point, it is unclear when the rule may go into effect, if ever.

 

NewsFlash! Nationwide Block of Travel Ban Upheld by Appellate Court

25 May 2017

This afternoon, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision to temporarily prevent enforcement of a travel ban created by an executive order signed by President Trump in March 2017. Read more.

 

9th Circuit Hears Oral Arguments Regarding Travel Ban

15 May 2017

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments today about the executive order signed by President Trump on March 6, 2017 that was to create a travel ban on citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries. The three-judge panel appeared to focus on the limits of presidential power, as well as whether the President signed the executive order with the intention of discriminating based on religion.

The case being considered today is an appeal of an order issued by a federal district judge in Hawaii to block the executive order. The executive order was also blocked by a federal district judge in Maryland. An appeal of the Maryland judge’s order is being considered by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

Appellate Court Hears Oral Arguments Regarding Travel Ban

08 May 2017

This afternoon, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments regarding President Trump’s March 6, 2017 executive order that was to impose a travel ban on citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries. This executive order was blocked from being implemented based on two separate rulings by federal judges – one in Hawaii, which is part of the Ninth Circuit, and the other in Maryland, which is part of the Fourth Circuit. Today’s hearing was based on an appeal filed by the Trump Administration in response to the Maryland judge’s ruling. The Ninth Circuit will hear an appeal of the Hawaii judge’s decision next week. It is unclear when the Fourth Circuit will rule on this matter.

 

Immigration Hardliners Appointed to Top Advisory Positions at DHS

04 Apr 2017

Two individuals, formerly associated with hardline anti-immigration groups, have received high-level positions within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Julie Kirchner, the former executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), has been appointed ombudsman at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Jon Feere, a former legal policy analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), is advising acting Immigration and Customer Enforcement (ICE) Director Thomas Homan. Both served as advisers to the Trump campaign prior to the election and held temporary advisory positions after the inauguration. While the actual influence of Kirchner and Feere on DHS policy remains to be seen, their permanent roles in the DHS signal the continuing dedication of the Trump Administration to stricter enforcement and more restrictive immigration policies.  Read more.

 

Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Order to Withhold Funds From “Sanctuary Cities”

25 Apr 2017

This afternoon, a federal district judge in California issued an order that blocks President Trump from withholding federal funds from so-called “sanctuary cities” (i.e. municipalities that do not fully cooperate with immigration officials with regard to undocumented foreign nationals). President Trump had sought to stop the funding of sanctuary cities via an executive order he signed on January 25, 2017, as reported in the MurthyDotCom NewsFlash, Trump Signs Executive Orders Related to Border Wall and ‘Sanctuary Cities’ (25.Jan.2017). The preliminary injunction issued by the court today applies nationwide.

 

U.S. Tech Companies File Brief in Opposition to Trump’s Travel Ban

20 Apr 2017

Yesterday, an amicus brief was filed on behalf of 162 tech companies, including Google, Facebook, SpaceX, and Netflix, in opposition to President Trump’s March 6, 2017 executive order that was to impose a travel ban on citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries. Federal judges in Maryland, which is in the Fourth Circuit, and Hawaii, which is part of the Ninth Circuit, have blocked this travel ban from going into effect. The Trump Administration is appealing these court orders. This amicus brief urges the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to continue blocking the implementation of this travel ban.

 

Trump Nominates DHS Insider to Serve as New USCIS Director

19 Apr 2017

President Trump has announced his intentions to nominate Lee Francis Cissna to serve as the new Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Mr. Cissna currently serves as the Director of Immigration Policy for the Office of Policy at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Assuming he is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Mr. Cissna will replace the current Acting Director of the USCIS, James McCament.  Read more.

 

NewsFlash! Text of ‘Hire American’ Executive Order Released by White House

18 Apr 2017

As expected, President Trump signed an executive order (EO) entitled Buy American and Hire American. The ‘hire American’ section of the EO has no direct impact on existing immigration laws. Rather, it directs various executive agencies to “propose new rules and issue new guidance … to protect the interests of United States workers in the administration of our immigration system, including through the prevention of fraud or abuse.” The EO further calls for the agency officials to “suggest reforms to help ensure that H1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.”

