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Immigration News - May and June of 2014

06/30/2014: Obama's Bid to Deport Children Complicates Immigration Reform Effort

The administration is asking Congress to approve $2 billion in emergency funding for beefed-up border security and assistance, as the children — many traveling without their parents under the mistaken impression that they will be allowed to stay — slip across the Southwest border. Amid a growing humanitarian crisis, many of the children are being sent as far away as California and Oklahoma for processing and shelter.

The request, expected to be formally made Monday, seems intended to blunt criticism that White House immigration policies have inadvertently encouraged the crush of youngsters. - LA Times

06/23/2014: DHS Open Letter to the Parents of Children Crossing U.S. Southwest Border

"This year, a record number of children will cross our Southern border illegally into the United States. In the month of May alone, the number of children, unaccompanied by a mother or father, who crossed our southern border reached more than 9,000, bringing the total so far this year to 47,000. The majority of these children come from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, where gang and drug violence terrorize communities. To the parents of these children I have one simple message: Sending your child to travel illegally into the United States is not the solution." - DHS

06/22/2014: White House Unveils New Plan to Address Immigration Crisis

The White House unveiled a new plan Friday that would effectively speed up deportations of the recent surge of immigrants trying to cross illegally into the United States through the southwestern border. The changes include opening new detention centers that can accommodate families, expanded use of ankle bracelets to monitor immigrants awaiting hearings and sending more immigration judges to southern Texas that would expedite and streamline the court hearing and removal process, according to administration officials and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a border-state lawmaker who was briefed on the changes by the White House Friday morning. - Politico

06/10/2014: July 2014 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for July 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) 40
India Second (EB2) 1386
ROW Third (EB3) 0
China Third (EB3) 0
India Third (EB3) 17
Mexico Third (EB3) 0
Philippines Third (EB3) 366

06/09/2014: Supreme Court: Children over 21 Go to Back of Visa Line

A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that immigrant children who waited for years with their parents to obtain visas still have to go to the back of the line when they turn 21. In a 5-4 decision, the justices sided with the Obama administration in finding that immigration laws offer relief only to a tiny percentage of children who "age out" of the system. The majority no longer qualify for the immigration status granted to minors. - Politico

06/05/2014: DHS Announces Process for DACA Renewal

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson today announced the process for individuals to renew enrollment in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has submitted to the Federal Register an updated form to allow individuals previously enrolled in DACA, to renew their deferral for a period of two years. At the direction of the Secretary, effective immediately, USCIS will begin accepting renewal requests. USCIS will also continue to accept requests for DACA from individuals who have not previously sought to access the program. As of April 2014, more than 560,000 individuals have received DACA. - USCIS

06/03/2014: White House Seeks Extra $1.4B to Address Surge in Children Crossing Southern Border

President Obama on Monday described a surge in unaccompanied immigrant children caught trying to cross the Mexican border as an "urgent humanitarian situation," as the White House asked Congress for an extra $1.4 billion in federal money to cope. Obama said the U.S. will temporarily house the children at two military bases.

In its new estimates, the government said as many as 60,000 children, mostly from Central America, could be caught this year trying to cross the Mexican border illegally, costing the U.S. more than $2.28 billion to house, feed and transport the children to shelters or reunite them with relatives already living in the United States. - Fox

05/27/2014: Obama Orders Delay of Immigration Deportation Review

Obama instructed Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to continue his review, but the results will not be announced before lawmakers take their summer recess in August, officials said. The White House is concerned that Republicans would balk if the administration takes unilateral action to stem the deportation of undocumented immigrants, ending any slim remaining hopes of a legislative compromise. - Washington Post

05/20/2014: What Are the Biggest Immigrant Groups in Your State?

