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  1. New Executive Order on Interior Immigration Enforcement

    by , 01-25-2017 at 04:05 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    THE WHITE HOUSE
    Office of the Press Secretary

    For Immediate Release January 25, 2017

    EXECUTIVE ORDER

    - - - - - - -

    ENHANCING PUBLIC SAFETY IN THE INTERIOR OF THE UNITED STATES


    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), and in order to ensure the public safety of the American people in communities across the United States as well as to ensure that our Nation's immigration laws are faithfully executed, I hereby declare the policy of the executive branch to be, and order, as follows:

    Section 1. Purpose. Interior enforcement of our Nation's immigration laws is critically important to the national security and public safety of the United States. Many aliens who illegally enter the United States and those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas present a significant threat to national security and public safety. This is particularly so for aliens who engage in criminal conduct in the United States.

    Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States. These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic.

    Tens of thousands of removable aliens have been released into communities across the country, solely because their home countries refuse to accept their repatriation. Many of these aliens are criminals who have served time in our Federal, State, and local jails. The presence of such individuals in the United States, and the practices of foreign nations that refuse the repatriation of their nationals, are contrary to the national interest.

    Although Federal immigration law provides a framework for Federal-State partnerships in enforcing our immigration laws to ensure the removal of aliens who have no right to be in the United States, the Federal Government has failed to discharge this basic sovereign responsibility. We cannot faithfully execute the immigration laws of the United States if we exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. The purpose of this order is to direct executive departments and agencies (agencies) to employ all lawful means to enforce the immigration laws of the United States.

    Sec. 2. Policy. It is the policy of the executive branch to:


    (a) Ensure the faithful execution of the immigration laws of the United States, including the INA, against all removable aliens, consistent with Article II, Section 3 of the United States Constitution and section 3331 of title 5, United States Code;
    (b) Make use of all available systems and resources to ensure the efficient and faithful execution of the immigration laws of the United States;
    (c) Ensure that jurisdictions that fail to comply with applicable Federal law do not receive Federal funds, except as mandated by law;
    (d) Ensure that aliens ordered removed from the United States are promptly removed; and
    (e) Support victims, and the families of victims, of crimes committed by removable aliens.

    Sec. 3. Definitions. The terms of this order, where applicable, shall have the meaning provided by section 1101 of title 8, United States Code.

    Sec. 4. Enforcement of the Immigration Laws in the Interior of the United States. In furtherance of the policy described in section 2 of this order, I hereby direct agencies to employ all lawful means to ensure the faithful execution of the immigration laws of the United States against all removable aliens.

    Sec. 5. Enforcement Priorities. In executing faithfully the immigration laws of the United States, the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) shall prioritize for removal those aliens described by the Congress in sections 212(a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(6)(C), 235, and 237(a)(2) and (4) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(6)(C), 1225, and 1227(a)(2) and (4)), as well as removable aliens who:

    (a) Have been convicted of any criminal offense;

    (b) Have been charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not been resolved;

    (c) Have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense;

    (d) Have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency;

    (e) Have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits;

    (f) Are subject to a final order of removal, but who have not complied with their legal obligation to depart the United States; or

    (g) In the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.

    Sec. 6. Civil Fines and Penalties. As soon as practicable, and by no later than one year after the date of this order, the Secretary shall issue guidance and promulgate regulations, where required by law, to ensure the assessment and collection of all fines and penalties that the Secretary is authorized under the law to assess and collect from aliens unlawfully present in the United States and from those who facilitate their presence in the United States.

    Sec. 7. Additional Enforcement and Removal Officers. The Secretary, through the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, take all appropriate action to hire 10,000 additional immigration officers, who shall complete relevant training and be authorized to perform the law enforcement functions described in section 287 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1357).

    Sec. 8. Federal-State Agreements. It is the policy of the executive branch to empower State and local law enforcement agencies across the country to perform the functions of an immigration officer in the interior of the United States to the maximum extent permitted by law.

    (a) In furtherance of this policy, the Secretary shall immediately take appropriate action to engage with the Governors of the States, as well as local officials, for the purpose of preparing to enter into agreements under section 287(g) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1357(g)).

