Immigration Reform

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

USCIS Issues Updated Policy Memorandum Giving Officers Full Discretion to Deny Cases Without RFE or NOID

By Roujin Mozaffarimehr 

On Friday, July 13, 2018, the USCIS announced its rescission of the long-standing policy memorandum (PM), “Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny” (2013 PM) which detailed the parameters surrounding an officer’s discretion to deny applications, petitions, or requests without the issuance of an RFE.[1] In its place, the USCIS has issued the Policy Memorandum, “Issuance of Certain RFEs and NOIDs; Revision to Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) Chapter 10.5(a), Chapter 10.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

USCIS Issues New Policy Memorandum Requiring the Issuance of NTAs Following Certain Case Denials

By Roujin Mozaffarimehr 

Although the immigration court backlog has exceeded 700,000 cases as of May 2018[1], on June 28, 2018, the USCIS issued a guidance regarding Notices to Appear (NTAs), the charging document issued by DHS that schedules a foreign national for removal proceedings in immigration court.

Under the Service’s new policy, NTAs are to be issued for a wider range of cases, including cases where:

  • There is evidence of fraud;
  • There is evidence of criminal activity;
  • An applicant is denied an immigration benefit and is unlawfully present in the United States.

    See DHS Policy Memo, PM-602-0050.1.
    Read more . . .

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Travel Ban Waiver Criterion Receive Scrutiny After Supreme Court Upholds Visa Ban

By Ameer Shaikh

On September 24, 2017, President Trump announced Presidential Proclamation 9645, commonly known as the third version of the “Muslim Ban” or “Travel Ban.” In it, nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia were restricted from traveling to or entering the United States (with some exemptions for legal permanent residents and dual nations). The proclamation provided three criterion for granting a waiver: 1) undue hardship if entry is denied; 2) entry would be in the national interest; and 3) entry would not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Read more . . .

Monday, June 25, 2018

Memo Regarding Zero Tolerance Policy/ Family Separation Policy


With all of the rapid changes taking place with regard to President Trump’s zero tolerance policy and family separation actions, MPLG has put together a detailed overview of the legal roots of these policies, where these policies stand as of the release of this memorandum, as well as the implications of these policies.

  1. Introduction

    According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as of June 20th 2017, 2,053 children have been separated from their parents, and have been placed in the health and human services funded facilities.[1] Once these children have been separated from their parents they are placed in the custody of Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).[2]  According to a statement by Steve Wagner, Acting Assistant Secretary Administration for Children and Families, between October and December 2017, ORR was unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 UAC. On March 2017, the ORR had 755 referrals, while in March 2018, ORR had 4,204 referrals.

Read more . . .

Friday, June 8, 2018

Trump Administration Places Increased Pressure on Immigration Courts

By: Maleeha Haq

Policies adopted by the Trump administration have put the already beleaguered immigration court system under increased pressure.

The immigration court system operates within the Department of Justice. Its judges are not members of an independent judiciary, but rather are bound by the rules and policies promulgated by the Attorney General. The current Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has recently stepped into the operations of the immigration courts in an unprecedented manner.

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.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Department of State Revises the Foreign Affair Manual to Provide Consular Officers Guidance in light of Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order.

By Roujin Mozaffarimehr

As of August 2017, the Department of State (DOS) has updated its Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), which details the policies and procedures by which Consular Officers are to follow in the issuance of visas at appointments abroad. These revisions have been made based upon President Trump’s April 2017 Executive Order (EO) 13788, “Buy American and Hire American.” This EO posits targeted directives with the goal of “ensure[ing] the integrity of the Immigration System in order to ‘Hire American.”

Prior to the FAM revisions and the April 2017 EO, the Immigration Bar and non-immigrant visa (NIV) holders traveling abroad have been gathering anecdotal evidence of rigorous adjudications at the consulate.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Trump Administration to End DACA Program

On September 5, 2017, President Trump issued a written statement read aloud by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, announcing the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The President has put into place a 6-month “wind-down” of the DACA program.

What we know so far:

  • During this 6-month period, all applications that have already been filed and are pending will be processed, as well as renewal applications for those facing near-term expiration.
  • New applications for work permits will not be accepted.
  • All existing work permits will be honored until their date of expiration up to two full years from today.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Breaking News: Proposed RAISE Act Will Alienate, Not Attract Global Talent

By Roujin Mozaffarimehr

On August 2nd, Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) introduced the RAISE Act, a bill supported by the Trump administration that, in part, looks to replace our current employment-based immigration system with a “merit-based” points system that purports to attract the best and the brightest global talent.

We have taken a closer look at the points system in the bill and put it to the test, to see if the best and the brightest would really be identified by the system. We compared 2 hypothetical Candidates to each other and evaluated each of them with the proposed point system.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Dream Act

MPLG welcomes the relief that would come with the approval and implementation of these bills. However, we remain cautious of their outcomes based upon the current Administration’s conservative stance on immigration.

Read more . . .

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Executive Action: H-4 Employment Authorization

Our current laws do not allow the H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B holders to work in the U.S. This has resulted in a lost talent pool for the U.S., not to mention frustration by the H-4 dependents, and financial stress on families. Executive Action will finally extend employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses...
Read more . . .

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