Immigration Updates

USCIS issued a statement on the Supreme Court’s DACA decision. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump Administration’s attempt to terminate the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was “arbitrary” and invalid. The Supreme Court’s decision to preserve the DACA program provides temporary protection for the nearly one-million “Dreamers” – the vast majority of which were brought to the United States as children and otherwise lack lawful status – who receive permission to work and remain in the country after establishing lack of criminal history and other requirements to establish eligibility. USCIS is soon expected to release information regarding the process for first-time DACA applicants who wish to apply for DACA. Brown Immigration Law is closely monitoring these developments and we will continue to provide updates as they become available.

The Trump administration will impose new restrictions on asylum seekers hoping to receive work authorization. The Trump administration has published a new rule that will make it more difficult for asylum seekers to receive temporary permission to work while applicants wait for the asylum office to process their applications. The rule takes effect on August 25th and will make obtaining permission to work lawfully much more difficult for individuals who have come to the United States to request humanitarian protection from persecution in their home countries. Among several significant changes, the rule lengthens the waiting period before an asylum seeker may apply for the work permit (from 150 days to 365 days), bars asylum seekers who entered the U.S. outside a port of entry, and imposes restrictions on applicants who applied for asylum more than 1-year after arriving to the United States.

The Trump administration has extended visa restrictions affecting certain nonimmigrant visas. This week, President Trump signed an executive order imposing a temporary ban on many types of nonimmigrant visas. The temporary ban prohibits the issuance of new H-1B visas, H-2B visas for nonagricultural seasonal workers, J-1 visas, and L-1 visas. There will be certain exemptions for some healthcare and food processing workers.

USCIS has confirmed that current H-1B visa holders will not be affected by new visa restrictions. On June 23, USCIS clarified that the newly announced ban on issuance of new H-1B visas does not affect those working in the U.S. on a valid H-1B or similar visa. Valid visa holders who are currently abroad will not be prevented from entering or reentering the U.S.

Brown Immigration Law recommends that individuals and employers continue to move forward with their immigration processes to reduce the risk that these matters are subject to backlogs that may occur. The executive order is temporary, and many immigration processes require significant preparation before a visa can be issued. Immigration rules and policies are changing quickly and the Executive Order indicates that further review will take place in 30 days, and then every 60 days thereafter. In this ever-changing environment, Brown Immigration Law is closely monitoring these developments and we will continue to provide updates as they become available. Should you have specific questions about your case or how the Executive Order may impact a matter, please feel free to contact our office to schedule a consultation.

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