 

NewsFlash! Trump to Issue Executive Order Targeting H1B Program

18 Apr 2017

President Trump is expected to sign an executive order (EO) today that is being dubbed the “buy American, hire American” order. The ‘hire American’ portion of the EO aims to reign in the hiring of foreign national workers, especially via the H1B program. The EO will push executive agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the U.S. Department of State (DOS), to seek out ways to stop supposed “abuses” of the H1B program. So, while the EO will not directly make changes to the H1B program, it does pave the way for changes to be made in the coming months.

 

Tensions Mount Between DHS and “Sanctuary Cities”

10 Apr 2017

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has rejected a request by California’s Chief Justice that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers be instructed to stop arresting undocumented immigrants at courthouses. Per a joint letter written by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, cities and states that have so-called “sanctuary” policies – that is, policies that limit cooperation between city or state officials and federal immigration agents – are a driving factor as to why arrests at courthouses are necessary.  Read more.

 

DOL Announces Plans to Combat Abuses of H1B Program

06 Apr 2017

Shortly after the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced plans for increased enforcement efforts against H1B employers, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its own news release that summarizes how it will “protect U.S. workers from H1B program discrimination by providing greater transparency and oversight.” There are few specifics in the news release, but it clearly signals that, as with the USCIS, the DOL is going to be heavily focusing on enforcement efforts to “protect American workers from H1B program discrimination.”  Read more.

 

USCIS Ramping Up Enforcement Against H1B Employers

06 Apr 2017

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a news release on April 3, 2017, announcing “multiple measures to further deter and detect H1B visa fraud and abuse.” Per the release, the USCIS will use new criteria to determine which H1B employers and worksites to target for site visits. A new web page and eMail address have also been established to make it easier for stakeholders to notify the USCIS of suspected H1B abuse and/or fraud.  Read more.

 

NewsFlash! DHS Considering Revisions to H-4 EAD Program

04 Apr 2017

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is “actively reconsider[ing] whether to revise …” the regulation that allows certain H-4 spouses to apply for employment authorization documents (EADs). Read more.

 

Travel Ban Dealt Another Blow By Federal Court

30 Mar 2017

Late last night, the same federal judge in Hawaii who issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) that blocked the Trump Administration’s March 6, 2017 travel ban from taking effect, agreed to convert the TRO into a preliminary injunction. A preliminary injunction is similar to the TRO, but while a TRO typically must expire within a matter of days or weeks, a preliminary injunction can remain binding for an extended period of time. In practice, unless this ruling is reversed, the March 6th executive order likely will never go into effect.

 

Understanding Your Legal Rights if Apprehended by Law Enforcement

30 Mar 2017

The Trump Administration has taken a hardline approach in regard to immigration enforcement. Reports of worksite raids, home visits, and public stops by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have created anxiety for many in the immigrant community, even among those who are in the United States in lawful status. Immigrants are oftentimes unfamiliar with their legal rights under the U.S. Constitution, regardless of immigration status. To that end, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has published a series of “Know Your Rights” pamphlets for lawyers to share valuable information to help educate immigrants on how to respond to ICE agents in various situations. These have been made available on MurthyDotCom. Read more.

 

DOS Guidance to Consular Officers after Trump Order Signals Heightened Scrutiny of Visa Applicants

23 Mar 2017

Earlier today, it was revealed that the U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued several “cables” (i.e. memos) over the past two weeks related to the latest travel ban executive order (EO), which was signed by President Trump on March 6, 2017, but has yet to be implemented due to a court order.  Read more.

 

U.S. Imposes Electronics Ban on Passengers Taking Direct Flights From Eight Countries

21 Mar 2017

The Trump Administration has imposed a temporary electronics ban for all passengers, including U.S. citizens, taking direct flights to the United States from ten airports in eight Middle Eastern and African countries. This ban applies to electronic devices that are larger than a smart phone (e.g., laptops, tablets, digital cameras) to be taken on direct flights from Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. This electronics ban is expected to last at least through Oct 14th.

 

U.S. News & World Report: Federal Judge in Hawaii Blocks Trump’s New Travel Ban

15 Mar 2017

“The ruling puts a temporary nationwide halt to President Donald Trump’s second executive order restricting travel from certain majority-Muslim countries, hours before the measure was set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday,” writes, Alan Neuhauser, a staff writer at U.S. News & World Report.  Read more.

