On September 24, 2017, President Trump signed a proclamation describing travel restrictions that would apply to eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. While the district court issued a preliminary injunction blocking the implementation of the new travel ban, on November 13, 2017 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the travel ban but with exceptions for travelers with “a bona fide relationship” with a U.S. person or entity. The exceptions include travelers with a “formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course” relationship with a U.S. entity, and travelers with a “close familial relationship” with a person in the U.S. The Ninth Circuit decision is temporary and in place until the court can fully review the Trump administration’s appeal of the lower district court decision.
For more information, see this LA Times article.
On November 20, 2017, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted a nationwide permanent injunction against the enforcement of President Trump’s January 25, 2017 executive order titled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.” Although the executive order outlines a number of new immigration enforcement policies and initiatives, the injunction only applies to Section 9(a) of the executive order, which requires the establishment of procedures whereby “sanctuary jurisdictions” are not eligible to receive federal grants.
The November 20, 2017 order follows a preliminary injunction issued on April 25, 2017 by the same court.
The Department of Defense recently announced a change to policies regarding qualifying military service by foreign nationals for the purposes of expedited naturalization as well as the screening of lawful permanent residents (or green card holders) before acceptance into a branch of the military.
For more information, see the Department of Defense press release.
The U.S. Consulate in Turkey has resumed processing non-immigrant visas on a limited basis. Turkish citizens who already have valid visa stamps can continue to travel to the U.S.
For more information, see the Consulate’s website.
On November 6, 2017, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Honduras will be automatically extended for an additional six months—through July 5, 2018. Hondurans with TPS will be required to reapply for work authorization for the duration of their TPS designation.
For more information, see USCIS website on TPS for Hondurans.
On November 6, 2017, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Nicaragua will terminate on January 5, 2019. Nicaraguans with TPS will be required to reapply for work authorization for the duration of their TPS designation.
For more information, see USCIS website on TPS for Nicaraguans.
On November 20, 2017, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haitians will terminate on July 22, 2019. Haitians with TPS will be required to reapply for work authorization for the duration of their TPS designation.
For more information, see USCIS website on TPS for Haitians.
Last month a terrorist drove a truck into pedestrians on a New York City bike path. Following the attack and the disclosure that the individual was a Diversity Green Card lottery (the “Lottery”) recipient, Trump called for the elimination of the Lottery program. He is not alone. The bipartisan Gang of 8 proposed to eliminate it too and an immigration bill put forward by Senator Tom Cotton calls for its elimination as well.
The Lottery allocates 50,000 permanent visas (“green cards”) out of the 1,000,000 issued annually to individuals from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. Lottery winners who are selected at random are subject to security screenings including biometrics, name and fingerprint checks against multiple interagency government databases and watch-lists as well as required to attend an in-person interview before approval for a lottery green card.
For more information, see our alert on the Diversity Green Card lottery.
Katie Tichacek, a spokeswoman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), stated that there is “a 24 percent increase in naturalization applications since last fiscal year.” This increase in the number of applications is a contributing factor to the lengthening of processing times for naturalizations.
For more information, see WNYC’s article.
Employers have reported to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that they have received e-mails from firstname.lastname@example.org requesting Form I-9 information. While the body of the e-mail contains USCIS and Inspector General labels, these e-mails are fraudulent and link to a non-government web address of uscis-online.org.
Employers are not required to submit Forms I-9 to USCIS. Employers who receive a scam e-mail should forward the e-mail to the USCIS webmaster. Employers should not respond to scam e-mail or click any links contained in the scam e-mail.
For more information, see USCIS’s avoid scams initiative.
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