On May 26, 2011, the US Supreme Court in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting upheld the Legal Arizona 1Workers Act, requiring all Arizona employers to use E-Verify and also suspending or revoking the licenses of employers who knowingly or intentionally hire unauthorized aliens. Numerous civil liberties organizations joined the US Chamber of Commerce in challenging the law.
At issue in this decision was whether the federal employment sanctions regime under the Immigration Reform & Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) preempted states like Arizona from enacting similar immigration-related legislation that would sanction employers who hire unauthorized workers. ¤274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which was introduced by IRCA, prohibits the hiring or the continuing employment of aliens not authorized to work in the US.
Although IRCA preempted states from imposing criminal or civil sanctions on employers relating to the hiring of unauthorized workers, it created an exception with respect to Тlicensing and similar lawsУ which states could still regulate.
The Supreme Court held that the Legal Arizona Workers Act law fell within the Тlicensing and similar lawsУ exception of IRCA and rejected arguments that the law was not truly a licensing law or that it conflicted with IRCA, an exclusive federal enforcement program.
The Supreme Court decision will impact businesses that operate in Arizona and other states with similar laws as they will need to comply with a hodgepodge of employer compliance laws with respect to hiring workers. Furthermore, Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting will encourage other states to also enact similar laws and also make E-verify mandatory when hiring any worker. Since the Supreme CourtХs ruling is narrow and revolved around the Тlicensing and similar lawsУ exception, it is not clear whether the Supreme Court will uphold the constitutionality of broader state legislation, such as Arizona SB 1070, whose most controversial provisions have thus far been found to be unconstitutional in the Ninth Circuit.
The full decision in Chamber of Commerce v Whiting is available at:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that as of May 20, 2011, approximately 12,300 H-1B cap-subject petitions were receipted. Additionally, USCIS receipted 8,500 H-1B petitions for workers with advanced degrees.The announcement is available at
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed significant changes to the administration of the EB-5 immigrant investor program’s intake and review process. USCIS will accept comments until June 17, 2011, via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
USCIS is proposing three fundamental changes to the way it processes certain regional center filings. First, USCIS proposes to accelerate its processing of applications for “job-creating projects that are fully developed and ready to be implemented.” USCIS will also give these EB-5 applicants and petitioners the option to request Premium Processing Service, which guarantees processing within 15 calendar days for an additional fee.
Second, USCIS proposes the creation of new specialized intake teams with expertise in economic analysis and the EB-5 program requirements. EB-5 regional center applicants will be able to communicate directly with the specialized intake teams via e-mail to streamline the resolution of issues and address questions or needs related to their applications.
Third, USCIS proposes to convene an expert Decision Board to render decisions regarding EB-5 regional center applications. The Decision Board will be composed of an economist and adjudicators and will be supported by legal counsel.
This proposal will be online until June 17, 2011, for public commentСproviding stakeholders an opportunity to offer feedback on the proposed changes to the administration of the EB-5 Program.
USCIS’s announcement is available at
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has launched “I-9 Central,” a new online resource center dedicated to the most frequently accessed form on USCIS.gov: Form I-9, Employee Eligibility Verification. The website provides employers and employees access to resources, tips, and guidance on completing the I-9 and understanding the I-9 process.
I-9 Central includes sections on employer and employee rights and responsibilities, step-by-step instructions for completing the form, and information on acceptable documents for establishing identity and employment authorization. The site also includes a discussion of common mistakes to avoid when completing the form, guidance on how to correct errors, and answers to employers’ recent questions about the I-9 process.
The launch of I-9 Central follows the introduction of other USCIS mployment-related resources, including E-Verify Self Check, a service launched in March that allows workers and job-seekers in the United States to check their own employment eligibility status online, and an updated “Handbook for Employers: Instructions for Completing Form I-9 (M-274),” published in early 2011. I-9 Central complements existing I-9 resources, including the current Form I-9 Web page and the form’s instructions. USCIS also offers free webinars on completing the I-9.
