D&S Immigration Law Blog

DACA Reinstated with DHS Modifications

On July 17, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland restored the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on remand from the Supreme Court. [callout] DACA was rescinded on September 5, 2017 by the Department of Homeland Security. On May 15, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed the rescission. On June 18, the Supreme Court also held that the rescission or diminishment of DACA is “arbitrary and capricious” and a possible violation of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). On July 17, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland affirmed these rulings, stating, “The DACA rescission and...

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“Public Charge Rule” Enjoined Nationwide During COVID-19 National Emergency

On July 29, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) enjoined the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State from enforcing, applying, implementing, or treating as effective the Public Charge Rule. [callout] USCIS has issued a statement informing that “Applicants and petitioners whose applications or petitions are postmarked on or after July 29, 2020, should not include the Form I-944 or provide information about the receipt of public benefits on Form I-485, Form I-129, or Form I-539/I-539A.” “As long as the July 29, 2020, SDNY decision is in effect, USCIS will apply the 1999 public charge...

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Trump Administration Expands Ban on Entry of Some Immigrants to the U.S.

On June 22, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation continuing April’s order and limiting the entry, with some exceptions, of individuals seeking entry on certain employment-based visas. The order, which will last until at least the end of the year, will suspend H-1B visas for those in specialized field such as IT and engineering, H-2B visas for non-agricultural seasonal workers, cultural exchange J visas, and L visas for companies relocating employees to the U.S., including individuals accompanying or following to join individuals on these visas. The proclamation suspends the entry of any individual seeking to enter the U.S. as an immigrant who: ...

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Supreme Court Rules to Preserve DACA Program

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 18, 2020 to keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program intact for the time being, protecting the thousands of young immigrants who have been allowed to live and work in the United States since the program was implemented by President Barack Obama in 2012 - read the Supreme Court’s Decision. [callout] The Supreme Court ruled (5-4) that President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act, based on two grounds: 1) the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) failed to distinguish between the protections from deportation and the benefits...

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USCIS to Reopen Certain Offices with Service Modifications on June 4

From USCIS: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is preparing some domestic offices to reopen and resume non-emergency public services on or after June 4. On March 18, USCIS temporarily suspended routine in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines to protect our workforce and the public. For the latest information on the status of individual offices, check our office closures page. While certain offices are temporarily closed, USCIS continues to provide limited emergency in-person services. Please call...

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Our Business Hours & Remote Services in Response to Covid-19

The safety and well-being of our team and clients remain our main priority during the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. [callout] While closely monitoring official guidance from the CDC, our attorneys and staff will continue to serve the needs of new and existing clients during our usual business hours: Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Central Time). Moving all services remotely: following Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive order for all state residents to “stay at home,” our team will be conducting all appointments via audio and videoconferencing from March 23, 2020 until April 30, 2020 (or further notice). Although the...

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President Trump’s Proclamation Restricts Entry of Some Immigrants to the U.S. for 60 days

[callout] On April 22, 2020, President Donald J. Trump issued a proclamation temporarily suspending and limiting the entry of some immigrants to the U.S., following the COVID-19 outbreak and the declaration of a national emergency. The proclamation takes effect at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on April 23, 2020 for 60 days, and suspends the entry of any individual seeking to enter the U.S. as an immigrant who: is outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation; does not have an immigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of the proclamation; and does not have an official travel document...

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USCIS Expands Flexibility for Responding to USCIS Requests

From USCIS: [callout] In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it adopted measures to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to certain Requests for Evidence (RFE) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOID). This alert clarifies that this flexibility also applies to certain Notices of Intent to Revoke (NOIR) and Notices of Intent to Terminate (NOIT) regional investment centers, as well as certain filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion. Notice/Request/Decision Issuance Date: This flexibility applies to an RFE, NOID, NOIR, NOIT or appealable decision within AAO jurisdiction and the issuance date listed...

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USCIS to accept scanned and photocopied signatures during National Emergency

From USCIS: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 National Emergency announced by President Trump on March 13, 2020, we will accept all benefit forms and documents with reproduced original signatures, including the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, for submissions dated March 21, 2020, and beyond. USCIS already accepts various petitions, applications and other documents bearing an electronically reproduced original signature. This means that a document may be scanned, faxed, photocopied, or similarly reproduced provided that the copy must be of an original document containing an original handwritten signature, unless otherwise specified.[1] For forms that require...

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