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48 Hours Later, Where Things Stand on the January 27 Executive Order


On January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” People all over the United States are rallying in opposition to this EO and showing their support for all of those individuals affected by President Trump’s EOs. AILA lawyers across the country are showing up en masse to provide legal support to those detained, as well as to families and friends waiting for their loved ones to be released.

Last night, lawyers filed actions across the country to halt the January 27 EO. A federal judge in the Eastern District of New York issued the first order, granting a nationwide stay of removal preventing deportation for individuals with valid visas and approved refugee applications affected by the EO. The next decision came out of a federal court in Massachusetts – it went a bit further and barred federal officials from detaining or removing individuals subject to the EO. Two other courts also issued rulings. In a case filed in Virginia, the court ordered federal officials to provide lawyers access to “all legal permanent residents being detained at Dulles International Airport” and barred officials from deporting covered individuals for the next seven days. In the case out of Washington State, the federal judge barred the federal government from deporting two unnamed individuals from the United States.

Lawyers in the New York case are seeking clarification from the court.

The Department of Homeland Security put out a statement early today stating only that the agency “will comply with judicial orders.”

More clarity was provided by Secretary Kelly of the Department of Homeland Security, who released a press statement this evening clarifying how the EO applies to LPRs: “I hereby deem the entry of lawful permanent residents to be in the national interest.”

American Immigration Lawyers Association asks Secretary of State John Kerry and other Officials to restore the dates in the September 9, 2015 Visa Bulletin

Earlier today, the American Immigration Lawyers Association indicated that it had sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz expressing great disappointment in the September 25, 2015, changes to the October 2015 Visa Bulletin, and asking that the dates published in the September 9, 2015, Visa Bulletin be restored. The revised October 2015 Visa Bulletin rolls back the “Dates for Filing” for several visa categories, and will force many individuals and families to continue to face lengthy wait times before they can submit their applications for permanent residence.

AILA’s recommendations on filing H-1B, PERM and other applications while DOL’s iCERT and PERM Websites are Shutdown

Federal Workers Protest Government Shutdown

Federal Workers Protest Government Shutdown (Photo credit: cool revolution)

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has indicated that they are trying to obtain guidance from USCIS and US Department of Labor (DOL) about how attorneys should move forward in filing applications like the H-1B and PERM/Labor Certifications which have been affected by the DOL’s shutdown (resulting from the Federal Government’s Shutdown).

AILA does not have official guidance from the USCIS and DOL yet and indicates that there are “conflicting reports” regarding DOL’s ability to even accept mail.  For now, however, AILA recommends the following:

Read More…

Dept. of Labor indicates that “Unusually High Number of Cases Filed”: Issuing Generic LCA Certification Notices, VIA

More indications of the impending avalanche of H-1B cases set to be filed for the quota which opens April 1, and of the problems caused by DOL’s iCERT website. According to AILA, The U.S. Department of Labor has been sending the following e-mail to many LCA submitters: “Due to an unusually high volume of submitted cases, one or more Labor Condition Application cases you submitted recently was certified but the courtesy email informing you of the certification was not generated. Please log into the iCERT Visa Portal System to review your recently submitted cases and retrieve the certification(s).”


AILA’s Immigration Quicktake: House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on High-Skilled Immigration

American Immigration Lawyers Association: Immigration Quicktake: House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on High-Skilled Immigration

House Hearing Failed to Focus on Several Key Issues Crucial to Successful Immigration Reform

POLITICO Pro's Deep Dive: Immigration, Technol...

POLITICO Pro’s Deep Dive: Immigration, Technology and the 113th Congress (Photo credit: Cognizant Technology Solutions)

American Immigration Lawyers Association

Wednesday, February 06, 2013
George Tzamaras or Belle Woods
202-507-7649 – 202-507-7675 –

Washington, DC – Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee held its first substantive hearing of the 113th Congress on “America’s Immigration System: Opportunities for Legal Immigration and Enforcement of Laws against Illegal Immigration.” While holding this hearing underscored the importance of immigration reform to our nation’s continued economic growth and future prosperity, for the most part the discussion failed to focus on some key issues that are vital to successful immigration reform.

