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  1. Current State Department List of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

    Foreign Terrorist Organizations

    Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) are foreign organizations that are designated by the Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended. FTO designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business.

    List available at

    Posted by Nolan Rappaport

    Updated 03-01-2018 at 02:06 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. The Last-In, First-Out Policy Ain't Exactly Last-In, First-Out

    It's been a month since the Asylum Division surprised us by changing from a first-in, first-out (FI-FO) system to a last-in, first-out (LI-FO) system. Under the new system, cases were supposed to be interviewed in the following order of priority: (1) Applications that were scheduled for an interview, but the interview had to be rescheduled at the applicant’s request or the needs of USCIS; (2) Applications that have been pending 21 days or less; and (3) All other pending affirmative asylum applications will be scheduled for interviews starting with newer filings and working back towards older filings. So in other words, the Asylum Offices would interview newly filed cases first; then, if they had extra time, they would interview recently filed cases, working their way backwards through the backlog.

    How's the new LI-FO system working out for you?

    We're now a month in, and the new system is not working exactly as advertised. In our office, for example, we had one client whose case was filed in mid-January 2018. The case was scheduled for an interview earlier this week (we postponed it, as we needed more time to gather evidence). This is about what we expected under the LI-FO system. Another client, whose case was filed in August 2014 was scheduled for an interview in mid-March. The Asylum Office mailed out the interview notice in mid-February, at a time when LI-FO should have been in place. This is not what we were expecting. So what the heck is happening?

    It turns out that different Asylum Offices are implementing the LI-FO system in different ways. In a conference call with AILA (the American Immigration Lawyers Association), the Asylum Division informed us that if they do not have enough new cases to fill their schedule, Asylum Offices will interview cases from the backlog. The different offices apparently have the authority to decide which backlogged cases they will choose to interview--old cases, new cases or (I guess) whatever cases they feel like interviewing.

    In my local office--Arlington, Virginia--it seems they are interviewing old backlog cases--from 2014. This is contrary to the interview priorities published on January 31, 2018, where the Asylum Division indicated they would work their way backwards through the backlog. It sounds like other Asylum Offices will interview newer backlogged cases--from January 2018 or December 2017, in conformity with the published priorities.

    On one level, my preference is that the Asylum Offices interview older cases first, as that seems more fair. But frankly, at this point, my main concern is that they just make a decision and stick with it. It's bad enough that the Asylum Division announced a surprise change and basically upended the expectations of asylum seekers (and their lawyers). But now, it seems they can't even follow their own policy.

    For advocates, including yours truly, this makes it very difficult to know how to prioritize cases and advise clients. Worse, so much uncertainty makes it even more difficult for asylum seekers to endure the long waits.

    Of course, all things pass, and my guess is that we are currently in a period of transition. After the recent change to LI-FO, many attorneys and applicants stopped filing cases. Prior to the change, we were filing bare-bones asylum applications with the intention of finishing the cases later, as the interview date approached. But now, given the (supposed) short time between filing the case and receiving the interview, we have to file completed cases. It takes more time to prepare complete cases, and so we are adjusting how we do things. As a result, fewer cases are being filed and the Asylum Offices have a brief pause to work on backlogged cases.

    However, once everyone re-calibrates, I expect the volume of new asylum applications will return to normal, and the Asylum Offices will probably be interviewing new cases, and maybe--if we're lucky--some cases from the backlog.

    Once things settle down, it would be nice to know how the different Asylum Offices plan to interview backlog cases going forward. That way, asylum seekers will have some idea what to expect, and attorneys can advise their clients and manage their caseload. In this sense, the now-defunct Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin was quite helpful. At least we had some idea about what was going on.

    My hope is that the Asylum Offices will choose to provide us with some information about how they are operating. This shouldn't be all that difficult since each office has its own website. Indeed, whether they are moving through their backlog from oldest to newest or from newest to oldest, I don't see why they can't simply tell us where they are.

    And while I'm wishing, maybe they can also give other useful information on their website, like the deadlines for filing evidence and the procedures for rescheduling, expediting, and short-listing. Repeat customers like me already know the rules, but pro se applicants don't, and there is currently no easy way for them to find out. Why not simply post this information on the Asylum Office website for everyone to see?

    I know that all this is probably asking for too much. I also know that the Asylum Offices are in a tough spot these days. The Trump Administration is clearly hostile to their mission of protecting bona fide refugees, and anything they do to make the process more user-friendly might come back to bite them. Also, they are potentially on the cusp of a massive surge in new cases, if nothing is done for DACA or TPS recipients. Nevertheless, it would be nice if they could follow the policy that they announced less than a month ago. Or, if they don't plan to follow the policy, at least keep everyone informed about what they are doing.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist:
    Tags: asylum, backlog Add / Edit Tags
  3. California Provides Template for New Notice Requirement for I-9 inspections

    The California Labor Commissioner’s Office has released the template for the notice requirement of the state’s new law on I-9 inspections. As many of my readers know, California passed a law in late 2017, Immigrant Worker Protection Act, which requires that employers notify their employee workforce of any government I-9 form inspections within 72 hours or face potential penalties and fines. Prior to the release of this template, California employers who received a Notice of Inspection (NOI) had to create their own notice.

