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Immigration News - January and February of 2014

02/24/2014: January 2014 USCIS Pending I-485 Inventory Released

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

Note that for this Release USCIS only mentioned the pending I-485 data were as of January 2014, without specifying an actual date. We put in January 15 as an estimate to keep the date format consistent with all previous releases.

02/20/2014: USCIS Clarification onICE-Granted DACA Renewal Guidance

On Feb. 19, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posted a notice on its website outlining the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal process for certain individuals. Please note that this notice contains renewal information only for those individuals granted DACA by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from June 15, 2012 until August 15, 2012, when USCIS started receiving requests. Our records indicate that this notice only applies to a small fraction of the DACA population. This notice does not apply to any individuals who received deferred action by making a request to USCIS using Form I-821D on or after August 15, 2012. In the coming months, USCIS will issue guidance about the renewal process for this group. - USCIS

02/20/2014: Visitor Visa (B Visa) Refusal Rate by Nationality

Ever wondered what is your statistical chance of getting a B visa to visit the U.S.? Here is all the data from FY-2006 to FY-2013. For the original Department of Statement publication click here.

02/19/2014: ICE-Granted DACA Renewal Guidance

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently posted a notice on its website with important information for individuals granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) prior to August 15, 2012. If you were granted DACA by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement prior to August 15, 2012 or are a DACA recipient with an employment authorization document (EAD) that will expire in the next 120 days, you must apply for DACA renewal to avoid any lapse in your employment authorization or accrual of unlawful presence in the United States. - USCIS

02/18/2014: In Need of an Honest Debate on Immigration Reform

From the far reaches of one side comes the charge that immigration reformers only want to destroy our values by throwing open the nation's doors to moochers while feathering their own political (Democratic) nests.

From the other side's remote boundaries come accusations that opponents of "comprehensive immigration reform" are xenophobes, so lacking in compassion and decency that they care only about preserving their racially, ethnically and culturally constricted world. - Chicago Tribune

Note: See the paragraph below that clearly shows how little people know about the legal immigration system. A very good article overall, but tinted by the author's misunderstanding of how immigration quota works:

"The law effectively favors immigrants from certain countries — Mexico, India, China, the Philippines and Dominican Republic are generally at the top of the list. Why them? Should there be national quotas to more equally welcome the "tired, the poor," etc., from all nations? Or should our immigration policy be strictly set by what's in America's best interests and let the chips fall where they may?"

02/13/2014: CBP to Revise I-94W and ESTA Forms

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the Department of Homeland Security will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act: CBP Form I-94W (Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure), and the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). This is a proposed revision of an information collection that was previously approved. CBP is proposing that the data elements on CBP Form I-94W and ESTA be revised. - CBP

02/07/2014: March 2014 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for March 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) 38
India Second (EB2) 0
ROW Third (EB3) 92
China Third (EB3) 92
India Third (EB3) 14
Mexico Third (EB3) 92
Philippines Third (EB3) 16

In addition, the Visa Office also published their predictions of cut-off date movement in the coming months. No good news for India EB2, as well as Family-sponsored F2A category, for the foreseeable future.

02/07/2014: Immigration Overhaul Stalls

Many in GOP ranks also expressed distrust that President Barack Obama would enforce any law they pass. "There's widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws," Mr. Boehner told reporters. "It's going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes."

The move represents an effort by Mr. Boehner to apply the brakes amid heightened expectations after the GOP unveiled its ideas last week at a retreat in Maryland. It still remains possible he could bring legislation to the floor this summer, after many Republican primaries are over, or late in the year, after the elections. - WSJ

02/06/2014: White House Immigratoin Principles

America's immigration system is broken. Too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers and there are 11 million people living in the shadows. Neither is good for the economy or the country.

