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AILA: Impact of “Hire American” Provisions in New Executive Order Remains to Be Seen

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Trump signed his latest Executive Order “Buy American and Hire American.” The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) observed that while today’s announcement reflects the administration’s desire to move toward reforms to the H-1B program, there will be no immediate changes or impacts on H-1Bs. Simply put, it appears that the agencies are asked to review policies related to all visa programs and recommend changes to root out “fraud and abuse,” and to propose additional reforms so that H-1B visas are awarded to the most skilled or highest-paid applicants.

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AILA: No Matter How Written, a Muslim and Refugee Ban Won’t Make U.S. Safe

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) denounced President Trump’s rewritten Executive Order, which is again based on the false premise that barring Muslims and refugees from coming to America will make the country safer. The ban was revised in an effort to get around the court orders that blocked the Administration from implementing the original order after it had wrought havoc throughout U.S. airports and around the world. Under the rewritten order:

  • The ban will be effective March 16, 2017.
  • Refugees are banned for a 120-day period, an effective chokehold that snuffs out the US refugee program.
  • The travel ban still impacts only individuals from predominantly Muslim countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen), and still targets people based on their religion and nationality, though Iraq has been removed from the list of banned countries.
  • The ban does not apply to lawful permanent residents (green card holders) and dual nationals when traveling on a passport issued by a non-designated country. Those holding select other visas and statuses will not be affected, and waivers may be granted to others on a case-by-case basis.

William A. Stock, President of AILA noted, “Despite the administration’s assurances, this ban on refugees and nationals of these predominantly Muslim countries will not make America safer. Once again President Trump is elevating a xenophobic campaign promise over true national security protections and implementing a policy that national security professionals think is unnecessary and counterproductive. Further, refugees, other than those already approved and in transit, will remain locked out of the United States for at least 120 days, despite being extremely vulnerable and the most stringently vetted group of immigrants. Blocking thoroughly vetted families from seeking help does not befit our nation’s proud and long history of humanitarian protection and welcoming those fleeing persecution.”

Benjamin Johnson, AILA Executive Director stated, “Exempting lawful permanent residents (green card holders) and dual nationals will hopefully mean that these irrational policies will hurt fewer people, but the fact remains that this is bad policy, motivated by unfounded fear. Just like the last ban, this executive order will disrupt the lives of foreign nationals that live, work, and contribute to the U.S. and the citizen family members, community members, and businesses that depend on them. Many have already curtailed travel for scholarly research, to visit family abroad, attend a wedding, or see someone graduate because they are afraid they won’t be allowed to return. This new ban will hurt American families and businesses, and does not advance the promise of a better future for our nation.”

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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.

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

Via AILA

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:

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

http://www.ashwinsharma.com, VIA AILA.org

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Contact:
George Tzamaras or Belle Woods
202-507-7649 – 202-507-7675
gtzamaras@aila.org – bwoods@aila.org

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.

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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

VIA AILA

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)

VIA AILA
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

VIA AILA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

CONTACT:

George Tzamaras
202-507-7649
gtzamaras@aila.org

ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER RESTORES DUE PROCESS FOR IMMIGRANTS INJURED BY INEFFECTIVE REPRESENTATION:

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.”

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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.