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    by , 09-12-2017 at 01:25 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    The Department of State has just issued the October 2017 Visa Bulletin. This is the first Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2018. This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin. The DOS has added some predication on future date movement. We have encompassed those thoughts within our category comments.

    October 2017 Visa Bulletin

    Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card).

    EB-1 C 01JAN12 C C C
    EB-2 C 22MAY13 15SEP08 C C
    EB-3 C 01JAN14 15OCT06 C 01DEC15

    MU Law Analysis

    All Other: The EB-2 has been current for many years. The EB-3 progression has long been effectively current, and is expected to remain current for the foreseeable future.

    China (mainland-born): The China EB-3 has again progressed faster than Chinese EB-2. The DOS expects that EB-3 will progress at about 4 months per Visa Bulletin, while EB-2 will only progress one month per Visa Bulletin.

    India: The India progressions are steady, albeit slow. EB-2 should progress one month per Visa Bulletin. EB-3's progression will be "limited," in the words of the DOS. MU suspects that EB-3 may finally breakout once the EB-3 date moves past the Visa Gate date of August 2007.

    Mexico: Mirrors All Other in all aspects.

    Philippines: The Philippine EB-3 number essentially cleaned out all of the 2010 through 2015 EB-3 visas in FY2017. Unfortunately the progressions will be considerable slower in FY2018, probably progressing 1-2 months per Visa Bulletin. The demand for Philippines EB-3 numbers increased dramatically in 2016-17. This increased demand will be the cause for the slower progressions in the FY2018.

    Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at and You can also visit us on Facebook, Twitter and LinknedIn.

    Updated 09-12-2017 at 01:32 PM by CMusillo

  2. ICE removes top Mexican drug trafficker

    by , 09-12-2017 at 01:24 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

    NEW YORK – Deportation officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removed a top Mexican drug kingpin Sept. 1.

    Esteban Rodriguez-Olivera, 52, departed from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York and arrived in Mexico without incident.
    He was transferred to ERO New York custody Aug. 28 from the Federal Bureau of Prisons Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where he was serving a sentence for a felony cocaine conviction.

    Rodriguez-Olivera, one of the leaders of the “Los Gueros” international drug organization, pleaded guilty in November 2012 to charges of conspiring to import illegal narcotics into the United States.

    He was sentenced Aug. 24 to 60 months incarceration, and credited for time served, by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

    According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the Los Gueros drug cartel is estimated to have imported more than 100,000 kilograms of cocaine into the United States from 1996 to 2008. It smuggled cocaine from Colombia to the Gulf of Mexico. From there, it routed the cocaine through Mexico to Texas before delivering it to various parts of the United States, including New York.

    Rodriguez-Olivera and his brother Luis Rodriguez-Olivera were both designated as ‘kingpins’ in 2007 by the U.S. Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force.

    Updated 09-28-2017 at 12:56 PM by MKolken

  3. FAQ's and Other Forms of Administrative Guidance

    by , 09-12-2017 at 12:07 PM (Joel Stewart on PERM Labor Certification)
    A Practice Pointer on FAQ’s, “Do DOL FAQ’s Serve as Guidance or Law,” was recently posted on the website of the largest association of immigration lawyers in the United States. According to the Pointer, FAQ’s serve as guidance, not as law, and cannot be used to create new requirements which do not already exist in the form of a regulation.

    The Practice Pointer goes on to discuss legal decisions by BALCA, Federal Courts, and the PERM form 9089 itself, since forms first approved by the Office of Management and Budget and then published in the Federal Register have the full force of law. These legal sources suggest that FAQ’s are not laws but only policy.

    While FAQ’s may only seem to serve as guidance, the analysis of this guidance requires a broad interpretation of the legal effect of FAQ’s. In the context of the total scheme of current administrative law principles, this analysis involves far more than the FAQ’s themselves.

    In PERM workshops, conferences, blogging and other forms of media, including in the PERM Book III, I have presented a discussion entitled, “What is the Law.” My concern is that administrative law in the United States has become a confusing maze of regulations, administrative law judge decisions, FAQ’s, guidance in memos, on-line comments, and other forms of ‘policy’ generated by federal agencies such as the US Department of Labor. “What is the Law” categorizes these elements on a continuum based on their similarity to laws at one end of the spectrum and mere statements of policy at the other end.

    It was my conclusion – and I am especially thankful to my acclaimed colleague, Attorney Michael Piston, who labored intensively on this subject for several years, that FAQ’s may sometimes be more than a narrowly drafted form of guidance – and may actually be something more akin to substantive legal requirements – if they are a reasonable and do not conflict with the regulations.

    Mr. Piston’s article, “What Is the Law?” has been incorporated into the PERM Book III,

    “As in virtually every other form of administrative law, the rules pertaining to the labor certification process do not spring from a single source, but a whole slew of them:

    1. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA),
    2. Department of Labor (DOL) Regulations
    3. Instructions to Form Eta 9089
    4. Decisions Published by the Federal Court of Appeals
    5. En Banc and Panel Decisions of the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals
    6. Decisions of the DOL Administrative Review Board (ARB)
    7. A Plethora of “administrative guidance”
    8. Agency comments published in the Federal Register,
    9. DOL Answers to Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs),
    10. Minutes from Stakeholder Meetings
    11. Agency Memoranda
    12. Letters from DOL to Attorneys or Members of the Public
    13. DOL Speeches and Answers to Questions at AILA or Other Conferences

    It is the unenviable task of the diligent labor certification practitioner not only to acquaint himself with all these various sources, but also to determine how much weight to assign to each, and which to prefer in the event of apparent conflict among their varied provisions.”