 

State Department Provides Information Regarding New Executive Order

15 Mar 2017

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has posted answers to a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the Trump Administration’s new travel ban, which is scheduled to go into effect on Thursday, March 16, 2017. This travel ban is based on an executive order (EO) signed by the President on March 6, 2017.  Read more.

 

Reuters: Trump’s Revised Travel Ban Dealt First Court Setback

12 Mar 2017

Yesterday, Reporter Steve Gorman of Reuters filed this report:  “A federal judge in Wisconsin dealt the first legal blow to President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban on Friday, barring enforcement of the policy to deny U.S. entry to the wife and child of a Syrian refugee already granted asylum in the United States.Read more.

 

BBC: Trump Travel Ban: Judge Declines to Reinstate Ruling

11 Mar 2017

According to the BBC, Seattle District Judge James Robert has declined to issue an emergency order banning President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban.   Read more.

 

Hawaii to File Challenge of New Travel Ban in Court

Updated 09 Mar 2017

The states of Washington, New York, and Oregon are all taking steps to join Hawaii in mounting a legal challenge to the upcoming travel ban.

Original Post from 08 Mar 2017

Late last night, attorneys representing the State of Hawaii took steps to challenge the new travel ban in court. Hawaii already has a pending lawsuit challenging the original travel ban created by executive over on January 27, 2017, and which since has been blocked from implementation by a federal court. Now, Hawaii is amending this existing lawsuit to also challenge the travel ban created by executive order on March 6th.

 

NewsFlash! Trump to Sign New Travel Ban Executive Order Today

06 Mar 2017

Update: This order has been signed. The travel ban is set to go into effect March 16, 2017.

Later today, President Trump is expected to sign an executive order that will implement a new travel ban.  Read more.

 

Trump Proposes Immigration Overhaul, Delays Issuance of New Travel Ban

01 Mar 2017

Last night, in his first speech before a joint session of Congress, President Trump called on lawmakers to reform the U.S. immigration system. The President asserted that the “… current, outdated system depresses wages for our poorest workers, and puts great pressure on taxpayers.” He signaled support for “… a merit-based immigration system,” akin to what is used in countries like Canada and Australia. President Trump continued, “I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: to improve jobs and wages for Americans, to strengthen our nation’s security, and to restore respect for our laws.”  Read more.

 

Audio: Separation of Powers

26 Feb 2017

Perhaps the most fundamental aspect of the structure of the U.S. government is discussed by Murthy Law Firm attorneys: the separation of powers. The discussion reflects on checks and balances and how the government is set up to ensure no one branch has too much power. The conversation also focuses on executive administrative agencies that administer the country’s immigration laws. Click here to hear the audio.

 

DHS Posts Qs&As on Memos Implementing Executive Orders

21 Feb 2017

Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted question & answer pages on its website. One is on the memo implementing President Trump’s executive order related to border security, and another is on the memo related to the interior enforcement executive order.

 

ABC News: Trump’s Revised Immigration Order Expected to Renew Ban on 7 Muslim-Majority Countries

20 Feb 2017

Senior administration officials told ABC News reporters Alexander Mallin and Katherine Faulders  that a revised version of Trump’s executive order is again expected to contain language targeting seven largely Muslim countries.  Read more.

 

Leaked DHS Memos Detail How Executive Orders Will Be Implemented

20 Feb 2017

On Friday, two memos were signed by John Kelly, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that detail how the DHS will be implementing President Trump’s executive orders related to border security and internal enforcement of immigration laws.  Read more.

 

CNN: DHS Memos Describe Aggressive New Immigration, Border Enforcement Policies

19 Feb 2017

According to CNN, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is set to release guidance on President Donald Trump’s immigration and border security executive orders that has sweeping implications for undocumented immigrants in the United States and those seeking to enter in the future.  Read more.

 

What are Your Rights When Entering the USA with Your Devices?

17 Feb 2017

Many foreign nationals and U.S. citizens need to travel for their work and for personal reasons. Recent articles from the New York Times, What Are Your Rights if Border Agents Want to Search Your Phone? by Daniel Victor, and Popular Science, Border Patrol Can Search Your Cell Phone Whenever They Feel Like It, by Kendra Pierre-Louis, give travelers an idea of what they may encounter from the CBP with regard to their electronic devices.

