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  1. CHECKING IN ON THE VISA BULLETIN

    by , 05-24-2017 at 09:05 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin guru, Charlie Oppenheim, hosts monthly meetings with the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Charlie Oppenheim is the Department of State’s Chief of the Control and Reporting Division. He is the officer who is responsible for producing the Visa Bulletin each month.

    This month’s Check In With Charlie featured predictions about EB2 and EB3, which are the most popular categories for readers of this Blog. Here are some of this month’s highlights:

    EB-3 Worldwide. Charlie expects EB-3 Worldwide to continue to be “effectively current” for the foreseeable future.

    EB-3 India. Charlie predicts that the July final action date for EB-3 India will advance to October 15, 2005, which he reiterated at a May 18, 2017 meeting with AILA in Washington, D.C.

    EB-2 India. Previously, Charlie believed that this category will recover to FY2017’s final action date. Unfortunately, he no longer believes this to be the case. This category may retrogress or exhaust in August, until October 1, 2017.

    EB-3 Philippines. Charlie did not comment on EB-3 Philippines, but MU Law’s internal tracking indicates that this category will continue to progress at the same rate as the last few months.

    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.
  2. Trump's "Unimaginably Cruel" Budget Betrays his American Voters to Pay for Immigrant Detention and Border Wall. Roger Algase

    Donald Trump has released a budget proposal which would devastate millions of Americans who voted for him in the hope that he would protect or raise their standards of living, by cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from urgently needed lifelines for less affluent Americans, including Medicaid, Food Stamps, and Social Security Disability, in order to spend more money on, among other things, immigration judges, immigration focused US attorneys, deputy marshals and more prison space to detain unauthorized immigrants; and, last but not least, his obsession with the Mexican Border Wall.

    This is according to two POLITICO news reports:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/0...rograms-238696

    and

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-...38738?lo=ap_e1

    CNN now reports that Trump's proposed budget also includes $1.6 billion to pay for the first few dozen miles of the "bricks and mortar" wall.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/23/politi...ity/index.html

    The Hill, in a May 23 story, quotes Hillary Clinton, who defeated Trump in the presidential popular vote contest by almost 3 million votes last November, as saying that Trump's budget reaches "an unimaginable level of cruelty" towards [American] children, people with disabilities, women and seniors.

    http://thehill.com/policy/finance/bu...vel-of-cruelty

    Certainly, some may try to dismiss these comments as merely partisan words from a "sore loser" (or popular vote winner, to be more accurate), but millions of working class and low income voters in Appalachia and other areas who gave Trump his electoral college victory may be forced to agree with her comment as they see their own children go hungry, or find themselves no longer able to see a doctor or go to the hospital when they are suffering from illness, due to Trump's proposed budget cuts.

    To paraphrase Marie Antoinette, it may be cold comfort for the millions of American families whose lives would be devastated by losing their "bread" due to these heartless cuts in essential programs, that they may be able to "eat the cake" of knowing that at least some of the money diverted away from these programs will be used to prosecute and lock up more Latino, Middle Eastern, Asian and black immigrants, in the case of most of whom their only "crime" consists of seeking a better life in this country, and to build a Wall as a symbol of the message that immigrants of color are no longer welcome in America.

    The terrible effect that Trump's shifting money over from programs desperately needed by millions of his own voters so he can cause even more panic, fear and despair among immigrants, and break up even more immigrant families, is just another of the many lessons that Americans are coming to learn in the "Donald Trump Era", showing that policies which are ostensibly directed only against immigrants can bring even greater suffering and hardship to Americans.

    We may be seeing many more such examples during whatever time may remain in Donald Trump's presidency, given the ongoing accumulation of scandals allegedly involving the White House.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...ial-prosecutor
    __________________________________
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards.

    Roger's practice is concentrated primarily in H-1-B specialty occupation, O-1 extraordinary ability and J-1 trainee work visas; and in green cards through labor certification and through opposite sex or same sex marriage. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com





    Updated 05-24-2017 at 12:35 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  3. H-1B CAP UPDATE

    by , 05-23-2017 at 08:31 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    On May 3, 2017, the USCIS announced that it completed the data entry for the 2017 (FY 2018) H-1B cap season. MU Law believes that it has received all of the H-1B receipts that it will receive this year. Our in-house receipt numbers mirror the overall 42% receipt number.

    H-1B Cap Approval Notices and RFEs. Last week, Musillo Unkenholt received its first 2017 H-1B cap approval notices. We have also received our first 2017 H-1B cap Requests for Evidence. It is unclear how long it will take the USCIS to issue approvals and RFEs for the H-1B cap cases.

    H-1B Returned Petitions. Musillo Unkenholt has not yet received any returned H-1B cap-subject petitions from USCIS. Last year, we continued to receive unselected petitions into August. Our hope is that the USCIS will be faster in light of the 20% decline in H-1B cap petition filings.