    (b) To the extent permitted by law and with the consent of State or local officials, as appropriate, the Secretary shall take appropriate action, through agreements under section 287(g) of the INA, or otherwise, to authorize State and local law enforcement officials, as the Secretary determines are qualified and appropriate, to perform the functions of immigration officers in relation to the investigation, apprehension, or detention of aliens in the United States under the direction and the supervision of the Secretary. Such authorization shall be in addition to, rather than in place of, Federal performance of these duties.

    (c) To the extent permitted by law, the Secretary may structure each agreement under section 287(g) of the INA in a manner that provides the most effective model for enforcing Federal immigration laws for that jurisdiction.

    Sec. 9. Sanctuary Jurisdictions. It is the policy of the executive branch to ensure, to the fullest extent of the law, that a State, or a political subdivision of a State, shall comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373.

    (a) In furtherance of this policy, the Attorney General and the Secretary, in their discretion and to the extent consistent with law, shall ensure that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 (sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary. The Secretary has the authority to designate, in his discretion and to the extent consistent with law, a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction. The Attorney General shall take appropriate enforcement action against any entity that violates 8 U.S.C. 1373, or which has in effect a statute, policy, or practice that prevents or hinders the enforcement of Federal law.

    (b) To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions, the Secretary shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.

    (c) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget is directed to obtain and provide relevant and responsive information on all Federal grant money that currently is received by any sanctuary jurisdiction.

    Sec. 10. Review of Previous Immigration Actions and Policies. (a) The Secretary shall immediately take all appropriate action to terminate the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) described in the memorandum issued by the Secretary on November 20, 2014, and to reinstitute the immigration program known as "Secure Communities" referenced in that memorandum.

    (b) The Secretary shall review agency regulations, policies, and procedures for consistency with this order and, if required, publish for notice and comment proposed regulations rescinding or revising any regulations inconsistent with this order and shall consider whether to withdraw or modify any inconsistent policies and procedures, as appropriate and consistent with the law.

    (c) To protect our communities and better facilitate the identification, detention, and removal of criminal aliens within constitutional and statutory parameters, the Secretary shall consolidate and revise any applicable forms to more effectively communicate with recipient law enforcement agencies.

    Sec. 11. Department of Justice Prosecutions of Immigration Violators. The Attorney General and the Secretary shall work together to develop and implement a program that ensures that adequate resources are devoted to the prosecution of criminal immigration offenses in the United States, and to develop cooperative strategies to reduce violent crime and the reach of transnational criminal organizations into the United States.

    Sec. 12. Recalcitrant Countries. The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State shall cooperate to effectively implement the sanctions provided by section 243(d) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1253(d)), as appropriate. The Secretary of State shall, to the maximum extent permitted by law, ensure that diplomatic efforts and negotiations with foreign states include as a condition precedent the acceptance by those foreign states of their nationals who are subject to removal from the United States.

    Sec. 13. Office for Victims of Crimes Committed by Removable Aliens. The Secretary shall direct the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to take all appropriate and lawful action to establish within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement an office to provide proactive, timely, adequate, and professional services to victims of crimes committed by removable aliens and the family members of such victims. This office shall provide quarterly reports studying the effects of the victimization by criminal aliens present in the United States.

    Sec. 14. Privacy Act. Agencies shall, to the extent consistent with applicable law, ensure that their privacy policies exclude persons who are not United States citizens or lawful permanent residents from the protections of the Privacy Act regarding personally identifiable information.

    Sec. 15. Reporting. Except as otherwise provided in this order, the Secretary and the Attorney General shall each submit to the President a report on the progress of the directives contained in this order within 90 days of the date of this order and again within 180 days of the date of this order.

    Sec. 16. Transparency. To promote the transparency and situational awareness of criminal aliens in the United States, the Secretary and the Attorney General are hereby directed to collect relevant data and provide quarterly reports on the following:

    (a) the immigration status of all aliens incarcerated under the supervision of the Federal Bureau of Prisons;

    (b) the immigration status of all aliens incarcerated as Federal pretrial detainees under the supervision of the United States Marshals Service; and

    (c) the immigration status of all convicted aliens incarcerated in State prisons and local detention centers throughout the United States.

    Sec. 17. Personnel Actions. The Office of Personnel Management shall take appropriate and lawful action to facilitate hiring personnel to implement this order.

    Sec. 18. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

    (i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

    (ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

    (b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

    (c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


    DONALD J. TRUMP


    THE WHITE HOUSE,
    January 25, 2017.

