DHS Announces Additional Visas for Foreign Workers to Assist American Businesses at Risk of Failing

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen announced on May 25, 2018, that an additional 15,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas will be available for the Fiscal Year 2018. In this determination, Secretary Nielsen determined there are not sufficient, qualified, U.S. workers available to perform temporary non-agriculture labor to satisfy the needs of American businesses in FY18. This allocation is in addition to the 66,000 visas already issued this year. Secretary Nielsen made this decision after consulting with Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, members of Congress, and business owners.

“The limitations on H-2B visas were originally meant to protect American workers, but when we enter a situation where the program unintentionally harms American businesses it needs to be reformed,” said Secretary Nielsen. “I call on Congress to pass much-needed reforms of the program and to expressly set the number of H-2B visas in the statute.  We are once again in a situation where Congress has passed the buck and turned a decision over to DHS that would be better situated with Congress, who knows the needs of the program.  As Secretary, I remain committed to protecting U.S. workers and strengthening the integrity of our lawful immigration system and look forward to working with Congress to do so.”

The H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker program was designed to serve U.S. businesses unable to find a sufficient number of qualified U.S. workers to perform nonagricultural work of a temporary nature. Congress set the annual H-2B visa cap at 66,000. A maximum of 33,000 H-2B visas are available during the first half of the fiscal year, and the remainder, including any unused H-2B visas from the first half of that fiscal year, is available starting April 1 through September 30.

On February 27, 2018, USCIS determined that it had received sufficient H-2B petitions to meet the full FY 2018 statutory cap of 66,000.

In the FY 2018 Omnibus, Congress delegated its authority to the Secretary to increase the number of temporary nonagricultural worker visas available to U.S. employers through September 30, just as it did in the FY 2017 Omnibus. In the intervening time since the enactment of the FY 2018 Omnibus, the Secretary consulted with the Secretary of Labor on the issue, in accordance with Congressional requirements, and developed this rule.

The Supreme Court Declining to Hear DACA Case Before Lower Court Reviews

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the Trump administration’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that requires the government to keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program open for renewals.

The protections were due to start phasing out in March under the Republican president’s action, announced in September.

Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, roughly 700,000 young adult, mostly Hispanics, are protected from deportation and given work permits for two-year periods, after which they must re-apply. Congress so far has failed to pass legislation to address the fate of the “Dreamers,” including a potential path to citizenship.

Under lower court orders that remain in effect, the Department of Homeland Security must continue to accept applications from the roughly 700,000 young people who are currently enrolled in the program, known as DACA, as well as individuals whose DACA grant has expired.

The lower court’s decision does not allow Dreamers to apply for DACA if they have never before applied for the initiative, including Dreamers who are aging into eligibility, couldn’t afford the filing fees, or are newly eligible for the initiative. These Dreamers remain at risk of deportation, as do the DACA recipients whose protections have expired while they wait for USCIS to process their renewal applications.

While Monday’s denial gives Dreamers a breath of relief while the case works its way through lower courts, Congress must still act immediately to pass the Dream Act.

Congress needs to stop kicking the can down the road and move forward on the Dream Act now. Dreamers across the country deserve the certainty that only permanent legislative protections can bring.DACA allows children of undocumented immigrants, known as Dreamers, to remain here if they were under 16 when their parents brought them to the U.S. and if they arrived by 2007.

Monday’s action by the Supreme Court leaves the DACA challenge pending, expected to be taken up by the 2nd and 9th Circuit courts.

 

 

 

IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY IN NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

ORDER OF SUPERVISION

If you have been placed on an order of supervision, then an attorney from our firm can provide you with substantial information regarding your situation. An order of supervision is issued when an individual has been released from physical custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The order marks a waiting period that precedes the obtainment of a final order of removal. This order is usually issued if it is unlikely that the alien can be removed in the near future.

WHAT MUST BE DONE DURING AN ORDER OF SUPERVISION?

If you are under an order of supervision, then there are specific actions that must be taken. This order requires you to periodically report to an immigration officer. It also may require you to obtain permission if you plan to travel out of state. If an order of removal is given, then you may have to obtain necessary travel documents. You will also have to keep the immigration officer informed of any personal information changes made, such as a change of address. There are also rare cases that require a GPS bracelet to be worn at all times. Being subject to an order of supervision is a time of limited freedom for those who are not yet required to be removed from the country.

EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS IN NEW YORK CITY

If you have been released from the supervision of ICE, then it is important to obtain experienced legal representation for your order of supervision meetings. Our attorneys from will also help you challenge any conditions of your release if you believe such conditions disregard your rights. Our firm has more than 30 years of combined experience that can be used to your case’s advantage. If you fail to report to the immigration officer, then you could face severe penalties and your order of supervision can be revoked. For questions or assistance with these situation, contact our office at (212) 258-0713 today!

RESCISSION OF DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA)

Press Release                                                            Date: September 5, 2017

1. WHY IS DHS PHASING OUT THE DACA PROGRAM? 
– Taking into consideration the federal court rulings in ongoing litigation, and the September 4, 2017 letter from the Attorney General, it is clear that program should be terminated. As such, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security rescinded the June 15, 2012 memorandum establishing the DACA program.
2. WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO CURRENT DACA HOLDERS?
– Current DACA recipients will be permitted to retain both the period of deferred action and their employment authorization documents (EADs) until they expire, unless terminated or revoked. DACA benefits are generally valid for two years from the date of issuance.
3. WHAT HAPPENS TO INDIVIDUALS WHO CURRENTLY HAVE AN  INITIAL DACA REQUEST PENDING?
– Due to the anticipated costs and administrative burdens associated with rejecting all pending initial requests, USCIS will adjudicate – on an individual, case-by-case basis -all properly filed DACA initial requests and associated applications for EADs that have been accepted as of September 5, 2017.
4. WHAT HAPPENS TO INDIVIDUALS WHO CURRENTLY HAVE A  REQUEST FOR RENEWAL OF DACA PENDING?
– Due to the anticipated costs and administrative burdens associated with rejecting all pending renewal requests, USCIS adjudicate – on an individual, case-by-case basis- properly filed pending DACA renewal requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents from current beneficiaries that have been accepted as of September 5, 2017, and from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 that have been accepted as of October 5, 2017. USCIS will reject all new requests to renew DACA and associated applications for EAD filed after October 5, 2017.
5- IS THERE STILL TIME FOR CURRENT DACA RECIPIENTS TO  FILE A REQUEST TO RENEW THEIR DACA? 
– USCIS will only accept renewal requests and associated applications for EADs for the class of individuals described above in the the time period described above.
6. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN AN INDIVIDUAL’S DACA BENEFITS  EXPIRE OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT TWO YEARS?  WILL INDIVIDUALS WITH EXPIRED DACA BE CONSIDERED  ILLEGALLY PRESENT IN THE COUNTRY? 
– Current law does not grant any legal status for the class of individuals who are current recipients of DACA. Recipients of DACA are currently unlawfully present in the United States with their removal deferred. When their period of deferred action expires or terminated, their removal will no longer be deferred and they will no longer be eligible for lawful employment.
Only US Congress has the authority to amend the existing immigration laws.
 
7.  ONCE AN INDIVIDUAL’S DACA EXPIRES, WILL THEIR CASE  BE  REFERRED TO ICE FOR ENFORCEMENT PURPOSE?
– Information provided to USCIS in DACA requests will not be proactively provided to ICE and CBP for the purpose of immigration enforcement proceedings, unless the requester meets the criteria of the issuance of a Notice To Appear or a referral to ICE under the criteria set forth in USCIS’s Notice to Appear guidance. This policy, which may be modified, suspended, or rescinded at any time with out notice, is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by law by any party in any administrative, civil, or criminal matter.
To be continued 

USCIS ALERTS THOSE AFFECTED BY HURRICANE HARVEY

USCIS offers immigration services that may help people affected by unforeseen circumstances, including disasters such as Hurricane Harvey.

The following measures may be available on a case-by-case basis upon request:

  • Changing a nonimmigrant status or extending a nonimmigrant stay for an individual currently in the United States. Failure to apply for the extension or change before expiration of your authorized period of admission may be excused if the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control;
  • Re-parole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS;
  • Expedited processing of advance parole requests;
  • Expedited adjudication of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
  • Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate;
  • Consideration of fee waivers due to an inability to pay;
  • Assistance for those who received a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny but were unable to submit evidence or otherwise respond in a timely manner;
  • Assistance if you were unable to appear for a scheduled interview with USCIS;
  • Expedited replacement of lost or damaged immigration or travel documents issued by USCIS, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card); and
  • Rescheduling a biometrics appointment.

