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Immigration News - November and December of 2013

12/31/2013: Immigration Reform Will be THE Issue of 2014

Every year another issue sucks all of the oxygen out of Washington, D.C. It will be billed as "the Issue of a Generation" and will be driven by politics rather than policy. If the proposed solution requires more government it will get favorable traction in the media.

In 1997, it was tobacco. Gun control is always just a tragedy away. Global Warming worked for a while. However, with 17 years of no warming behind us those folks have turned to Global Wierding: Storms, droughts, freezes, or whatever else that might occur that you can be blamed for. That issue, thankfully, is going away too. Obamacare was it for several years, but it seems not to be working out as intended so it is time to turn your attention to the new issue of our generation – Comprehensive Immigration Reform. And 2014 will be the year in which we must repair our immigration laws that are, as you know, irretrievably broken. - The Blaze

12/31/2013: New Immigration Laws Split America in Two

Congressional inaction has left millions of families increasingly living in two parallel universes. Republican-run states turn cops into border patrol agents and cut undocumented immigrants off from housing, school, employment, and private charities. But in states dominated by Democrats, the same immigrants are gaining access to drivers' licenses, better wages and college educations for their children. - MSNBC

12/22/2013: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Before heading out on vacation, I'd like to thank all of you for visiting our Website, providing feedback or asking questions. exists because of you. As the year coming to an end, I hope your dream will come true in 2014. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Everyone!

12/20/2013: Senate Confirms Alejandro Mayorkas as Deputy Director of Homeland Security

The former director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now the No. 2 official in that department's parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security. The Senate confirmed Alejandro Mayorkas nomination on Friday. The position has been without a Senate-confirmed leader since April.

Stepping into Mayorkas' old role will be Leon Rodriguez, who was picked by President Barack Obama to be director of USCIS. Rodriguez is leaving the post as the director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services. - Fox

12/19/2013: Judge Claims DHS Delivering Smuggled Children to Illegal Immigrant Parents

A federal judge in Texas is accusing the Department of Homeland Security of hand-delivering children smuggled into the United States to their illegal immigrant parents.

U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen revealed the practice in a blistering court order filed late last week. He said the "dangerous" practice is effectively aiding human traffickers and particularly the drug cartels, which run many of these operations. - Fox

12/16/2013: Budget Deal May Clear Decks for Immigration in January

If the Senate manages to pass a long-term budget deal Tuesday, the next item on the agenda for Congress could be even harder: immigration. Republican leaders, led by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, have deemed immigration legislation a priority in the new year. The Senate is expected to pass Tuesday a bipartisan budget deal for the next two years that would clear the legislative calendar and eliminate the threat of a government shutdown in January. And even Bob Dane, whose Federation for American Immigration Reform strongly opposes a bill, concedes that at this point, "the ground is very fertile" for an immigration bill. - USA Today

12/12/2013: January 2014 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for January 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) 30
India Second (EB2) 0
ROW Third (EB3) 183
China Third (EB3) 183
India Third (EB3) 0
Mexico Third (EB3) 183
Philippines Third (EB3) 38

12/09/2013: Obama's Illegal-Immigration Order Stokes Amnesty Worries

Facing intense pressure from immigrant advocates who want the president to do more to limit deportations, the Obama administration has quietly issued a directive to help undocumented immigrants who are closely related to military personnel stay in the country.

The effort is called "parole in place," and it aims to end rampant confusion among immigration officials about how to treat the parents, spouses, and minor children of those in active duty as well as veterans and reservists. Under parole in place, these relatives no longer have to leave the country to apply for legal US status – a situation that often resulted in the applicants being barred from reentering the US for years. - Christian Science Monitor

12/05/2013: DOS Consular Processing Inventory Released

The Department of State (DOS) publishes an annual report of immigrant visa applicants waiting at the National Visa Center. This year's report was released today, with data as of 11/01/2013. Our green card tracker takes these data into calculation, and use them together with the USCIS pending I-485 inventory to provide you a better estimate of your place in line for a green card. The green card tracker has now been updated with the new Consular Processing (CP) inventory.

12/02/2013: Immigration Activists Warn Against Another Possible Crowd of Illegal Crossers

Over a week ago, a mob of over a hundred people crossed the Mexico border into the US illegally at the Tijuana River channel only to be pushed back by border patrol agents and now a second attempt may be in the works. Border Patrol Agents believe the illegal crossing crowd was part of a planned act of disobedience that took place the Sunday before thanksgiving. - Fox

11/27/2013: In California, a Vision of Republicans' Challenge on Immigration

For most Republicans in the U.S. Congress, a large gathering of Hispanic voters to discuss immigration would be politically perilous - an invitation to complaints about the party's longtime resistance to measures aimed at helping undocumented immigrants. - Reuters

11/22/2013: USCIS Customer Service Tools Outage ALERT

USCIS will conduct system maintenance from 6:00 p.m. (Eastern) on Saturday, November 23 through 6:00 p.m. (Eastern) on Sunday, November 24. During this time, our online tools will be unavailable, including: Check My Case Status, e-Request, e-Filing, Change of Address Online, Check Processing Times and Civil Surgeon Locator.

