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  1. USCIS RESUMES PPS FOR H-1B CAP PETITIONS

    by , 09-19-2017 at 09:10 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    USCIS has resumed Premium Processing Service (PPS) for H-1B cap-subject petitions. Presently, H-1B cap-subject petitions, H-1Bs for cap-exempt employers (e.g. research entities and universities), and H-1Bs for doctors are the only H-1B petitions that may use PPS. H-1B transfers, amendments, and extensions currently are prohibited from PPS.

    USCIS’ press release said that it “plans to resume premium processing for all other remaining H‑1B petitions (i.e. H-1B transfers, amendments, and extensions) not subject to the FY 2018 cap, as agency workloads permit.” The press release did not commit to a time frame for the resumption of PPS for these types of H-1B petitions. However, in a June 2017 AILA Q & A, USCIS HQ indicated that it “anticipates” resuming H-1B PPS processing on or before October 4. This comment did not delineate between H-1B cap petitions and other types of H-1B petitions, such as transfers, amendments, and extensions.

    The USCIS may have decided to prioritize H-1B cap-subject petitions in order to allow some F-1/OPT students to continue to work without work authorization beyond October 1. Certain F-1/OPT students’ will lose work authorizing on October 1 if their H-1B cap-subject petition is not approved before October 1. Please check with your MU attorney or staff member if you have questions.


    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, Twitter and LinknedIn.
  2. Effects of Temination of DACA on Employers

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

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    Since President Trump’s announcement rescinding DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), media focus has been on the 800,000 DACA recipients – as it rightfully should be. However, there is going to be another entity impacted - employers of those 800,000 DACA recipients.

    Not only do employers need to be concerned about the loss of valuable employees, but employers need to be concerned with staying in compliance of immigration laws. It is fundamental immigration law that employees cannot legally work without proof of their identity and work authorization. Thus, when DACA recipients’ Employment Authorization Card (EAD) expire, employers will need to discharge DACA recipients, unless they have found another way to obtain work authorization (which is very unlikely).

    But before employers start discharging employees, one needs to be careful not to do so prematurely. During the period of DACA’s work authorization, even beyond March 5, 2018, when the USCIS will no longer approve DACA renewals, DACA employees can be authorized to legally work. It all depends on the EAD’s expiration date. Although no renewal EAD will be issued after March 5, 2018, this doesn’t mean all DACA recipients are not eligible to work after March 5, 2018.

    As an example, DACA employee Jose has an EAD which expires on March 4, 2018, so he can renew his DACA status and EAD (if the renewal is filed by October 5, 2017). Thus, he will be eligible to work until about March 2020. On the other hand, another employee, Mohammed, has an EAD pursuant to DACA, which expires on March 6, 2018. Unfortunately, March 6, 2018 is the date his employment must terminate. Thus, employers must be observant of the EAD’s expiration date.

    How does an employer even know whether the EAD is through DACA, TPS, or withholding of removal? There is a code on the front of the EAD card. For DACA, the code is C33. This code is different than codes for TPS or withholding - A10, A12 or C19.

    Some employers may ask why can’t I just discharge DACA recipients now. First, they are probably very good employees – as so many of them are proud to be legally working for the first time in their lives. Second, hopefully Congress is going to pass the DREAM Act or some other legislation that will provide for lawful employment for DACA recipients; thus, employers won’t have to face the issue. However, if an employer chose to discharge a DACA recipient based on his DACA status, it is very unlikely that the discharge would be unlawful under the anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    Some small employers may be thinking I’m just going to look the other way and not terminate DACA recipients when their work authorization expires. Although I can understand employers not wanting to hurt their DACA employees, employers need to consider their own situation. If an employer continues to employ a worker after his work authorization expires, is not renewed, and no other work authorization is provided, they are subject to “knowingly” employing an undocumented worker. The fines for such a first offense range from $539 to over $4000, with a fine of over $3,000 being the most likely. If you have five DACA employees that you retain without work authorization, you are looking at a fine of $15,000 before Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has even looked at your Form I-9s for substantive violations. So, your heart may tell you to keep DACA recipients without work authorization; but, listen to your head, which is filled with dollar signs for fines and penalties.

