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Immigration News - July and August of 2015

08/31/2015: Migrant Crisis Tests Core European Value: Open Borders

The desperate migrants and asylum seekers now flooding into Europe by the tens of thousands, and the inability so far to accommodate them in an organized way, may be starting to fray Europe's commitment to erase old borders.

The evidence was on stark display Monday, as the Austrian authorities disrupted traffic from Hungary, causing backups of at least 12 miles, while inspecting vehicles for smuggled migrants. The crackdown could last indefinitely. - NY Times

08/31/2015: 244 Arrested in Southern California Immigration Sting

Immigration agents arrested more than 240 people with criminal records during a four-day sting in Southern California, authorities said Monday in a show of force that comes as fewer people are being deported. Slightly more than half of the 244 people arrested last week had felony convictions and the rest had significant or multiple misdemeanor convictions, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The agency said those numbers underscore an emphasis on deporting immigrants who commit crimes in the United States or pose a public safety threat. - ABC

08/31/2015: Kate Steinle slaying prompts Bay Area counties to cooperate with immigration officials

The fate of a 31-year-old illegal immigrant from Nicaragua with a history of domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon rested entirely on where he was recently caught in the Bay Area.

If it had been in San Francisco or Santa Clara County, he would have walked out of a jail a free man after serving time for violating probation. But because he broke the law in another part of the Bay Area -- where local jailers recently started cooperating with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- federal agents were able to retrieve him from jail two weeks ago and lock him up in a federal detention center pending possible deportation. - Mercury News

08/24/2015: USCIS Discontinues Legacy e-Filing System

USCIS will discontinue its legacy e-Filing system in order to maintain data security standards and focus resources on the replacement Electronic Immigration System. The last day to start new forms in the e-Filing system is Aug. 30. You must complete and submit all forms by Sept. 20. If you are unable to do so, you will need to file a paper form.

USCIS is transitioning to a new system called the Electronic Immigration System. The new system is faster, more secure, and easier to upgrade and update. The forms being removed from the legacy e-Filing system will not be available immediately in the Electronic Immigration System, but there are plans to add them in the future. - USCIS

08/15/2015: The three core principles of Donald J. Trump's immigration plan

When politicians talk about "immigration reform" they mean: amnesty, cheap labor and open borders. The Schumer-Rubio immigration bill was nothing more than a giveaway to the corporate patrons who run both parties.

Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first – not wealthy globetrotting donors. We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. That must change. Here are the three core principles of real immigration reform. - Donald Trump

08/14/2015: Working STEM students may be forced to leave U.S. next year

A federal judge made a ruling this week that could force tens of thousands of foreign workers, many of whom are employed at tech companies on student visas, to return to their home countries early next year.

This ruling, released Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle in Washington, found that the government erred by not seeking public comment when it extended the 12-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) program to 29 months for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students. The OPT program allows someone to work on a student visa. - Computer World

08/12/2015: Green Card Tracker Updated with Data as of July 20, 2015

USCIS today published the pending I-485 inventory with data as of July 20, 2015. We have now updated the green card tracker with the latest information. This is the first inventory that includes the large number of new filings in the China EB-2 category, because its cut-off date has been advancing rapidly from March to August, 2015. When compared to the April inventory, over 5,000 new EB2C applications of priority dates between 2011 - 2013 have been added to the 7/20 release.

