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Immigration News - July and August of 2012

08/31/2012: California Okays Driving Licenses for Some Illegal Immigrants

California lawmakers approved a bill on Thursday to allow some young illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children to obtain driving licenses, in a move that could appeal to Hispanic voters in the heavily Democratic state. The bill, which passed the state Assembly by a 55-15 vote before being sent to the desk of Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, was introduced following the announcement of a federal program to relax deportation rules and grant some young immigrants temporary legal status in the United States. - Reuters

08/29/2012: Silicon Valley Boom Creates Shortage of $1 Million Homes

Brokers say tech growth is the main driver of [real estate] demand in Silicon Valley. But they say it's not coming from the new crop of high-profile social-media tycoons. Instead, it's coming from executives at Apple, Google and other more established companies.

Another big force behind demand is China. Realtors say waves of wealthy Chinese buyers are pouring into the Valley and buying up multi-million-dollar properties...While some Chinese investors are buying properties to rent, many are buying homes for their families and children - Yahoo

The global rich are on the move. Whether it's wealthy French or Americans fleeing the prospect of higher taxes or wealthy Russians and Chinese trying to escape political uncertainty, millionaires and billionaires around the world are migrating like never before, according to government statistics and relocation experts. - CNBC

08/27/2012: Filing Tips: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Filing your request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals involves several steps. You need to submit multiple forms, evidence and fees. Small mistakes in preparing your request could lead to it being rejected. Please read these tips to avoid having your request rejected or delayed because of common filing errors. - USCIS

  • Mail all forms together
  • Sign your forms
  • Write your name and date of birth the same way on each form
  • Use the correct version of Form I-765
  • Use Form I-821D NOT Form I-821
  • Do NOT e-file Form I-765
  • Submit correct fees
  • Answer all questions completely and accurately
  • Provide all required supporting documentation and evidence
  • If you make an error on a form, start over with a clean form
  • Carefully review age guidelines before filing

08/26/2012: California OKs Bill Shielding Undocumented Immigrants

California state legislators passed a bill Friday that seeks to protect undocumented immigrants charged with relatively minor crimes from being deported. The bill, by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, would prohibit local police from detaining anyone on an immigration hold if the person is not charged with or has not been convicted of a serious or violent crime. - SFGate

08/22/2012: 10,000 U Visas Approved in Fiscal Year 2012

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today marked a significant milestone in its efforts to provide relief to victims of crimes by approving the statutory maximum 10,000 petitions for U nonimmigrant status, also referred to as the U-visa. This is the third straight year USCIS has reached the statutory maximum since it began issuing U-visas in 2008. Each year, 10,000 U-visas are available for victims of crime who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to help law enforcement authorities investigate or prosecute those crimes. A U-visa petition requires law enforcement certification of assistance in the investigation or prosecution of crimes. - USCIS

08/19/2012: Illegal Immigrants Line Up by Thousands for Deportation Deferrals

Tens of thousands of young illegal immigrants waited excitedly in lines as long as a mile and thronged to information sessions across the country on Wednesday, the first day that a federal immigration agency began accepting applications for deportation deferrals that include permits to work legally.

The public outpouring surprised both federal officials and immigrant advocates, who had expected an enthusiastic response to the Obama administration's deferral program but were unprepared for the size and intensity of it. At Navy Pier here, young people began lining up on Tuesday evening for a counseling session about the program that was organized by an immigrants' rights group. - NY Times

08/14/2012: Immigrant-Owned U.S. Companies Said to Generate $775 Billion

Immigrant-owned businesses employ one in 10 U.S. workers in private companies and inject more than $775 billion of revenue into the U.S. economy, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy. The businesses also generate about $125 billion in payroll, the nonpartisan advocacy group of 450 mayors and business leaders said in a report to be presented in Chicago and Boston today. - Business Week

08/14/2012: USCIS Publishes Forms for Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) submitted a Federal Register notice announcing new forms (Form I-821D) and instructions to allow individuals to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals from USCIS. USCIS will begin accepting completed forms tomorrow , August 15, 2012. On June 15, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet other key guidelines may request, on a case-by-case basis, consideration of deferred action. - USCIS

08/13/2012: September 2012 Visa Bulletin Released

The September 2012 Visa Bulletin was officially released today. All categories in EB2 remained exactly the same as the August Visa Bulletin. EB3 did advance, but again at a very slow pace. Now all eyes are on the next (October) Visa Bulletin which will begin to allocate visa numbers for the new fiscal year.

