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Immigration News - July and August of 2014

08/27/2014: White House considers proposals to sharply increase legal immigration

The White House is considering proposals from business and immigrant rights groups that are pressing President Obama to provide hundreds of thousands of green cards for high-tech workers and the relatives of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

Although the efforts to relieve pressure on some of the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants are expected to be the centerpiece of the president's action, the administration also is weighing measures that would streamline the legal immigration system by reducing huge backlogs of foreigners hoping to obtain legal permanent residency. - Washington Post

08/21/2014: Nonimmigrant Admissions to the United States: 2013

Nonimmigrants are foreign nationals granted temporary admission to the United States. The major purposes for which nonimmigrant admission may be authorized include temporary visits for business or pleasure, academic or vocational study, temporary employment, or to act as a representative of a foreign government or international organization. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) collects information on the characteristics of certain nonimmigrant admissions from I-94 arrival records. This Office of Immigration Statistics Annual Flow Report presents information gathered from I-94s on the number and characteristics of nonimmigrant admissions to the United States in 2013. - DHS

Nonimmigrant Admissions (I-94 only) by Country of Citizenship: FY-2011 to 2013
Country of Citizenship FY-2013 FY-2012 FY-2011
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
Mexico 17,980,784 29.5 16,462,118 30.5 17,052,559 32.1
United Kingdom 4,566,669 7.5 4,486,666 8.3 4,547,728 8.6
Canada 4,445,881 7.3 1,466,120 2.7 1,868,179 3.5
Japan 4,298,081 7 4,141,299 7.7 3,777,643 7.1
Germany 2,359,681 3.9 2,308,207 4.3 2,182,441 4.1
Brazil 2,143,154 3.5 1,792,425 3.3 1,539,015 2.9
China 2,098,801 3.4 1,756,747 3.3 1,364,078 2.6
France 1,959,424 3.2 1,913,551 3.6 1,845,227 3.5
Korea, South 1,656,795 2.7 1,527,085 2.8 1,460,972 2.8
India 1,491,712 2.4 1,296,276 2.4 1,222,302 2.3
Other 17,886,490 29.3 16,461,702 30.5 15,737,991 29.6
Unknown 164,788 0.3 275,090 0.5 484,151 0.9
Total 61,052,260 100 53,887,286 100 53,082,286 100

08/18/2014: Behind Closed Doors, Obama Crafts Executive Actions

Mr. Obama's increasingly expansive appetite for the use of unilateral action on issues including immigration, tax policy and gay rights has emboldened activists and businesses to flock to the administration with their policy wish lists. It also has opened the president, already facing charges of executive overreach, to criticism that he is presiding over opaque policy-making, with the potential to reward political backers at the expense of other interests, including some on the losing side who are threatening to sue. - NYTimes

08/12/2014: USCIS Customers Can Select Delivery Service to Receive Documents

USCIS customers can use the overnight delivery or courier service of their choice to receive certain documents. This option provides greater customer service by allowing you to select your preferred delivery service provider to receive documents such as approval and denial notices, requests for evidence, and most travel documents.

    To ensure your overnight delivery requests are not delayed, please remember to:
  • Include a prepaid air bill when you submit your application, petition, or response to a request for evidence. The best way to avoid delivery errors is to provide a prepaid shipping label obtained directly from the delivery service. This will avoid the need to write in an account number. Enter your name in both the "to" and "from" fields on the air bill.
  • Never list USCIS as the sender and do not mark "bill to sender."
  • Pay all delivery costs in advance and include the prepaid air bill with your submission.

If the delivery costs are not paid in full, USCIS will send the documents to you by regular U.S. mail. - USCIS

08/12/2014: September 2014 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for September 2014. The table below shows cut-off date movement from the previous month, for all major employment-based categories. For more information please refer to our Visa Bulletin Toolbox.

