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Immigration News - November 2019

Archived reports on immigration matters for November 2019, including horrific UK migrants death, USCIS forms updates, Supreme Court on DACA, massive H-1B fee hikes:

11/27/2019: Happy Thanksgiving!

At this time of Thanksgiving we pause to count our blessings. The freedom of this great country in which we live. The American Dream. The friendship and confidence you have shown in us. For all of these things we are deeply thankful. Our best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving! - ImmigrationRoad

11/27/2019: U.K. Truck Driver Admits Illegal Immigration Plot After 39 Migrant Deaths

Just more than a month since dozens of dead migrants were discovered in a truck in southeast England, the driver has admitted to conspiring to assist unlawful immigration and acquire criminal property. Maurice Robinson pleaded guilty to the two charges at a court hearing Monday in London. - NPR

11/22/2019: USCIS Forms Update Notice

USCIS has recently updated the following immigartion formas. Please make sure you're using the correct version to avoid any potential delays or rejections.

  • Form I-817, Application for Family Unity Benefits; New Edition Dated 11/08/19.
  • Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition; New Edition Dated 11/08/19.
  • Form I-694, Notice of Appeal of Decision Under Sections 245A or 210 of the Immigration and Nationality Act; New Edition Dated 10/20/19.
  • Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions; New Edition Dated 09/27/19.

11/19/2019: Implementing Bilateral and Multilateral Asylum Cooperative Agreements Under INA

The Departments are adopting an interim final rule to modify existing regulations to provide for the implementation of agreements that the United States enters into pursuant to section 208(a)(2)(A) of the INA. Such agreements--referred to by the Departments as Asylum Cooperative Agreements and alternatively described as safe third country agreements in existing regulations--are formed between the United States and foreign countries where aliens removed to those countries would have access to a full and fair procedure for determining a claim to asylum or equivalent temporary protection. - Federal Register

11/18/2019: December 2019 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for December 2019. The table below shows "Final Action (Approval)" cut-off dates and movement from the previous month, for all major employment-based categories. To see filing cut-off dates or family-sponsored categories please go to the Visa Bulletin page linked above. For our unique Visa Bulletin Graphical Tracker, cutoff date predictions and more information please refer to the Visa Bulletin Toolbox.

Chargeability Preference Cut-off Date (Y-M-D) Movement from last month (Days)
ROW EB1 2018-07-15 44
China EB1 2017-05-15 103
China EB2 2015-06-22 99
China EB3 2015-11-01 0
India EB1 2015-01-01 0
India EB2 2009-05-15 2
India EB3 2009-01-01 0

DOS also warned that EB demand for adjustment of status (I-485) has been increasing at USCIS lately. As a result, EB2, EB3, and EB3-Other categories may see the establishment of final action dates, as early as January 2020.

11/17/2019: The Trump administration’s immigration jails are packed, but deportations are lower than in Obama era

Though President Trump has made cracking down on immigration a centerpiece of his first term, his administration lags far behind President Barack Obama’s pace of deportations. Obama — who immigrant advocates at one point called the “deporter in chief” — removed 409,849 people in 2012 alone. Trump, who has vowed to deport “millions” of immigrants, has yet to surpass 260,000 deportations in a single year.

And while Obama deported 1.18 million people during his first three years in office, Trump has deported fewer than 800,000. It is unclear why deportations have been happening relatively slowly. - WaPo

11/16/2019: USCIS Releases Report on Arrest Histories of Illegal Aliens who Request DACA

Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated data (PDF, 756 KB) on arrests and apprehensions of illegal aliens who requested Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

  • Nearly 110,000 DACA requestors out of nearly 889,000 (12%) had arrest records. Offenses in these arrest records include assault, battery, rape, murder and driving under the influence.
  • Of approved DACA requestors with an arrest, 85% (67,861) of them were arrested or apprehended before their most recent DACA approval.
  • Of approved DACA requestors with an arrest, more than 31% (24,898) of them had more than one arrest.
  • Of all DACA requestors, 218 had more than 10 arrests. Of those, 54 had a DACA case status of “approved” as of October 2019.