“The solution to the tangled, unwieldy and dysfunctional immigration system is not a piecemeal approach, despite what several of the lawmakers and witnesses said yesterday. Instead, we need to create an immigration system that is balanced and inclusive,” said AILA President Laura Lichter. She continued, “At the hearing, we heard about the importance of border security and need to make our borders more secure, despite the fact that there have been billions of dollars invested and that the benchmarks established by each of the Senate immigration reform bills of 2006, 2007 and 2010 have been essentially met or exceeded. With immigration enforcement occurring at unprecedented levels, our country must address the needs of the 11 million undocumented residents, their families, and employers.”

Ms. Lichter noted, “Keeping all families strong and united is a core national value and interest, and we must continue our historic commitment to those values. We should not increase employment visas at the expense of reducing visas in family categories. Our immigration system must be flexible and capable of meeting the needs of American businesses and families.

“One important topic that didn’t seem to get much attention at the hearing was that we are currently denying basic due process to millions of people who live in the U.S. Long-time residents are subject to deportation even when they have strong ties to the community, pay taxes, and desperately want to become full-fledged members of our society. Many are eligible to apply for legal status, but because they lived in the U.S. for a period of time that was unauthorized they are now barred from fixing their status. Judges often have no ability to weigh the individual circumstances of the case while low-level officials often act as judge and jury, and the federal courts have been denied the power to review most agency decisions. Congress should restore fairness and flexibility to our system by authorizing immigration judges and officials to exercise discretion in considering the individual circumstances of each case,” she concluded.

AILA encourages lawmakers to commit to informed discussions that will shape a common sense immigration policy that helps to rebuild America’s economy, recognizes the contributions of immigrants, keeps families together, and strengthens America’s security.


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Mumbai Erroneously Reports Availability of India EB-2


The American Immigration Lawyers Association Liaison has confirmed with the State Department that reports of EB-2 India becoming current in the February 2011 Visa Bulletin are erroneous. The U.S. Consulate in Mumbai posted February 2011 cutoff dates indicating that India EB-2 is current. The State Department has clarified that the Mumbai posting was incorrect. 

AILA Memo to USCIS regarding the Neufeld Memo

AILA memo RE: Determining Employer-Employee Relationship for Adjudication of H-1B Petitions, Including Third-Party Site Placements; Additions to Officer’s Field Manual (AFM) Chapter 31.3(g)(15)(AFM Update AD 10-24), Donald Neufeld, Associate Director, Service Center Operations, HQ 70/6.2.8, January 8, 2010
<a href="/files/4941-4844/AILA_Memo_to_USCIS___Determining_Employer_Employee_Relationship_in_Third_party_Placement_Settings.pdf”>Read memo

USCIS Updates FY 2010 H-1B Count (Updated 6/3/09)

As of May 29, 2009, approximately 45,800 H-1B cap-subject petitions had been received by USCIS and counted towards the H-1B cap. Approximately 20,000 petitions qualifying for the advanced degree cap exemption had been filed. USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits.

AILA Praises Decision by Attorney General to Withdraw Matter of Compean



Wednesday, June 3, 2009


George Tzamaras


AILA praises decision by Attorney General to withdraw Matter of Compean.

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomes the restoration of due process in the Immigration Court system. Attorney General Eric Holder today withdrew the decision issued by former Attorney General Mukasey on the last day of the Bush Administration, which had eviscerated the right to effective representation in Immigration Court proceedings. Attorney General Holder had stated during his confirmation process that he would review the Mukasey decision and that he disagreed with its reasoning. AILA is grateful for this restoration of a basic constitutional process—Due Process, in the immigration court system.

