DOJ Secures Denaturalization for Certain Criminals

On Aug. 8, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina entered an order that revoked the naturalized U.S. citizenship of a child sex offender; restrained and enjoined him from claiming any rights, privileges, or advantages of U.S. citizenship; and ordered him to immediately surrender and deliver his Certificate of Naturalization to federal authorities.

Under our laws, United States citizenship is conferred on those who demonstrate honesty and integrity, who respect our laws, and who can demonstrate the moral character necessary to be a positive and cultivating member of American society,” said U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon.  “The defendant fell short of that mark in every regard and we are satisfied that this Court saw fit to revoke his naturalized citizenship.  As part of the Justice Department’s mission to enforce the nation’s immigration laws, we will seek denaturalization in cases where individuals are dishonest and where criminal activity demonstrated the lack of moral character necessary for American citizenship. Prempeh Ernest Agyemang, a native of Ghana, was admitted to the United States in 1989.  Agyemang then married a United States citizen who had a young child.  When the child was in fourth grade, Agyemang began sexually abusing her starting in late 1999 or early 2000.   Notably, after the sexual abuse began, while under oath during his naturalization interview, Agyemang stated that he had never committed a crime or offense for which he had not been arrested. Relying on this answer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted his naturalization application and Agyemang became a U.S. citizen later that year. On Nov. 5, 2003, Mr. Agyemang pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting his minor stepchild on April 1, 2000.  Specifically, Agyemang pleaded guilty to sexual activity by a Substitute Parent or Custodian. This order sends a clear message to individuals who commit any type of sexual offense, particularly those involving children, during the naturalization process – we will investigate you and seek you out to ensure that justice is done,” said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Ronald D. Vitiello. “ICE will continue to work with our partners at the Justice Department’s Office of Immigration Litigation – District Court Section to hold individuals responsible for sexual offenses, especially those involving child victims.

Re-registration Period Open TPS Yemen

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the following press release regarding the re-registration period for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Yemen.

TPS beneficiaries of the current designation who want to maintain their status through the extension date of March 3, 2020, must re-register between August 14, 2018, and October 15, 2018. Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documents (EADs), 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 EAD by submitting Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, at the time they file Form I-821, or separately at a later date. Like all USCIS forms, both forms are free for download from the USCIS website at uscis.gov/tps. USCIS will issue new EADs with a March 3, 2020, expiration date to eligible Yemen TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs. Given the timeframes involved with processing TPS re-registration applications, however, we recognize that not all re-registrants will receive new EADs before their current EADs expire on Sept. 3, 2018. Accordingly, we have automatically extended the validity of EADs for 180 days, through March 2, 2019.

Guidance on Unlawful Presence for Students

USCIS has published a revised final policy memorandum (PDF, 129 KB) related to unlawful presence on unlawful presence for students and exchange visitors.

Under the revised final policy memorandum, effective Aug. 9, 2018, F and M nonimmigrants who fall out of status and timely file for reinstatement of that status will have their accrual of unlawful presence suspended while their application is pending. On May 10, 2018, USCIS posted a policy memorandum changing the way the agency calculates unlawful presence for those who were in student (F nonimmigrant), exchange visitor (J nonimmigrant), or vocational student (M nonimmigrant) status. The revised final memorandum published today supersedes that memorandum and describes the rules for counting unlawful presence for F and M nonimmigrants with timely-filed or approved reinstatement applications, as well as for J nonimmigrants who were reinstated by the Department of State.

DHS July Border Numbers

On August 8, Department of Homeland Security released the following statement on U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Southwest Border Migration numbers for July:

Southwest Border Migration numbers dropped in July for the second month in a row.  This decrease shows that when there are real consequences for breaking the law, the conduct of those considering crimes will change.  In the month of July, we saw a decrease in illegal border crossings because human traffickers and Transnational Criminal Organizations were put on notice that this Administration was increasing prosecutions of those entering the country illegally.  Despite our terribly broken immigration laws, the administration has still been able to impact illegal immigration – but we need Congress to act to fix our system. At the same time, the number of family units apprehended at the border remains high and their percentage of total crossings has increased as court decisions prevent us from detaining and prosecuting family unit adults.  The inability to apply consequences to any law breaker ultimately threatens the safety and security of the nation and its communities. DHS is continuing to refer to DOJ single adult illegal border crossers for prosecution at historic rates.  Additionally, the Secretary has been engaging weekly with Mexican and Central American officials to more aggressively tackle the root causes of this crisis—and DHS has received commitments on specific actions that can be taken with and by our partners to confront the issue more decisively.”

CBP’s Southwest Border Migration Numbers for July can be found here.