08/12/2015: September 2015 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for September 2015. 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 (Y-M-D) Movement (Days)
China Second (EB2) 2006-01-01 -2905
India Second (EB2) 2006-01-01 -1004
ROW Third (EB3) 2015-08-15 31
China Third (EB3) 2004-12-22 204
India Third (EB3) 2004-12-22 204
Mexico Third (EB3) 2015-08-15 31
Philippines Third (EB3) 2004-12-22 204

08/05/2015: GOP presidential debate could spark fireworks on immigration

From immigrants to tea partiers, Floridians are eager to see how the Republican presidential candidates handle the explosive issue of immigration at their first nationally televised primary debate Thursday evening. The 9 p.m. broadcast on Fox News will showcase 10 candidates, five from Florida, who most likely will tangle over an intractable issue that divides Congress and has left 11 million people, including hundreds of thousands in Florida, in legal limbo. - Sun Sentinel

08/01/2015: "This is a global migration crisis"

The British and French governments have warned that the world is facing a "global migration crisis"...Writing in the Telegraph, they warn would-be immigrants planning to make the "desperate" journey in search of a better life that Britain's streets "are not paved with gold"...The announcement came as figures showed the number of suspected illegal migrants detained in Britain has soared by almost a fifth since the Calais crisis erupted. - The Telegraph

07/25/2015: Hungary's Viktor Orban: illegal immigration threatens Europe

Illegal immigration is a threat to Hungary and all of Europe, with the biggest risk coming from hundreds of millions of people from the "depths of Africa" looking to escape poverty, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Saturday.

Speaking at a cultural festival in Baile Tusnad, Romania, Orban accused the European Union of failing to defend its citizens from the "masses of illegal immigrants," who he said threatened the cultural identity of European countries and contributed to increased terrorism, unemployment and criminality. - U.S. News

07/21/2015: USCIS Policy Alert: Modifications to Oath of Allegiance for Naturalization

In general, a naturalization applicant must take an oath of allegiance in a public ceremony, in addition to meeting other eligibility requirements, in order to naturalize. The oath includes the clauses to bear arms on behalf of the United States and to perform noncombatant service in the U.S. armed forces when required by law.1 An applicant may be eligible for certain modifications to the oath to exclude the clauses based on religious training and belief or a conscientious objection. This guidance updates Volume 12 of the Policy Manual to clarify the eligibility requirements for the modifications. - USCIS

07/15/2015: Green Card Tracker Updated with Data as of April 1, 2015

USCIS finally published the pending I-485 inventory to include data for each oversubscribed country, instead of just a total count released two weeks ago. We have since updated the green card tracker with the latest release, containing data as of April 1, 2015.

07/10/2015: August 2015 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for August 2015. 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 (Y-M-D) Movement (Days)
China Second (EB2) 2013-12-15 75
India Second (EB2) 2008-10-01 0
ROW Third (EB3) 2015-07-15 105
China Third (EB3) 2004-06-01 -2648
India Third (EB3) 2004-06-01 121
Mexico Third (EB3) 2015-07-15 105
Philippines Third (EB3) 2004-06-01 ---

07/09/2015: USCIS Requesting Return of 3-Year EAD from DACA Recipients

AILA reported that USCIS sent a letter to DACA recipients who did not return their three-year EAD cards, stating that USCIS must receive the now invalid 3-year EAD by 7/17/15. Failure to return the invalid EAD without good cause may affect the individual's deferred action and employment authorization. - USCIS Letter

07/03/2015: Feds: San Francisco pier shooting suspect deported 5 times

A man suspected in the shooting death of a woman at a busy San Francisco tourist destination has seven felony convictions and has been deported five times, most recently in 2009, a federal agency said Friday.

[ICE spokeswoman Virginia] Kice said ICE issued a detainer for Sanchez in March, requesting to be notified if he was going to be released. The detainer was not honored, she said. Friday evening, an attorney for the San Francisco Sheriff's Department said it had no authority to honor the immigration hold. Freya Horne said that federal detention orders are not a "legal basis" to hold someone, so Sanchez was released April 15. - CBS

07/01/2015: Delayed I-485 Inventory, with only Partial Data

After a 2-month delay USCIS today updated their pending I-485 inventory. Unfortunately it only contains total number of pending I-485 applications, without separate reports based on country of chargeability. I'm fairly certain this was a reporting error and hopefully USCIS will fix it in the next couple of days.

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