I-9 Central is available at http://www.uscis.gov/I-9central. USCIS’s announcement is available at
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has added 50 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degree programs to the list of those that qualify eligible graduates on student visas for an Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension. By expanding the list of STEM degrees, ICE said the Obama administration “is helping to address shortages in certain high-tech sectors of talented scientists and technology experts.”
Under the OPT program, foreign students who graduate from U.S. colleges and universities are able to remain in the U.S. and receive training through work experience for up to 12 months. Students who graduate with one of the newly expanded STEM degrees can remain for an additional 17 months on an OPT STEM extension.
The announcement is available at
For further commentary, see our blog, ТExpansion Of STEM Fields As An Example Of Administrative Fixes For A Broken Immigration System,У
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that it has fully implemented the Secure Mail Initiative (SMI),which uses U.S. Postal Service (USPS) priority mail with delivery confirmation to deliver certain immigration documents.
Under a partnership between USCIS and the USPS, the SMI enables USCIS to confirm delivery of permanent resident cards anddocuments pertaining to travel and employment authorization. SMI provides applicants the ability to track the status of their documents with USPS tracking information, and USPS says they can expect prompt delivery. Those who receive notices of approval may contact USCIS’s Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 to request tracking information for their documents. USCIS customer service representatives will provide callers with their USPS tracking number and current USPS delivery status.
Those who receive notices of approval may contact USCIS’s Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 to request tracking information for their documents. USCIS customer service representatives will provide callers with their USPS tracking numberand current USPS delivery status.
USCIS said that applicants should wait at least two weeks after receiving their approval notice before calling for information regarding their cases. When requesting tracking information, callers must also provide information from the receipt notice they received when they submitted their initial application. After receiving the tracking number from the USCIS Customer Service Center, applicants may track the delivery status by visiting the USPS website at http://www.usps.com/ and entering the USPS tracking number into the “Track & Confirm” field.
USCIS first piloted the initiative in July 2008, delivering all re-entry permits and refugee travel documents using USPS priority mail with delivery confirmation. USCIS has also used SMI processes since July 2009 for re-mailing all permanent residence cards, as well as employment authorization and travel documents returned by USPS to USCIS as undeliverable.
USCIS’s announcement is available at
The previous Visa Bulletin for May 2011, from the State Department’s Visa Office, noted that ¤ 202(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prescribes rules for the use of potentially “otherwise unused” employment numbers.
During May, the India employment second preference cut-off date governed the use of such numbers, because India had reached its employment second preference annual limit.
Since October 2010, the latest Visa Bulletin for June 2011 explains, there has been heavy demand by applicants “upgrading” their status from employment third to employment second preference. The rapid forward movement of the India employment second preference cut-off date in May had the potential to greatly increase such demand. Therefore, the Visa Office had delayed determination of the June cut-off dates to monitor this demand. The Visa Office has since determined that new “upgrade” demand has been minimal; this has allowed the employment second preference cut-off date governing the use of the ¤ 202(a)(5) numbers to advance significantly for June. The same cut-off date (October 15, 2006) applies to both the China and India employment second preference in June.
Other second preference categories are Current. The Visa Bulletin for June notes that all of the “otherwise unused” numbers must be provided strictly in priority date order regardless of the applicant’s chargeability.
Cut-off date movement for upcoming months cannot be guaranteed, the June Visa Bulletin notes, and because of the variables involved, “no assumptions should be made until the dates are formally announced.” Should there be a sudden or significant increase in India and China employment second preference demand, it may be necessary to slow, stop, or even retrogress that cut-off date as the end of fiscal year 2011 approaches.
The Visa Bulletin for June 2011 is available at
USCIS announced that as of May 6, 2011, it had receipted 27,173 petitions toward the 33,000 H-2B cap for the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2011. The count included 24,420 approved petitions and 2,753 pending.
