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by Chris Musillo
The USCIS has issued a Policy Memorandum that will likely lead to denial of Computer-related positions where the employer uses a Level 1 OES wage. Accordingly, MU Law recommends that all clients use at least Level Two OES wages, or use alternative wage surveys. The new Policy Memorandum takes immediate effect and will be used for all H-1B petitions: H-1B cap, H-1B extensions, H-1B transfers, and H-1B amendments.
The March 31, 2017 Policy Memorandum rescinds a seventeen-year-old December 22, 2000 Policy Memorandum, issued by Nebraska Service Center then-Director Terry Way. There is little doubt that the new Policy Memorandum is a direct result of immigration restrictionists in the USCIS who feel emboldened by the new Trump presidency. It remains to be seen how restrictive USCIS officers will be as they interpret forthcoming computer H-1B petitions.
At virtually the same time, USCIS also has issued additional measures aimed at perceived abuses in the H-1B program. The April 3, 2017 press release says that these site visits will focus on:
Cases where USCIS cannot validate the employer’s basic business information through commercially available data;H-1B-dependent employers (those who have a high ratio of H-1B workers as compared to U.S. workers, as defined by statute); and Employers petitioning for H-1B workers who work off-site at another company or organization’s location.
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 04-08-2017 at 09:16 AM by CMusillo
Seth Stodder, a senior law enforcement official ln both the Bush and Obama administrations whose whose most recent position was assistant secretary of Homeland Security for Border, Immigration and Trade Policy, writes in POLITICO on March 31 that he was opposed to the idea of Sanctuary Cities while he was a government official, but he has now changed his mind.
The reason, he explains, is that in the previous two administrations, federal immigration enforcement activities were (at laast in theory, one has to add) focused on deporting dangerous criminals. Therefore, Stodder points out in his piece, any lack of cooperation by local police officials in providing information about such individuals or turning them over to the federal government for deportation made those localities more dangerous places and directly impeded efforts to reduce violent crime.
However, Stodder writes that he has now changed his mind about Sanctuary Cities because the Trump administration's announced deportation policy no longer focuses only on on violent criminals who threaten the safety of their communities, but are directed againtt entire immigrant communities within these cities or states themselves.
In other words, what originally started out as a crime fighting measure under the two previous presidents has now morphed into mass deportation, something that cities and states have a legitimate interest in protecting members of their immigrant communities who are not violent or dangerous crimininals against.
But the transformation of fighting against crime into mass expulsion of up to 11 million unauthorized immigrants of every variety is not the only danger in the Trump administration's attacks against Sanctuary Cities, as most recently evidenced by A.G. Sessions' threat to cut off their federal funding because of their refusal to share information about immigration status with federal immigration authorities under INA Section 1373.
The most fundamental rights of American citizens are also at risk from this escalation. These include the rights to free speech, free association, and even marriage rights, all of which are in danger under INA Section 274, which makes it a federal felony to "harbor" or even "assist" an unauthorized immigrant in remaining in the United States.
Already, in some quarters, there have been dark calls to prosecute mayors of Sanctuary Cities under this broad, draconian, but up to now infrequently used statute.
Could millions of American citizens be sent to prison one day soon for providing advocacy, advice, legal or medical assistance, or even just failing to report any immigrant whose papers may not be in order to ICE for deportation?
Could America turn into a country governed by the spirit, (though of course not the letter) of Germany's infamous 1936 Nuremberg laws against the Jews?
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards for more than 35 years. Roger's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated 04-09-2017 at 04:37 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
Via Syracuse University's TRAC Immigration:
Over nine out of ten post-Trump cases rely on immigration charges as the basis for seeking a removal order. About 40 percent are for illegal entry, while 51 percent were for other immigration charges. The most common of these other types of immigration charges were for no "current valid immigrant visa," or simply "being present in the country in violation of the law." In only 2 percent of the cases were persons charged with having an aggravated felony, while an additional 6 percent were charged with participating in other types of criminal behavior. There were no terrorism charges, and just 3 cases where the individual was charged with a "national security violation."
While this pattern is not dissimilar to the pattern of charges observed in Immigration Court cases under President Obama, there has been a shift away from illegal entry as the grounds for seeking deportation and a rise in other immigration offenses, such as not currently having a valid immigrant visa which can occur if the person entered legally and then stayed beyond the period permitted under their visa.
Click here for the full report.