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Immigration News - May and June of 2015

06/27/2015: Supreme Court to Weigh Race in College Admissions

The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to take a second look at the use of race in admissions decisions by the University of Texas at Austin, reviving a potent challenge to affirmative action in higher education.

The move, which supporters of race-conscious admissions programs called baffling and ominous, signaled that the court may limit or even end such affirmative action. The advocates speculated that the court's most conservative members had cast the four votes needed to grant review of the case in the hope that Justice Anthony M. Kennedy would supply the fifth vote to strike down the Texas admissions plan. - NY Times

06/27/2015: Donald Trump Defends His Immigration Stance

Amidst growing backlash over his controversial comments about Mexican immigration during his presidential campaign announcement, Donald Trump tells PEOPLE he's standing by his words.

"I love the Mexican people and have great respect for Mexico," Trump says. "But Mexico has totally taken advantage of the United States, both at the border and at trade. I'm exposing the truth." - People Magazine

06/27/2015: Most illegal immigrants from border surge skipped court date after release

Tens of thousands of illegal immigrant women and children streamed across the U.S. border last year seeking asylum and protected status, claiming a "credible fear" of going home to the violence in Central America. President Obama addressed the crisis through increased border enforcement, more detention beds, more immigration judges and pressure on political leaders in their home countries.

But a year later, new data obtained exclusively by Fox News shows the policy isn't stopping the influx. Not only are illegal immigrant women and children continuing to cross the border in large numbers, but the majority charged with crimes aren't even showing up for court. - FOX News

06/22/2015: GAO Report on USCIS Transformation to Electronic Filing System

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) currently expects that its Transformation Program will cost up to $3.1 billion and be fully deployed no later than March 2019, which is an increase of approximately $1 billion and delay of over 4 years from its initial July 2011 baseline. In March 2012, the program began to significantly change its acquisition strategy to address various technical challenges (see table). - GAO

06/21/2015: Marco Rubio Is Heckled by Immigration Protesters at Faith Summit

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio was interrupted and heckled by undocumented immigrants Thursday while speaking to the Faith & Freedom Coalition meeting in Washington.

Two men stood up during the Florida senator's speech and began shouting that they were undocumented immigrants yelling "protect DACA" and "implement DAPA," referring to President Barack Obama's 2012 and 2014 executive actions to provide deportation relief. - Bloomberg

06/21/2015: Who should immigration be helping?

Recent revelations about the firing of American tech workers and their replacement by temporary visa holders reveal, in the starkest way, why many Americans are wary of the impact of untrammeled immigration. Workers in American companies have been removed from their jobs not because they could not perform them, but because their replacements, largely from India, are simply cheaper and, likely, more malleable. - OC Register

06/20/2015: Mass arrests after thousands rally against immigration in Bratislava

At least 140 people were arrested Saturday after violence broke out at an anti-immigration rally in Bratislava attended by thousands of people in protest at EU quotas on migrant numbers, local media said.

The rally, organised by an anti-Islam group called Stop the Islamisation of Europe, drew up to 8,000 people, according to Slovakian media. Police declined to give an estimate. - Yahoo News

06/10/2015: July 2015 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for July 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) 2013-10-1 122
India Second (EB2) 2008-10-1 0
ROW Third (EB3) 2015-4-1 45
China Third (EB3) 2011-9-1 0
India Third (EB3) 2004-2-1 10
Mexico Third (EB3) 2015-4-1 45
Philippines Third (EB3) Unavailable Unavailable

"Despite two retrogressions of the Philippines Employment Third and Third Other Worker cut-off dates in an attempt to hold number use within the annual limit, it has now become necessary to make the category "Unavailable" for the month of July. It is possible that some unused numbers from the Second preference category may become available for September use. If not, Philippines Third preference numbers will once again be available beginning October 1, 2015 under the FY-2016 annual numerical limitations." - DOS

06/03/2015: Pink Slips at Disney. But First, Training Foreign Replacements.

Instead, about 250 Disney employees were told in late October that they would be laid off. Many of their jobs were transferred to immigrants on temporary visas for highly skilled technical workers, who were brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India. Over the next three months, some Disney employees were required to train their replacements to do the jobs they had lost.

