On September 11, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision allowing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS or “Department”) to resume implementing its new Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility rule nationwide. The Department had previously been enjoined from enforcing, applying, implementing, or treating as effective the rule during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What does this new ruling mean for adjustment of status applications*?
Beginning October 13,
Beginning today, September 23, 2020, asylum seekers are not allowed to bring their own interpreters if they speak one of 47 languages specified in the regulation. Those languages include: Akan, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Bengali, Burmese, Cantonese, Creole/Haitian Creole, Farsi-Afghani/Dari, Farsi-Iranian, Foo Chow/Fuzhou, French, Georgian, Gujarati, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Indonesia/Bahasa, Konjobal, Korean, Kurdish, Lingala, Mam, Mandarin, Nepali, Pashto/Pushtu, Portuguese, Punjabi, Quiche/K’iche, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhalese, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Tigrinya, Turkish, Twi, Ukrainian, Urdu,
September 17th was this year’s annual “Citizenship Day,” when we celebrate the day on which our Founding Fathers signed the Constitution on September 17, 1787, and a day to recognize and celebrate those seeking to become U.S. citizens. September 17-23 is also broadly recognized as “Citizenship Week,” when agencies, community organizers, attorneys, and future citizens come together to assist people on their pathway to citizenship, and, as USCIS states, to encourage Americans to reflect on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and what it means to be a U.S.
Today, over 150 United States Citizens and their foreign national intended spouses sued the Department of State for continued refusal to process K-1 fiancée visas. The K-1 visa allows foreign nationals to enter the U.S. and marry their petitioning fiancé(e). Although the I-129F petitions have been approved by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”), the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) has refused to adjudicate or issue K visas, or reissue K visas that expired due to beneficiaries’ inability to travel during the pandemic.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that going forward, people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) who travel abroad and re-enter with advance parole will not be deemed to have been inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States for purposes of adjustment of status applications. For people who originally entered the United States without inspection, this means that subsequent travel and re-entry with DHS permission will not be regarded as a lawful entry.
What is the current status of the new public charge rules?
@ S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (stateside): Under a July 29, 2020 court ruling in New York, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cannot “enforce, apply, implement, or treat as effective” its new public charge rule “for any period during which there is a declared national health emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.”
However, under an August 12, 2020, Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling,
After weeks of threatening to furlough 70% of its staff at the end of August unless it received a $1.2 billion Congressional bailout, USCIS announced yesterday that the agency is funded through fiscal year 2020. Despite this, applicants should continue to expect long wait times and delays in the adjudication of all applications filed with USCIS. On top of its already long wait times, the agency’s field office closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused an increase in the backlog of cases.
On August 21, 2020, USCIS issued guidance to its officers to reject all initial DACA applications until USCIS decides to begin accepting applications in the future, accept DACA renewal requests but reject those that are filed more than 150 days prior to expiration of their current DACA status, and grant deferred action for only one year, as opposed to two years.
Clearly each of these policies does not comply with the mandate from the U.S. Supreme Court in Department of Homeland Security (DHS),
In March of this year, employers signed up prospective employees for the H-1B “lottery,” wherein nearly 275,000 individuals were registered to compete for a coveted 85,000 visas. The initial selection was completed at the end of March, and the opportunity to apply for an H-1B was awarded to 85,000 individuals. Subsequently, employers began filing their petitions for these workers in order to bring them over to work in their specialty occupations or to change their status to that of an H-1B worker.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking which will dramatically alter the role of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) in removal proceedings. Provisions of the proposed rule include:
Codification of the Trump Administration’s elimination of administrative closure in removal proceedings from Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018) (a decision that the Fourth and Seventh Circuits have already ruled is unlawful);
New restrictive limits to the agency’s authority to reopen cases sua sponte;
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