  2. New Executive Order on Border Security and Immigration Enforcement

    by , 01-25-2017 at 04:01 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    EXECUTIVE ORDER
    - - - - - - -
    BORDER SECURITY AND IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT IMPROVEMENTS

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) (INA), the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (Public Law 109 367) (Secure Fence Act), and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (Public Law 104 208 Div. C) (IIRIRA), and in order to ensure the safety and territorial integrity of the United States as well as to ensure that the Nationx27;s immigration laws are faithfully executed, I hereby order as follows:

    Section 1. Purpose. Border security is critically important to the national security of the United States. Aliens who illegally enter the United States without inspection or admission present a significant threat to national security and public safety. Such aliens have not been identified or inspected by Federal immigration officers to determine their admissibility to the United States. The recent surge of illegal immigration at the southern border with Mexico has placed a significant strain on Federal resources and overwhelmed agencies charged with border security and immigration enforcement, as well as the local communities into which many of the aliens are placed.

    Transnational criminal organizations operate sophisticated drug- and human-trafficking networks and smuggling operations on both sides of the southern border, contributing to a significant increase in violent crime and United States deaths from dangerous drugs. Among those who illegally enter are those who seek to harm Americans through acts of terror or criminal conduct. Continued illegal immigration presents a clear and present danger to the interests of the United States.

    Federal immigration law both imposes the responsibility and provides the means for the Federal Government, in cooperation with border States, to secure the Nation's southern border. Although Federal immigration law provides a robust framework for Federal-State partnership in enforcing our immigration laws and the Congress has authorized and provided appropriations to secure our borders the Federal Government has failed to discharge this basic sovereign responsibility. The purpose of this order is to direct executive departments and agencies (agencies) to deploy all lawful means to secure the Nationx27;s southern border, to prevent further illegal immigration into the United States, and to repatriate illegal aliens swiftly, consistently, and humanely.

    Sec. 2. Policy. It is the policy of the executive branch to:

    (a) secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border, monitored and supported by adequate personnel so as to prevent illegal immigration, drug and human trafficking, and acts of terrorism;
    (b) detain individuals apprehended on suspicion of violating Federal or State law, including Federal immigration law, pending further proceedings regarding those violations;
    (c) expedite determinations of apprehended individualsx27; claims of eligibility to remain in the United States;
    (d) remove promptly those individuals whose legal claims to remain in the United States have been lawfully rejected, after any appropriate civil or criminal sanctions have been imposed; and
    (e) cooperate fully with States and local law enforcement in enacting Federal-State partnerships to enforce Federal immigration priorities, as well as State monitoring and detention programs that are consistent with Federal law and do not undermine Federal immigration priorities.

    Sec. 3. Definitions.

    (a) "Asylum officer" has the meaning given the term in section 235(b)(1)(E) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1225(b)(1)).
    (b) "Southern border" shall mean the contiguous land border between the United States and Mexico, including all points of entry.
    (c) "Border States" shall mean the States of the United States immediately adjacent to the contiguous land border between the United States and Mexico.
    (d) Except as otherwise noted, "the Secretary" shall refer to the Secretary of Homeland Security.
    (e) "Wall" shall mean a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous, and impassable physical barrier.
    (f) "Executive department" shall have the meaning given in section 101 of title 5, United States Code.
    (g) "Regulations" shall mean any and all Federal rules, regulations, and directives lawfully promulgated by agencies.
    (h) "Operational control" shall mean the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.

    Sec. 4. Physical Security of the Southern Border of the United States. The Secretary shall immediately take the following steps to obtain complete operational control, as determined by the Secretary, of the southern border:

    (a) In accordance with existing law, including the Secure Fence Act and IIRIRA, take all appropriate steps to immediately plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border, using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve complete operational control of the southern border;
    (b) Identify and, to the extent permitted by law, allocate all sources of Federal funds for the planning, designing, and constructing of a physical wall along the southern border;
    (c) Project and develop long-term funding requirements for the wall, including preparing Congressional budget requests for the current and upcoming fiscal years; and
    (d) Produce a comprehensive study of the security of the southern border, to be completed within 180 days of this order, that shall include the current state of southern border security, all geophysical and topographical aspects of the southern border, the availability of Federal and State resources necessary to achieve complete operational control of the southern border, and a strategy to obtain and maintain complete operational control of the southern border.