A chart showing the updated numbers for the first half and second half of FY 2011 is available at
H-1B petition filings as of April have dropped precipitously since the same time in previous recent years, according to reports. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported that as of April 8, 2011, it had received approximately 5,900 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap, and approximately 4,500 petitions toward the 20,000 cap exemption for individuals with advanced degrees. At the same time last year (April 8, 2010), it had received more than double that number of cap-subject petitions, or approximately 13,500, and about 5,600 petitions for individuals with advanced degrees. The previous year, on April 20, 2009, USCIS announced that it had received approximately 44,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions and 20,000 petitions for those with advanced degrees.
Speculation about the causes of the slowdown ranges from the continued sluggishness of the U.S. economy to skilled workers seeking work in their home countries and increases in visa fees. Some potential H-1B workers have noted that the cost of living is significantly lower in their home countries and they can be close to family and parents, who often cannot be brought to the U.S. because of difficulties in obtaining visas for them. Critics of the program in Congress and elsewhere have also contributed to an overall negative
The latest USCIS announcement is available at
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a memorandum on April 15, 2011, on procedures for recommending revocation of a U.S. passport to the Department of State (DOS). The memo provides background information and outlines statutes under which U.S. passports may be revoked for reasons such as fraud, nonpayment of child support, drug trafficking, non-repayment of a repatriation loan, or conviction for sex tourism.
The memo notes that in recent months, USCIS employees have on occasion informed people that their U.S. passports were invalid and should be surrendered to DOS. Upon review, however, DOS determined that the passports were valid. DOS then asked that USCIS direct any concerns regarding the validity of a passport to DOS and not to the bearer of the passport.
USCIS lacks the authority to revoke or confiscate a U.S. passport, the memo states. The memo instructs USCIS employees who doubt the validity of a passport not to seize the passport, tell the bearer that there are issues with it, or instruct the bearer to return it to DOS. Instead, USCIS employees are to follow the procedures outlined in the memo to request revocation of the passport from DOS.
It is unclear from the memo whether DOS notifies the passport-bearer directly when a passport is revoked. The memo notes that:
The memo is available at
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a final template for requests for evidence (RFEs) with respect to the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker (Form I-140) for the E11 classification extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics). USCIS posted the template “for stakeholder visibility” until May 17, 2011. The template outlines the evidence that may be submitted to satisfy the various E11 requirements.
The template is available until May 17 at
On April 15, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security published a final rule in the Federal Register (76 Fed. Reg. 21225) establishing the documents acceptable for employment eligibility verification. There was an inadvertent error in the final rule. The e-mail referenced should be changed to read “E-Verify@dhs.gov” instead of “Everify@dhs.gov.”
The DHS notice is available at
13. EB-5 Quarterly Stakeholder Meeting Announced
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Office of Public Engagement and Service Center Operations Directorate has issued a public invitation for participants to discuss the EB-5 immigrant investor program. The upcoming meeting will take place via teleconference on June 30, 2011, at 1 p.m. (Eastern Time). The deadline to submit agenda items was May 27. The next meeting after that will take place on September 15, 2011, via teleconference and also in person in Washington, DC, and the deadline to submit agenda items for the latter meeting is August 15, 2011.
Each meeting will be an opportunity for USCIS to share information on the EB-5 program and address stakeholdersХ related topics of interest. USCIS noted that there will be an open forum for questions and answers at each of these engagements, but the agency will not address case-specific inquiries.
To respond to this invitation, e-mail the Office of Public Engagement at email@example.com by June 29, 2011, and reference the following in the subject line of your e-mail: “EB-5 Р Phone”. Include your full name and the organization you represent, if any, in the body of the e-mail.
The meeting invitation is available at
http://cyrusmehta.com/CyrusMehta/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/CyrusDMehta_WebLogo_2016.png 0 0 Cyrus Mehta http://cyrusmehta.com/CyrusMehta/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/CyrusDMehta_WebLogo_2016.png Cyrus Mehta2011-05-30 00:00:002016-08-22 18:08:46June 2011 Immigration Update