    For the answers to many other questions related to employer immigration compliance, I invite you to read my new book, The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0997083379.
  3. Letters of the Week: September 18 - September 24

  4. Trump's Support for "Larger", "Tougher", Muslim Ban Recalls 1920's Ban Against Jewish Immigrants. Will the Supreme Ct. Take Note? Roger Algase

    The following is a revised and expanded September 18 version of my original September 16 comment:

    On September 15, Donald Trump tweeted the following with respect to his six-country Muslim ban which is still under consideration by the Supreme Court:

    "The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific-but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!"

    http://www.politico.eu/article/donal...lim-countries/

    The above is an unmistakable reference to Trump's original, December 2015 call for a world wide ban on entry by Muslims into the United States. That proposal, as well as his "watered down" Executive Order versions issued after taking office as president, have brought on a storm of condemnation from across the political spectrum, including many leaders in Trump's own party.

    http://fortune.com/2017/01/29/donald...n-republicans/

    Certainly, Trump's original world-wide ban proposal, if not the later versions, was just about as "large". "tough" and "specific" as one can imagine.

    Therefore the president's latest tweet raises a serious question as to whether he has ever given up the idea of a world-wide Muslim entry ban as his ultimate goal.

    Trump's comment also brings back disturbing memories of a period, beginning almost 100 years ago, when America did in fact impose what a amounted to virtually a world-wide ban on members of another unpopular religious group of the period - adherents of the Jewish religion and everyone else who had Jewish ancestry.

    As every student of America's immigration history and of American history in general knows well, this ban was accomplished through enacting the 1924 Johnson-Reed "national origins" quotas immigration act. This law, in effect, limited immigration to populations from northern Europe, known as "Nordics" in the racially motivated parlance of that time, and drastically reduced immigration quotas for Eastern and Southern Europe where most of the world's Jewish population lived (as well as virtually eliminating immigration quotas for all other areas of the world outside the "Western Hemisphere").

    Just as Trump's call for a ban on Muslim immigrants grew out of ongoing attempts by US politicians and media figures to exploit prejudice against all of the world's 1. 6 billion Muslims in general, using 9/11 and subsequent attacks by jihadist extremists an excuse, the 1920's ban against Jewish immigrants was based on widespread anti-semitism.

    Jews in general were accused of being racially, religiously and culturally inferior, and of being "Bolsheviks" or belonging to an "international Zionist conspiracy". They were attacked by politicians and in the media as being dangerous, disloyal and unfit to assimilate into American society, just as Muslims are now being accused of not only being potential terrorists but of wanting to "impose Sharia law" in the United States.

    Anti-semites of that time also had a famous and wealthy businessman, Henry Ford, as one of their leading exponents - but far from the only one. For more on Henry Ford's attacks against the Jews and their influence on the 1924 Johnson-Reed Immigration Act, see:

    http://www.americanforeignrelations....the-1920s.html

    The effects of America's 1924 ban on Jewish and other non - "Nordic" immigration were pervasive, reaching far beyond the boundaries of the United States itself. They included inspiring the racist, and ultimately genocidal ideology of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi followers.

    Noted Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs describes these effects in chilling detail in his March 19 article:

    The Muslim ban and American history

    http://csd.columbia.edu/2017/03/19/t...rican-history/

    He writes, concerning the enactment of the 1924 immigration law which imposed an almost complete ban on Jewish immigration to the US:

    "During this process, there was an attentive and approving observer abroad, Adolf Hitler. Hitler praised the new U.S. immigration policy in 'Mein Kampf', writing among other things that 'There is currently one state in which one can observe at least the weak beginnings of a better conception...The American Union...simply excludes the immigration of certain races.'"

    No one can possibly have any doubts about which people were included among the "races" which the future German Fuehrer was referring to in the above passage.

    Professor Sachs also writes concerning the history of the above law:

    "in fact, in the 1930's, the Nazi lawyers looked to various aspects of U.S. racial legislation - including the immigration codes based on country of national origin...as role models for Germany's race-based citizenship, which of course culminated in the Nuremberg Codes."


    Trump's Muslim ban cannot be fully understood in any of its various versions without reference to this supremely shameful part of America's past, which every scholar of that period with any amount for credibility agrees added to the death toll of 6 million Jews in Hitler's gas chambers and ovens during the Holocaust.

    Ironically, even though few if any commentators make any reference to this, by barring almost all immigration from Asia, the Middle East and Africa, the 1924 Johnson-Reed Act also excluded virtually the entire Muslim world from immigrating to the US as well. Admittedly, that "Muslim ban" of almost a century ago was not as "specific" as the one which Donald Trump is now trying to impose.

    In about three weeks from now, the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments concerning the legal validity, or lack of it, regarding the latest, six-country version Trump's Muslim ban order. Will the nation's highest Court be willing to consider the dark history behind Trump's Muslim ban in rendering its decision?

    (Disclaimer: My comments should not be taken as a suggestion that Trump is in any way anti-Jewish or supports any form of genocide. Nothing could be further from the truth.)