    Sec. 5. Detention Facilities.

    (a) The Secretary shall take all appropriate action and allocate all legally available resources to immediately construct, operate, control, or establish contracts to construct, operate, or control facilities to detain aliens at or near the land border with Mexico.
    (b) The Secretary shall take all appropriate action and allocate all legally available resources to immediately assign asylum officers to immigration detention facilities for the purpose of accepting asylum referrals and conducting credible fear determinations pursuant to section 235(b)(1) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1225(b)(1)) and applicable regulations and reasonable fear determinations pursuant to applicable regulations.
    (c) The Attorney General shall take all appropriate action and allocate all legally available resources to immediately assign immigration judges to immigration detention facilities operated or controlled by the Secretary, or operated or controlled pursuant to contract by the Secretary, for the purpose of conducting proceedings authorized under title 8, chapter 12, subchapter II, United States Code.

    Sec. 6. Detention for Illegal Entry.

    The Secretary shall immediately take all appropriate actions to ensure the detention of aliens apprehended for violations of immigration law pending the outcome of their removal proceedings or their removal from the country to the extent permitted by law. The Secretary shall issue new policy guidance to all Department of Homeland Security personnel regarding the appropriate and consistent use of lawful detention authority under the INA, including the termination of the practice commonly known as "catch and release," whereby aliens are routinely released in the United States shortly after their apprehension for violations of immigration law.

    Sec. 7. Return to Territory.

    The Secretary shall take appropriate action, consistent with the requirements of section 1232 of title 8, United States Code, to ensure that aliens described in section 235(b)(2)(C) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1225(b)(2)(C)) are returned to the territory from which they came pending a formal removal proceeding.

    Sec. 8. Additional Border Patrol Agents.

    Subject to available appropriations, the Secretary, through the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, shall take all appropriate action to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents, and all appropriate action to ensure that such agents enter on duty and are assigned to duty stations as soon as is practicable.

    Sec. 9. Foreign Aid Reporting Requirements.

    The head of each executive department and agency shall identify and quantify all sources of direct and indirect Federal aid or assistance to the Government of Mexico on an annual basis over the past five years, including all bilateral and multilateral development aid, economic assistance, humanitarian aid, and military aid. Within 30 days of the date of this order, the head of each executive department and agency shall submit this information to the Secretary of State. Within 60 days of the date of this order, the Secretary shall submit to the President a consolidated report reflecting the levels of such aid and assistance that has been provided annually, over each of the past five years.

    Sec. 10. Federal-State Agreements.

    It is the policy of the executive branch to empower State and local law enforcement agencies across the country to perform the functions of an immigration officer in the interior of the United States to the maximum extent permitted by law.

    (a) In furtherance of this policy, the Secretary shall immediately take appropriate action to engage with the Governors of the States, as well as local officials, for the purpose of preparing to enter into agreements under section 287(g) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1357(g)).
    (b) To the extent permitted by law, and with the consent of State or local officials, as appropriate, the Secretary shall take appropriate action, through agreements under section 287(g) of the INA, or otherwise, to authorize State and local law enforcement officials, as the Secretary determines are qualified and appropriate, to perform the functions of immigration officers in relation to the investigation, apprehension, or detention of aliens in the United States under the direction and the supervision of the Secretary. Such authorization shall be in addition to, rather than in place of, Federal performance of these duties.
    (c) To the extent permitted by law, the Secretary may structure each agreement under section 287(g) of the INA in the manner that provides the most effective model for enforcing Federal immigration laws and obtaining operational control over the border for that jurisdiction.

    Sec. 11. Parole, Asylum, and Removal.

    It is the policy of the executive branch to end the abuse of parole and asylum provisions currently used to prevent the lawful removal of removable aliens.

