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DHS Receives Three-Month Extension on OPT Ruling
On January 23, 2016, a federal district judge extended by three months the deadline for the Department of Homeland Security to promulgate a replacement regulation authorizing an extension of the maximum Optional Practical Training period from twelve to twenty-nine months for students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle struck down the existing regulation last August (2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105602, summarized at 20 Bender’s Immigr. Bull. 1327 (Dec. 1, 2015)) because DHS failed to comply with notice-and-comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. Judge Huvelle originally imposed a February 12, 2016, deadline for DHS to promulgate a replacement regulation. After receiving more than 50,000 comments on the replacement regulation, DHS requested, and Judge Huvelle granted, a three-month extension of the deadline. The new deadline is May 10, 2016. The case is Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. DHS, No. 14-529 (D.D.C.) [lexis.com subscribers can read the enhanced opinion | Lexis Advance].
Organizations Call for TPS for Central American Countries
On January 25, 2016, 270 organizations sent a letter to the White House calling for DHS to designate El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras for Temporary Protected Status in light of escalating violence in the countries. The letter pointed out that more than 17,500 people were killed in the three countries last year, a total surpassing all but Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria’s numbers. The letter added that more people were killed in Honduras in 2014 than in all European Union countries combined. Although Honduras and El Salvador are currently designated for TPS, their nationals are eligible only if they were in the United States prior to environmental disasters occurring in 1998 and 2001. The signing organizations included the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the National Immigration Law Center.
New Immigration Judges
The Executive Office for Immigration Review announced on January 29, 2016, the investiture of nine new immigration judges. The Dallas, Detroit, and Newark immigration courts will each receive two new IJs, while the Buffalo, New York City, and San Antonio immigration courts will each receive one.
[This is an excerpt from the Feb. 15, 2016, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.]
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