    Section 90.2(a)(1) of the California Labor Code requires employers to provide notice to current employees of any inspection of I-9 forms or other employment records conducted by an immigration agency, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which is a part of ICE.

    The California law mirrors the NOI timing by requiring employers to provide a posted notice to employees within 72 hours of receiving the NOI. However, under federal law, an employer may request an extension of time on producing the I-9 forms and sometimes ICE will provide more than three days without an employer’s request. The California law does not provide any such extension of time. Therefore, California employers are still required to notify employees of the audit within that 72-hour time window.
    The posting of the notice should be where other government postings are located. The notice must be written in the language one usually uses to communicate with employees. California provided both English and Spanish versions of their sample template. Below is a copy of the template in English.

    For a review of all employment and immigration-related state laws and other issues related to employer immigration compliance, I invite you to read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and is available at

    See Notice to Employee - Labor Code section 90.2 here
  4. Sup. Ct,, USCIS and ICE Move Toward Police State With Actions Against Asylum-Seekers, H-1B Employers and California Immigrants. Roger Algase

    Only days after Donald Trump's venomous CPAC speech denouncing refugees as "Poisonous Snakes" (recalling Adolf Hitler's similar attacks against Jews, communists and other targeted people), the Supreme Court, in yet another split along party lines (5-3, with Justice Kagan recusing herself), ruled that there are no statutory provisions preventing the government from detaining asylum seekers and other immigrants who lack legal status or have committed minor crimes indefinitely while awaiting deportation.

    While this ruling may arguably have some justification on narrow grounds of statutory interpretation, the majority, in effect, ignored the obvious 5th amendment violation inherent in indefinite detention, and kicked that issue back to the 9th Circuit for decision.

    This virtually guarantees that in another year or two, this issue will be back in the Supreme Court, after the almost inevitable 9th Circuit decision that indefinite detention of immigrants does indeed violate the constitution.

    Meanwhile, thousands of immigrants awaiting asylum decisions or deportation will continue to languish, without the right to bail hearings, in detention centers which, while enriching private prison CEO Trump campaign donors, are also generating increasing numbers of detainee fatalities in what is coming under more and more criticism over concentration camp-like conditions.

    For further comment on this decision, Jennings v. Rodriguez, and a link to the full decision, including Justice Breyer's vigorous dissent on the grounds that the majority ignored centuries of legal precedents guaranteeing individual liberties and human rights see:

    So much for the individual liberties and human rights of "Poisonous Snake" refugees and asylum seekers in the Donald Trump Era.

    In the meantime, USCIS has issued new restrictions governing H-1B workers who are placed with third parties, which, under the pretext of allegedly combating "abuses" are likely to intimidate and discourage potential H-1B employers even further from hiring foreign skilled and professional workers in this category.

    As the memo states, these new H-1B restrictions are in furtherance of the campaign against skilled immigrants, many of whom are from Asia, contained in Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" executive order. On its face alone, this order is obviously meant to overturn the spirit, if not the letter, of the H-1B and other sections of the immigration of laws allowing for employment of foreign workers without first requiring recruitment of US workers. See:

    In another move showing that Trump's threats against various groups of minority immigrants need to be taken seriously, ICE has evidently followed up on Trump's recent denunciation of California's Sanctuary State policies and threat to pull ICE out of that state entirely by arresting more than 150 immigrants, most of whom had records of DUI or other relatively minor crimes, in the San Francisco Bay area.

    See also:

    One can be sure that in the battle between the growth of presidential power in the direction of authoritarian control over immigration on the one hand, and the basic rights of primarily Asian, African, Middle Eastern and Latin American immigrants and their US sponsors as guaranteed by a democratic society on the other, authoritarian power used in support of limiting or reducing non-white immigration is making substantial gains in Donald Trump's America.
    Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 30 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world obtain H-1B and other work visas, as well as both employment and family-based green cards. Roger's email address is

    Updated 02-28-2018 at 02:33 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. ICE Arrests More Than 150 People in the Bay Area

    by , 02-28-2018 at 05:18 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via FOX News:

    Watch the latest video at

    Federal immigration officials have arrested more than 150 individuals in violation of federal U.S. immigration law in Northern California this week despite the Oakland mayor warning of an impending raid.

    U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made the arrests in the San Francisco Bay Area starting Sunday as part of “targeted immigration enforcement operations,” the agency told Fox News on Tuesday.

    Roughly half of those arrested by deportation officers have convictions for assault and battery, crimes against children, weapons charges and DUI, according to the agency.

    Click here for more.

    Updated 02-28-2018 at 05:22 AM by MKolken

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