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March 12, 2019

USCIS Publishes Revised Form I-539 and New Form I-539A

On February 11, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it revised Form I-539 and that the new version will be released on March 11, 2019.  Form I-539 is a frequently used USCIS form to extend/change the temporary status of dependent family members of principal workers employed pursuant to H-1B, L-1, TN, and E-3 visas, among other categories.  Importantly, the announcement stated that applicants will now be required to attend a biometrics appointment before USCIS will grant the extension/change in status.  Starting on March 11, 2019, USCIS will only accept the revised Form I-539.

April 04, 2017

Court Says Otherwise Eligible TPS Recipients Can Adjust Following an Unauthorized Entry

Last Friday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a precedent decision that will open the door for undocumented immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to apply for adjustment of status. Specifically, the court held that a grant of TPS constitutes an admission for purposes of adjustment of status under INA § 245(a).

The plaintiff in Ramirez v. Brown entered the United States without inspection in 1999, obtained TPS in 2001—which he has continuously maintained ever since—and married a U.S. citizen in 2012. His wife’s I-130 petition was approved, and he applied for adjustment of status. USCIS denied his adjustment application, alleging that he was not “admitted or paroled” as required by INA 245(a). He filed suit in district court, and following a decision in his favor, the government appealed. The Ninth Circuit sustained the district court’s favorable decision.

In particular, the Ninth Circuit considered INA § 244(f)(4), which specifies that “for purposes of adjustment of status under [INA § 245(a), the noncitizen] shall be considered as being in, and maintaining, lawful status as a nonimmigrant.”  Applying traditional tools of statutory interpretation, the Court held that this language “unambiguously treats [noncitizens] with TPS as being ‘admitted’ for purposes of adjusting status.” In so holding, the Court agreed with an earlier decision of the Sixth Circuit, Flores v. U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Servs., 718 F.3d 548 (6th Cir. 2013), and rejected the opposite holding in Serrano v. U.S. Attorney Gen., 655 F.3d 1260 (11th Cir. 2011) (per curiam).

June 23, 2016

Heartbreaking news for milions of immigrants.

The U.S. Supreme Court split 4-4 Thursday over a challenge to President Obama's immigration policy, a result that prevents the administration from putting the program into effect during the rest of his term. The split was reflected in a one sentence statement from the court: "The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court."

June 22, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear immigrant detention dispute

While we wait for the Supreme Court to issue a decision on whether to reinstate President Barack Obama's 2014 executive action, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether immigrants detained for more than six months by the U.S. government while deportation proceedings take place are eligible for a hearing in which they can argue for their release. The court will hear oral arguments and decide the case during its next term, which starts in October and ends in June 2017.

May 04, 2016

When Immigrants Are Deported for Smoking Weed

While Colorado has legalized weed, the federal government has not. And since possession, sale, and trafficking of marijuana are all federal crimes, admitting to any of these—even without being convicted—can be a deportable offense for non-citizens.

April 19, 2016

United States v. Texas Oral Argument Analysis

Here is the transcript to the oral argument earlier today in United States v. Texas, which raises the question of the lawfulness of the Obama administration's expanded deferred action program for undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (known as DAPA) announced in November 2015.

March 04, 2016

SCOTUS to Hear Case on Obama's Immigration Executive Actions in April

The Supreme Court has set a date for oral arguments in a case challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

 

The case, United States v. Texas, will be argued on April 18, a Monday.

 

 

The programs Obama launched through executive action last year to shield as many as 5 million immigrants from deportation have been on hold since a federal judge ruled that Texas and 25 other states have a legitimate basis to challenge them.


The states argue the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs would increase their costs for healthcare, law enforcement and education. Texas specifically claims it would be financially burdened by having to issue more drivers’ licenses, which is now a state-subsidized benefit.

February 16, 2016

USCIS to Welcome Nearly 20,000 New U.S. Citizens in Naturalization Ceremonies Around Presidents Day

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will honor the birth of our nation’s first president, George Washington, and all presidents who have led this country by welcoming nearly 20,000 new U.S. citizens during more than 180 naturalization ceremonies across the country between February 12 – 22.

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