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New California State Immigration Laws for 2018

bigstock-Professional-lawyer-signing-do-97619948-825x510.jpgThe state of California has always been a national hub for immigrants. It has a large coastline and also shares a border with Mexico, so the state has dealt with many immigration issues and specific laws over the years. For the new year of 2018, California has enacted three new immigration laws that have already taken immediate effect.

Are Republicans Ready to Support Dreamers?

bigstock-US-Capitol-Washington-DC-19478687-1-825x510.jpgIt's no secret that right now, being an immigrant in our country is very difficult. Since taking office, the Trump administration has already started revamping legal immigration policy, which has caused paperwork to increase dramatically. However, not everyone in Washington is working against immigrants, and some support may be found in unexpected places.

Why Are Big Companies Supporting Dreamers?

The Trump administration has made another move that will change the way immigration works moving forward. In September, it was announced that the administration would end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA. However, officials haven't completely shut the door on Dreamers, as Congress was given a six-month deadline to come up with a solution to save some 690,000 DACA recipients from deportation. Now, as law makers try to put together a solution, the business sector is chipping in by supporting Dreamers during this complex process.

Green Card Hurdles Introduced By Trump Administration

Since his candidacy, Donald Trump has taken a hardline approach to immigration. His plan to apply "extreme vetting" to visitors and immigrants to the United States is already taking shape with a new interview mandate that will be required to obtain a green card.

H-1B Quota over-now what?

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 3 that all data entry for FY 2018 H-1B cap-subject petitions had been completed. Only 65,000 applicants for a general H-1B nonimmigrant visa would be accepted for this fiscal year through the computer-generated random selection process, or lottery. For those not selected for an H-1B visa, the USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees.

H-1B Quota for 2018

The H-1B is a type of non-immigrant visa foreign workers can receive through the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act. The H-1B visa allows U.S. employers to provide temporary workers with jobs in specialty occupations. Under this visa program, if the worker is fired or quits they must either find a new job, apply to change their immigration status or leave the United States.

Travel Warning for Nationals of Certain Countries Designated by Executive Order

  • The American Immigration Council has posted a practice advisory, Challenging President Trump's Ban on Entry, which provides information about how last Friday's Executive Order is being implemented, offers resources and practice tips for attorneys whose clients are affected by it, and outlines legal challenges that have been filed to date.
  • DHS issued guidance on 1/29/17 stating that those individuals "traveling on passports from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen will be temporarily suspended from entry to the United States." (Emphasis added.) This weekend, DHS told AILA that anyone who holds a passport from a designated country is considered as being "from" the designated country. See 1/28/17 update below.
    • Dual Citizens: DHS also told AILA that the ban included dual citizens who hold passports from a designated country as well as a non-designated country, BUT that CBP would be processing people based on how they present themselves at primary inspection. (Emphasis added.) AILA members report clients being processed based on which passport they present.
    • However, it is important to note that reports from the UK and Canada, as well as various media reports, appear to conflict with each other in certain respects. We are seeking more concrete guidance for dual nationals who hold two passports, and will update members as soon as possible.
  • Legal Permanent Residents: DHS also issued guidance on 1/29/17 deeming that "the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest" and so, "absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare, lawful permanent resident status will be a dispositive factor in [DHS's] case-by-case determinations." As a result, LPRs should generally be allowed to board airplanes and enter the U.S. If you have a client who been asked to relinquish their green cards, please see AILA's practice alert, What to Do If Clients are Asked to Relinquish Their Green Cards and Sign Form I-407, Abandonment of LPR Status.
  • USCIS Suspension of Adjudication: Media articles have reported that USCIS has suspended the adjudication of certain affected immigration benefits. Given the language of the Executive Order and the reports, it appears likely there has been or will be some directive to USCIS on how to handle benefits applications. AILA has contacted USCIS, but has been unable to confirm these reports definitively. AILA has also asked what benefits may be affected and how USCIS will treat dual nationals. We will update members as soon as possible.
  • DOS Visa Issuance: DOS posted a notice to their website over the weekend stating that per the Executive Order, visa issuance to nationals of the countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has been suspended until further notification.
  • Litigation: Please note that litigation has been filed in several jurisdictions that may affect individual clients, including lawsuits in New York (JKF airport), Boston (Logan airport), Los Angeles, Washington State (SeaTac airport), and Virginia (Dulles airport). For more information on those lawsuits, please see the Council's practice advisory.

Immigration Benefit Application And Petition Fees Set To Rise On December 23

On Monday, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that immigration benefit application and petition fees will be raised effective December 23, 2016. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on Monday and affects most immigration petitions and applications.

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