08/08/2012: Green Card Lottery (DV-2014) to Start on October 2

Online registration for the DV-2014 Program will begin on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), and conclude on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4). Instructions for the DV 2014 Program are not yet available.

08/08/2012: Demand Data for September Visa Bulletin Released

Here is the demand data used to determine cutoff dates for the upcoming September 2012 Visa Bulletin, which is likely to be released tomorrow or Friday.

08/07/2012: USCIS National Customer Service Center Includes Saturday Hours 9 to 5

The USCIS National Customer Service Center is expanding its hours to include Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Live agents will now be available Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in each time zone.

08/03/2012: Q&A: Request Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Beginning August 15, 2012, you will be required to submit your request for consideration of deferred action to USCIS through a form, along with a form requesting an employment authorization document. The total fees will be $465. USCIS expects to have the forms and instructions available on its website on August 15, 2012. Do not submit any request to USCIS before these forms are available. All requests received before August 15, 2012 will be rejected. - Q&A and flowchart

08/02/2012: Notice Regarding USCIS Centralized Filing for Waivers of Inadmissibility

Since June 4, 2012, individuals outside the U.S. who have been found inadmissible for certain visas by a U.S. consular officer and seek to waive an inadmissibility ground should no longer apply for a waiver at their foreign location, but should file requests directly to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by mailing the application to a USCIS Lockbox facility in the United States. This change only affects situations where individuals outside the U.S., who have been found inadmissible for an immigrant visa or a nonimmigrant K or V visa, must file their waiver applications. These waiver applications are adjudicated at the USCIS Nebraska Service Center (NSC).

07/31/2012: Leading Anti-Immigration Congressman Promises To Sue Obama

Rep. Steve King (R-IA), one of the right's leading anti-immigration voices, is planning to sue the Obama administration after it announced that it would stop deporting undocumented students who were eligible for the DREAM Act. Obama's policy, which was unveiled last month, will protect up to 1.4 million young immigrants from being deported as the DREAM Act stalls in Congress. - ThinkProgress

07/25/2012: DHS Immigration Plan Could Cost $585M

The Obama administration's plan to let thousands of young illegal immigrants stay in the country and apply for work permits reportedly could cost more than $585 million to carry out. According to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press, illegal immigrants will be able to request permission to stay in the country and apply for a work permit starting Aug. 15. - Fox News

07/23/2012: E-Verify Overview for Existing Users

The Verification Division has revised the E-Verify Existing Users Webinar. The new presentation helps customers elevate their understanding of E-Verify's easy-to-use features, correct common mistakes, prevent avoidable tentative nonconfirmations and use best practices. Click here to view the upgraded presentation.

07/16/2012: Tech Giants Urge Passage of STEM Green Card Bill

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, may be getting ready to support legislation to grant green cards to holders of advanced degrees in the so-called STEM fields.

The legislation will include a cap of 55,000 green cards annually. The U.S. now awards that number of green cards through a "diversity lottery," which makes 55,000 of the permanent residency cards available on a random basis worldwide to lottery winners. That program will end, and those visas will be reallocated to the STEM graduates. - ComputerWorld

07/16/2012: Hostility Toward Recent Immigrants a Long American Tradition

Economic pressure from immigrants forces those of us already here to work harder and smarter. Their willingness to take the jobs like house-cleaning and yard work that most other Americans don't want frees the rest of us to do the jobs we do want — as will hopefully be the case someday for their own children. Immigration is competition.