11/22/2013: Guidance to USCIS Offices on Handling Certain Family-Based Automatic Conversion and Priority Date Retention Requests

This policy memorandum (PM) provides guidance for properly assigning priority dates in those instances where a petitioner requests that the priority date from a separate, previously file petition, be applied to a later filed family-based second-preference "B" petition (F2B) or seeks adjustment of status in the F2B category, based upon an originally-filed family-based second-preference "A" petition (F2A) pursuant to Public Law 107-208, the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). - USCIS

11/20/2013: USCIS I-130 Processing Times to Improve in Coming Month

In an email sent to stakeholders today, USCIS promised to speed up the adjudication of I-130 forms in the coming months. In fact, USCIS said the processing had already improved, with USCIS currently processing February 2013 petitions instead of October 2012, as published in most recent processing guidelines. By May of next year, USCIS expects to return to an average processing time of five months for these Forms.

11/19/2013: Obama Now Backs Piecemeal Approach on Immigration

President Barack Obama said on Tuesday a piecemeal approach to achieving a U.S. immigration overhaul in the U.S. Congress is acceptable to him if it is easier than gaining passage of one large legislative bill.

"If they want to chop that thing up in five pieces, as long as all five pieces get done, I don't care what it looks like," Obama said. - Reuters

11/17/2013: Can Obama Legalize 11 Million Immigrants on His Own?

It's now looking extremely unlikely that Congress will enact immigration reform this year. And that raises a question: Could President Obama use his executive powers to effectively legalize some of the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the United States?

So what could Obama actually do for illegal immigrants on his own? A bit, though probably not as much as Rubio suggested. In 2012, the administration was able to stop the deportation of hundreds of thousands of undocumented young adults under a deferred-action program. Obama could, in theory, expand that program somewhat, allowing even more current immigrants to work legally in the United States without fear of getting deported. - Washington Post

11/15/2013: Immigration Relief Measures Related to Typhoon Haiyan

In light of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines (named "Yolanda" by Philippine authorities), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would like to remind Filipino nationals that they may be eligible for certain immigration relief measures if requested. USCIS understands that a natural disaster can affect an individual's ability to establish or maintain lawful immigration status in the United States. Therefore, Filipino nationals impacted by Typhoon Haiyan may be eligible to benefit from the following immigration relief measures. - USCIS

11/11/2013: Immigration Vote Unlikely This Year, Lawmaker Says

A top Republican lawmaker told protesters he met with in his home district in California this week that the House of Representatives would not have time this year to vote on any immigration measure. Representative Kevin McCarthy, the majority whip, told demonstrators in his office in Bakersfield on Wednesday night that the 16 days remaining on the House calendar in 2013 were too short a window for the House to take up the complex issue. But he said he was committed to moving on immigration votes in the House next year. - NY Times

11/08/2013: Visa Bulletin Predictions for Early 2014

In the December 2013 Visa Bulletin, the Department of State published their predictions of cutoff date movement for the coming months. India EB2 and EB3 are expected to see no forward movement while the other employment-based categories may advance by a few weeks. See this page for details.

11/08/2013: December 2013 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for December 2013. 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) -1308
ROW Third (EB3) 365
China Third (EB3) 365
India Third (EB3) -21
Mexico Third (EB3) 365
Philippines Third (EB3) 24

"The India Employment Second and Third preference category cut-off dates were advanced very rapidly at the end of fiscal year 2013. Those movements were based strictly on the availability of thousands of "otherwise unused" numbers which could be made available without regard to the preference per-country annual limits. The movements have resulted in a dramatic increase in the level of applicant demand received in recent months. This has required the retrogression of those cut-off dates for December in an effort to hold number use within the numerical limits. - DOS"

11/07/2013: Immigration Reform: The Politics of the Possible

Coming out of the 2012 election, comprehensive immigration reform seemed inevitable. The political power of the growing Latino population combined with a newly elected, popular president making reform his top legislative priority seemed like a recipe for fast action.

Unfortunately, comprehensive reform has not made it to the president's desk for a number of political and policy-related reasons. Now, advocates for reform are wondering if the window for legislative action that opens between election cycles has closed. While the government shutdown and looming deadlines for another fiscal crisis are impeding passage this year, there is still an opportunity to make it happen in this Congress. - CSMonitor

11/04/2013: USCIS Pending I-485 Inventory Released

USCIS published the pending I-485 inventory with data as of 10/01/2013. Our Green Card Tracker has been updated with the new data. To learn more, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions or contact us.

11/04/2013: Rubio Switches Strategy on Immigration

Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio is backing off his push for comprehensive immigration reform, opting instead to pursue a piecemeal approach favored by House Republican leaders. Rubio was a key player on the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" that conceived, wrote and sold a Senate bill aimed at tightening border security, revamping the nation's visa program and providing a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants. - Florida Today

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