Immigration News Update Newsletter — Late February 2022

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Biden Makes Public Charge Safe From Future Abuse

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on February 17, 2022, that it will issue a proposed rule soon that would regulate how DHS applies the public charge ground of inadmissibility. The proposed rule would provide “fair and humane treatment” for noncitizens requesting admission to the United States or applying for lawful permanent residence from within the United States, DHS said. According to reports, the proposed rule is expected to be published on February 24, 2022.

DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said, “Under this proposed rule, we will return to the historical understanding of the term ‘public charge’ and individuals will not be penalized for choosing to access the health benefits and other supplemental government services available to them.”

Under the proposed rule, DHS proposes to define “likely at any time to become a public charge” as “likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.” Consistent with longstanding agency practice, DHS proposes to consider the following public benefits when making a public charge inadmissibility determination:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI);
  • Cash assistance for income maintenance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program;
  • State, Tribal, territorial, and local cash assistance for income maintenance; and
  • ·        Long-term institutionalization at government expense.

DHS proposes that it will not consider non-cash benefits such as food and nutrition assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Children’s Health Insurance Program, most Medicaid benefits (except for long-term institutionalization at government expense), housing benefits, and transportation vouchers. DHS would also not consider disaster assistance received under the Stafford Act; pandemic assistance; benefits received via a tax credit or deduction; or Social Security, government pensions, or other earned benefits.

By law, many categories of noncitizens are exempt from the public charge ground of inadmissibility and would not be subject to the proposed rule, DHS noted. Some exempt categories include refugees, asylees, noncitizens applying for or re-registering for temporary protected status (TPS), special immigration juveniles, T and U nonimmigrants, and self-petitioners under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Read below for more the other immigration news of the day.

At Kuck Baxter Immigration, we are dedicated to providing you up with 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.

Upcoming Events and Kuck Baxter Immigration Media

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You can also listen to our Top 50 rated podcast, “The Immigration Hour” podcast, that we post each Wednesday. Download it and listen at your leisure. If you have comments on the podcast or topics you would like us to talk about on The Immigration Hour, let us know!

Here is the Immigration News You NEED to Know Now

UP-TO-DATE IMMIGRATION NEWS

USCIS Urges Eligible Applicants to Switch Employment-Based Categories – USCIS) is encouraging eligible applicants to consider requesting to transfer the underlying basis of their adjustment of status applications to the first (priority workers) or second (noncitizens in professions with advanced degrees or with exceptional ability) employment-based preference categories.

Visa Bulletin for March Includes Updates on Employment-Based Expirations and Retrogressions – The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for March 2022 includes several updates on expiring or retrogressing employment-based visa categories.

DHS Announces National Interest Exception for ‘Noncitizen Nonimmigrants’ Traveling From Ukraine With a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident – In light of the current situation in Ukraine, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced a national interest exception (NIE) to permit the entry until March 1, 2022, of certain noncitizen nonimmigrants traveling from Ukraine with U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Two California Executives Charged With Fraud in Obtaining Dozens of H-1B Specialty Occupation Visas – The indictment alleges that the two executives submitted approximately 85 fraudulent H-1B visa applications and laundered $1 million in fraud proceeds.

For details on these news briefs,click here!

New Publications and Items of Interest

Training on Afghan arrival categories and documentation. The Department of Homeland Security’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program will present a training on Thursday, December 2, 2021, 1-2 p.m. ET on the immigration documentation that each Afghan arrival category may have and how to use SAVE to verify newly arrived Afghans’ immigration status or parole. Topics will include an overview of Operation Allies Welcome; common Afghan arrival categories and codes; sample documentation; resources; and a question-and-answer session. Registration information “will be forthcoming.”https://www.uscis.gov/save

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 my E-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

Helpful Links:

Immigration Agency Information

Department of Homeland Security:DHS.gov/coronavirus

USCIS: USCIS.gov/coronavirus

ICE:

CBP:

Department of Labor:

State Department:https://www.state.gov/coronavirus/

Justice Department

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.

E-Verify webinar schedule. E-Verify has released its calendar of webinars at https://www.e-verify.gov/calendar-field_date_and_time/month

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/processing-times/

Department of State Visa Bulletin:

https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin.html

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

Kuck Baxter Immigration — In The News

Charles Kuck authored an article entitled “COVID-19 Continues to Cause Havoc in the U.S. Immigration System.” published in the Immigration Law Expert Guide.

Charles Kuck was quoted in an article with Law 360 entitled “State Dept.’s Sluggish Diversity Visa Progress Sparks Outcry” https://www.law360.com/immigration/articles/1454668/state-dept-s-sluggish-diversity-visa-progress-sparks-outcry(subscription required)

Charles Kuck was quoted in an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution entitled “Detained Migrants Bail Bonds are higher in Georgia” https://www.ajc.com/news/a-huge-burden-bail-bonds-for-detained-immigrants-higher-in-georgia/QAM6MJ4GQBESVIQEHGQZG3PPME/

Charles Kuck traveled to Peru in November and while there was interviewed by national media. One of those interviews can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-KQLqWNZA8

Charles Kuck’s opinion statement entitled “Action needed in Ga. and Congress on immigration relief” was published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution https://www.ajc.com/opinion/opinion-action-needed-in-ga-and-congress-on-immigration-relief/JCZKP4ODMVAZTFYFLUYPHHGW54/

Charles Kuck was quoted in a press release on MadKudu Inc. v. USCIS, a case in which the parties reached a settlement agreement about the classification of market research analyst positions as H-1B specialty occupations. Mr. Kuck said, “It is unfortunate that the only way for USCIS to follow the law and do the right thing is to bring litigation. But, know this—we will be watching for USCIS compliance with this decision, and we will be prepared to pursue litigation for other interpretive violations of written law and regulation that the agency has permitted to occur.”

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(registration required)

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

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/ The South Georgia Office is located at 124 S. Burwell Ave. Adel, Georgia. The phone number is 229-472-5775.

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

You can also get constantly updated news on our Facebook page.

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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Kuck Baxter Immigration

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