Immigration Updates

Know Your Rights

posted Mar 14, 2017, 4:10 PM by William Stevens

With the heightened interest in immigration, many people are asking what should they do if they are stopped by ICE.

Even though it is not a likely event, it is still better to be prepared. In the event that an ICE or CBP officer stops you or comes to your home, remember to be cordial and be cooperative.

To help you remember what to do, the American Immigration Lawyers Association has prepared a handout. Keep this with you and refer to it when (if) ICE shows up at your door.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Validity Extended for TPS El Salvador Beneficiaries

posted Mar 6, 2017, 1:43 PM by William M. Stevens

USCIS is extending the validity of certain EADs issued under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador for an additional 6 months. On July 8, 2016, DHS announced the extension of the designation of El Salvador for TPS for a period of 18 months. With that extension, DHS also automatically extended the validity of EADs issued under TPS El Salvador for 6 months, through March 9, 2017. 


To avoid gaps in work authorization, USCIS is now automatically extending the validity of those EADs for an additional 6 months, through September 9, 2017.


If you currently have an EAD that was issued under the TPS designation for El Salvador and has a September 9, 2016 expiration date printed on the front of the card, your EAD will now expire on September 9, 2017. To prove that you are authorized to continue working legally, you may show the following documentation to your employer and government agencies:

  • Your TPS-related EAD; and
  • A copy of today’s Federal Register notice announcing this automatic extension (attached to this posting)

Jeff Sessions Confirmed

posted Feb 15, 2017, 1:45 PM by William M. Stevens   [ updated Feb 15, 2017, 1:46 PM ]

Jeff Sessions was confirmed as Attorney General this week by a vote of 52-47. As Attorney General and head of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Mr. Sessions will oversee several aspects of immigration. The three 6 null recent executive orders on immigration give the Attorney General  specific 6 null tasks. These include removing funds for sanctuary cities, increasing removal prosecutions, and preparing immigration courts for the resulting increase in case loads.


The US Attorney General also oversees the Board of Immigration Appeals. As such, his power to influence immigration is great. With the current orders to increase enforcement it is certain there will be impacts on current and future immigration cases and immigration court proceedings.

Keeping Up With the 2017 Executive Orders

posted Feb 6, 2017, 12:11 PM by William Stevens

I have started a new thread here on this site for keeping up with the Trump Executive orders, and related immigration issues under the new Administration. Please look here for those topics, and for Rumors and Reality posts.

Rumor: USCIS Adjudication Slow Down (Info Updated February 3, 2017)

posted Feb 6, 2017, 11:54 AM by William Stevens   [ updated Feb 6, 2017, 11:55 AM ]

Fact: USCIS adjudications are proceeding normally.

Some Media articles originally reported that USCIS may have temporarily suspended the adjudication of certain affected immigration benefits. However, USCIS Acting Director Lori Scialabba sent a memo to all USCIS employees on 2/2/17 stating that Section 3 of the 1/27/17 Executive Order does not affect USCIS adjudication of applications and petitions filed for or on behalf of individuals in the U.S., regardless of nationality.


See the memo attached.

DHS has suspended enforcing the January 27 Executive Order on visas

posted Feb 6, 2017, 11:12 AM by William Stevens

DHS released a statement Saturday (Feb. 4, 2017) stating that it is complying with the TRO issued by Judge Robart in Washington State.

Here's the full text of the statement:

From the Department of Homeland Security (DHS):

In accordance with the judge's ruling, DHS has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the Executive Order entitled, "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States."

This includes actions to suspend passenger system rules that flag travelers for operational action subject to the Executive Order.

DHS personnel will resume inspection of travelers in accordance with standard policy and procedure.

At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the President's Executive Order, which is lawful and appropriate. The Order is intended to protect the homeland and the American people, and the President has no higher duty and responsibility than to do so.

For the latest information, please visit the DHS website: https://www.dhs.gov/news

CBP Now Has Almost-Real-Time Updates on Travel Denials

posted Feb 3, 2017, 2:05 PM by William Stevens

CBP now has a link posting statistics and some information on the travel ban.

