On June 16, 2017, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) announced that it had sworn in 11 new immigration judges. The 11 new immigration judges were selected by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The 11 new judges will serve on 10 immigration courts, with the Otay Mesa Immigration Court welcoming two new immigration judges.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) reported on June 19, 2017, that several of its members have erroneously received Application Support Center (ASC) Appointment Notices from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). AILA explained that the biometrics notices were issued to AILA attorneys by the National Benefits Center (NBC), but did not relate to any individual clients of the attorneys. NBC informed AILA that it would provide updates as necessary.
On June 9, 2017, the United States Department of State (DOS) released the “Visa Bulletin for July 2017.” The July 2017 Visa Bulletin contains dates for filing and application final action dates for the family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant visa preference categories in July of 2017. On June 13, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determined that both family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant visa beneficiaries must use the final action dates contained in the July 2017 Visa Bulletin. In this article, we will reproduce the relevant charts for family-sponsored and employment-based beneficiaries of approved immigrant visa petitions who are waiting to file for adjustment of status. This post will also include news and notes from the DOS’s July 2017 Visa Bulletin.
On June 16, 2017, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued a precedent decision in the Matter of Deang, 27 I&N Dec. 57 (BIA 2017), in which it held that an essential element of an aggravated felony receipt of stolen property offense under section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is that the offender must receive the stolen property with the “knowledge or belief” that it has been stolen. However, Judge Garry Malphrus, who was a member of the three-judge panel considering the case, dissented from the opinion of the Board. Although Judge Malphrus’s dissent is not controlling – and the majority’s decision now constitutes binding precedent – it evinces that there may be members of the Board open to reassessing Matter of Deang in the future.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.