Immigration Highlights



April 30, 2018

NP Immigration Newsletter

Author(s): Courtney H. New, Jason Gerrol

The U.S. immigration landscape continues to shift. Here are several updates from the last few weeks from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other government agencies.

Executive Orders

Travel ban lifted for citizens of Chad

On April 10, 2018, President Trump lifted the U.S. travel restrictions on citizens of Chad. The travel restrictions remain in place for citizens of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.

For more information, see Press Secretary Statement.

U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments regarding travel ban

In other travel ban news, on April 25, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments regarding the constitutionality of President Trump’s latest version of the travel ban. In brief, the state of Hawaii filed suit against the travel ban, arguing the ban exceeded the President’s authority, and ultimately amounted to a “Muslim ban” in violation of the Establishment Clause, among other arguments. A Supreme Court ruling in the case is expected in June. In the meantime, the travel ban remains in effect (with the exception of Chad, which was removed from the ban on April 10, 2018).

For more information regarding the travel ban, see our client alert.

President Trump’s “sanctuary city” executive order again blocked by court

On April 19, 2018, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court decision granting a nationwide injunction prohibiting the federal government from denying federal funding to cities and local jurisdictions with so-called “sanctuary” immigration policies. The suit, brought by the city of Chicago, is one of several legal challenges to President Trump’s “sanctuary city” executive order, which sought to prohibit certain federal grants to cities, and other local jurisdictions, who have adopted policies to limit local cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

For more information on the Seventh Circuit decision, see this CNN article. For information regarding the first injunction against the enforcement of President Trump’s executive order, issued by a California federal judge, see our client alert.

Legislative Updates

With no legislative action on DACA, court again finds order to end DACA unlawful

On April 24, 2018, a federal court found the Trump administration’s plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program unlawful. According to the court, the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA was “arbitrary and capricious,” in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, because the administration could not adequately explain why the DACA program was unlawful and needed to be terminated. The court, however, ultimately granted the administration 90 days to further explain why they needed to end DACA.

For more information regarding the latest court order, see this New York Times article.

Law and policy changes

USCIS to destroy undeliverable green cards, EADs and travel documents

Starting April 2, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will destroy Permanent Resident Cards, Employment Authorization Documents and Travel Documents that the U.S. Post Office cannot deliver after 60 business days if USCIS is not contacted by the document’s intended recipient to provide the correct address. Applicants for immigration benefits should note that the U.S. Post Office will not forward such documents to a new residential address, and applicants must update their address with USCIS within 10 days of moving.

In addition, beginning April 30, 2018, USCIS will begin phasing in use of the U.S. Postal Service’s Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service, which requires applicants to present identification to sign for their immigration documents upon delivery or designate an agent to sign on their behalf. The initial use of this service will include documents that have to be re-mailed after returned to USCIS as undeliverable, and applicants who have changed their mailing addresses during the course of the application process, although USCIS intends to expand use of the service to all secure documents in the future.

For more information about the secure mail delivery service, see the USCIS announcement.

DHS ending Temporary Protected Status for Nepalis

On April 26, 2018, the DHS announced that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Nepal will end on June 24, 2019. The DHS may designate a country for TPS when conditions in that country prevent the safe return of its nationals.

For more information, see USCIS’s webpage on TPS.

Reports

USCIS Completes FY2019 H-1B Lottery

On April 11, 2018, USCIS conducted its random selection process, or “lottery,” to select the H-1B petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2019’s congressionally-mandated H-1B quota of 85,000 new H-1Bs (65,000 regular cap; and 20,000 master’s degree exemption) per fiscal year (not including extension or change of employer petitions for current H-1B workers). Over the next several weeks, H-1B petitioners will be notified if their H-1B petition was selected in the lottery. USCIS received 190,098 H-1B petitions for FY 2019, down from 199,000 H-1B petitions for FY 2018, and 236,000 H-1B petitions for FY 2017.

For more information, see this USCIS news alert.

E-Verify website launched by USCIS

On April 10, 2018, USCIS launched a new website, E-Verify.gov, as a source of information on electronic employment eligibility verification for employers and employees. The website will also allow employers to enroll in E-Verify and current users to access their E-Verify account.

For more information, see USCIS E-Verify announcement.

E-Verify modernization underway

On April 23, USCIS announced plans to modernize the E-Verify program to improve users’ experience, reduce errors and increase the speed and accuracy of the employment eligibility verification process.

For more information on the improvements made, see USCIS E-Verify enhancements.

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel. If you have any questions or require any further information regarding these or other related matters, please contact your regular Nixon Peabody LLP representative. This material may be considered advertising under certain rules of professional conduct.

Back to top