Immigration Law Blog

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.

Read more . . .

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 The Trump administration rescinded DACA on Sept. 5, 2017, but two lower court decisions have allowed the program to remain in place temporarily, and for renewal applications to be accepted.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.
Read more . . .

Monday, March 5, 2018

USCIS Issues Policy Memorandum Confirming Stricter Evidence Requirements for H-1B Petitions Involving 3rd-Party Worksites

On Thursday February 22nd, The USCIS issued its latest Policy Memorandum, “Contracts and Itineraries Requirements for H-1B Petitions Involving Third-Party Worksites.” The Memorandum largely confirms our firm’s warnings over the last year regarding the stricter adjudication of H-1B petitions involving 3rd party worksites: there are no surprises in this memorandum.

The Memorandum was issued to provide “clarifying guidance regarding the contracts and itineraries that Petitioners submit in third-party worksite cases.”

The Memorandum provides this guidance through 6 points:

  1. Contracts as evidence to demonstrate the Beneficiary will be employed in a specialty occupation.

The USCIS confirms that, in addition to contracts between the Petitioner and its client for a 3rd party placement, the Petitioner is able to demonstrate the actual work assignment(s) in a specialty occupation by providing a combination of the following or comparable types of evidence:

  • Evidence of actual work assignments, which may include technical documentation, milestone tables, marketing analysis, cost-benefit analysis, brochures, and funding documents;
  • Copies of relevant, signed contractual agreements between the Petitioner and all other companies involved in the Beneficiary’s placement, if the petitioner has not directly contracted with the third-party worksite;
  • Copies of detailed statements of work or work order signed by an authorized official of the ultimate end-client company where the work will actually be performed by the Beneficiary.
    Read more . . .

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Trump Administration Backs Down After H-1B New Years’ Eve Scare.

On December 30, 2017, the McClatchy DC Bureau reported that the Trump Administration was seeking to restrict H-1B visa extensions beyond the six-year limitation through a re-interpretation of the AC21 rules. After an apparent realization that such a move was ill-conceived, subject to strong reactions from the business community, and would be hung up in court, on January 8, 2018, USCIS stated that it was not considering such a regulatory change and denied that it ever was.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

H-4 EAD in Jeopardy

Since May 2015, certain H- spouses of H-1B principals who have an approved I-140 have been able to apply for employment authorization pursuant to the Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses rule. This rule has since been under attack through a legal challenge in the Courts. We have recently learned through a review of the Trump Administration’s Fall 2017 Regulatory Agenda the DHS has tentatively scheduled the release of a proposed rule rescinding the H-4 EAD rule in February 2018.

Read more . . .

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