The data used to create the map are from the Department of Homeland Security. In 2012, slightly more than 1 million people were granted legal permanent resident status in the U.S. (Legal permanent residents may also be referred to as "permanent resident aliens" or "green card holders.") About 15 percent of these new immigrants are from Mexico. China and India come in second and third with roughly 8 and 6 percent of 2012's new legal permanent residents. - Slate.com

05/12/2014: U.S. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Card Program

This interim final rule establishes the U.S. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card Program. APEC is an economic forum comprised of twenty-one members, including the United States, whose primary goal is to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. One of APEC's initiatives is the APEC Business Travel Card Program. The U.S. APEC Business Travel Card Program will provide qualified U.S. business travelers engaged in business in the APEC region or U.S. Government officials actively engaged in APEC business the ability to access fast-track immigration lanes at participating airports in foreign APEC economies. This rule sets forth the parameters of the program, the eligibility requirements, the application procedures, the duration of the program and the fee. In accordance with the authorizing law, DHS will not issue any new U.S. APEC Business Travel Cards or renew any U.S. APEC Business Travel Cards after September 30, 2018. Unless the law is amended to extend the duration of the U.S. APEC Business Travel Card Program, all U.S. APEC Business Travel Cards will expire by September 29, 2021. - DHS

APEC members include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.

05/10/2014: Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses - Proposed Rule

The Department of Homeland Security proposes to extend the availability of employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of principal H-1B nonimmigrants. The extension would be limited to H-4 dependent spouses of principal H-1B nonimmigrants who are in the process of seeking lawful permanent resident status through employment. This population will include those H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants if the H-1B nonimmigrants are either the beneficiaries of an approved Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) or who have been granted an extension of their authorized period of admission in the United States under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (AC21), as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act. This regulatory change would lessen any potential economic burden to the H-1B principal and H-4 dependent spouse during the transition from nonimmigrant to lawful permanent resident status, furthering the goals of attracting and retaining high-skilled foreign workers. - DHS

05/08/2014: April 2014 USCIS Pending I-485 Inventory Released

USCIS published the pending I-485 inventory with data as of April 1, 2014. Our Green Card Tracker has been updated with the new data. To learn more, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions or contact us.

05/07/2014: June 2014 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for June 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) 37
India Second (EB2) 0
ROW Third (EB3) -549
China Third (EB3) -2192
India Third (EB3) 14
Mexico Third (EB3) -549
Philippines Third (EB3) 61

"The unexpected and dramatic increase in demand being received from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Offices during the past several months has resulted in number use approaching the annual limit for this category. As a result, it has been necessary to retrogress the Worldwide, China, and Mexico cut-off dates for the month of June.

Notices were included in several Visa Bulletins during the past year alerting readers to the possibility of such retrogressions. While corrective action in some categories has become necessary earlier than was anticipated based on the information available earlier, it is hoped that readers are not caught off guard by these retrogressions." - DOS

05/06/2014: DHS Announces Proposals to Attract and Retain Highly Skilled Immigrants

As part of the Administration's continuing commitment to attract and retain highly skilled immigrants, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced the publication of two proposed rules, including a rule to extend employment authorization to spouses of certain H-1B workers, and a proposal to enhance opportunities for certain groups of highly-skilled workers by removing obstacles to their remaining in the United States. - DHS

05/04/2014: Record Numbers Renounce U.S. Citizenship - And Many Aren't Counted

The number of Americans renouncing United States citizenship or terminating long-term residency is on a record pace. Every 3 months, the government publishes the names of individuals who renounced U.S. citizenship or gave up a green card. This public outing puts Americans on notice who relinquished their rights...the Treasury Department's published list states explicitly this is just those about whom the Secretary of the Treasury has data. It means these numbers are under-stated, some say considerably. Statistics are also not available for why people say good-bye. - Forbes

05/02/2014: Data Entry of all FY15 H-1B Cap Petitions Completed

USCIS announced today that data entry of all FY15 H-1B cap petitions has been completed. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap petitions that were not selected in the lottery. U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge in fields such as science, engineering, and computer programming.

05/01/2014: I-94 Arrival/Departure History Now Available on CBP.gov Website

The new CBP webpage allows nonimmigrant travelers to access arrival/departure records going back five years from the request date. This electronic travel-history function means that travelers may no longer need to file Freedom of Information Act requests to receive their arrival/departure history, greatly speeding their process. Travelers will have electronic access to the date and port of entry of their arrivals and departures. - CBP

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