Immigration Law Blog

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: DACA is Back, Trump is Thwarted Again – This Time By a Republican Appointed Judge

On April 24, 2018, Federal Judge John D. Bates for the District of Columbia ruled DACA must remain in place and that the government must resume accepting new applications. 

Judge Bates had concluded that the Trump Administration’s decision to cancel the program was done without any explanation as to how the program was unlawful, and thus the decision was “arbitrary and capricious” in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”). In determining that the Court had authority to review the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind DACA, it explained: 
…the cases are clear that courts have the authority to review an agency’s interpretation of the law if it is relied on to justify an enforcement policy, even when that interpretation concerns the lawful scope of the agency’s enforcement discretion.  See Chaney, 470 U.
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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

MPLG Client Profile – Vivek Ravisankar, Co-Founder and CEO of HackerRank

Can a resume help you find the best talent for your organization? Can it help you get the best job for your skill set?

Probably not, says Vivek Ravisankar, co-founder and CEO of HackerRank, who believes a resume is an outdated method of recruiting outstanding technical talent. “Resumes are just a very poor correlation to skills,” he says.

Conversely, a resume is also a terrible way to find work, says the 31-year-old entrepreneur, an alumnus of the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, who came to the U.S. on an H-1B visa.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

STEM OPT Under Siege for Third Party Placements

By Roujin Mozaffarimehr and Eddie Corona

Without any warning, USCIS has re-interpreted the STEM OPT Rule from 2016 to eliminate third party placements and product implementations at a client’s worksite. The current STEM OPT regulations at 8 CFR 214.2(f) do not have any explicit bars to employers placing their STEM OPT employees off-site.

While USCIS seems to have made this change on January 24, 2018, the effects of this change only now seem to be coming to light. This is most likely because this was not issued as a policy memorandum, but rather USCIS simply changed its website.

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Members of Congress Fight to Save Work Authorization for H-4 Visa Holders

By Kalpana Peddibhotla and Roujin Mozaffarimehr

Last month, 15 members of Congress from California signed a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen urging her to reconsider the agency’s proposal to revoke work authorization for certain H-4 visa holders.

Key signatories included Rep. Judy Chu, a Democrat from Southern California who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Reps. Anna Eshoo, Zoe Lofgren, and Ro Khanna, all Democrats who represent the San Francisco Bay Area’s Silicon Valley, also signed the letter, along with Rep.

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Monday, April 23, 2018

H-1B Cap for FY 2019 Reached in Five Days

By Kalpana Peddibhotla and Roujin Mozaffarimehr

H-1B season ended almost as quickly as it began. On April 2, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting petitions for FY 2019 for the coveted visa for highly-skilled foreign workers.

Mid-morning April 6, the agency announced that it had reached the Congressionally-mandated 65,000 visa cap for regular H-1B petitions, as well as the 20,000 “Master’s exemption” cap for those with advanced U.

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Monday, April 23, 2018

SABA Naturalization Drive

This past Sunday April 22nd, Kalpana joined the host of Power Hour on 92.3 FM, Yogi Chugh, to discuss the SABA Naturalization Drive that she is spearheading. SABA is a professional association of South Asian American attorneys with over 7000 members across the U.S. Kalpana, a lifetime member of SABA is spearheading a yearly Naturalization Drive through SABA’s local chapters, with the goal of helping members of the South Asian community become full participants in the American dream.

Read more . . .

Monday, April 23, 2018

Sunnyvale ‘Dreamer’ Heads to Capitol Hill to Advocate for DACA Recipients

By Kalpana Peddibhotla/MPLG Founder

Since 2010, I have represented Ruchir Parikh and his family, who emigrated to the U.S. in 1992 when Ruchir was only six years old. For the past twenty-five years, this “DREAMer” has been struggling to stay in the only country he knows as home.

Ruchir graduated from San Jose State University and is currently working at cloud identity management giant Okta Inc. He is a DACA recipient, however his stay in the U.S. is in peril. The Trump administration rescinded DACA on Sept. 5, 2017, but two lower court decisions have allowed the program to remain in place temporarily, and for renewal applications to be accepted. Ruchir’s DACA status expires in 2019.

Read more . . .

Monday, March 5, 2018

Asylum Activist Maleeha Haq Joins MPLG

Maleeha Haq, who has fought for the rights of asylum seekers throughout the world, has joined MPLG as an of counsel attorney.

After graduating in 2007 from the University of Michigan Law School, Haq was awarded a fellowship with Human Rights Watch, to work with the organization’s refugee policy department.  Haq then received the prestigious Bates Fellowship to work with the organization Africa & Middle East Refugee Assistance. At AMERA, Haq worked with asylum seekers from all over Africa and the Middle East as they navigated the complicated procedures of refugee status determination proceedings before the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Haq has provided extensive pro bono services to the immigrant community through Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto, and the Lawyers in the Library Program.

Read more . . .

Monday, March 5, 2018

Are We Still a Nation of Immigrants? Not So Much, Says USCIS

By Kalpana Peddibhotla/MPLG Founder

For more than 130 years, the iconic Statue of Liberty – bearing the inscription “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” – has epitomized America’s core value of serving as a nation which welcomes and embraces immigrants. That vision has been blurred many times throughout history, but is facing one of its greatest challenges today, as the current administration attempts its full-scale decimation of the basic civil rights of immigrants.

The attack on immigrants was unabashedly spelled out Feb. 22, when U.S.

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Monday, March 5, 2018

DHS Delays Decision on Terminating Work Authorization for H-4 Visa Holders

On February 28th, the Department of Homeland Security submitted a court filing in the Save Jobs USA lawsuit stating that it would not issue a new rule terminating work authorization for H-4 visa holders until June because it needed to review the economic impact of terminating the program.

DHS had been expected to issue a Notice of Proposed Rule Making – NPRM – in February, intending to revoke H-4 EADs. Currently, more than 100,000 H-4 visa holders – largely women from India whose spouses are on track to get legal permanent residency – have received work authorization since 2015.

An organization known as Save Jobs USA filed a lawsuit in 2016 against DHS, claiming that H-4 work authorization negatively impacts job opportunities for American workers.

An advocacy group, Save H4 EADS, surveyed more than 2,400 members, all of whom currently have work authorization.
Read more . . .

Monday, March 5, 2018

MPLG Founder Kalpana Peddibhotla Honored With Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award from Tahirih Justice Center

Kalpana Peddibhotla, founder of the Mathews & Peddibhotla Law Group, will receive the Tahirih Justice Center’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award at its inaugural San Francisco Bay Area gala March 8th.

The Tahirih Justice Center is a national advocacy organization for immigrant women and girls who are victims of violence. Peddibhotla has offered pro bono services to the organization on a number of immigration cases.

“The courageous clients that Kalpana serves have often suffered horrendous abuse. Kalpana treats each case and individual with respect.
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