Immigration Blog

GAO Report on Case Backlogs in Immigration Courts

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On June 1, 2017, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a 146-page report titled “Immigration Courts:  Actions Needed to Reduce Case Backlog and Address Long-Standing Management and Operations Challenges.”  The report focuses on backlogs in the processing of immigration cases at the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), and it details the dramatic increase in processing times at the EOIR over the past decade.   The report makes 11 recommendations for beginning to address the issues.  In this article, we will examine key points from the GAO report as well as its recommendations for the EOIR.  In so doing, we will rely on the following two documents that we have uploaded for those who want to follow along:

FWVP Performance Statistics and Potential Changes to Parole Policy in the Future

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In this article, we will examine several issues relating to the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program (FWVP).  First, we will examine recently-released performance statistics for Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, applications for benefits under the FWVP through the second quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2017.  Second, we will discuss uncertainty about the prospects of the FWVP for future applicants with respect to potential changes in immigration parole policy.  Notwithstanding the second point, it is important to note that as of June 14, 2017, the USCIS is processing applications for benefits under the FWVP as it did when it commenced the program on June 8, 2016.

BIA Issues Amicus Invite on Statutory Interpretation in CIMT Cases

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On June 12, 2017, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued Amicus Invitation No. 17-06-12. The Amicus Invitation, titled “Modified Categorical Approach & CIMTS),” welcomes interested members of the public to file amicus curiae briefs with the BIA by July 12, 2017, addressing issues relating to how the Board should interpret statutes of conviction in determining whether the convictions were for crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMTs).

Justice Neil Gorsuch Authors First Opinion on Supreme Court

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On June 12, 2017, Justice Neil Gorsuch authored his first opinion as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Justice Gorsuch wrote for a unanimous court in Henson v. Santander Consumer USA Inc., 582 U.S. ___ (2017). The Court held that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which authorizes private lawsuits and fines to deter certain debt collection practices, does not apply to entities that purchase debt and then attempt to collect the debt.

Series of Articles on Determining Divisibility and the Matter of Chairez

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On September 28, 2016, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued an important precedent decision titled the Matter of Chairez, 26 I&N Dec. 819 (BIA 2016) (“Chairez III”). The Board set forth new rules for determining when a criminal statute may be considered “divisible” for purposes of applying the modified categorical approach that are in accord with the Supreme Court decisions in Descamps v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2276 and Mathis v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2243 (2016). On April 24, 2017, the Board clarified when adjudicators may look at an alien’s record of conviction when employing the categorical approach in the Matter of Chairez, 27 I&N Dec. 21 (BIA 2017) (“Chairez IV”). In this post, I examine the decision, the history of the case, and provide links to our detailed articles on the issues.

USCIS to Transfer Certain H1B Extension of Stay-Related Petitions from NSC to CSC

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On June 1, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it will transfer a selection of the following pending H1B-related extension of stay petitions from the Nebraska Service Center to the California Service Center.

Updates on Status of MAVNI Program

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On December 2, 2016, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) received notice from the United States Department of Defense (DOD) that the DOD would not accept applications for benefits under the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program for fiscal year (FY) 2017. The SEVP notice stated that the DOD had informed it that the suspension would be in place until revisions to the MAVNI implementation plan for FY 2017 are completed. To date, the DOD has not provided a definitive update on when the suspension may be lifted.

USCIS, IRIS, Records Division to Deploy National File Tracking System Release 11.9 on Friday June 9th-11th

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I received a news alert from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration Records and Identity Services (IRIS), Records Division. The alert states that the IRIS is scheduled to deploy the National File Tracking System (NFTS) Release 11.9 on Friday, June 9-11, 2017. The deployment is scheduled between June 9th at 9:00 EST and June 11 at 5:00 PM EST. During that time, the NFTS will be unavailable. The USCIS will send an email alert to users once the deployment is completed.

Miami Asylum Office Moving to New Location

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On June 5, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the Miami Asylum Office is moving to a new location on the weekend of June 9, 2017. Accordingly, the Miami Asylum Office will be closed to the public from June 6 to June 20, 2017. The Miami Asylum Office will reopen to the public at its new location on June 21, 2017.

CBP to Employ Facial Recognition Biometric Exit Technology in Limited Trial at Washington Dulles International Airport

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The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it will deploy “facial recognition biometric exit technology for one daily flight from the United States to Dubai.” This builds on a June 2016 pilot program by the CBP at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport that also used facial recognition.

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