11/14/2019: County Clerks Revolt Over N.Y. Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

The law makes New York one of 14 states that allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, which proponents argue will help them avoid deportation for relatively minor offenses, such as traffic violations.

But the change has been met with resistance from county clerks in conservative areas of upstate New York, who are now setting the stage for a political clash when the law takes effect next month. Some say they will refuse to issue the licenses, while others are also threatening to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement if applicants show up without documentation. - NY Times

11/12/2019: Supreme Court leans toward Trump plan to end DACA program

The Supreme Court on Tuesday appeared likely to side with the Trump administration in its effort to end a program that lets nearly 700,000 young, undocumented immigrants live and work in the United States without fear of deportation. During an extended, 80-minute oral argument inside a packed courtroom that included some of the threatened immigrants, several conservative justices said the Department of Homeland Security laid out sufficient reasons for its decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. - USA Today

11/11/2019: Supreme Court to Hear DACA Arguments Tuesday

The justices will hear extended arguments concerning whether the administration’s attempted termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was lawful. The program, put in place seven years ago, protects about 700,000 immigrants and allows them to receive work permits.

Trump sought to end the program in 2017 but was blocked from doing so by lower courts in California, New York and Washington, D.C. Trump has argued that President Barack Obama lacked the legal authority to institute the program, but has shied away from criticizing DACA as bad policy. - CNBC

11/08/2019: USCIS Proposes to Increase Fees by 21%

"Fees collected and deposited into the IEFA fund nearly 96% of USCIS’ budget. Unlike most government agencies, USCIS is fee-funded. Federal law requires USCIS to conduct biennial fee reviews and recommend necessary fee adjustments to ensure recovery of the full cost of administering the nation’s immigration laws, adjudicating applications and petitions, and providing the necessary infrastructure to support those activities.

The rule proposes adjusting USCIS IEFA fee schedules by a weighted average increase of 21% to ensure full cost recovery. Current fees would leave the agency underfunded by approximately $1.3 billion per year." - USCIS

11/07/2019: USCIS Implements $10 Fee for H-1B Visa Registration

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a final rule that will require a $10 non-refundable fee for each H-1B registration submitted by petitioning employers, once it implements the electronic registration system. The registration fee is part of an agency-wide effort to modernize and more efficiently process applications to live or work in the United States.

11/06/2019: Policy Alert: EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization Final Rule

Under the employment-based fifth preference (EB-5) classification, petitioners may seek an immigrant visa if they make the necessary investment in a new commercial enterprise in the United States and meet certain job creation requirements.1 On July 24, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security published the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization rule to reflect statutory changes and modernize the EB-5 program. This rule provides, among other things, priority date retention for certain EB-5 immigrants; increases the investment amounts to account for inflation; reforms targeted employment area (TEA) designations; and clarifies USCIS procedures for the removal of conditions on permanent residence. - USCIS

11/05/2019: Upcoming December 2019 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State is expected to release December's Visa Bulletin soon. You are welcome to sign up for our free Visa Bulletin Alert, and we'll send you an email as soon as it's published.

11/04/2019: U.S. Supreme Court mulls making it easier to deport immigrants for crimes

The nine justices during an hour of arguments appeared divided over the fate of Andre Martello Barton, a legal permanent U.S. resident from Jamaica who challenged his planned deportation for drug and gun convictions in Georgia dating back to 1996.

Barton appealed a lower court ruling that the 41-year-old father of four was ineligible to have his deportation canceled under a law that lets some longtime legal residents avoid removal for certain crimes. The court’s liberal justices seemed sympathetic toward Barton. Some conservative justices appeared inclined to agree with the government’s bid to deport him. - Reuters

11/02/2019: Federal judge blocks Trump's health insurance rule for immigrants seeking visas

A federal judge in Oregon on Saturday blocked the Trump administration's rule requiring immigrants applying for U.S. visas to prove they have health insurance or can afford medical costs from going into effect Sunday.

U.S. District Judge Michael Simon granted the temporary restraining order while he considers a federal lawsuit brought Wednesday by seven U.S. citizens and a nonprofit organization, who contend the rule change would block nearly two-thirds of all prospective legal immigrants. It was not immediately clear when Simon would rule on the merits of the case. - Fox News

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