    H-1B Premium Processing. What is also unknown is the state of the Premium Processing Service (PPS) for H-1B petitions. In March the USCIS revealed that it would be suspending PPS for all H-1B petitions, including cap-subject, amendments, and extensions, for as long as 6 months. A 6-month suspension of H-1B PPS means that H-1B PPS could be suspended until October 1, 2017. USCIS has made no announcement as to whether it will shorten the H-1B PPS suspension since so few H-1B cap petitions were filed.

    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.
  4. Republicans are preparing extreme immigration measures. By Nolan Rappaport




    © Getty Images

    The Trump administration has found a way to deport millions of undocumented aliens without hearings, and the Republican-controlled congress is working on enforcement-only legislation.

    On May 16, Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), introduced the Davis-Oliver Act, H.R. 2431. Davis and Oliver were law enforcement officers who were murdered by an alien returning to the United States illegally after being deported twice.

    Highlights from Labrador’s summary of the Davis-Oliver Act.


    • It provides states with congressional authorization to enact and enforce their own immigration laws to end the executive branch’s ability to unilaterally shut down immigration enforcement.


    • It withholds certain federal grants from jurisdictions that refuse to honor immigration detainers or prohibit their law enforcement officers from giving immigration-related information to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).


    • Jurisdictions that refuse to honor detainer requests and release criminal aliens may be sued by the victims of crimes the aliens commit after they are released.


    • It makes membership in a criminal gang grounds for deportation.


    • It requires background checks to be completed before immigration benefits can be granted.


    Criminalization of undocumented aliens.


    Section 314
    makes crimes out of illegal entry and unlawful presence. If an offender does not have three misdemeanor convictions or a felony conviction, a first offense can result in imprisonment for up to six months. Subsequent offenses can result in imprisonment for up to two years.

    If the alien has three misdemeanor convictions or a felony conviction, however, the term of imprisonment can be up to 20 years. This is not as harsh as some of the criminal provisions which are in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) already. Smuggling an alien into the country or helping one to remain here unlawfully (harboring) may “be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life” if it results in the death of any person.

    Home free magnet.

    President Obama created what I call the “home free magnet”, when he focused enforcement on undocumented aliens who had been convicted of serious crimes or had been caught near the border after making an illegal entry. Aliens wanting to enter the United States illegally knew that they would be safe from deportation once they had reached the interior of the country.

    Read more at http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blo...ation-measures

    Published originally on The Hill.

    About the author.
    Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.





  5. Fruit and Vegetable Processor Agrees to Pay $225,000 to Settle Discrimination Lawsuit

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law PLLC

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    Washington Potato Company and Pasco Processing, LLC and the Justice Department’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) of the Civil Rights Division, have reached a settlement agreement, whereby the companies agreed to pay over $225,000 to resolve a discrimination lawsuit filed by IER in November 2016. The complaint alleged Washington Potato directed and controlled Pasco Processing’s hiring practices, including the alleged discriminatory documentary practices, which violated the antidiscrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

    According to the November 2016 complaint, filed with the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO), from at least November 2013 until at least October 2016, Washington Potato and Pasco Processing routinely requested lawful permanent residents (LPRs) hired at Pasco Processing produce a specific document – a Permanent Resident Card (also referred to as a Green Card) – to prove their work authorization, while not requesting a specific document from U.S. citizens (USCs). From November 2013 until October 2016, the complaint alleged the companies hired over 2,000 USCs and approximately 800 LPRs. Of the LPRs hired, 99.5% produced a List A document – their green card - to establish their work authorization while only 2% of the USCs hired produced a List A document, such as a U.S. passport or U.S. passport card.

    Prior to the settlement, the companies asserted the high rate of List A documents for LPRs was because these employees did not possess List B or C documents. However, the government alleged many LPR employees presented List B and C documents but the companies requested non-U.S. citizen employees provide a specific document, a green card, for completion of the I-9 Form while it allowed USCs the flexibility to present a variety of documents.

    Under the settlement agreement, Washington Potato Company and Pasco Processing are required to pay civil penalties of $225,750, revise policies to eliminate any discrimination in the I-9 form and E-Verify procedures, post notices informing workers about their rights under the INA’s antidiscrimination provision, train their human resources personnel on the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, and be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements for two and one-half years.

    This is another example of the hefty civil penalties imposed by the IER, formerly known as the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC). In this case, it appears the companies decided not to litigate the complaint even though prior negotiations before the issuance of a complaint had been unsuccessful. Although the IER is a much smaller agency than Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), often settlement of their cases involves substantial civil penalties and/or back pay. Thus, it is important that companies understand the antidiscrimination provision of the INA in order that they not face this liability. I recommend regular training on the antidiscrimination provision of the INA by immigration counsel.
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