    (a) The Secretary shall immediately take all appropriate action to ensure that the parole and asylum provisions of Federal immigration law are not illegally exploited to prevent the removal of otherwise removable aliens.
    (b) The Secretary shall take all appropriate action, including by promulgating any appropriate regulations, to ensure that asylum referrals and credible fear determinations pursuant to section 235(b)(1) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1125(b)(1)) and 8 CFR 208.30, and reasonable fear determinations pursuant to 8 CFR 208.31, are conducted in a manner consistent with the plain language of those provisions.
    (c) Pursuant to section 235(b)(1)(A)(iii)(I) of the INA, the Secretary shall take appropriate action to apply, in his sole and unreviewable discretion, the provisions of section 235(b)(1)(A)(i) and (ii) of the INA to the aliens designated under section 235(b)(1)(A)(iii)(II).
    (d) The Secretary shall take appropriate action to ensure that parole authority under section 212(d)(5) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)) is exercised only on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the plain language of the statute, and in all circumstances only when an individual demonstrates urgent humanitarian reasons or a significant public benefit derived from such parole.
    (e) The Secretary shall take appropriate action to require that all Department of Homeland Security personnel are properly trained on the proper application of section 235 of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (8 U.S.C. 1232) and section 462(g)(2) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 279(g)(2)), to ensure that unaccompanied alien children are properly processed, receive appropriate care and placement while in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security, and, when appropriate, are safely repatriated in accordance with law.

    Sec. 12. Authorization to Enter Federal Lands.

    The Secretary, in conjunction with the Secretary of the Interior and any other heads of agencies as necessary, shall take all appropriate action to:

    (a) permit all officers and employees of the United States, as well as all State and local officers as authorized by the Secretary, to have access to all Federal lands as necessary and appropriate to implement this order; and
    (b) enable those officers and employees of the United States, as well as all State and local officers as authorized by the Secretary, to perform such actions on Federal lands as the Secretary deems necessary and appropriate to implement this order.

    Sec. 13. Priority Enforcement.

    The Attorney General shall take all appropriate steps to establish prosecution guidelines and allocate appropriate resources to ensure that Federal prosecutors accord a high priority to prosecutions of offenses having a nexus to the southern border.

    Sec. 14. Government Transparency.

    The Secretary shall, on a monthly basis and in a publicly available way, report statistical data on aliens apprehended at or near the southern border using a uniform method of reporting by all Department of Homeland Security components, in a format that is easily understandable by the public.

    Sec. 15. Reporting.

    Except as otherwise provided in this order, the Secretary, within 90 days of the date of this order, and the Attorney General, within 180 days, shall each submit to the President a report on the progress of the directives contained in this order.

    Sec. 16. Hiring.

    The Office of Personnel Management shall take appropriate action as may be necessary to facilitate hiring personnel to implement this order.

    Sec. 17. General Provisions.

    (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
    (i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
    (ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
    (b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
    (c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

    DONALD J. TRUMP

    THE WHITE HOUSE,
    January 25, 2017.
  3. Could Trump Put Sanctuary Cities Under Martial Law? Roger Algase

    In the most chilling and frightening warning yet in his less than one week-old presidency, Donald Trump threatened in a tweet on January 25 to put Chicago under federal martial law over a disagreement with its mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

    http://www.salon.com/2017/01/25/dona...-rahm-emanuel/

    The disagreement appears to be over violent crime statistics rather than over immigration, according to the above salon.com report, but it is also no secret that Emanuel has been one of America's foremost advocates of non-cooperation with federal immigration authorities over immigration enforcement, and is a leader in the Sanctuary City movement.

    This also places him squarely in opposition to the new president.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016...istration.html

    If an American president could take, or even talk about taking, the extreme step of putting any city in America under martial law over crime, what is there to stop him from doing the same to Sanctuary Cities over immigration which, after all, is directly under the control of the federal government, much more so than local crime?

    And if Trump can do this to one US city, what is there to stop him from doing it to a hundred Sanctuary jurisdictions, or however many there are?

    Given that there are an estimated 11 million "illegals" in America, what is there to stop him from using that as an excuse to put the entire nation under martial law?

    Day by day, there are more and more warnings coming out of the new administration that taking extreme measures against the rights of immigrants can put the basic freedoms of the American people at risk as well.

    We saw this with the spectacle of American journalists being arrested and charged with felonies carrying up to 10 years in prison for reporting on demonstrations against Trump, at the same time that foreign citizens were being denied admission to the US for telling CBP border inspectors that they were anti-Trump instead of pro-Trump.

    See my January 23 Immigration Daily post.

