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DHS Expands Eligibility for Provisional Waivers |
On July 29, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a final rule expanding the class of noncitizens eligible to receive provisional unlawful presence waivers. Under the new regulation, all noncitizens who would be subject to the unlawful presence bars upon their departure from the country can seek a provisional waiver from inside the United States. USCIS will also no longer deny a provisional waiver when the agency has “reason to believe” that the applicant is inadmissible on other grounds. A noncitizen with a final order of removal no longer is barred from seeking a provisional waiver, so long as she first is granted a waiver after filing Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal. A noncitizen who has unlawfully reentered the United States may also qualify for a provisional waiver so long as the prior order of removal has not been formally reinstated. The new rule takes effect August 29, 2016. The rule is reprinted as Appendix A
GAO Recommends Changes to USCIS Transformation Project
The Government Accountability Office issued a report in July making a dozen recommendations for improving the long-delayed effort by USCIS to digitize the filing and adjudication of immigration forms. The Transformation Program, which began in 2006, was originally scheduled to cost $2.1 billion and be completed by June 2014. Last year, however, auditors found that the effort would cost an additional billion dollars and not be completed until 2019. USCIS concurred with all recommendations made in the report.
California Company Will Forfeit $1.5 Million Over Rehiring of Unauthorized Workers
A natural foods company in Northern California has agreed to forfeit $1.5 million as part of a nonprosecution agreement over allegations that it rehired more than a dozen workers who left the company after an audit conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
According to the agreement, which was reached with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Inc., rehired under new names workers who resigned or were fired after the audit. The agreement is available at: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edca/file/878526/download.
Justice Department Offers Guidance on New FOIA Legislation
On July 18, 2016, the Department of Justice’s Office of Information Privacy released guidance on changes made by the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. According to the guidance, agencies must notify FOIA requesters of the availability of a FOIA public liaison and their right to seek dispute resolution services in the event of an adverse response. Agencies must also provide a minimum of ninety days to file an administrative appeal.
USCIS Updates N-600K, I-192, and I-129S
USCIS has released updated versions of Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322, Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant, and Form I-129S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition.
USCIS on Gonorrhea Tests
USCIS has advised civil surgeons that they must test all adjustment applicants age fifteen or older for gonorrhea. Applicants under fifteen need be tested only if the civil surgeon has reason to suspect they have gonorrhea.
[This is an excerpt from the Aug. 15, 2016, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.]
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