India and China EB-3 Retrogress Because of USCIS Incompetence
The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for November 2021 revealed a disappointing retrogression in final action dates. For example, the third preference category for India and China’s final action dates retrogressed significantly leaving beneficiaries and their families in limbo. This news is frustrating as the mire of backlog continues to spread across the U.S. Immigration system due to DOS and USCIS incompetence. DOS, in its statement, reasons that the retrogression was “a direct result of extraordinarily heavy applicant demand for [visa] numbers” by USCIS officers in adjustment of status cases. Advocates, including Kuck Baxter’s managing partner, Charles Kuck, are calling for action to address and reduce backlogs and inefficiencies immediately. Quoted in Bloomberg Law this week, Mr. Kuck stated that USCIS could be doing more. He pointed out, “The idea that USCIS does not have the resources is not true. They don’t have the will.” We will be watching these issues for additional developments as we continue to hold the government accountable, and fight for our clients and a better, more efficient immigration system!
Read below for more on this and the other immigration news of the day.
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Here is the Immigration News You NEED to Know Now
UP-TO-DATE IMMIGRATION NEWS
DHS Announces Fully Vaccinated Travelers From Canada and Mexico Will Be Allowed to Enter United States at Land Borders and Ferry Crossings – The modifications will occur in two phases over the next few months.
India and China EB-3 Dates Retrogress in November 2021 Visa Bulletin – The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for November 2021 is causing consternation and raising queries from beneficiaries trapped in backlogs.
Senate Democrats Review Options for Immigration Provisions in Reconciliation Bill – Senate Democrats are considering various options for including scaled-down immigration provisions in a budget reconciliation bill the following rejection by the Senate parliamentarian of proposals for more sweeping changes.
USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap for First Half of FY 2022 – USCIS received enough petitions to reach the congressionally mandated cap on H-2B visas for temporary nonagricultural workers for the first half of the fiscal year 2022.
DHS Secretary Mayorkas Announces New Immigration Enforcement Priorities – Secretary Mayorkas announced new guidelines for immigration enforcement priorities that focus on national security, public safety, and border security and emphasize prosecutorial discretion and individual assessment. The new guidelines take effect on November 29, 2021.
DHS Ends Mass Worksite Enforcement Operations, Issues Policy Guidance – DHS updated its policies on worksite enforcement to focus on unscrupulous employers. DHS said it no longer conducts mass worksite operations, sometimes called raids.
Court Establishes Timeframe for Processing 9,905 Diversity Visas – A federal court has ordered the Department of State to finish processing 9,905 DV-2020 visas by September 30, 2022.
CIS Ombudsman Releases Tips on Communicating With USCIS Contact Center – Tips include when to reach out to the USCIS Contact Center; where to check case status; when to use online tools; how to submit case inquiries and service requests; what constitutes an emergency; how to expedite a case; how biometrics appointments are scheduled; how to reschedule appointments and interviews; and other advice.
CIS Ombudsman Releases Readout and Q&As From Webinar on Filing for TPS and Concurrent Work Authorization – The CIS Ombudsman released information from its public webinar discussing eligibility, required evidence, and account features for online filing of Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, and concurrent filing of Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
For details on these news briefs, click here!
New Publications and Items of Interest
New E-Verify feature. A new E-Verify feature, myUploads, allows employees to upload required documents in JPEG, PNG, or PDF formats to help resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs). Employees can access their myE-Verify accounts by logging into their USCIS online accounts and uploading the requested documents. They can still use fax or mail to submit documents if they prefer. The employer should provide the Further Action Notice (FAN) to the affected employee, discuss the TNC privately with the employee, and allow the employee to decide whether he or she will contest the TNC. The FAN includes the steps for using myUploads to help resolve a DHS TNC. Once uploaded, the employee must call the number on the FAN to resolve the case.https://myeverify.uscis.gov/
New SAVE features. Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) is enhancing its case search capabilities, including improved usability through a search bar and other features, and a more robust case search engine. SAVE will notify users by email at least three weeks before the go-live date for enhancements. https://save.uscis.gov/web/media/resourcesContents/SAVESearchCasesTipSheet.pdf
Immigration Agency Information
Department of Labor:
Agency Twitter Accounts
- EOIR: @DOJ_EOIR
- ICE: @ICEgov
- Study in the States: @StudyinStates
- USCIS: @USCIS
Immigrant and employee rights webinars. The Department of Justice’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER), of the Civil Rights Division, is offering a number of free webinars for workers, employers, and advocates. For more information, see https://www.justice.gov/crt/webinars
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:
Department of State Visa Bulletin:
Kuck Baxter Immigration — In The News
Charles Kuck was quoted by Bloomberg Law in “Chronic Green Card Backlog Gains Lawmakers’ Bipartisan Attention. Commenting on things U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) could do to reduce backlogs, Mr. Kuck said, “The idea that USCIS does not have the resources is not true. They don’t have the will.” https://bit.ly/3ARW2ii
Charles Kuck was quoted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in “Kemp’s Immigration Policy Could Complicate Bid for Second Term.” Mr. Kuck said Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia was in search of a “shiny object” to distract from former President Trump’s ongoing attacks targeting the governor. “This is a reelection stunt. If he’s going to the border, he’s searching for a solution that does not exist,” Mr. Kuck said. https://bit.ly/3Bt9gDo
Charles Kuck, represented plaintiffs in a recent case, Kinsley v. Blinken, in which a U.S. district court judge issued a decision on October 5, 2021, prohibiting the use of travel bans as a reason not to process or issue visas. Mr. Kuck was quoted by the Times of India in “Good News for H-1B Visa Holders Stranded in India.” Mr. Kuck said, “We are grateful that Judge Boasberg saw through the cascade of baseless legal theories put forward by the Department of State to finally and affirmatively rule that it is a violation of federal law to refuse to issue visas solely because a President has proclaimed an entry ban under the Immigration and Nationality Act 212(f). We call on the Department of State to now do away with its ridiculous and legally unnecessary national interest exemption program and get back to the business of visa issuance around the world regardless of those entry bans.” https://bit.ly/30bBbKl
Charles Kuck was quoted by Atlanta Magazine in “Freedom University Wasn’t Meant to Last This Long.” He said the Board of Regents of Freedom University is “not answerable to the state legislature” and can change policies if it chooses, at least for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients. He blamed a lack of progress on “constant finger-pointing between the legislature and the regents. ” ‘It’s their fault. It’s their fault. It’s their fault.’ That’s what’s extraordinarily frustrating about this. Nobody wants to take responsibility for depriving these kids of an education.”https://www.atlantamagazine.com/great-reads/freedom-university-wasnt-meant-to-last-this-long/
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 Partner Elizabeth Matherne, the former Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Irwin Detention Project.https://www.immigration.net/south-georgia/
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!