On September 28, 2012, President Obama signed S.3245 into law. The law provides for an extension of the authorization for the EB– 5 Regional Center Program, the Special Immigrant Non-minister Religious Worker Program, and the Conrad State 30 J–1 Visa Waiver Program for three years, until September 30, 2015. This extension means that the final date by which special immigrant non-minister religious workers must adjust status to permanent resident has now been extended by three years.
The Department of Homeland Security recently extended discretionary relief to LGBT foreigners with American citizen spouses and partners. The relief is more specifically designed for individuals who pose no national security risk. “This is a huge step forward,” said Rachel B. Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality. “Until now, LGBT families and their lawyers had nothing to rely on but an oral promise that prosecutorial discretion would include all families. Today, DHS has responded to Congress and made that promise real. The Administration’s written guidance will help families facing separation and the field officers who are reviewing their cases.” To read more, click here.
USCIS recently announced DHS Secretary Napolitano’s decision to extend the current Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation of Haiti for a 60-day re-registration period. Individuals who have not continuously resided in the U.S. since January 12, 2011 will not be eligible.
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The First Circuit affirmed the agency’s denial of asylum withholding of removal, and CAT relief. The Court determined that substantial evidence supported the agency’s determination that the harassment and threats the petitioner suffered in Ukraine due to her Pentecostal faith did not rise to the level of persecution and did not establish a nexus to government acts or omissions. To read more, click here.
USCIS has updated the count of H-2B visa petitions for the 2nd half of FY 2012 and the 1st half of FY 2013. As of August 24, 2012, USCIS has approved filings on behalf of approximately 27,867 H2B beneficiaries for the 2nd half of FY 2012 and 1,894 H2B beneficiaries for the 1st half of FY 2013. Currently, the H-2B cap set by Congress is 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 to be allocated for employment beginning in the 1st half of the fiscal year (October 1 – March 31) and 33,000 to be allocated for employment beginning in the 2nd half of the fiscal year (April 1 – September 30).
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Immigration activists say parents of young American citizens or youths who have temporary permits should be exempt from deportation whereas opponents suggest that the laws should be enforced regardless of the effects on the family. To read more, click here.
The U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, held that the Salvadoran petitioner failed to show he would suffer persecution because he opposes gang membership, noting he did not pinpoint any characteristic that renders members of the proposed group social visible. To read the decision, click here.
Individuals who demonstrate that they meet certain requirements may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and may be eligible for employment authorization. To learn more about the eligibility requirements, please call us at 978-905-9992 to schedule a free consultation.
The Summer Olympics of 2012 have brought together athletes, coaches, fans, and spectators from across the globe. The U.S. is currently being represented by vast groups of immigrants, reflecting that our diversity is our strength. This is especially the case with Danell Leyva, who won bronze for the U.S. in men’s gymnastics. Danell entered the country without inspection but was able to adjust status under the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966. His story, and many others like his, can teach America about the merits of proper immigration reform and pathways for citizenship for the many undocumented individuals currently residing here. To read more about this need for immigration reform as reflected in Danell, click here.
The true picture of an American immigrant is more complex than what might first come to mind. That’s what photographer Ariana Lindquist and author Saundra Amrhein set out to explore in the book Green Card Stories. Read more here.