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Immigration News - November and December of 2014

12/23/2014: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Immigration Road! Whatever is beautiful. Whatever is meaningful. Whatever brings you happiness. May it be yours this holiday season and throughout the coming year!

12/16/2014: Federal judge: Obama immigration actions 'unconstitutional'

A federal judge has declared parts of President Obama's immigration executive actions unconstitutional, in the first court opinion to tackle Obama's controversial policy changes. "President Obama's unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional," the judge wrote. - FOX News

12/12/2014: USCIS to Hire 1,000 Employees to Handle "Executive Actions" Cases

"USCIS is taking steps to open a new operational center in Crystal City, a neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia, to accommodate about 1,000 full-time, permanent federal and contract employees in a variety of positions and grade levels. The initial workload will include cases filed as a result of the executive actions on immigration announced on Nov. 20, 2014." - USCIS

"The Department of Homeland Security is on a hiring spree for 1,000 full-time workers to carry out President Obama's executive actions on immigration -- even as Republicans in Congress battle each other over how to stall the "amnesty" before it starts." - Fox News

"Department of Homeland Security officials wasted little time in ramping up for President Obama's amnesty, posting 1,000 job openings the day after his announcement and announcing it already has space for hundreds of employees at a new location in Arlington, Virginia — an indication that it had laid its plans well before Mr. Obama's announcement." - Washington Times

12/11/2014: U Visa Cap Reached for FY-2015

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved the statutory maximum of 10,000 petitions for U-1 nonimmigrant status (U visas) for fiscal year 2015. USCIS will resume issuing U visas on Oct. 1, 2015, the first day of fiscal year 2016, when visas become available again.

Although USCIS has reached the statutory cap of 10,000 U visas, it will continue to review pending petitions for eligibility. For eligible petitioners who cannot be granted a U-1 visas solely because of the cap, USCIS will send a letter notifying them that they are on a waiting list to receive a U visa when visas become available again. The letter will also inform the petitioners of options available to them while they are on the waiting list. Petitioners and qualifying family members must continue to meet eligibility requirements at the time the U visa is issued. - USCIS

12/10/2014: Green Card Tracker Updated

The green card tracker has been updated with the latest USCIS Pending I-485 Inventory data as of October 3, 2014. The Pending Consular Processing Inventory has also been updated using new DOS data as of November 1, 2014. As a result, the I-485 to CP ratio was re-calculated for 2014/2015, and is now embedded in the green card tracker.

12/09/2014: January 2015 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for January 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 Movement (Days)
China Second (EB2) 31
India Second (EB2) 0
ROW Third (EB3) 212
China Third (EB3) 273
India Third (EB3) 14
Mexico Third (EB3) 212
Philippines Third (EB3) 212

12/03/2014: 17 States Suing on Immigration

Texas and 16 other states filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday challenging President Obama's executive actions on immigration, arguing that he violated his constitutional duty to enforce the laws and illegally placed new burdens on state budgets.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Brownsville, Tex., was the first major legal challenge to initiatives Mr. Obama announced Nov. 20 that will provide protection from deportation and work permits to up to five million immigrants in the country illegally. - NY Times

12/01/2014: Why President Obama just made comprehensive immigration reform tougher

Obama's decision to defer deportations for more than 5 million illegal immigrants has divided the American people in half -- and even improved the president's numbers on the immigration issue -- according to new polling from Quinnipiac University and CNN. What it also appears to have done, though, is exacerbated the real problem with getting comprehensive reform done: a very motivated opposition. - Washington Post

11/20/2014: USCIS Implementation Plan for Executive Actions on Immigration

On November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of executive actions to crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

Over the coming months, USCIS will produce detailed explanations, instructions, regulations and forms as necessary. The brief summaries provided below offer basic information about each initiative. - USCIS

11/20/2014: Highlights from Obama's immigration plan

President Obama lays out a sweeping plan to overhaul the nation's immigration system on Thursday night. The changes will drastically alter the lives of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country. From enhanced border security to new processes for foreign workers to enter the country, the plan touches on many aspects of the government's immigration laws. - USA Today

  • Legal status for 5 million undocumented immigrants
  • Border security
  • Interior immigration enforcement
  • High-tech visas

11/20/2014: Obama to Detail Immigration Plans in Address on Thursday

President Obama will speak to the nation in a prime-time address on Thursday, asserting his authority to protect up to five million undocumented immigrants from deportation, the White House said, and setting in motion an immediate confrontation with Republicans about the limits of a president's executive powers. - NY Times

11/13/2014: Obama Plan May Allow Millions of Immigrants to Stay and Work in U.S.

President Obama will ignore angry protests from Republicans and announce as soon as next week a broad overhaul of the nation's immigration enforcement system that will protect up to five million unauthorized immigrants from the threat of deportation and provide many of them with work permits, according to administration officials who have direct knowledge of the plan. - NYT

11/12/2014: US, China 10-yr Visa FAQ

Frequently asked questions and answers provided by DOS on extending visas for business travelers, tourists, and students. - FAQ

11/10/2014: US, China agree to expand validity of business, tourist visas to 10 years

To boost America's Asia-linked future, Obama announced that the validity of student and exchange visas for Chinese applicants will be extended to five years, while business and tourist visas will be extended to 10 years. Last year, 1.8 million Chinese visitors to the USA contributed $21 billion to the economy and supported more than 100,000 American jobs, he said. - US Today

11/07/2014: December 2014 Visa Bulletin Released

The Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for December 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) 24
India Second (EB2) 0
ROW Third (EB3) 153
China Third (EB3) 151
India Third (EB3) 9
Mexico Third (EB3) 153
Philippines Third (EB3) 153

11/04/2014: Republicans Take Control of Senate

Republicans notched a string of victories across the country, retaining every one of the GOP-held seats up for grabs and picking up more than the six seats needed to take control of the Senate.

Republicans enjoyed a banner night after mounting campaigns from coast to coast that, almost without exception, sought to cast their opponents as rubber stamps for the unpopular president. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who fended off a Democratic challenge in Kentucky, is now poised to ascend to majority leader next year. - Fox News

11/04/2014: Happy Voting!

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