Immigration News Update Mid August 2020 — (Newsletter) DHS and USCIS are “Illegally” Headed!

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There has been, as always, a drumbeat of news on Immigration over the last two weeks.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was Friday’s arrival of new H-1B “selections” for this year’s H-1B cap Lottery, which, apparently, ended up up not reaching the cap. USCIS has been exceptionally silent in telling the public how many “new” selectees were notified, or if yet another selection might occur in the Fall, given the drop in the number of new H-1B applications related to the slow down in the economy.

Our favorite piece of news was the GAO telling the world that the heads of DHS and USCIS were illegally appointed, and thus, presumably, their actions, including dozens of new regulations are likely void!

Read below for more on these and the other immigration news of the day.

At Kuck Baxter Immigration, we are dedicated to providing you up to the minute information through Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, our Blog, and our Podcast. Don’t forget to check these out, and don’t hesitate to send your questions or comments. Information and knowledge are power.

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Here is the Immigration News You NEED to Know Now

UP-TO-DATE IMMIGRATION NEWS

 

GAO Says Appointments of Wolf and Cuccinelli to Acting DHS Leadership Roles Were Invalid – GAO concluded that the appointments of Chad Wolf (as DHS Acting Secretary) and Kenneth Cuccinelli (as Senior Official Performing the Duties of Deputy Secretary) were invalid.

USCIS Suddenly Begins Selecting New H-1B Lottery Winners – According to reports, USCIS experienced an unexpected decline in H-1B filings and therefore is selecting additional H-1B lottery winners from previous H-1B submissions.

Reminder: New I-765 Form Must Be Used If Postmarked On or After August 25, 2020 – USCIS will accept the current edition of Forms I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and I-765WS, dated 12/26/19, if they are postmarked before August 25, 2020. If they are postmarked on or after August 25, 2020, USCIS will not accept the 12/26/19 edition. The updated editions are dated 08/25/20.

USCIS Extends Transitional Parole for CNMI Long-Term Resident Status Applicants – USCIS will automatically extend parole, and employment authorization if applicable, for parolees who timely applied for Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands long-term resident status.

Executive Order Heightens Scrutiny of Contractors Employing Foreign Workers – The order instructs the Secretaries of Labor and Homeland Security to take action to protect U.S. workers from “any adverse effects on wages and working conditions caused by the employment of H-1B visa holders at job sites (including third-party job sites),” among other things.

Court Extends Temporary Restraining Order in Case Challenging EAD Delays – On August 6, a U.S. District Court extended a temporary restraining order to August 24, 2020, to allow the parties time to negotiate a consent decree to resolve the plaintiff’s claims.

Courts Rule, Agencies Issue Guidance on Public Charge Rule Injunction – USCIS and DOS said they are complying with the injunction against implementation of the February 2020 public charge final rule.

State Dept. Issues Additional Guidance on National Interest Exceptions – The updated guidance lists exceptions for certain H-1B, H-2B, H-4, J-1, J-2, L-1, and L-2 visas, and for those aging out of their current immigrant visa classifications.

 

For Details on these and other topics, click www.immigration.net!

Government Agency Links

Follow these links to access current processing times of the USCIS Service Centers and the Department of Labor, and the Department of State’s latest Visa Bulletin with the most recent cut-off dates for visa numbers:

 

USCIS Service Center processing times online: https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplay.do

 

Department of State Visa Bulletin:

 

Visa application wait times for any post: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/wait-times.html/

Kuck Baxter Immigration — In The News

 

ABIL Member/Firm News

Charles Kuck was quoted by the Times of India in “U.S. Eases Ban on Foreigners Returning to Same Job Role.” Mr. Kuck said, “This is an extraordinary change in policy from the original [Presidential] Proclamations’ exceptions and is clearly meant to stop ongoing litigation against the Proclamations’ legality (which the government is going to lose). The provisions are broad enough, if well argued, to essentially incorporate any job in America.” The article is at https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/us-eases-ban-on-foreigners-returning-to-same-job-role/articleshow/77534430.cms

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Mr. Kuck was also quoted by Bloomberg Law in “New Guidance Details Visa Ban’s National Interest Exceptions .” Mr. Kuck said that this proclamation is “basically a complete walk back of the prior exemptions and prohibitions” found in the original order. For example, the State Department’s definition of jobs that pertain to critical infrastructure industries in the new guidance is a major expansion of how it may have traditionally been defined, he said. Mr. Kuck has filed a friend of the court brief in the Gomez case challenging the ban. “The average person thinks a nuclear plant, but now it encompasses IT firms, communications, food and agriculture. I can’t think of a sector that’s not included” under the H-1B applicants’ exemptions, he said. Mr. Kuck predicted that many visa hopefuls stuck outside the United States will likely be able to prove they qualify for a national interest waiver to the ban. “It seems like most people stuck right now, who have been denied an exemption in the past, will easily qualify. It’s a complete walk back because they know they’re going to lose this litigation.” The article is at https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/visa-ban-national-interest-exceptions-detailed-in-new-guidance.

 

Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC published its US legal guide for Corporate Immigration. It can be found at https://iclg.com/practice-areas/corporate-immigration-laws-and-regulations/usa

Member/Firm News

Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC has an office in Adel, Georgia, near the Irwin, Folkston, and Stewart Detention Centers, which hold more than 6,000 detained immigrants. The new office is managed by our Senior Counsel Elizabeth Matherne, the former Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Irwin Detention Project.

We have changed the location of our podcast–The Immigration Hour— to Stitcher. We are entering our 13th year of continuous broadcasts. Listen each week for our latest take on immigration and immigration law!

You can follow us on Twitter @KuckBaxter or @CKuck

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Feel free to reach out with any questions or for help in your immigration case at 404-816-8611 or immigration@immigration.net.

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