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Immigration News Briefs

By Humera Subhani Email By Humera Subhani
February 2017
Immigration News Briefs

Two Differing Immigration Bills Introduced to Congress
AILA (The American Immigration Lawyers Association) has posted information on two new bills introduced by Senators. On December 9, Senators Graham (R-SC), Durbin (D-IL), Murkowski (R-AK), Feinstein (D-CA), Flake (R-AZ), and Schumer (D-NY) introduced the BRIDGE Act (“Bar Removal of Immigrants Who Dream and Grow the Economy Act,” S. 3542) to provide temporary protection to people who are eligible for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. The BRIDGE Act offers critical, though short-term, relief for DREAMers brought to the United States as children. The bill was introduced as a response to President-elect Trump who has declared that he will rescind the DACA initiative, an action that would put about 750,000 people granted DACA protection at risk of deportation.

The BRIDGE Act would provide temporary reprieve from deportation (“provisional protected presence”) and employment authorization for up to three years after the date of the bill’s enactment. DREAMers already granted DACA could transition to a new provisional status without risk of deportation. Other applicants would, as for DACA, pay a fee; undergo criminal background checks; demonstrate they are not a threat to public safety; and establish that they came to the United States at an early age, have continued to live here, and have pursued an education. Those approved would be able to leave the United States if they obtain authorization from DHS.

On the same day, Senator Flake, a co-sponsor of the BRIDGE Act, also introduced his own bill called the SAFE Act (“Securing Active and Fair Enforcement Act”), which pairs the identical text of the BRIDGE Act with tough immigration enforcement measures that would increase the use of mandatory detention and expedite removal proceedings. Sen. Flake’s SAFE Act would also require the detention of undocumented immigrants with strong ties to this country who pose no threat to public safety, and it would force immigration judges to decide cases under a 90-day clock. The bill mandates that DHS hold in custody throughout removal proceedings anyone it determines is “unlawfully present” who has been arrested for certain criminal offenses—it does not require a conviction for a listed offense. The bill requires that DHS take custody of a person if local law enforcement is about to release the person. The SAFE Act’s massive expansion of mandatory detention comes with a $100 million price tag, further escalating the $2 billion already spent on immigration detention annually.

USCIS to Accept Previous Editions of Most Forms until Feb 21, 2017
New fees for most USCIS forms went into effect on December 23, 2016. Updated versions of the forms with the new fees and with edition date of 12/23/16 are at uscis.gov/forms. Customers should submit these new versions. Prior versions of forms, with the exception of form N-400, will be accepted until February 21, 2017. However, all filings postmarked 12/23/16 or later must include the new fees or be rejected. For form N-400, application for naturalization, only the 12/23/16 edition will be accepted.

APPLICATION FINAL ACTION DATES FOR February  2017

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

22Feb10

22Feb10

2A

15Apr15

15Apr15


2B

08Jul10

08Jul10

3rd

22Mar05

22Mar05

4th

15Jun03

08Feb04

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

15Apr08

Current

3rd

22Mar05

01Oct16

Other

22Mar05

01Oct16

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

 


DATES FOR FILING VISA APPLICATIONS - February 2017

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

01Jan11

01Jan11

2A

22Nov15

22Nov15

2B

08Feb11

08Feb11

3rd

22Aug05

22Aug05

4th

01May04

01Jul04

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

22Apr09

Current

3rd

01Jul05

Current

Other

01Jul05

Current

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B

https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-for-february-2017.html

[The article above contains additional material not in the print and digital issues.]


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