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    algaselex@gmail.com


    Updated 09-18-2017 at 01:00 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Will Trump Hold DREAMERS Hostage to the RAISE Act in an Effort to Take America Back 100 Years to a Europeans Only Immigration System? Roger Algase

    The opening two sentences of the following comment have been revised as of September 16 at 5:39 pm:

    To be sure, Trump has showing encouraging signs of backing away from at least one of his trademark attacks against minority immigrants, by becoming the target of vitriolic criticism from his anti-immigrant right wing base over indications that he might make a deal with Democratic leaders to agree to sign a law protecting DREAMERS from deportation, without insisting on funding for his pet border Wall project of humiliating Mexican, and by extension all non-white, immigrants.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administ...ulter-ingraham

    However, a POLITICO report on the afternoon of Friday, September 15 once again shows signs that the president may be moving back in the other direction on immigration, where he seems to be most comfortable. The report states that White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders has indicated that the president might tie support for the RAISE Act to agreement to make a deal for a legislative fix for DACA.

    According to the report, Sanders stated that while specific administration immigration priorities will only be announced over the next 7-10 days, supporting the RAISE Act was one of the things "we would probably like to see" in return for an agreement on DACA.

    In other words, if this statement is accurate (and it may very well be, in view of the strong support that Trump has already expressed for the RAISE Act), the president would in effect be asking Congress to overturn a half century of legislation opening up immigration to qualified applicants from every part of the world as the price of granting relief from deportation to the nearly 800,000 young people who are now protected by the DACA program which Trump has just cancelled and is now phasing out over the next six months.

    This would be a heavy price indeed. Enacting the RAISE Act would repeal the 1965 immigration act that ended four decades of bigoted, mainly Europe-only immigration quotas under the previous 1924 law, and would replace it by a heavily Eurocentric system that would also be skewed in favor of native English speakers. This would take America a long way back toward the infamous 1924 "national origins" system - which Adolf Hitler, among others, praised because of its inherent racial biases in favor of immigrants from the so-called "Nordic" countries of northern Europe.

    Tying relief for DACA recipients into an agreement to return to a system of white supremacist immigration of nearly a century ago would in effect be the same as opposing any relief for the DREAMERS at all.

    Moreover, by raising the RAISE Act (no pun intended, of course) as a possible bargaining chip in return for agreement on DACA, the Trump administration would not be only showing a lack of interest in reaching making any serious attempt to help the DREAMERS whom Trump himself has had many supportive words for in his recent statements (even while pulling the rug out from under them), but it would be indicating the ultimate purpose of all his immigration policies - namely returning to Europe-only immigration as it was in 1924, or something resembling that system.

    One cannot forget that Adolf Hitler was not the only person who wrote (in Mein Kampf) that he supported the 1924 Johnson-Reed immigration act. See, The Guardian (2004):

    Hitler's debt to America

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2004/feb/06/race.usa

    Donald Trump's own attorney general and top immigration adviser, Jeff Sessions, also supported this same Coolidge-era 1924 law less than 3 years ago in his January, 2015 immigration "Handbook" for Congressional Republicans; and again in a radio interview later that year with Breitbart News editor Stephen Bannon, who would also later (until very recently, when he was finally thrown out) become a top immigration adviser in the Trump administration.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics...ration/512591/

    The POLITICO report is available at

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/0...42778?lo=ap_d1

    In which direction will the president go toward from now on - the direction of reason, humanity, racial equality and compassion for minority immigrants which he has indicated in some of his positive recent statements in support of the DREAMERS? See:

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-polit...ca-deal-tweets

    Or will he turn back toward the white supremacist foundation for America's immigration system of nearly a century ago, as his own attorney general and the president's alt-right supporters are in effect urging him to do, and as many of his own campaign statements and immigration actions as president have also indicated he prefers?

    As an example, for his latest statement in support of a "larger" and "tougher" Muslim ban, see:

    http://www.politico.eu/article/donal...lim-countries/

    This statement does not exactly indicate any softening or pivoting by the president toward immigration policies that would show more tolerance for non-European immigrants; nor does it indicate acceptance of America's role and, yes, identity, as a diverse, multicultural, multiracial (and multilingual) nation of the 21st century, rather than as a white supremacist country of the past.

    Donald Trump cannot go in both directions, forward toward a more tolerant and accepting immigration future based on America's founding principle that all people are created equal, or back toward a white supremacist, Europeans-only immigration past, at the same time.

    He must choose one of these directions, or the other.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    algaselex@gmail.com


    Updated 09-16-2017 at 04:39 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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