    Will we see even worse assaults on America's most basic freedoms in the form of martial law being imposed against Sanctuary Cities? If this happens, how will America still be able to call itself a democracy?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    algaselex@gmail.com


    Updated 01-26-2017 at 02:40 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  4. GRASSLEY, DURBIN REINTRODUCE H-1B BILL

    by , 01-25-2017 at 02:14 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    Sens. Grassley (R-IA) and Durbin (D-IL) have reintroduced their H-1B bill. They have introduced a version of this bill for the last several Congressional sessions. The last version of the bill only attracted 5 co-sponsors, and never had any significant traction in Congress. This term, competing and related House bills have been offered by Rep. Issa and Rep. Lofgren.

    It remains unclear how this one differs, if at all, from the last versions, since the text of the bill has not yet been released. The last version of the bill included several significant changes to the H-1B process. That bill creates a preference system for the H-1B lottery, which prioritized H-1B workers in this order:


    • Masters (or greater) degree in STEM from a US university
    • Companies who offer a Level 4 wage for that H-1B worker
    • Masters (or greater) degree in any other major from a US university
    • Companies who offer a Level 3 wage for that H-1B worker
    • Bachelorís degree in STEM from a US university
    • Bachelorís degree in any other major from a US university
    • Schedule A occupation
    • Good corporate citizens


    Other components of the bill included:


    • H-1Bs must pay at least a level 2 wage for all H-1Bs
    • Require a posting on USA jobs.gov for 30 days prior to filing an H-1B
    • Employer must certify that no US worker has been displaced and that the employer has attempted to recruit US workers
    • 50/50 employers are barred from the H-1B process
    • H-1B limited to 3 years, unless the H-1B worker has an approved I-140
    • Additional burden for employers who place workers at third-party worksites.
    • Increased investigative power for DOL
    • Changes to the L-1 program


    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.
  5. Work Permits for Asylum Seekers - Some Good News

    The new Administration has raised anxieties in immigrant and asylum seeker communities. In part, this is because of President Trumpís rhetoric (and rhetorical style) during the election. And in part, itís because we just donít know what to expect from a Trump Administration. Rumors have been flying: Will there be some sort of Muslim ban? Will the President repeal DACA? Or will he (and Congress) create a permanent legalization for DACA recipients? Mr. Trump will be issuing some executive orders later today banning Syrian and other refugees from coming to the U.S., and restricting visas for people from certain Middle Eastern countries. How this will all play out, we shall see.
    Filling gaps is a good thing.
    But amidst the uncertainty, there is some good news related to work permitsóor Employment Authorization Documents (ďEADsĒ)ófor asylum seekers.

    First, last fall, the government started issuing two-year EADs instead of one-year EADs to people with pending asylum cases. This was a helpful development. It saves money since applicants now only have to apply for a new card every other year. It also makes it easier to obtain and retain employment, since employers feel more confident hiring people who have a longer period of authorized employment. In addition, many states issue driverís licenses that correspond to the dates on the EAD, so a two-year card means a two-year license. All this helps ease the wait for people seeking asylum.


    Second, last week the government issued new (and long anticipated) regulations ďto help prevent gaps in employment authorizationĒ:

    DHS is providing for the automatic extension of expiring EADs (and underlying employment authorization, if applicable) for up to 180 days with respect to individuals who are seeking renewal of their EADs (and, if applicable, employment authorization) based on the same employment authorization categories under which they were granted.

    This means that when you file to renew your EAD, your card will be automatically extended for 180 days once you receive the receipt (it usually takes three or four weeks to get the receipt). This is an important development, since USCIS has been taking months to process EAD renewals, and people were losing their jobs and driverís licenses while they waited for their new EADs.


    The automatic EAD extensions apply to refugees, people with asylum, and people who have pending asylum or withholding of removal cases, among others. You can see the new regulations here (see page 82491, the second to last page of the PDF) and here (page 82455, footnote 98, which lists the categories of people eligible for the automatic EAD extension).


    Also, remember that you can apply for a new EAD up to 120 days before the old card expires. Even with the most recent change, it is still a good idea to apply early for your new card, so you receive the replacement EAD as soon as possible.

    And hereís one last tip for today. If you cannot afford to pay for the new EAD (fees recently went up), you can request a fee waiver from USCIS, whichóif grantedóallows you to obtain a new EAD without paying the fee. To apply for a fee waiver, use form I-912, available here.

    I have written many times about the affirmative asylum backlog. It has been a real disaster for asylum seekersóespecially those separated from their family members. The recent changes to the EAD process, during the waning days of the Obama Administration, have at least made one aspect of the wait easier, and for that, we can be thankful.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com.
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