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Immigration Blog

Certain NTAs Insufficient to Cut Off Physical Presence for Voluntary Departure

November 29, 2021|Contributed by: Jennifer Howard

On November 4, 2021, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued a decision in Matter of M-F-O-, 28 I&N Dec. 408 (BIA 2021), finding a Notice to Appear (NTA) that does not specify the time or place of a respondent’s initial removal hearing to be insufficient to end the accrual of physical presence for purposes of voluntary departure at the conclusion of removal proceedings under section 240B(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Changes to EAD Processes for Certain Nonimmigrant Spouses

November 18, 2021|Contributed by: Ryland Warner

On November 10, 2021, the American Immigration Lawyers Association announced that their case, Shergill et al. v. Mayorkas, had resulted in a settlement with USCIS. The case involved spouses of nonimmigrant visa holders suing USCIS over delays in employment authorization document (“EAD”) issuance. Joseph and Hall, in collaboration with Immpact Litigation, has recently initiated a similar lawsuit over EAD delays.
Following this announcement, USCIS released a policy alert on November 12,

EAD Class Action Filed

November 18, 2021|Contributed by: Aaron C. Hall, Esq.

This month, Joseph & Hall, in collaboration with the Immpact Litigation collaboration and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, filed a class action lawsuit challenging United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) delays in processing Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).
Plaintiffs in the case, titled Kang v. DHS, are individuals in E-2 nonimmigrant status and individuals seeking adjustment of status who are suffering from agency delays in processing EAD applications. 

Jury Finds Detained Immigrants Are Owed Back Pay

November 16, 2021|Contributed by: Luke Niermann

Jury finds detained immigrants paid $1 a day for labor are owed  $17.3 million in back pay.
A federal jury recently found that the GEO Group, a for-profit, multi-billion-dollar company that operates detention facilities for immigrants throughout the U.S., owes current and former immigrant detainees $17.3 million in back pay for work that detainees had been paid just $1 a day to complete.
The Attorney General in Washington brought the lawsuit in 2017, arguing that GEO’s labor practices violated Washington’s minimum wage law and that the company unjustly enriched itself by failing to pay minimum wage.

DHS Issues New Guidance Restricting Enforcement Actions in Protected Areas

October 28, 2021|Contributed by: Luke Niermann

On October 27, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security issued new guidance designed to limit the enforcement actions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) in or near protected areas such as schools, medical facilities, places of worship, and social service establishments.
In rolling out the new policy, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas explained:

In our pursuit of justice, including in the execution of our enforcement responsibilities, we impact people’s lives and advance our country’s well-being in the most fundamental ways.

Travel Bans Out, Vaccinations In

October 27, 2021|Contributed by: Jennifer Howard

Effective Monday, November 8, 2021, the United States will begin requiring all noncitizen nonimmigrants who are traveling to the United States by air to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the United States, except in limited circumstances. Under this new policy, announced by the White House on Monday, October 25, 2021, the United States will no longer be enforcing the country-by-country travel restrictions that have been in place since January 2020, and will instead move towards an air travel policy relying primarily on vaccination.

DOL and DOJ Settle with Facebook Regarding Alleged Discrimination and Use of PERM

October 25, 2021|Contributed by: Zachary New

The Department of Labor and Department of Justice have separately announced settlement agreements with Facebook regarding alleged discrimination against U.S. workers in its use of the “PERM” program—the regulatorily mandated process for an employer to sponsor a worker for permanent residency.  In the settlement, Facebook admits no wrongdoing, and in many ways, the settlement has business immigration lawyers scratching their heads.
The PERM process is one that is, by design, strange.  It is a test of the U.S.

Immigration Judge Quotas Suspended

October 24, 2021|Contributed by: Ryland Warner

In 2018, the Trump administration implemented a new quota system for immigration judges at the Executive Office of Immigration Review (“EOIR”). Under these new quotas, Denver Immigration Judges were required to more than double their case completion rate, deciding 3.5 cases per day. Without access to discovery in removal proceedings, immigrants are often dependent on filing requests for their relevant files from USCIS, CBP, ICE, and the Department of State. These agencies can take months to sometimes years to provide results.

Update on Travel Ban Litigation (Kinsley v. Blinken)

October 5, 2021|Contributed by: Joseph & Hall P.C.

The judge has finally made a decision on our case. You can read it here.
We won! The judge told the State Department that it is illegal to use regional travel bans as an excuse to refuse to process visas. Congratulations and huge thanks to all of you who stepped up to help us fight this injustice. We are so happy that many of you have already received your visas.
This ruling is good for all of you who still have visa applications pending,

Options for Vulnerable Afghans Seeking to Evacuate Afghanistan

September 20, 2021|Contributed by: Luke Niermann

With the ongoing instability and crisis in Afghanistan, many individuals at risk in Afghanistan are seeking to evacuate the country. Depending on the individual’s particular circumstances there may be several legal pathways to consider in trying to obtain entry to the U.S.

Humanitarian Parole: This is temporary discretionary authorization to enter the United States and can be granted when there is a compelling emergency and an urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit to allowing a person to temporary enter the U.S.


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