AILA commends Attorney General Holder for living up to his word, and for his clarity of understanding of not only the constitutional principle of due process, but also for the boldness with which he acted today. “The restoration of the prior standard for claiming ineffective representation in immigration court proceedings is a welcome sign that the Obama administration understands that the rights that apply to the least of us, apply to all of us,” said Charles H. Kuck, president of AILA. “By ensuring that immigrants seeking relief from the harsh consequences of deportation are assured that they will not be punished by the ineffective actions of their counsel, Attorney General Holder has reset the standard that the Constitution ensures. Today’s action, along with the other positive signs from the Administration signal that a restoration of our most sacred principles of justice has begun.”


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

All Signs Point to Immigration Reform this Year: AILA Optimistic that the President and Congress will Push for CIR this Year


Wednesday, April 30, 2009
George Tzamaras

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is encouraged by events of the past 24 hours as President Barak Obama renewed his Administration’s pledge to pursue comprehensive immigration reform, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) announced its intention to recalibrate its worksite enforcement actions to focus more on criminal prosecutions of employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers, and the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship led by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), commenced hearings to examine common sense solutions to fixing America’s broken immigration system.

AILA commends Chairman Schumer for sounding the starting gun with an outstanding first hearing. Two expert-laden panels of witnesses made a highly compelling case – covering the moral, economic, business, labor, security and law enforcement angles – for the need to advance immigration reform legislation this year. “The stars seem to be aligning for a major push toward comprehensive immigration reform this year,” said Charles H. Kuck, president of AILA. “Momentum continues to build as more and more of our elected leaders understand that tackling and solving our current immigration crisis will only help strengthen America’s economy and security. The events over the past two days signal that this Administration and Congress get it and will not let this opportunity to finally bring the nation’s legal immigration system into the 21st century pass them by.”

AILA is pleased that DHS is taking steps to restore balance and rationality in its enforcement priorities. Mr. Kuck expressed hopes that the new DHS statement of policy addresses pivotal due process concerns, saying “a retooling of enforcement activities must, first and foremost, ensure the right to counsel of any employees caught up in these actions, and limit or eliminate the abusive practice of transferring detainees away from their communities, families and attorneys. These are indispensable elements of a fair and just system.”


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

AILA Welcomes Introduction of the DREAM Act in Congress

Thursday, March 26, 2009
George Tzamaras

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA)
welcomes the introduction today by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and
Richard Lugar (R-IN) and U.S. Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Lincoln
Diaz-Balart (R-FL) of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien
Minors Act, commonly known as the DREAM Act. The legislation gives
thousands of young immigrants, who have grown up in the United States
an opportunity to pursue the American dream. The DREAM Act is a humane,
rational solution to a bedeviling problem: a generation of undocumented
kids who are coming of age without any prospects to advance their lot
in life.

“Enabling these educated, young adults to secure legal status is not
only good for them, but also for the communities they live in, and for
America,” said Charles H. Kuck, president of AILA. “The DREAM Act
allows high achieving students, some of the best and the brightest of
the next generation, to receive the chance for higher education or
military service, and the opportunity to contribute to America in a
strikingly productive way. Even in a downturn, our economy continues to
need a highly educated workforce and those willing to serve; those with
more education contribute more to the tax base and the growth of the
U.S. economy.”

AILA believes that the DREAM Act must be a central component of
comprehensive immigration reform. Annually, an estimated 65,000
undocumented young people who have spent their childhoods in America
would be impacted by this important piece of legislation. Undocumented
immigrant children would obtain citizenship by meeting certain
criteria: They must have come to the U.S. before they turned 16, be
under the age of 30, have lived in the U.S. for at least five years,
graduated from high school or passed an equivalency exam, have “good
moral character” and either attend college or enlist in the military
for two years.

“This bill is another sign that the anti-immigration tide is
shifting on Capitol Hill towards an actual fix of broken immigration
system and it renews hope for a push towards comprehensive reform,”
concluded Kuck.


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national
association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice,
advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance
the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and
enhance the professional development of its members.