 

New Trump Administration Brief Indicates Travel Ban Will Be Rescinded and Replaced by New Executive Order

16 Feb 2017

The Trump Administration filed a supplemental brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today. Read more.

 

NewsFlash! Trump to Issue New Executive Order Related to Travel Ban Next Week

16 Feb 2017

Today, President Trump stated that he will be “issuing a new executive action next week that will comprehensively protect our country.” He further vowed to appeal the court decision that is currently blocking the travel ban he initiated via a January 27, 2017 executive order. As soon as new details emerge regarding the upcoming executive order or the ongoing court battle related to the prior executive order, the information will be shared on this page.

 

Audio: Regulations & the New Administration

16.Feb.2017

Murthy Law Firm attorneys discuss regulations that are the rules created by U.S. federal agencies. These are the main rules related to immigration law. They discuss the processes, procedures, and timelines for creating regulations and their importance in immigration law. Click here to listen.

 

Audio: Federal Courts & Immigration

16.Feb.2017

Murthy Law Firm attorneys discuss the United States federal court system and its role in shaping the country’s immigration policy. The focus is the court’s important role in reviewing executive orders from the President that are challenged by lawsuit. Click here to listen.

 

Dispelling Rumors Regarding H-4 EAD Lawsuit

15 Feb 2017

We at the Murthy Law Firm have recently received a flurry of inquiries regarding a pending lawsuit challenging the legality of the H-4 EAD rule. More specifically, questions have been raised as to whether the Trump Administration is trying to end the H-4 EAD program via the pending lawsuit.  Read more.

 

DHS Releases Statement Regarding Recent Immigration Raids

13 Feb 2017

This afternoon, John Kelly, the Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), issued a statement regarding the recent immigration raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Secretary Kelly notes that some 680 undocumented aliens have been arrested in these raids, 75 percent of whom were previously convicted of criminal conduct. The statement can be read in its entirety on the DHS WebSite.

 

Silicon Valley Presents Unified Front to Counter Trump’s Immigration Policies

13 Feb 2017

Last week, dozens of tech companies, including Apple, Google, and Facebook, signed on to an amicus brief filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against the Trump Administration’s travel ban. This ‘friend of the court’ brief noted that more than 200 of the company’s on the Fortune 500 list were founded by immigrants.  Read more.

 

Audio: Travel for Foreign Nationals

12 Feb 2017

Still a topic of concern for many foreign nationals, Murthy Law Firm attorneys discuss how recent developments in domestic politics affect the ability of foreign nationals to travel internationally as well as domestically. Click here to listen.

 

Trump Administration Not Appealing Travel Ban Freeze, Further Executive Action Expected

10 Feb 2017

This evening, the Trump Administration indicated that it does not currently plan on appealing yesterday’s decision by a federal appellate court that upheld the freeze on the travel ban implemented via executive order on January 27, 2017. However, President Trump also stated today that his Administration “…will be doing something very rapidly having to do with additional security for our country. You will be seeing that sometime next week.” No specifics were provided.  As soon as any details are provided, the information will be posted on MurthyDotCom.

 

Audio: Executive Orders and Their Impact on Immigration

10 Feb 2017

President Trump’s most recent executive orders are the topic today. Murthy Law Firm attorneys explain what executive orders are, and how they differ from laws and regulations. They also explain executive powers, and the limits of those powers. Click here to listen.

 

NewsFlash! Appellate Court Upholds Freeze on Travel Ban

09 Feb 2017

This evening, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision to temporarily prevent the government from enforcing a travel ban implemented via executive order on January 27, 2017. The travel ban has not been in effect since a federal district court granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) against it on February 3. The Trump administration now has the option of appealing this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. For the time being, however, the TRO remains in place, meaning that the travel ban still cannot be enforced. More details on this executive order are available below.

 

Appellate Court to Rule Tonight on Travel Ban

09 Feb 2017

This evening, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will rule on whether to maintain the temporary halt of the travel ban implemented by President Trump. This travel ban, which was put into effect on January 27, 2017 via executive order, is currently being blocked based on a lower court’s ruling. MurthyDotCom will provide an update as soon as the court releases its decision.

 

Ninth Circuit Hears Oral Arguments on Travel Ban Freeze

08 Feb 2017

The evening of February 7, 2017, a panel of three judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals listened to oral arguments regarding the travel ban implemented via executive order on January 27, 2017 that was subsequently blocked by a lower court. During the hearing, the judges seemed skeptical of the government’s argument that the ban should be reinstituted immediately. The court closed the proceedings by noting that it recognized the importance and time-sensitive nature of the matter, and indicated that it would issue a ruling “… as soon as possible.” MurthyDotCom is monitoring the situation, to update readers when further information is made available.

 

Proposed Bill Would Slash U.S. Immigration Numbers

07 Feb 2017

Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) are proposing legislation that would initially cut the number of legal immigrants to the United State by 40 percent, and, over the course of a decade, ultimately cut the annual allotment of available green cards by 50 percent. At this time, this is only a PROPOSED BILL.  Read more.

 

Interview Waiver Program (“Drop Box”)

06 Feb 2017

There has been a great deal of speculation about recent Executive Orders and their impact on the Interview Waiver Program.  Our office has reached out the Department of State contacts and confirmed that consistent with § 222(h)(1)(B), consular sections are still waiving the interviews for renewal applicants whose previous visas in the same classification expired not more than 12 months prior, and who are applying in the country of usual residence. The more expansive parts of the Interview Waiver Program, which allowed applicants whose visas had expired up to 48 months prior to application and were based on the Secretary of State’s authority under the INA, have been terminated.

Currently, the consulates in India appear to still be using the Dropbox program and information on eligibility is available at www.ustraveldocs.com.  Our office is continuing to monitor the situation and will post updates as they become available.

 

Federal Court to Hear Oral Arguments on Travel Ban Freeze on Tuesday

06 Feb 2017

On Tuesday afternoon, a three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments to determine whether the freeze on President Trump’s travel ban should remain or be lifted. The freeze was implemented by a district court on Friday, February 3, 2017. The judges will likely issue a decision within a few days of the hearing. MurthyDotCom will provide further updates as more information becomes available.

 

Court Expects Additional DOJ Briefs in Support of Travel Ban by Today’s Deadline

06 Feb 2017

As reported February 3, 2017, a federal court in Seattle issued a temporary halt nationwide to the travel ban that was implemented by President Trump via executive order on January 27, 2017. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is appealing this court order and is expected to submit additional legal briefs in support of the travel ban by 3:00 p.m. PST today to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The appellate court is expected to issue a ruling shortly thereafter, possibly as early as this evening. As soon as a ruling is released, an update will be posted on MurthyDotCom.

 

Audio: How a Bill Becomes a Law

06 Feb 2017

When it comes to immigration policy, stakeholders are afraid that the new administration can simply change the law. The executive branch of the U.S. government is not responsible for making new statutory laws: that duty falls to the legislative branch (congress). At the Murthy Law Firm, we often receive questions that stem from confusion over proposed bills and whether they are enforceable. This discussion between two Murthy Law Firm attorneys covers process of introducing a bill in congress, and its progression to becoming a law. Click here to listen.

The Legislative Process: How a Bill Becomes a Law

We also point readers to this MurthyDotCom InfoArticle, for clarification. Read more.

 

CNN: Appeals Court: No Travel Ban for Now

05 Feb 2017

CNN reports,”A federal appeals court early Sunday morning denied the US government’s emergency request to resume President Donald Trump’s travel ban.” News story by Laura Jarrett, CNN. Read more.

 

CNN: DOJ Appealing Travel Ban Ruling

04 Feb 2017

CNN reports,”The Justice Department on Saturday moved to appeal a decision that temporarily halted enforcement of President Donald Trump’s travel ban.” News story by Laura Jarrett, CNN. Read more.

 

Washington Post: State Dept. Reverses Visa Revocations, Allows Banned Travelers to Enter U.S.

04 Feb 2017

The Washington Post reports, “The State Department says previously banned travelers will be allowed to enter the United States after a federal judge in Washington state on Friday temporarily blocked enforcement of President Trump’s controversial immigration ban.” This is according to a breaking news story by Robert Barnes, Matt Zapotosky, and Anne Gearan. Read more.

