Smuggler Arrested by CBP in San Luis

TUCSON, Ariz. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested a 23-year-old legal permanent resident alien from Mexico Thursday morning in connection to a failed smuggling attempt at Arizona’s Port of San Luis.

Officers referred the man for further inspection of his Mazda sedan when he attempted to enter the U.S. from Mexico. A CBP canine alerted to an odor it was trained to detect, prompting a further search of the vehicle’s rocker panels. Officers found more than 65 pounds of methamphetamine, with an estimated value of almost $196,000.

CBP officers arrested the subject for narcotics smuggling and seized his vehicle and drugs. Officers then turned the subject over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Federal law allows officers to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt. An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

ICE removes fugitive alien wanted for human trafficking in El Salvador

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed a Salvadoran man…wanted for human trafficking in his native country after his arrest by Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) personnel assigned to ICE offices in Baltimore.

Oscar Arturo Alfaro-Romero, a 35-year-old alien fugitive with multiple prior removals, was arrested by ICE May 10, 2017. He was processed as an alien previously removed, and qualified for removal under reinstatement. ICE was subsequently notified that Alfaro-Romero was wanted for crimes in El Salvador.

ICE officers transported Alfaro-Romero to Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in El Salvador where he was turned over to local law-enforcement authorities. ICE offices in El Salvador and its Security Alliance for Fugitive Enforcement (SAFE) taskforce provided key assistance to the Baltimore field office ahead of Alfaro-Romero’s arrest and subsequent removal.

DHS Works To Advance Global Security Standards

WASHINGTON – This week, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen traveled to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum. Secretary Nielsen met with international partners and industry leaders to discuss the importance of public-private partnerships in advancing a global security agenda.

Secretary Nielsen discussed U.S.-led efforts to raise global security standards to prevent terrorist travel. International partners must work together to collect, use, and share airline passenger information, including Passenger Name Record (PNR) data, to detect and disrupt threats. The Secretary also discussed the importance of biometric data in making cross-border travel faster and more secure.

In addition to preventing terrorists from traveling internationally, Secretary Nielsen discussed the importance of fighting radicalization at home. Terrorist groups have become highly networked online, allowing them to spread propaganda worldwide, recruit online, evade detection by plotting in virtual safe havens, and crowd-source attacks. DHS is finding more effective ways to identify terrorists, and working with international and industry partners to find innovative ways to detect and disrupt their plots. There is robust and ongoing engagement between the U.S. Government and the technology sector to increase efforts to counter terrorists’ use of the internet, including countering terrorist messaging online.

The World Economic Forum also launched the Global Centre for Cybersecurity, a public-private partnership formed to examine pressing cybersecurity challenges and devise solutions to global problems with direct impacts on the United States. Government and industry will use the unique convening ability of the World Economic Forum, drawing together stakeholders in a sense of shared responsibility, to improve the security and resilience of the cyber ecosystem. Secretary Nielsen affirmed DHS’s commitment to work closely with the Centre to determine priority areas of focus to ensure maximum impact.

Under Secretary Nielsen’s leadership, DHS is taking an increasingly active role in protecting the American people from the range cybersecurity threats, whether state or non-state based. Secretary Nielsen discussed the need for greater collaboration to better understand the risks facing the critical functions and services that support our economy and way of life. Recognizing that an organization’s risk doesn’t end at the network’s edge, among other efforts, DHS is prioritizing expanded information sharing with the private sector, a priority outlined in President Trump’s most recent National Security Strategy. This approach, rooted in the concept of collective defense, underscores the need to share as broadly as possible to dramatically reduce known threats and vulnerabilities, freeing up organizations to focus on more sophisticated threats.

During a roundtable discussion with industry leaders, Secretary Nielsen also discussed the continued threats facing soft targets and crowded places, and the importance of sharing leading practices and incentivizing security investments for these venues. Additionally, she stressed the importance of instilling a culture of awareness, vigilance, and preparedness across the general public.

The Secretary also had numerous conversations with global experts to discuss DHS efforts to assist persons fleeing persecution around the globe. DHS remains committed to being a partner to countries working to support displaced persons.

Secretary Nielsen was part of a high-level U.S. delegation led by President Donald J. Trump in discussing America’s role leading the world in economic and physical security. Other members of the delegation included Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

H2A Mailing Info

USCIS released the following press release regarding H2A mailing changes for requests for evidence:

For H-2A petitions, USCIS will:

1. Use a pre-paid mailer to send an RFE if the petitioner provided only one pre-paid mailer.

2. Send the final decision notice (such as a Notice of Approval or Notice of Denial) in a pre-paid mailer only if no RFE was issued or the petitioner provided a second pre-paid mailer.

3. Stop using a pre-paid mailer to send receipt notices.

TPS El Salvador Update

USCIS released the following press release regarding the re-registration period for Salvadorans with Temporary Protected Status.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under El Salvador’s designation who want to maintain their status through the effective  termination date of Sept. 9, 2019, must re-register between Jan. 18, 2018, and March 19, 2018.

Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documents, have been published in the Federal Register and on uscis.gov/tps.

All applicants must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Applicants may also request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by submitting a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, at the time of filing Form I-821, or separately at a later date. Both forms are free for download on USCIS’ website at uscis.gov/tps.

USCIS will issue new EADs with a Sept. 9, 2019, expiration date to eligible Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs. Given the timeframes involved with processing TPS re-registration applications, however, USCIS recognizes that not all re-registrants will receive new EADs before their current EADs expire on March 9, 2018. Accordingly, USCIS has automatically extended the validity of EADs issued and currently valid under the TPS designation of El Salvador for 180 days, through Sept. 5, 2018.