The President's plan builds a smart, effective immigration system that continues efforts to secure our borders and cracks down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants. It's a plan that requires anyone who's undocumented to get right with the law by paying their taxes and a penalty, learning English, and undergoing background checks before they can be eligible to earn citizenship. It requires every business and every worker to play by the same set of rules. - White House

02/03/2014: How Obamacare Killed Immigration Reform

Barack Obama has all but conceded his lame-duck status. His State of the Union address was bereft of big ideas. And his declaration that he will use his "pen and a phone" to issue a raft of executive orders is an admission of political impotence — a presidency reduced to small-ball initiatives like creating "myRA" savings accounts and raising the minimum wage for federal contractors. The one exception — his one last shot at a major legislative achievement — was comprehensive immigration reform. But that isn't happening either. - Washington Post

01/30/2014: Congressional Republicans Released Principles on Immigration

"Our nation's immigration system is broken and our laws are not being enforced. Washington's failure to fix them is hurting our economy and jeopardizing our national security. The overriding purpose of our immigration system is to promote and further America's national interests and that is not the case today. The serious problems in our immigration system must be solved, and we are committed to working in a bipartisan manner to solve them. But they cannot be solved with a single, massive piece of legislation that few have read and even fewer understand, and therefore, we will not go to a conference with the Senate's immigration bill. The problems in our immigration system must be solved through a step-by-step, common-sense approach that starts with securing our country's borders, enforcing our laws, and implementing robust enforcement measures. These are the principals guiding us in that effort." - Full Text from NYT

01/28/2014: How Detroit's Bankruptcy Could Affect Immigration Reform

Gov. Rick Snyder (R) of Michigan put forward a new and controversial plan Thursday to award 50,000 visas over five years to immigrants willing to settle and work in Detroit as part of his efforts to revitalize the bankrupt city.

The move would require a federal action to increase in the employment-based visas for immigrants, as well as a drastic change in the way that such visas are awarded. As a result, immigration experts are skeptical that Governor Snyder's plan will become a reality. Yet some remain intrigued by the long-shot proposal's potential to change the national conversation around immigration reform. - CS Monitor

01/27/2014: Obama Set to Announce 'Practical' Agenda Focusing on Immigration, Income Equality

President Obama is expected in his annual address Tuesday to detail what he calls "practical" proposals to advance the country in 2014, including ones to improve economic opportunities for every American and to fix the nation's immigration system. But Obama will also make clear his intentions to use his executive powers to achieve his goals when Congress fails to pass legislation. - Fox

01/22/2014: White House Dials It Down on Immigration

The White House is trying to dial down the partisan rhetoric on immigration — and it's asking its allies to do the same. In meetings with immigration reform advocates, White House officials have said President Barack Obama won't threaten to take unilateral executive action — at least not yet — and that he wants to give House Republicans some breathing room to try to pass legislation this year, said immigration advocates who have participated in the sessions. - Politico

01/17/2014: GOP to Introduce Shortly New Immigration Plan, Including Path to Legal Status

House Republicans are working on an immigration plan that would give potentially millions of undocumented immigrants a chance to permanently live and work in the United States. The plan, which is reportedly days away from being released to the public, will cover ideas on how the U.S. border should be protected, how immigration laws should be enforced inside the United States, the expansion of visas for certain foreign workers, and how many of the country's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants can embark on a path to legalize their status, according to published reports, such as one in online news publication Politico. - Fox

01/13/2014: House Republicans Preparing Plan for Immigration Overhaul

The House speaker, John A. Boehner, and his Republican leadership team are preparing to release their principles for an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws later this month, the speaker told his members at a closed-door conference on Wednesday.

House Republicans hope to release their principles near the end of the month before President Obama's State of the Union address, as well as before their annual retreat. Republican aides had previously said that their leadership team was unlikely to make any strategic decisions on immigration before the retreat. - NYT

01/08/2014: February 2014 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for February 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) 31
India Second (EB2) 0
ROW Third (EB3) 61
China Third (EB3) 61
India Third (EB3) 0
Mexico Third (EB3) 61
Philippines Third (EB3) 59

Notes from DOS: MEXICO F2B: The level of demand during recent months has been extremely heavy, in particular for cases filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for adjustment of status processing. Therefore, it has been necessary to retrogress the February cut-off date to May 1, 1993 in an attempt to hold number use within the annual per-country limit. Further retrogression of this cut-off date cannot be ruled out.

MEXICO F2A: Continued heavy demand in the Mexico F2A category will require the retrogression of this cut-off date to hold number use within the annual numerical limit. Such action is likely to occur within the next few months.

01/06/2014: Boehner Is Said to Back Change on Immigration

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio has signaled he may embrace a series of limited changes to the nation's immigration laws in the coming months, giving advocates for change new hope that 2014 might be the year that a bitterly divided Congress reaches a political compromise to overhaul the sprawling system. - NY Times

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