On October 12, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security directed ICE, CBP, and USCIS to take actions to promote a fair labor market by supporting more effective enforcement of wage protections, workplace safety, labor rights, and other employment laws and standards.
“The Department of Homeland Security has a critical role to ensure our Nation’s workplaces comply with our laws,” said U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “We will not tolerate unscrupulous employers who exploit unauthorized workers, conduct illegal activities, or impose unsafe working conditions. Employers engaged in illegal acts compel the focus of our enforcement resources. By adopting policies that focus on the most unscrupulous employers, we will protect workers as well as legitimate American businesses.”
In accordance with a memorandum issued by Secretary Mayorkas on October 12, ICE, CBP, and USCIS will develop and update policies to enhance DHS’s enforcement of employment and labor standards. The agencies must also develop strategies for prioritizing workplace enforcement against unscrupulous employers and, through the exercise of prosecutorial discretion, facilitate the participation of vulnerable workers in labor standards investigations. Employers who shirk employment regulations not only harm workers, they also unfairly drive down business costs and disadvantage their business competitors who abide by the law. Continue reading “DHS Releases Worksite Enforcement Strategy to Protect the American Labor Market, the Dignity of Workers, and Worksite Conditions”
WASHINGTON, Oct 12 (Reuters) – The United States will lift restrictions at its land borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals in early November, ending historic curbs on non-essential travelers in place since March 2020 to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement the administration next month “will begin allowing travelers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to enter the United States for non-essential purposes, including to visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings.”
The new rules are similar but not identical to planned requirements announced last month for international air travelers, U.S. officials said in a call earlier with reporters.
Continue reading “Reuters: U.S. to lift Canada, Mexico land border restrictions in Nov for vaccinated visitors”
A proposed Donald Trump-era rule to replace the current H-1B cap lottery system with a wage-level-based selection procedure has been knocked down by a federal judge in the United States.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White A Trump-era H-1B cap selection regulation was nullified by the Northern District of California District Court on the basis that then-Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf was not lawfully operating in his post at the time the regulation was adopted.
The judge ruled in favour of the United States on Wednesday. According to the court ruling submitted by the Chamber’s litigation centre, the Chamber of Commerce filed a motion for summary judgement in the complaint challenging the regulation.
Continue reading “TechGig: New H-1B VISA rules changed by the US court, all details here”
Vaccinated passengers will be able to travel to the US from the EU and UK from
November onwards, the Biden administration will announce on Monday, in a
major diplomatic victory for Brussels and London.
The White House will announce a new travel policy on Monday morning, marking the end of the 18-month blanket ban on travel imposed by Donald Trump, the former US president, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic that was maintained by Joe Biden. Continue reading “Financial Times: US to relax EU and UK travel restrictions for vaccinated passengers”
A federal judge has ended a Trump administration regulation designed to make it difficult for international students to gain H-1B status. The ruling is the latest judicial decision to stop a Trump administration H-1B rule, leaving in tatters the legacy pursued by Trump aide Stephen Miller and others.
Between 2017 and 2021, Trump administration officials increased H-1B denial rates by issuing memos and policies that judges determined to be unlawful. Once those policies ended, H-1B denial rates returned to pre-Trump levels, according to a National Foundation for American Policy analysis. Today, the most significant H-1B restriction is the same one in place before Donald Trump took office—the 85,000 annual limit on new H-1B petitions for companies.
Continue reading “FORBES: Judge Kills The Last Trump H-1B Visa Rule Left Standing”
A new policy update from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services will make it easier for children of non-immigrant visa holders in the US to shift to a F-1 student visa, benefiting the children of thousands of H-1B visa holders in the US. Under the previous policy, applicants needed to maintain status up to 30 days before the program start date, which required them to file multiple visa extensions to ensure that they do not have a ‘gap’ in status.
“To prevent a ‘gap’ in status, USCIS will grant the change of status to F-1 effective the day we approve an applicant’s Form I-539, application to extend/change non-immigrant status. If we approve an application more than 30 days before the student’s program start date, the student must ensure they do not violate their F-1 status during that time,” said the policy update. Continue reading “The Economic Times: Policy change to benefit children of H-1B visa holders in the US”
A federal judge in Texas ordered the U.S. government on Friday to close the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to new applicants, saying the Obama administration did not have the legal authority to grant deportation relief and work permits to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
Granting a request by Texas and other Republican-led states, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen required the Biden administration to stop approving new applications for DACA, blocking tens of thousands of immigrant teenagers and young adults from accessing the Obama-era legal protections.
Hanen did not order the government to strip the work permits and deportation protections from the more than 616,000 immigrants who are already enrolled in DACA.
Continue reading “CBS News: Judge orders U.S. to close DACA program to new applicants, calling it illegal”
Backlogs, processing delays, and revenue shortfalls are nothing new at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The agency has long suffered from severe structural problems that hurt people who depend on it for work authorization, adjustment of status, naturalization, and many other immigration benefits.
However, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on agency operations has made a bad situation much worse. As the 2021 Annual Report of the USCIS Ombudsman describes, the agency is now experiencing backlogs of applications and petitions “at record levels,” as well as drastically reduced “customer service functions.”
Continue reading “Immigration Impact – The COVID-19 Pandemic Made USCIS Backlogs Go from Bad to Worse”
The United States has extended Covid-19 restrictions on non-essential travel at land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico until July 21, according to a tweet from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Sunday.
“To reduce the spread of #COVID19, the United States is extending restrictions on non-essential travel at our land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico through July 21, while ensuring access for essential trade & travel,” DHS wrote.
“DHS also notes positive developments in recent weeks and is participating with other US agencies in the White House’s expert working groups with Canada and Mexico to identify the conditions under which restrictions may be eased safely and sustainably.”
In March 2020, the US and Canada mutually agreed to shut down the border to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Continue reading “CNN Travel – US extends Covid-19 travel restrictions with Canada and Mexico”
Tampa Partner Maria del Carmen Ramos has been re-elected to the Board of Directors for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Central Florida Chapter. The AILA Central Florida Chapter is the local chapter for 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. This will be Maria’s second term on the Board of Directors after having been heavily involved in the AILA Central Florida Chapter for many years, previously serving as the Education Vice Chair and co-chairing the chapter’s law conference in 2019.
Incoming AILA Central Florida Chapter Chair, April Caminez-Bentley said, “It is wonderful to have Maria re-elected to the Board of Directors. Maria’s leadership, wealth of immigration expertise, and her skillful communications bring great value to the Board in carrying out our Chapter endeavors from educating our Members about the latest immigration changes to lobbying Congress for immigration reform.”
Continue reading “Maria del Carmen Ramos Re-Elected to the Board of Directors of the AILA Central Florida Chapter”