Chargeability Preference Cut-off Date Movement (Days)
China Second (EB2) 0
India Second (EB2) 99
ROW Third (EB3) 0
China Third (EB3) 0
India Third (EB3) 0
Mexico Third (EB3) 0
Philippines Third (EB3) 304

"INDIA Employment-based Second Preference: The use of potentially "otherwise unused" Employment numbers prescribed by Section 202(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) has allowed the India Employment Second preference cut-off date to advance very rapidly in recent months. Continued forward movement of this cut-off date during the upcoming months cannot be guaranteed, however, and no assumptions should be made until the dates are formally announced. Once there is a significant increase in India Employment Second preference demand it will be necessary to retrogress the cut-off date, possibly as early as November, to hold number use within the fiscal year 2015 annual limit." - DOS

08/08/2014: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals(DACA) Toolkit

USCIS began accepting requests under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on August 15, 2012. The DACA process was created by the Secretary of Homeland Security to offer relief from removal (in 2-year increments) for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children and who met several key criteria. DACA is an exercise of prosecutorial discretion and does not provide lawful status. - USCIS

08/04/2014: Technical Glitch Clogs Up U.S. Visa System

A technical glitch has hampered the U.S.'s ability to issue visas around the globe, stranding thousands of foreign businesspeople, high-tech workers, performers and athletes trying to travel into the country. The data-processing system experienced significant performance issues, including outages, between July 19 and July 23. The database was brought back online on July 23, but the system still isn't fully functional, according to the State Department. Experts estimate tens of thousands of visas are working their way through the pipeline. - WSJ

07/31/2014: Suspect in Fatal USC Attack Entered Country Illegally, Feds Say

A 19-year-old charged with murder in connection with last week's fatal assault on a USC graduate student told immigration officials that he entered the country illegally about seven years ago, a federal official said.

DelCarmen is one of four teenagers charged with capital murder in the July 24 assault that killed Ji, an engineering graduate student from China. Police said Ji was walking home from a study group about 12:45 a.m. when he was attacked near campus, just blocks away from his apartment. - LA Times

07/29/2014: July 2014 USCIS Pending I-485 Inventory Released

USCIS published the pending I-485 inventory with data as of July 21, 2014. Our Green Card Tracker has been updated with the new data. To learn more, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions or contact us.

07/29/2014: Two thousand miles from the border, Syracuse finds itself in immigration debate

The immigration rallies — the protesters and the buses of undocumented immigrants that upended Southern California in early July — had already been on the news for a week when, 2,000 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner got an e-mail. - WashingtonPost

07/23/2014: Unaccompanied Alien Children—Legal Issues: FAQ

Recent reports about the increasing number of alien minors apprehended at the U.S. border without a parent or legal guardian have prompted numerous questions about so-called unaccompanied alien children (UACs). Some of these questions pertain to the numbers of children involved, their reasons for coming to the United States, and current and potential responses of the federal government and other entities to their arrival. Other questions concern the interpretation and interplay of various federal statutes and regulations, administrative and judicial decisions, and settlement agreements pertaining to alien minors. This report addresses the latter questions, providing general and relatively brief answers to 14 frequently asked questions regarding UACs. - DOS

07/18/2014: DACA Statistics by USCIS

USCIS has released a report titled "Characteristics of Individuals Requesting and Approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)" with data aggregated for August, 2012 to September, 2013 (13 and 1/2 months). Below is one of the tables in the report:

DACA Requests by Requestor Country of Birth (8/2012 - 9/2013)
No. Country of Birth No. of DACA Requests Percent
1 Mexico 443,500 76
2 El Salvador 22,000 4
3 Honduras 14,900 3
4 Guatemala 14,600 3
5 Korea, Republic of 7,600 1
6 Peru 7,500 1
7 Brazil 6,200 1
8 Colombia 5,700 1
9 Ecuador 5,500 1
10 Philippines 3,700 1
11 Argentina 3,500 1
12 Jamaica 3,100 1
13 India 2,900 -
14 Venezuela 2,600 -
15 Dominican Republic 2,500 -
16 Trinidad and Tobago 2,300 -
17 Bolivia 1,700 -
18 Costa Rica 1,700 -
19 Uruguay 1,600 -
20 Pakistan 1,500 -
21 Chile 1,400 -
22 Poland 1,400 -
23 Nicaragua 1,200 -
24 Nigeria 1,200 -
25 Guyana 1,100 -
  Other and Unknown 19,200 3
  Total 580,000 100