 

USCIS Confirms it is Adjudicating Applications & Petitions for Travel Ban Nationals

04 Feb 2017

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that it is continuing to adjudicate petitions and applications filed on behalf of foreign nationals from the seven “travel ban” countries. The full statement from the USCIS is available here.

 

Justice Department to Challenge Judge’s Halt of Travel Ban

03 Feb 2017

According to a CNN report, posted by reporters Laura Jarette, Eli Watkins, and Rene Marsh, the White House on Friday night said the Justice Department will challenge a judge’s nationwide halt of President Donald Trump’s immigration order. “At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this outrageous order and defend the executive order of the President, which we believe is lawful and appropriate,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement.   Read more.

 

Reports say USCIS is Adjudicating Applications and Petitions for Travel Ban Nationals

03 Feb 2017

According to new, UNCONFIRMED but reliable reports, USCIS will continue to adjudicate petitions and applications filed on behalf of foreign nationals from the seven “travel ban” countries.  This includes applications for adjustment of status and petitions for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. Adjudication will proceed for affected foreign nationals who are both inside and outside the United States, although travel authorization will not be granted while the January 27th Executive Order is in effect. This new information is contrary to earlier reports, which stated that the USCIS would not adjudicate cases for foreign nationals from countries affected by the Executive Order.

 

Special Teleconference: Executive Orders, Proposed Bills, Dispelling Rumors, & Building Strategies

03 Feb 2017

The new administration’s most controversial policies have been the issuance of executive orders related to immigration. This teleconference examines what an executive order is and its limits. In response to the public, several attorneys from the Murthy Law Firm address many of your questions and concerns in this special teleconference held 03.Feb.2017. The audio is available to all.  Click here to listen.

 

Murthy Law Firm: Keeping the Immigrant Community Informed

02 Feb 2017

These are trying times in the world of U.S. immigration law. We at the Murthy Law Firm understand that many of you are worried about what the future may hold. Justifiably, as employees, you are concerned about your lives and your authorization to work in the United States. American employers of foreign nationals and foreign consulting companies that support U.S. business and industry are anxious about steps the Administration could take.  Read more.

 

H1B Visas: Indian IT Firms to Plead Case Before Trump Administration Officials

02 Feb 2017

India’s top technology CEOs are scheduled to meet with Trump representatives and lawmakers later this month, according to LiveMint.com, to discuss proposed changes to visa programs used to attract much-needed workers to Silicon Valley and beyond. The largest users of the H1B program are: Tata Consultancy, Infosys, Wipro, HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra, and Mindtree, and it is anticipated that the delegation will be comprised of leaders from these industry giants.  Read more.

 

DOS: No Plans to Add More Countries to Travel Ban List

02 Feb 2017

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) advised representatives of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) that there are no plans to add any more countries to the travel ban list. The travel ban, instituted on January 27, 2017 by executive order, presently applies to Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. More information is available in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, Understanding the Current Administration & Immigration: FAQs (30.Jan.2017).

 

Possible Executive Order on Immigrants Using Public Benefits

01 Feb 2017

President Trump has already signed several immigration-related executive orders, and it appears that more are on the way. One leaked proposed order, entitled Executive Order on Protecting Taxpayer Resources by Ensuring our Immigration Laws Promote Accountability and Responsibility, includes a number of provisions designed to crack down on legal and undocumented immigrants who use, or appear to be at risk of using, public benefits (e.g., food stamps).  Read more.

 

NewsFlash! USCIS Clarifies Eligibility for Automatic EAD Extension

01 Feb 2017

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a fact sheet related to the automatic extension of certain employment authorization documents (EADs) pursuant to the recently implemented regulation on high-skilled workers.  Read more.

 

CBP Releases Updated Info & FAQs on Travel Ban

31 Jan 2017

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) posted to its website updated information on President Trump’s January 27, 2017 executive order, which instituted a temporary travel ban on nationals from seven countries – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia.  Read more.

 

Possible Executive Order Targeting Employment-Based Immigration

31 Jan 2017

At the time of this writing, this executive order is UNCONFIRMED and UNSIGNED, however,  MurthyDotCom has deemed it prudent to provide readers with some insight into this (unconfirmed) draft version of this executive order, which is explained in question-and-answer format.  Read more.