Disney executives said that the layoffs were part of a reorganization, and that the company opened more positions than it eliminated. - NY Times

05/26/2015: Obama immigration overhaul and 'Dreamers' handed another legal setback

A split federal appeals court on Tuesday let stand a lower court's ruling that has stymied Obama administration plans to shield up to 5 million people - including young immigrants known as "Dreamers" – from deportation. At issue was President Obama's proposed extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, created in 2012, and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Legal Permanent Residents, or DAPA, which was scheduled to start in May. - LA Times

05/26/2015: H4 EAD Lawsuit: Motion for a Preliminary Injunction Denied

"Plaintiff Save Jobs USA ("Save Jobs") brings this action against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") for violations of the Administrative Procedures Act ("APA"). Save Jobs alleges that DHS violated the APA when it issued a final rule that will allow certain H-4 visa holders to apply for employment authorization. See Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses, 80 Fed. Reg. 10,284 (Feb. 25, 2015) (to be codified at 8 C.F.R. pts. 214.2, 274a) (the "Rule"). Before the court is Save Jobs' motion for a preliminary injunction. Because Save Jobs has failed to show it will suffer irreparable harm absent preliminary relief, the motion is denied. - Court Document"

05/22/2015: Harvard discriminates against Asians as it once did to Jews

If you're applying to Harvard and your last name is Wong or Liu, changing it to Lopez or Luciano might just make the difference you need to get in. Harvard routinely rejects "Asian" applicants in favor of whites and sought-after minorities with lower test scores and grades. Enrollment data reveal that Harvard limits Asian-Americans to a flat 15-18 percent of the student body, year after year, though they increasingly dominate the top of the applicant pool. - NY Post

05/22/2015: USCIS Temporarily Suspends Premium Processing for Extension of Stay H-1B Petitions

Starting May 26, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B Extension of Stay petitions until July 27, 2015. During this time frame, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting an extension of the stay for an H-1B nonimmigrant. USCIS will continue to premium process H-1B Extension of Stay petitions filed with Form I-907 premium requests prior to May 26, 2015. - USCIS

05/22/2015: Revised Form I-765 Now Available

USCIS recently published the revised Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with a 02/13/15, edition date. You can download the revised form and details about who may file and where to file Form I-765 from the USCIS forms page...While USCIS will continue to accept versions of the form with edition date 05/27/08 or later, H-4 applicants should use the 02/13/15 version of the form to prevent delays or the need for USCIS to issue you a request for evidence.

05/20/2015: Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses

Beginning May 26, 2015, certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants can file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, as long as the H-1B nonimmigrant has already started the process of seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. Specifically, H-4 dependent spouses may apply for employment authorization if the H-1B nonimmigrant:

  • Is the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or
  • Has been granted H-1B status under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 as amended by the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act (AC21). AC21 permits H-1B nonimmigrants seeking lawful permanent residence to work and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit on their H-1B status.

05/18/2015: New Visa Bulletin Tracker

We have re-designed the visa bulletin tracker to show cutoff dates in an easy-to-use, interactive graph. Visa bulletin data include all EB2 and EB3 categories from the past 10 years. You can add or remove categories from the graph to compare data, such as China-EB2 vs China-EB3. Check it out!

05/11/2015: June 2015 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for June 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) 2013-6-1 365
India Second (EB2) 2008-10-1 169
ROW Third (EB3) 2015-2-15 45
China Third (EB3) 2011-9-1 123
India Third (EB3) 2004-1-22 7
Mexico Third (EB3) 2015-2-15 45
Philippines Third (EB3) 2005-1-1 -911

05/08/2015: Accused of Spying for China, Until She Wasn't

The [FBI] agents accused Mrs. Chen, a hydrologist born in China and now a naturalized American citizen, of using a stolen password to download information about the nation's dams and of lying about meeting with a high-ranking Chinese official.

Mrs. Chen, 59, an adoptive Midwesterner who had received awards for her government service, was now suspected of being a Chinese spy. She was arrested and led in handcuffs past her co-workers to a federal courthouse 40 miles away in Dayton, where she was told she faced 25 years in prison and $1 million in fines.

Then, five months later, the ordeal abruptly ended. In March, just a week before she was scheduled to go on trial, prosecutors dropped all charges against Mrs. Chen without explanation. - NY Times

05/04/2015: USCIS Completes Data Entry of FY-2016 H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions

USCIS announced May 4, 2015, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2016 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in our computer-generated random process. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected. Due to the high volume of filings, the time frame for returning these petitions is uncertain. USCIS asks petitioners to not inquire about the status of submitted cap-subject petitions until they receive a receipt notice or an unselected petition is returned. USCIS will issue an announcement once all the petitions have been returned.

05/01/2015: Baltimore Unrest Reveals Tensions Between African-Americans And Asians

The broader question is what's really happening in the more troubled neighborhoods of a majority-black city. Like any city, Baltimore has a legacy of segregation and a legacy of police violence. It also faces many class and economic differences. And those differences came to the surface during Monday's violence. In the Sandtown neighborhood, many Asian-owned businesses were targeted for destruction. NPR's Nurith Aizenman visited a street close to the scene of Freddie Gray's arrest where Asian shop owners are assessing the damage. - NPR

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