Executive Order

EB-5 Regional Center Program Extension

USCIS administers the EB-5 program, created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Under a program initially enacted as a pilot in 1992, and regularly reauthorized since then, investors may also qualify for EB-5 classification by investing through regional centers designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth. On February 9, 2018, the President signed Public Law 115-123; extending the Regional Center Program through March 23, 2018.

Without New Laws or Walls, Trump Presses the Brake on Legal Immigration

A scientist recruited by the renowned Cleveland Clinic is stuck in India because his visa is delayed. An entrepreneur courted by Silicon Valley companies had his application denied. Many green card applicants have new interviews to pass.

The Trump administration has pursued its immigration agenda loudly and noticeably, ramping up arrests of undocumented immigrants, barring most travel from several majority-Muslim countries and pressing the case for a border wall.

But it has also quietly, and with much less resistance, slowed many forms of legal immigration without the need for Congress to rescind a single visa program enshrined in the law.

USCIS to Expand In-Person Interview Requirements for Certain Permanent Residency Applicants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin expanding in-person interviews for certain immigration benefit applicants whose benefit, if granted, would allow them to permanently reside in the United States. This change complies with Executive Order 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” and is part of the agency’s comprehensive strategy to further improve the detection and prevention of fraud and further enhance the integrity of the immigration system.
 
Effective Oct. 1, USCIS will begin to phase-in interviews for the following:
 
• Adjustment of status applications based on employment (Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).
 
• Refugee/asylee relative petitions (Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition) for beneficiaries who are in the United States and are petitioning to join a principal asylee/refugee applicant.
 
Previously, applicants in these categories did not require an in-person interview with USCIS officers in order for their application for permanent residency to be adjudicated. Beyond these categories, USCIS is planning an incremental expansion of interviews to other benefit types. 
 
“This change reflects the Administration’s commitment to upholding and strengthening the integrity of our nation’s immigration system,” said Acting USCIS Director James W. McCament. “USCIS and our federal partners are working collaboratively to develop more robust screening and vetting procedures for individuals seeking immigration benefits to reside in the United States.”
 

Ninth Circuit Stays Travel Ban Injunction, with Exception for Individuals with “Bona Fide Relationship”

The Ninth Circuit issued an order staying the district court's 10/20/17 preliminary injunction against entry restrictions on nationals of six Muslim-majority countries, except as to foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. People with a qualifying family relationship include grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. A qualifying relationship with an entity must be formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading Presidential Proclamation 9645. The district court did not enjoin the Presidential Proclamation's entry restrictions against nationals of North Korea and certain nationals of Venezuela, and the travel ban remains in effect for those countries as originally stated in Presidential Proclamation 9645

Court of Appeals Unanimously Upholds TRO

February 9, 2017 - U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has unanimously upheld the Temporary Restraining Order maintain the nationwide halt on Travel/Refugee Ban.

Nationwide Temporary Restraining Order has halted the Executive Order

National temporary restraining order granted in Washington State and Minnesota's challenge to President Trump's executive order banning Muslims and refugees.

DOS Emergency Alert: Executive Order on Visas

As a result of the Executive Order on immigration, Department of State has temporarily stopped scheduling immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as well as cancelled currently scheduled visa appointments, for those individuals who are nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

This Executive Order does not restrict the travel of dual nationals from any country with a valid U.S. visa in a passport of an unrestricted country.  Embassies and Consulates around the world will continue to process visa applications and issue nonimmigrant and immigrant visas to otherwise eligible visa applicants who apply with a passport from an unrestricted country, even if they hold dual nationality from one of the seven restricted countries.

Automatic Extensions of EADs Provided by the “Retention of EB-1, EB- 2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers”

Some "good news" in the torrent of disastrous Executive Orders on Immigration.

On Jan. 17, 2017, a final rule, “Retention of EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers,” amending DHS regulations went into effect. The new amendments provide for automatic extensions of the validity periods of certain Employment Authorization Documents (Form I-766) for up to 180 days for individuals who:

• Timely filed to renew an Employment Authorization Document (EAD);
• Are applying to renew an EAD in the same category as the previous EAD (A12 and C19 are considered the same category for this extension); and
• Are in a category that is eligible for the extension. 

Department Of Homeland Security Response To Recent Litigation

For the next 90 days, nearly all travelers, except U.S. citizens, traveling on passports from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen will be temporarily suspended from entry to the United States. The 90 day period will allow for proper review and establishment of standards to prevent terrorist or criminal infiltration by foreign nationals.

Importantly, however, Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States traveling on a valid I-551 will be allowed to board U.S. bound aircraft and will be assessed for exceptions at arrival ports of entry, as appropriate.  The entry of these individuals, subject to national security checks, is in the national interest. Therefore, we expect swift entry for these individuals.

Executive Order on Immigration

What an extraordinary 72 hours it has been in immigration law and enforcement.  

ACLU led attorneys filed actions across the country to halt the Executive Order issued on January 27, 2017. Resulting in a federal judge in the Eastern District of New York issuing the first order, granting a nationwide stay of removal preventing deportation for individuals with valid visas and approved refugee applications affected by the Executive Order. The next came a decision out of a federal court in Massachusetts - it barred federal officials from detaining or removing individuals subject to the Executive Order.  In a case filed in Virginia, the court ordered federal officials to provide lawyers access to "all legal permanent residents being detained at Dulles International Airport" and barred officials from deporting covered individuals for the next seven days. In the case out of Washington State, the federal judge barred the federal government from deporting two unnamed individuals from the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security put out a statement early today stating only that the agency "will comply with judicial orders."

A copy of the Executive Order is provided in the link below.