TPS Haiti Update

USCIS released the following press release re: re-registration period for Haitians with Temporary Protected Status

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Haiti’s designation who want to maintain that status through the program’s termination date of July 22, 2019, must re-register between Jan. 18, 2018, and March 19, 2018. Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documentation, have been published in the Federal Register and on uscis.gov/tps.

All applicants must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Applicants may also request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by submitting a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, at the time of filing Form I-821, or separately at a later date. Both forms are free for download on USCIS’ website at uscis.gov/tps.

USCIS will issue new EADs with a July 22, 2019, expiration date to eligible Haitian TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs. Given the timeframes involved with processing TPS re-registration applications, however, USCIS is automatically extending the validity of EADs that show an expiration date of Jan. 22, 2018, for 180 days through July 21, 2018. Additionally, individuals who have EADs with an expiration date of July 22, 2017, and who applied for a new EAD during the last re-registration period but have not yet received their new EADs are also covered by this automatic extension. These individuals may show their EAD indicating a July 22, 2017, expiration date and their EAD application receipt (Notice of Action, Form I-797C) that notes the application was received on or after May 24, 2017, along with this statement, to employers as proof of continued employment authorization through July 21, 2018.

U Visa Green Card

The following guide is intended as a general overview of the types of special immigrant status visas.

Generally

The U visa is for immigrants who have been victims of a crime and assist or are willing to assist U.S. authorities in investigating and/or prosecuting that crime.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for a U visa, a person must: Have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of being a victim of certain types of crimes; Possess information about that criminal activity; Provide a certification from a law enforcement official, prosecutor, or judge that the person has been, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity; and Show that the criminal activity violated the laws of the United States

Application Process

If eligible, applicants should submit the following documents and applications: Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status Form I-918, Supplement B, U Nonimmigrant Status Certification. The Form I-918, Supplement B, must be signed by and authorized official of the certifying law enforcement agency (PDF)and the official must confirm that you were helpful, and currently being helpful, or will likely be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the case. A personal statement describing the criminal activity of which you were a victim.

Green Card

You may apply for permanent residence by submitting Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. You must have been lawfully admitted to the United States as a U nonimmigrant and must continue to hold such status at the time of application. You must also prove that: You have been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of at least three years while in U nonimmigrant status, and You have not unreasonably refused to provide assistance to law enforcement since you received your U visa.

USCIS Procedure Changes in Cuba

Due to staff reductions at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, USCIS will temporarily suspend operations at its field office in Havana, effective immediately. During this time, the USCIS field office in Mexico City, Mexico, will assume Havana’s jurisdiction, which includes only Cuba.

General information about the U.S. Embassy in Havana is available on the embassy website. You may also contact the embassy by calling 011(53)(7)839-4100 or by mailing:

U.S. Embassy Havana

Calzada between L & M, Vedado
Havana, Cuba
For emergency inquiries, you can continue contacting the Havana Field Office at havanauscis@dhs.gov. For any other information on the services we provide, please contact the USCIS field office in Mexico City.

U Visa Numerical Limits

The following guide is intended as a general overview of the types of special immigrant status visas.

Generally

The U visa is for immigrants who have been victims of a crime and assist or are willing to assist U.S. authorities in investigating and/or prosecuting that crime.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for a U visa, a person must: Have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of being a victim of certain types of crimes; Possess information about that criminal activity; Provide a certification from a law enforcement official, prosecutor, or judge that the person has been, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity; and Show that the criminal activity violated the laws of the United States.

Application Process

If eligible, applicants should submit the following documents and applications: Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status Form I-918, Supplement B, U Nonimmigrant Status Certification. The Form I-918, Supplement B, must be signed by and authorized official of the certifying law enforcement agency (PDF)and the official must confirm that you were helpful, and currently being helpful, or will likely be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the case. A personal statement describing the criminal activity of which you were a victim.

U Visa Cap

The limit on the number of U visas that may be granted to principal petitioners each year is 10,000. However, there is no cap for family members deriving status from the principal applicant, such as spouses, children, or other eligible family members. If the cap is reached before all U nonimmigrant petitions have been adjudicated, USCIS will create a waiting list for any eligible principal or derivative petitioners that are awaiting a final decision and a U visa. Petitioners placed on the waiting list will be granted deferred action or parole and are eligible to apply for work authorization while waiting for additional U visas to become available.

U Visa Outside the U.S.

The following guide is intended as a general overview of the types of special immigrant status visas.

Generally

The U visa is for immigrants who have been victims of a crime and assist or are willing to assist U.S. authorities in investigating and/or prosecuting that crime.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for a U visa, a person must: Have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of being a victim of certain types of crimes; Possess information about that criminal activity; Provide a certification from a law enforcement official, prosecutor, or judge that the person has been, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity; and Show that the criminal activity violated the laws of the United States.

Application Process

If eligible, applicants should submit the following documents and applications: Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status Form I-918, Supplement B, U Nonimmigrant Status Certification. The Form I-918, Supplement B, must be signed by and authorized official of the certifying law enforcement agency (PDF)and the official must confirm that you were helpful, and currently being helpful, or will likely be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the case. A personal statement describing the criminal activity of which you were a victim.

Applying from outside the U.S.

You may also apply (petition) for U nonimmigrant status if you are outside the United States. To do this, you must: File all the necessary forms for U nonimmigrant status with the Vermont Service Center. Follow all instructions that are sent from the Vermont Service Center, which will include having your fingerprints taken at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If your petition is approved, you must consular process to enter the United States, which will include an interview with a consular officer at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.