Note: When making a request, please explain how the impact of Hurricane Harvey created a need for the requested relief. Call the National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283.

Returning To The United States Following Removal

Hundreds of thousands of people are deported from the United States every year. Most are unable to return to the United States on an immigrant visa, due to a variety of factors. Some lack a way to obtain a new immigrant visa, and others face grounds of inadmissibility for which they are unable to obtain a waiver.

In some cases, however, a non-immigrant visa may provide a way for a person to return to the United States following removal. If the applicant is able to meet the general requirements for such a visa, a waiver of inadmissibility may be sought under  the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Non-immigrant waiver are available for a broad range of inadmissibility grounds. Under certain circumstances, even an applicant with a “lifetime bar” (for example, a former lawful permanent resident deported due to an aggravated felony conviction) may obtain such a waiver.

Rescission of Memorandum Providing for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”)

Release Date:
June 15, 2017

On June 15, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, after consulting with the Attorney General, signed a memorandum rescinding the November 20, 2014 memorandum that created the program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) because there is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy.

The rescinded memo purported to provide a path for illegal aliens with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident child to be considered for deferred action.  To be considered for deferred action, an alien was required to satisfy six criteria:

(1) as of November 20, 2014, be the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;

(2) have continuously resided here since before January 1, 2010;

(3) have been physically present here on November 20, 2014, and when applying for relief;

(4) have no lawful immigration status on that date;

(5) not fall within the Secretary’s enforcement priorities; and

(6) “present no other factors that, in the exercise of discretion, make [ ] the grant of deferred action inappropriate.”

Prior to implementation of DAPA, twenty-six states challenged the policies established in the DAPA memorandum in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The district court enjoined implementation of the DAPA memorandum, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision, and the Supreme Court allowed the district court’s injunction to remain in place.

The rescinded policy also provided expanded work authorization for recipients under the DACA program for three years versus two years.  This policy was also enjoined nationwide and has now been rescinded.

The June 15, 2012 memorandum that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will remain in effect.

For more information, see our frequently asked questions.

ALIENS PRESENT WITHOUT admission or parole

(i) In general.-An alien present in the United States without being admitted or paroled, or who arrives in the United States at any time or place other than as designated by the Attorney General, is inadmissible.

(ii) Exception for certain battered women and children.-Clause (i) shall not apply to an alien who demonstrates that-

(I) the alien is a VAWA self-petitioner;

(II)(a) the alien has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by a spouse or parent, or by a member of the spouse’s or parent’s family residing in the same household as the alien and the spouse or parent consented or acquiesced to such battery or cruelty, or (b) the alien’s child has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by a spouse or parent of the alien (without the active participation of the alien in the battery or cruelty) or by a member of the spouse’s or parent’s family residing in the same household as the alien when the spouse or parent consented to or acquiesced in such battery or cruelty and the alien did not actively participate in such battery or cruelty, and

(III) there was a substantial connection between the battery or cruelty described in sub-clause (I) or (II) and the alien’s unlawful entry into the United States.

Inadmissibility because of criminal history

Not all criminal history disqualifies an applicant from receiving a visa or green card. Generally speaking, immigration authorities may deny entry if you have been convicted of any of the following crimes of “moral turpitude”:

·         Drug crimes

·         Recent misdemeanors

·         Crimes involving fraud

·         Crimes involving theft

·         Violent crimes

·         Sex crimes

Even crimes that normally would render a person inadmissible may be subject to a waiver under certain circumstances. Moreover, convictions that appear to have been politically motivated may not result in disqualification.

Contact a firm that can help you deal with your criminal history

While immigration law is generally not kind to those with criminal records, our attorneys at Law Offices of Norka M. Schell, LLC know the exemptions and intricacies that can allow our clients in New York to avoid removal or start a new life in America. Contact our experienced immigration lawyers in New York City today at 1 (212) 564-1589 for creative solutions to your complex immigration problems.  For an office appointment in Boston, Massachusetts, call 1 (781) 223-6100.

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