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by Chris Musillo
USCIS will no longer accept Premium Processing Service (PPS) filings for any H-1B petition, starting April 3, 2017. USCIS says that the suspension could last for 6 months. PPS will not be available for H-1B cap cases, H-1B cap-exempt cases, H-1B extensions, H-1B amendments, or any other type of H-1B petition.
USCIS claims that by suspending the PPS program for H-1B petitions, it will help them reduce overall H-1B processing times.
Here is the full press release:
USCIS Will Temporarily Suspend Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions
Starting April 3, 2017, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions. This suspension may last up to 6 months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. We will notify the public before resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions.
Who Is Affected
The temporary suspension applies to all H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017. Since FY18 cap-subject H-1B petitions cannot be filed before April 3, 2017, this suspension will apply to all petitions filed for the FY18 H-1B regular cap and masterís advanced degree cap exemption (the ďmasterís capĒ). The suspension also applies to petitions that may be cap-exempt.
While premium processing is suspended, we will reject any Form I-907 filed with an H-1B petition. If the petitioner submits one combined check for both the Form I-907 and Form I-129 H-1B fees, we will have to reject both forms.
We will continue to premium process Form I-129 H-1B petitions if the petitioner properly filed an associated Form I-907 before April 3, 2017. Therefore, we will refund the premium processing fee if:
The petitioner filed the Form I-907 for an H-1B petition before April 3, 2017, andWe did not take adjudicative action on the case within the 15-calendar-day processing period.
This temporary suspension of premium processing does not apply to other eligible nonimmigrant classifications filed on Form I-129.
Requesting Expedited Processing
While premium processing is suspended, petitioners may submit a request to expedite an H-1B petition if they meet the criteria on the Expedite Criteria webpage. It is the petitionerís responsibility to demonstrate that they meet at least one of the expedite criteria, and we encourage petitioners to submit documentary evidence to support their expedite request.
We review all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis and requests are granted at the discretion of the office leadership.
Why We Are Temporarily Suspending Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions
This temporary suspension will help us to reduce overall H-1B processing times. By temporarily suspending premium processing, we will be able to:
Process long-pending petitions, which we have currently been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years; andPrioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240 day mark.
\Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com and www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Updated 03-08-2017 at 01:11 PM by CMusillo
This comment has been revised as of March 6 at 9:38 am:
In Medea, written some 2,400 years ago by the famous ancient Greek dramatist Euripides, the tyrant Creon says the following to the main character, Medea:
"...I order you to leave this land and go into exile, taking your two children with you, and instantly! I am the executor of this decree, and I will not go home again until I expel you from this country."
(Translated by David Kovacs, Euripides I, Loeb Classical Library, Copyright (C) 1994, 2001 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College)
Is this any different from Donald Trump's message to mothers and their children making the dangerous journey to the US border in order to seek asylum from drug and gang violence infested countries in Central America?
How is this chilling edict from almost two and a half millennia ago any different from Trump's threat during the campaign to deport up to 11 million immigrants who lack legal status in the US, and, in violation of the 14th Amendment, to take US citizenship away from their American-born children so they can also be deported?
My original comment follows:
In my March 3 Immigration Daily blog comment, I wrote about the disturbing historical memories brought back by Donald Trump's proposal in his February 28 speech to Congress to create an office within the Department of Homeland Security devoted to publicizing crimes allegedly committed by immigrants (VOICE), and his recent executive order along the same lines. See:
If Trump's campaign rhetoric and his recent immigrant roundups and arrests, and his executive orders providing for police-state mass deportation of up to 11 million unauthorized immigrants are any guide, we can be quite certain that Trump's lists of alleged crimes committed by immigrants will be loaded with Mexican and other Latino names, just as executed Nazi war criminal Julius Streicher's lists of "criminals" in his notorious Der Stuermer contained only Jewish names.
But there is an even more disturbing precedent for a reported plan by Trump's DHS to separate Central American children seeking asylum in the U.S. from the horrific gang violence in their countries from their mothers at the Mexican border.
The motivations are of course very different, since genocide or mass extermination are obviously just as abhorrent to Donald Trump and his administration as they are to every sane person on this planet.
But there are still very troubling and dangerous parallels between the reported DHS plan to tear children seeking asylum away from their parents at the US/Mexican border and the Nazis kidnapping of hundreds of thousands of "Aryan-looking" Polish and other Eastern European children from their parents and families as part of the infamous Lebensborn program to create a "master race" during WW2.
The above site describes the actions taken with regard to the kidnapped children as follows:
"...the Nazis sought 'racially valuable'children of non-German populations, meaning those with 'Aryan' traits...Kidnapped children were taken by force, and by gunpoint. Force include[d] hunting children down in schools, parks and markets. Police came to homes with guns drawn to seize children."
To be sure, taking children away from their parents by force and giving the children completely new "Germanic" identities, with no hope that the children would ever see their parents again, as the Nazis did, went beyond merely "separating" parents from their children in order to be in compliance wtih a 9th Circuit Court US Court of Appeals order.
As Reuters explains, that order prohibits prolonged detention of children arriving at the US border to seek asylum in America, but the court order does not prohibit prolonged detention of their parents who are also seeking asylum while their cases are pending.
Therefore, according to the the above two reports, ICE, instead of releasing parents and children together pending thir asylum hearings, DHS now plans to release the children to its own custody, while continuing to detain their parents (usually their mothers).
The purpose, according to the above reports, is to deter Central American parents from bringing their children to the US illegally in order to seek asylum.
But as the Reuters report explains:
"Implementing the new policy proposal 'could create lifelong psychological trauma', said Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. 'Especially for children that have just completed a perilous journey from Central America.'"
Again, obviously, the purpose of the Nazi kidnappings of children, namely creating an "Aryan" master race to replace "racially inferior" untermenschen, i.e. Jews, Slavs and other population groups marked for extermination, was far more sinister than the Trump administration's stated goal of deterring parents of Central American children from bringing the children to the US border illegally in order to file asylum claims.
But there is one very disturbing common element in these two ostensibly very different programs: a willingness to use innocent children as helpless pawns in order to accomplish strictly political goals -at a cost to the children of creating lifelong psychological damage.
It also shows that, just as the Nazis exposed the kidnapped children and their parents to the cruelty and inhumanity of family separation and breakup to accomplish their nefarious purposes, the Trump administration, assuming that the above Reuters and The Guardian reports are accurate, eveidently has no hesitation about engaging in an arguably less drastic, but still cruel and inhuman program of tearing children away from their mothers to accomplish its goals.
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College (majoring in Government) and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, Roger has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards.
Roger also gained an introductory knowledge of ancient Greek and first half of the 20th century German history through his beginning level studies of classical Greek at Phillips Academy, Andover, where he won a school award in that language, and of German at Harvard College, which he completed successfully, but without any particular distinction. He also successfully completed a summer course for visiting secondary school students and graduates in WW2 history given by the University of Paris.
Rogers' email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated 03-07-2017 at 07:40 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs