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Bimonthly Immigration Newsletter: June 2017

Ninth and Fourth Circuits Uphold Nationwide Preliminary Injunction on Travel Ban; Administration Seeks Supreme Court Review

In a scathing rebuke of the Administration’s executive order travel ban, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the nationwide preliminary injunction, enjoining the Administration from implementing it. [read more]

Couple comforting each otherDepartment of Labor to Ramp Up Investigations of Foreign Worker Visa Programs

The Department of Labor has a minor but important role in some immigration matters, including the H-1 and H-2 visa programs and labor certification applications for employment-based green cards. After reviewing the DOL’s foreign worker visa programs, Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta announced actions to increase protections for American workers... [read more]

New Consular Questionnaire Means More Rigorous Vetting of Certain Visa Applicants

Armed with a supplemental questionnaire, DS-5535, consular officers around the world have started more intensive vetting of some visa applicants — including requests for their social media handles (user name) — in an effort to block potential terrorists and other national security threats from entering the country. [read more]

Enforcement-Only Bills Moving Through the House of Representatives

Two bills are winding their way through the House’s Judiciary Committee that focus on immigration enforcement tactics and ignore any major policy changes: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Authorization Act (H.R. 2406) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Act (H.R. 2407). [read more]



Texas Passes Anti-Immigrant Bill

Last month, the governor of Texas signed Senate Bill 4 (SB-4), a measure allowing local police officers to ask for the citizenship status of anyone they arrest or detain and requiring local jurisdictions to honor detainers issued by ICE. The bill is a direct result of Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez publicly criticizing President Trump’s executive order... [read more]

ICE Recalendaring Cases that Were Previously Administratively Closed, Even Non–Criminal Related

Under the Obama Administration, certain undocumented immigrants were permitted to have their immigration cases administratively closed in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion (PD), which in essence was a form of relief from deportation. [read more]


Immigration Courts and Backlog

Immigration courts have an enormous backlog that has not only persisted, but grown exponentially over the years. In 2006, the average case processing time was about 198 days. A decade later the same case will take 650 days to process. Government officials attribute the backlog to a number of factors... [read more]

Money and USCIS: Refund Requests and Bounced Checks

Generally, USCIS does not issue refunds for filing fees, regardless of the decision on the application. There are very limited exceptions: for example, when USCIS collects the incorrect fee. If an applicant or petitioner believes he or she is entitled to a refund of a fee, the first step is to write to the service center where the application is pending. [read more]

Supreme Court Holds Gender-Based Distinction for Acquisition of Citizenship Is Unconstitutional

The Supreme Court found unconstitutional the gender-based distinction in the immigration act, requiring a shorter period of parental physical presence in the U.S. for acquisition of citizenship through an unwed citizen mother versus an unwed citizen father. [read more]

N.J. Chief Justice Urges ICE to Add Courthouses to List of “Sensitive Locations”

In a recent letter, New Jersey Chief Justice Stuart Rabner requested that DHS Secretary Kelly urge ICE not to arrest individuals who show up for court appearances in state court... that courthouses should be added to the list of “sensitive locations”... [read more]

News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers.