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Immigration News Briefs

By Humera Subhani Email By Humera Subhani
August 2015
Immigration News Briefs

Premium Processing for H1B Extensions
USCIS announced that, starting July 13, 2015, it has resumed accepting Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service (with an edition date of January 29, 2015), for all H-1B extension of stay petitions. Premium processing for H-1B extensions had been suspended since May 26, 2015, so that USCIS could implement the final rule providing employment authorization for certain H-4 spouses in a timely manner. If an I-907 was filed and/or received by USCIS prior to July 13, 2015, it will be rejected. However, USCIS will NOW accept an I-907 (even a new I-907 for a 129 filed prior to July 13, 2015).

Status of Obama’s Executive Order for DAPA
The executive order Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) calls for certain undocumented immigrants to be granted 'deferred action' status; meaning they would be protected from deportation. President Obama announced the order in November 2014. The latest action on this issue is that a panel of 3 judges at an appeals court in New Orleans heard arguments on July 10, 2015, with hundreds of pro-immigration protestors gathered outside the courthouse.

To be covered by the order immigrants must have been in the U.S. since 2010, and have children who have status as either American citizens or lawful permanent residents. The order would grant these immigrants with a 3-year renewable work permit. Since only Congress has the authority to confer legal status, this would only be a temporary solution, but still very valuable for immigrants living in constant fear of deportation.

Texas court issues injunction against immigration executive order
Texas and 17 other states filed a lawsuit against the executive order in December 2014. Eventually 26 states in total joined the proceedings, leading to Obama's executive order being blocked by an injunction issued by the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas in February 2015.

Arguing in favor of the order, Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Mizer rejected the claims of Texas Governor Greg Abbott—who filed the lawsuit originally—that the executive order would 'rewrite immigration laws'." All that deferred action confers on an alien is the right to remain here," said Mizer, adding that the changes were "temporary and revocable."

Counter arguments focused on the legal powers of the Obama administration, with Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod— who previously voted to halt deferred action programs until the appeal was heard—being sympathetic to Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller's arguments that Obama was overreaching his powers with the order.

Appeal likely to continue
No ruling was made on July 10, with many expecting the appeal to drag on for weeks or even several months. If the Appeals Court lifts the Federal District Court’s injunction, administration officials could quickly move to carry out the executive actions. That would mean that millions of undocumented immigrants could soon begin applying for protection under a program that would allow them to remain in the country legally but would not provide a path to citizenship.

Opponents could still seek to block the actions by appealing to the Supreme Court. And even if the program moved ahead, the underlying legal challenge could still continue in Texas, where it all began.


VISA PREFERENCE NUMBERS FOR August 2015

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

01Nov07

01Nov07

2A

15Dec13

15Dec13

2B

15Nov08

15Nov08

3rd

08Apr04

08Apr04

4th

01Dec02

01Dec02

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

01Oct08

Current

3rd

01Jun04

15Jul 15

Other

01Jun04

15Jul 15

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B


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