    Due to the complex structure of modern federal administrative law, government agencies sometimes consider points of view that promote administrative efficiency at the expense of Due Process and other reasonable concerns of Stakeholders. My recommendation is to fall in step with the reality that seemingly vexatious FAQ’s must be understood in the context of the broad range of elements described above and seek solutions that flow from the totality of these laws and interpretations.
  4. DACA is Ending – What You Should Do Now

    On September 5, the Trump Administration announced that DACA which has shielded over 800,000 young people who were brought to the US as children from deportation for the past 5 years was coming to an end.

    The USCIS will no longer accept new applications for DACA or for advance parole travel permits.

    However, for a brief period of time which ends on October 5, 2017, current DACA recipients whose DACA status expires prior to March 5, 2018 may apply to renew their status and EADs for another 2 years. If you fit into this category, be sure to apply for a DACA and EAD renewal immediately.

    Although USCIS will not accept new applications for advance parole from DACA recipients and will return all pending applications for advance parole, if you already have an advance parole through DACA that you have not used and you last entered the US without inspection, you may want to travel abroad and return to the US with your advance parole document. This may allow you to adjust your status in the US in the future. Please see DACA Renewals – Plus DACA To Green Card!.

    In addition, there are a variety of other immigration benefits that you may be eligible for. These are detailed in Screening Potential DACA Requestors for Other Forms of Relief published by the American Immigration Council.

    We link to the various government memos regarding the termination of the program from End of DACA Program – Frequently Asked Questions.

    Will Congress pass a bill to provide DREAMers with a path to US citizenship, or at least to protect them from deportation after March 5, 2018?

    That’s anyone’s guess.

    The DREAM Act was first introduced back in 2001, and has never been passed by Congress. Whether Congress will act to protect the DREAMers in 2017-18 remains to be seen.

    There are currently 4 bills in Congress to help the Dreamers. There has been much speculation as to whether the Democrats and President Trump can make a deal to help the Dreamers the way they did recently on the short term hike in the debt ceiling.

    Several states are suing the Administration over the DACA termination. So is the University of California.

    Religious leaders from many faiths have condemned President Trump's decision to phase out DACA. Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) has threatened to shut down the government if the House of Representatives fails to pass the DREAM Act.

    Some commentators had concluded that there is a racial basis for ending DACA and attempting to restrict immigration to the US.

    I watched Steve Bannon on "60 Minutes" last night. He stated that he was all in favor of ending DACA and that the answer to the problem is for the Dreamers to "self-deport". Outrageous!

    If you are also upset about how the 800,000 young DACA recipients are being treated, this is the time for you to act. Take a few minutes and let the White House and your Members of Congress know that it is important to you that they protect the Dreamers.

    With DACA ending, it is important that we Act Now For Dreamers.

    Updated 09-12-2017 at 12:33 PM by CShusterman

  5. While 6 Million Floridians Suffered From a Global Warming Related Storm, Trump Was Asking Sup. Ct. to Ban More Muslim Immigrants. Roger Algase

    I will start by admitting to a personal motivation for writing this comment. I have a daughter who lives in Florida, along with my son-in law and my grandsons. Along with 6 million other Floridians, they were without power in 80-degree heat, and must have spent a very anxious and uncomfortable night before the electricity finally came back on after the devastation wrought throughout that state by Hurricane Irma, which according to most news reports, was the most powerful Atlantic storm on record.

    Fortunately, she and her family (including their numerous cats!) are safe, and they were among the lucky Floridians whose home was not damaged in the storm. But was this storm just another Florida Hurricane? Why was it of such ferocious power, covering such a wide area?

    Why did it come so soon after Hurricane Harvey which devastated Houston, one of America's largest cities, and other places in Texas? Why are there reports of more dangerous storms in the Atlantic, as well as unprecedented droughts and uncontrollable wildfires in other parts of the United States, not to mention extreme weather in Asia and other parts of the world?

    As evidently every reputable scientist is shouting as loudly as possible to anyone who is willing to listen, the answer is in two simple words: Global Warming (euphemistically known as Climate Change). For just one of the latest news reports on this connection which are too numerous to mention, see:

    But what is the president of the United States doing about this severe, incalculably dangerous threat to the lives and safety of millions of Americans, whose welfare he claims to be putting first every time he issues a "Buy American, Hire American" or some other executive order aimed at cutting off Asian, African, Middle Eastern or Latin American immigration?

    In terms of property damage and disruption of daily life, global warming has, very arguably, already caused more damage from these two storms than dozens of terrorist attacks could conceivably have done.

    The answer is that, aside from expunging any mention of climate change and links to scientific information about it from government websites, Donald Trump is doing nothing about this threat - not only to America but to the entire planet.

    Instead, his focus is now on cancelling DACA, (and possibly, according to a recent CNN news report, even TPS) and, most recently, asking the Supreme Court to ban more Muslim refugees (after apparently having given up on trying to stop more Muslim grandparents from entering the United States - with all this policy's awful associations with the Nazis' obsession over Jewish grandparents in the infamous Nuremberg laws ). See:

    Which is more important to you, Mr. President, protecting the American people from even more devastating global-warming related storms of which Hurricanes Harvey and Irma may be only a foretaste, or pursuing the Alt-Right agenda of making America whiter by banning as many Muslim and other non-European immigrants as the federal courts (and Congress, if it ever passes the RAISE Act) will permit, letting loose a Hurricane of Hate and a Flood of Fear against minority communities by stepping up attempts to arrest and deport millions of mainly Latino and Asian immigrants who are already in this country, and threatening to shut down the federal government if Congress does not provide funding for a Wall of shame and humiliation along our Southern border?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 09-12-2017 at 06:40 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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