07/17/2014: As Immigration Crisis Grows, a Protest Movement Gains Steam

Anti-illegal immigration activists are planning several hundred protests in cities across the country on Friday and Saturday, part of a growing backlash against the federal government's efforts to temporarily house migrant children detained at the border. Protesters say they are concerned about safety, as the Obama administration pushes to move detainees from Texas to shelters run by nonprofits in other states. - NPR

07/14/2014: Sen. Ted Lieu Wants Fox News Host to Resign over 'Xenophobic' Remarks

Democratic state Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance called on Fox News host Bob Beckel to resign Saturday after he said on the air Thursday that "Chinamen" are the single biggest threat to national security.

During an episode of the "The Five," Beckel said: "As usual, we bring them over here and teach a bunch of Chinamen -- Chinese people -- how to do computers and then they go back to China and hack into us." - LATimes

07/14/2014: Endless Wave of Illegal Immigrants Floods Rio Grande valley

Life jackets of all sizes and the occasional punctured raft are strewn along the banks of the Rio Grande, just south of Mission, Texas, where a relentless onslaught of illegal immigrants eagerly surrender to beleaguered Border Patrol agents around the clock. It's a cycle for which there is no end in sight.

"We used to chase after them; now they are chasing us," one official said. - Fox

07/08/2014: Prediction of Visa Cutoff Dates from August Visa Bulletin

"The China-mainland born Employment Third and Third Other Workers cut-off dates have advanced for the month of August, and could do so again for September. There are two reasons for this advance after the retrogression of the cut-off date earlier this summer: 1) The heavy demand by applicants with priority dates significantly (years) earlier than the previous cut-off date has declined during the past two months, and 2) declining number use in the Family preferences during May and June, combined with updated estimates of such number use through the end of the fiscal year, has resulted in availability of several hundred numbers for use in the China-mainland born Employment Third preference.

During the past two months, the India Employment Second preference cut-off date has advanced very rapidly based on the projected availability of "otherwise unused" numbers under the worldwide preference limit. It must not be assumed that this cut-off date will continue to advance at the same pace during the coming months. A cut-off date does not mean that everyone with a priority date before such cut-off date has already been processed to conclusion. It remains to be seen how heavy the demand for visa numbers by applicants will be in the coming months, and what the priority dates of such applicants may be. Heavy demand by applicants with priority dates significantly earlier than the established cut-off date is expected to materialize within the next several months, at which time the cut-off date is likely to retrogress significantly." - August 2014 Visa Bulletin

07/08/2014: August 2014 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for August 2014. The table below shows cut-off date movement from the previous month, for all major employment-based categories. For more information please refer to our Visa Bulletin Toolbox.

Chargeability Preference Cut-off Date Movement (Days)
China Second (EB2) 99
India Second (EB2) 143
ROW Third (EB3) 0
China Third (EB3) 762
India Third (EB3) 7
Mexico Third (EB3) 0
Philippines Third (EB3) 516

07/03/2014: Immigration Protest: Murrieta Crowd Boos Feds After Migrant Standoff

An overflow crowd in a Southern California community where protesters turned back Homeland Security busloads of immigrants gave a harsh reception to federal officials behind the decision to bring them to Murrieta in the first place. Local politicians calling for secure borders proved far more popular with the crowd Wednesday night. - FOX

07/02/2014: CIS Ombudsman Annual Report 2014

The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman's (Ombudsman) 2014 Annual Report contains:

  • An overview of the Ombudsman's mission and services;
  • A review of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) programmatic and policy achievements during this reporting period; and
  • A detailed discussion of pervasive and serious problems, recommendations, and best practices in the family, employment and humanitarian areas, as well as in customer service.

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