DHS FY17 Entry/Exit Report

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Entry/Exit Overstay Report. More information is provided here:

The report provides data on departures and overstays, by country, for foreign visitors to the United States who entered as nonimmigrants through an air or sea Port of Entry (POE) and were expected to depart in FY 2017. The in-scope population for this report includes temporary workers and families, students, exchange visitors, temporary visitors for pleasure, temporary visitors for business, and other nonimmigrant classes of admission.

DHS has determined that there were 52,656,022 in-scope nonimmigrant admissions to the United States through air or sea POEs with expected departures occurring in FY 2017; the in-scope admissions represent the vast majority of all air and sea nonimmigrant admissions. Of this number, DHS calculated a total overstay rate of 1.33 percent, or 701,900 overstay events.

The report also breaks down the overstay rates further to provide a better picture of those overstays who remain in the United States beyond their period of admission and for whom there is no identifiable evidence of a departure, an extension of period of admission, or transition to another immigration status. At the end of FY 2017, there were 606,926 Suspected In-Country Overstays. The overall Suspected In-Country Overstay rate was 1.15 percent of the expected departures.

The U.S. government is using a multifaceted approach to enforce overstay violations, including improving entry and exit data collection and reporting, notifying visitors of an impending expiration of their authorized period of admission, cancelling travel authorizations and visas for violators, recurrent vetting of many nonimmigrants, and apprehending overstays present in the United States.

A further breakdown can be found below and the full report is available here.

Visa Bulletin August 2018

The Visa Bulletin provides updated priority date information for family-based and

employment-based green cards.

Immigrants to the US are classified into two categories – those requiring placement on a waiting list and those not through their

relationship to a US immediate relative.

Further, there are numerical quotas on the green cards that require a priority date. If the number of applicants in a year is over the available visa numbers, those applicants are placed on a waiting list and are given a priority date, which estimates when an applicant would get a visa based on the number of previous applicants on the waiting list. Below are preference category information and visa allocations.

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES
First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:

A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents: 23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES

First: Priority Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.

Second: Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.

Third: Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to “*Other Workers”
Fourth: Certain Special Immigrants: 7.1% of the worldwide level.

Fifth: Employment Creation: 7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of Pub. L. 102-395.

Below is the link for the Visa Bulletin for August 2018.

https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-for-August-2018.html

For more information, contact ALO at 978-905-9992.

Re-registration open for TPS for Nepal

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Nepal’s designation who want to maintain their status through the effective termination date of June 24, 2019, must re-register between May 22, 2018, and July 23, 2018.

Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documents (EADs), 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 EAD by submitting a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, at the time they file Form I-821, or separately at a later date. Both forms are free to download from the USCIS website at uscis.gov/tps. USCIS will issue new EADs with a June 24, 2019 expiration date to eligible Nepali 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 June 24, 2018. Accordingly, USCIS has automatically extended the validity of EADs issued and currently valid under the TPS designation of Nepal for 180 days, through Dec. 21, 2018

AOS Filing Chart – August 2018

If USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, USCIS will state whether you may use the Dates for Filing Visa Applications.

Otherwise, they will indicate that you must use the Application Final Action Dates to determine when you may file your adjustment of status application.

See the following link here for the month of August 2018:

https://www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo

Visa Bulletin August 2018

The Visa Bulletin provides updated priority date information for family-based and

employment-based green cards.

Immigrants to the US are classified into two categories – those requiring placement on a waiting list and those not through their

relationship to a US immediate relative.

Further, there are numerical quotas on the green cards that require a priority date. If the number of applicants in a year is over the available visa numbers, those applicants are placed on a waiting list and are given a priority date, which estimates when an applicant would get a visa based on the number of previous applicants on the waiting list. Below are preference category information and visa allocations.

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES
First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:

A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents: 23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES

First: Priority Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.

Second: Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.

Third: Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to “*Other Workers”
Fourth: Certain Special Immigrants: 7.1% of the worldwide level.

Fifth: Employment Creation: 7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of Pub. L. 102-395.

Below is the link for the Visa Bulletin for August 2018.

https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-for-August-2018.html

For more information, contact ALO at 978-905-9992.

H1B Update

USCIS has issued the following press release regarding the return of unselected FY19 H1B cap-subject petitions:

USCIS announced on July 30, 2018, that it has returned all fiscal year 2019 H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in the computer-generated random selection process. USCIS announced on May 15, that it had completed data entry of all selected cap-subject petitions. If you submitted an H-1B cap-subject petition that was delivered to USCIS between April 2 and April 6, 2018, and you have not received a receipt notice or a returned petition by August 13, you may contact USCIS for assistance.