 

MurthyForum Topic of the Week: President Trump’s Executive Orders & U.S. Immigration Policy

31 Jan 2017

Members of the MurthyForum continue their discussion of the President’s executive order. The forum is FREE to anyone who wishes to join. It is open to all who wish to read the conversation. Read more.

 

MurthyChat Transcript from January 30, 2017: The President’s Executive Order

31 Jan 2017

The executive order issued by President Trump late last week put a travel ban on foreign nationals from certain countries, and alarmed countless others who are living and working in the United States. Last night, a senior attorney from the Murthy Law Firm fielded questions of concern to many. The transcript of that chat session is available for review.  Read more.

 

Understanding the Current Administration & Immigration: FAQs

Updated 30 Jan 2017; First Posted 26 Jan 2017

Since the election, inauguration, and executive orders of President Donald J. Trump, questions from concerned foreign nationals and U.S. employers have reached our firm. These are sample questions, answered by Murthy Law Firm attorneys.  Read more.

 

Washington Post: Judge Stays Deportations; Trump Order Barring Refugees, Migrants from Muslim Countries Triggers Chaos, Outrage

28 Jan 2017

According to the Washington Post, a U.S. District Court Judge in Brooklyn, N.Y. granted an ACLU request to stay deportations of individuals detained upon entry into the United States following the executive order of President Trump. Minutes after the ruling in New York, a U.S. District Judge in Virginia issued a temporary restraining order that blocks removal of green card holders from Dulles International Airport for seven days.  Read more.

 

New York Times: Trump’s Order Blocks Immigrants at Airports, Stoking Fear Around Globe

28 Jan 2017

Around the world, travelers are changing their plans. Foreign students caught outside the U.S. for a vacation or family matter find they can’t return to their studies. Legal permanent residents (green card holders) are prevented from returning to their jobs from travel abroad. Not only refugees, but others who had been studying, living, and working in the United States are being upended by the President’s executive order, according to this New York Times report by Michael D. Shear and Nicholas Kulish.  Read more.

 

BBC: Trump Executive Order Prompts Google to Recall Staff

28 Jan 2017

Following President Trump’s executive order placing restrictions on foreign nationals entering the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries, Google has recalled staff members traveling outside of the U.S., according to the BBC. The order puts a 90-day ban on entry by nationals from six additional countries, including Iraq and Iran. Syrian refugees are banned until further notice.  Read more.

 

Trump Signs Exec Order to Implement New Vetting Measures for Visa Applicants

27 Jan 2017

Earlier this evening, President Trump signed an executive order that will provide, in his words, “new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America.” MurthyDotCom is reviewing the order and will post more details shortly. [See Trump Signs New ‘Vetting Measures’ to Guard Against Terror, Associated Press, by Ken Thomas and Julie Pace 27.Jan.2017.]

 

CNBC: Trump May Have Found His Big Ally to Counterbalance China … and it’s Not Russia

27 Jan 2017

CNBC offers insights into President Trump’s recent discussion with Prime Minister Modi of India, which covered topics from the economy to defense. Readers may want to pay special attention to the section toward the end of the article by Seema Mody, “A Possible Area of Conflict?” Immigration and outsourcing.  Read more.

 

ABC: Live Interview with Trump

25 Jan 2017

A full transcript and recording of the live interview of President Trump by ABC’s news anchor David Muir includes mention of his plan for the wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. Mr. Trump says he will be offering more details on DACA and other immigration matters in the coming weeks. You may use your browser tools to search for “DACA” or “immigration”.  Read more.

 

NewsFlash! Trump Signs Executive Orders Related to Border Wall and ‘Sanctuary Cities’

25 Jan 2017

Earlier today, President Trump signed two immigration-related executive orders. The first calls for construction to begin on a border wall between the United States and Mexico. The second order serves to withhold federal funding from so-called “sanctuary cities.”  Read more.

 

Legal Framework Will Impact President-Elect Trump’s Immigration Policies

17 Nov 2016

Many immigrants and nonimmigrants are nervous about how the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States will impact their lives. This article sheds light on the steps that President Trump must take under the United States system of government. These could delay or indeed prevent him from implementing some or many of the policies he referred to while seeking election.  Read more.

 

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