I'm not advocating illegal immigration: People should follow the proper course to citizenship. But there's nothing more un-American in spirit — albeit manifestly American in historical practice — than anti-immigrant hatred and fear-mongering. - Baltimore Sun

07/11/2012: Sen. Grassley Lifted Hold on H.R. 3012

"Today, I lift my hold on H.R. 3012, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act. This bill would eliminate the per-country numerical limitations for employment–based immigrants and change the per-country numerical limitations for family-based immigrants. When I placed a hold on the bill, I was concerned that the bill did nothing to better protect Americans at home who seek high-skilled jobs during this time of record unemployment. Today, I lift my hold because I have reached an agreement with the senior Senator from New York, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security." - Grassley

Although this is certainly an encouraging step in the right direction, it is still a long way to go before H.R. 3012 has a chance to be enacted into law. No one should be surprised if there are continued negotiations behind the door, or the possibilities of even more amendments. Even if it moves through the Senate, which is a challenging task all by itself, it has to be re-tested in the House. So the fate of H.R.3012 is still up in the air, at least for now. If H.R.3012 eventually becomes law, however, it is expected to have an immediate impact on the allocation of annual visa numbers, particularly for EB2 India and China categories.

07/10/2012: August 2012 Visa Bulletin Released

The August 2012 Visa Bulletin was officially released today. EB2 ROW (all countries other than those listed separately in the visa bulletin) didn't move, with the same cut-off date at 2009-01-01.

07/09/2012: Demand Data for August 2012 Visa Bulletin

The Visa Office updated demand data used to determine cut-off dates for the August 2012 Visa Bulletin.

07/06/2012: California Senate Passes "Anti-Arizona" Immigration Bill

The California Senate passed a bill on Thursday that seeks to shield illegal immigrants from status checks by local police and challenges Republican-backed immigration crackdowns in Arizona and other U.S. states. The Democrat-led state Senate voted 21 to 13 to approve the California Trust Act, dubbed by supporters as the "anti-Arizona" bill. It blocks local police from referring a detainee to immigration officials for deportation unless that person has been convicted of a violent or serious felony. - Reuters

07/06/2012: USCIS Message to Stakeholders: July 9 Engagement Postponed

"We regret to inform you that we must postpone the engagement on prosecutorial discretion with respect to certain individuals who came to the United States as children scheduled for July 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm Eastern. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause and will notify you when we have identified a new date for the engagement." - USCIS

07/05/2012: Travel Abroad and Reentry with Advance Parole Safer

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) recently issued a precedent decision, which significantly changes prior interpretations regarding travel on advance parole (AP) after an individual has been unlawfully present in the United States. Under the BIA decision, Matter of Arrabally and Yerrabelly, an individual who travels abroad pursuant to an AP will not trigger a bar on reentry to the United States even if s/he was unlawfully present for lengthy periods prior to the departure abroad. - Murthy

07/02/2012: The Ombudsman's 2012 Annual Report to Congress

"Our mission is to assist individuals and employers who have encountered problems with the immigration benefits system. We are constantly striving to find new and better ways to perform this function. In this report, we identify some of the difficulties encountered by USCIS' customers and offer potential solutions. The Ombudsman's Office interacts with a wide array of stakeholders; this report attempts to clearly and effectively capture their concerns and recommendations." - DHS

07/02/2012: DHS Engagement on Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals

On June 15, 2012, Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a memorandum directing DHS components to exercise prosecutorial discretion on an individualized basis with respect to certain individuals who came to the United States as children. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), invite any interested individuals to participate in our second joint national engagement to provide further detail regarding the implementation of Secretary Napolitano's memorandum on Monday, July 9, 2012 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm (Eastern). Call-in Number: 1-888-928-9525. Passcode: DHS

07/02/2012: Still Waiting: Green Card Problems Persist for High Skill Immigrants

Over the past several months, skilled foreign nationals have seen no improvement in their prospects for obtaining green cards and, in fact, wait times are likely to increase in employment-based immigration categories. The U.S. Department of State reports a wait time may be developing for prospective immigrants in the employment-based first preference (EB-1) category, which previously had no backlog. In another new development, skilled foreign nationals from countries other than China and India in the employment-based second preference (EB-2) will soon experience backlogs. And for at least the rest of Fiscal Year 2012, the U.S. Department of State is not accepting new green card applications for nationals of China and India in the EB-2 category. - NFAP

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