Dykema Gossett PLLC

Immigration Focus

Immigration Focus

Original DACA Program Preserved for Now!

On June 15, Secretary Kelly of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the very welcome news that the June 15, 2012, Memorandum, which created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program initiated by the Obama administration, would remain in effect.

What is NOT preserved? Read More ›

Employers Beware: Employment Authorization Extension Receipts Can Convey Ongoing Work Eligibility

Does an Employment Authorization Extension Filing Receipt Mean That an Employee Can Continue to Work After Expiration of His or Her Employment Authorization Card? Well, Maybe…

The answer to this question in the past for Form I-9 compliance to prevent the ongoing employment of an unauthorized worker used to be fairly simple. The employer could rely on the expiration of the Employment Authorization Document (EAD/Form I-766) to determine that the employee could no longer work in the United States (U.S.), unless the employee had a new valid EAD or some other work authorization List A or C document. The receipt for the filing of an extension of the EAD (Form I-797) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was just that… a receiptRead More ›

More Bad News: H-4 Work Authorization Under Review by DHS

On April 3, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit[1], the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) signaled yet another angle on the review of the H-1B category, but this time it focused on the ability of H-1B spouses (H-4s) to gain work authorization in limited circumstances. DHS filed a Motion to Hold Proceeding. Read More ›

Administration Targets H-1B Program for Review in Sync with Start of H-1B Lottery Season for FY2018

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued announcements on April 3 aimed at combating fraud and abuse in the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program, signaling a move to redirect enforcement priorities under the H-1B program. The announcements come, not seemingly coincidental with the first day that USCIS started accepting H-1B petitions for the upcoming fiscal year, for which 85,000 coveted slots are available. Last year, USCIS received 236,000 petitions for these slots. Read More ›

U.S. Visa Screening Set to Tighten for Certain Applicants

Over the course of the past month, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has issued several cables directing consular posts abroad to implement additional security screening for certain visa applicants. Initial directives were modified after a U.S. District Court in Hawaii suspended implementation of certain sections of President Trump’s revised executive order regarding travel (EO) on May 15, 2017, which included those sections of the EO halting visa issuance for individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen as well as the suspension of travel for refugees to the U.S. for 120 days. While the new directives do not suspend visa issuance for any individuals from any particular country, they put into place heightened scrutiny for certain “populations” deemed to “warrant increased scrutiny,” which certainly include nationals of the six countries listed in the EO (plus Iraq). Secretary Tillerson also stated that these directives are preliminary, which suggests that the new protocols are merely a first step in what the President has termed, “extreme vetting.” Read More ›

What to Know About the March 6 Travel PAUSE Executive Order 2.0

On March 6, President Trump signed a new Executive Order (sometimes referred to as Executive Order 2.0 in this article) suspending travel of certain nationals to the United States (U.S.). The rollout of this Executive Order certainly appears to have involved more pre-planning than that done as to the now revoked previous order subject to federal litigation. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) actually issued Q & As on the same day the order was signed. This time, the Executive Order basically provides a ten day heads up before the effective date of the order to cause a travel “pause” to the U.S. for 90 days from 12:01 AM Eastern Standard Time as of March 16, 2017. In addition, Attorney General Sessions coordinated a statement with the execution of the travel suspension as well noting that the six nations affected were designated state sponsors of terrorism or have served as safe havens for terrorists. Read More ›

DHS Announces New Enforcement Priorities – Legal Nonimmigrants and Immigrants Remember Personal Possession of Status Documents Rule

On February 17th, John Kelly, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), issued two memoranda to implement the Executive Orders entitled, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” and “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements.” The two Executive Orders were issued on January 25, 2017. The implementation memoranda are draconian. For example, the Interior Enforcement Memo instructs the personnel of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), regardless of the individual’s basis for removability from the United States (US), to include as priorities those who have “committed acts which constitute a chargeable criminal offense” or “in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.” Read More ›

Update: Ninth Circuit Unanimously Upholds Temporary Restraining Order on Executive Order

On February 9, a panel of three judges from the Ninth Circuit unanimously upheld the district court decision issuing a temporary restraining order (TRO) on President Trump’s controversial Executive Order (EO) which imposes temporary restrictions on entry to the United States (U.S.) for refugees as well as individuals from seven countries. (For background on the President’s Executive Order, please refer to previous blog posts here, here, and here.) For now, the President’s Executive Order will remain blocked. Read More ›

Executive Order Fallout - Who Can Travel and Whose Visas Are Revoked - All Eyes on the Ninth Circuit

Uncertainty, inconsistency, and lack of agency coordination have been the main constants since President Trump signed Executive Order 13769 (EO) immediately suspending the “entry” of nationals “from” Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen (the seven countries) on January 27. Read More ›

Emergency Update on Executive Order Suspending Entry as of January 27 for U.S. Legal Permanent Residents Who Are Nationals of Seven Countries

As of this morning, January 28, we are beginning to learn more about the interpretation of the final text of the Executive Order (EO) signed yesterday by President Trump entitled, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” It has already resulted in students and visa holders being turned away at airports and sent back to their home country or another location abroad.

Some questions are being answered, but the situation is very fluid. What we appear to know so far: Read More ›