No Current Plans to Expand Travel Ban Beyond Current Countries (Updated February 2, 2017)

posted Feb 2, 2017, 2:14 PM by William M. Stevens

In response to rumors of plans to expand the travel ban to other countries, DOS informed AILA that there is no addendum, annex, or amendment now being worked on to expand visa revocations or the travel ban to countries other than those currently implicated in the Executive Order entitled, "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States." This includes Columbia and Venezuela which have been widely rumored to be under consideration. DOS confirmed that there is no information that supports such a rumor and asked that AILA members help end the spread of this false information.

DAPA Delayed But DACA Still OK

posted Feb 17, 2015, 4:08 PM by William M. Stevens   [ updated Feb 17, 2015, 4:14 PM ]

A Texas federal court has issued a preliminary injunction preventing USCIS from accepting requests for the expansion of DACA on February 18, as originally planned.

This statement was delivered to me today by email from USCIS:

Statement by Secretary Jeh C. Johnson Concerning the District Court’s Ruling Concerning DAPA and DACA

I strongly disagree with Judge Hanen’s decision to temporarily enjoin implementation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The Department of Justice will appeal that temporary injunction; in the meantime, we recognize we must comply with it.

Accordingly, the Department of Homeland Security will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA tomorrow, February 18, as originally planned. Until further notice, we will also suspend the plan to accept requests for DAPA.

The Department of Justice, legal scholars, immigration experts and even other courts have said that our actions are well within our legal authority. Our actions will also benefit the economy and promote law enforcement. We fully expect to ultimately prevail in the courts, and we will be prepared to implement DAPA and expanded DACA once we do.

It is important to emphasize what the District Court’s order does not affect.

The Court’s order does not affect the existing DACA. Individuals may continue to come forward and request initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA pursuant to the guidelines established in 2012.

Nor does the Court’s order affect this Department’s ability to set and implement enforcement priorities. The priorities established in my November 20, 2014 memorandum entitled “Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants” remain in full force and effect. Pursuant to those enforcement priorities, we continue to prioritize public safety, national security, and border security. I am pleased that an increasing percentage of removals each year are of those convicted of crimes. I am also pleased that, due in large part to our investments in and prioritization of border security, apprehensions at the southern border – a large indicator of total attempts to cross the border illegally -- are now at the lowest levels in years.

DHS Announces Temporary Protected Status Designations for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone

posted Jan 29, 2015, 6:00 PM by William M. Stevens

Release Date: November 20, 2014

WASHINGTON— Due to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has announced his decision to designate Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months.  As a result, eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone who are currently residing in the United States may apply for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Federal Register notices provide details and procedures for applying for TPS and are available at www.uscis.gov/tps.

The TPS designations for the three countries are effective Nov. 21, 2014 and will be in effect for 18 months. The designations mean that eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries) will not be removed from the United States and are authorized to work and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The 180-day TPS registration period begins Nov. 21, 2014 and runs through May 20, 2015.

To be eligible for TPS, applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all eligibility criteria, including that they have been “continuously residing” in the United States since Nov. 20, 2014 and “continuously physically present in” the United States since Nov. 21, 2014.  Applicants also undergo thorough security checks.  Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS. The eligibility requirements are fully described in the Federal Register notices and on the TPS Web page atwww.uscis.gov/tps

Liberians currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) based on President Obama’s Sept. 26, 2014 memorandum may apply for TPS. If they do not apply for TPS within the initial 180-day registration period, they risk being ineligible for TPS because they will have missed the initial registration period. Liberians covered by DED who already possess or have applied for an EAD do not need to also apply for one related to this TPS designation. However, such individuals who are granted TPS may request a TPS-related EAD at a later date as long as the TPS designation for Liberia remains in effect.

Applicants may request that USCIS waive any or all fees based on demonstrated inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a written request. Fee-waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. USCIS will reject any TPS application that does not include the required filing fee or a properly documented fee-waiver request.

All USCIS forms are free. Applicants can download these forms from the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/forms or request them by calling USCIS toll-free at 1-800-870-3676.

Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check My Case Status Online or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).

For more information about USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook(/uscis), and the USCIS blog The Beacon

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