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Training Document on Particular Social Groups Made Public |
A PowerPoint presentation apparently given to asylum officers at USCIS was made public in late April, providing insight into the agency’s handling of potential claims for asylum based on membership in a particular social group. According to the presentation, asylum officers may make positive credible fear determinations for individuals at the border who are fleeing persecution in their native countries either for having reported a serious gang- or cartel-related crime to law enforcement, or for being female heads of households. Receiving a positive credible fear determination does confer asylum or any legal status, but rather entitles a noncitizen to have his or her claim heard by an immigration judge. It is reprinted at Appendix A.
USCIS Agrees to New Policy in SIJ Class Action Settlement
On April 28, 2015, USCIS announced an agreement over allegations that the agency was violating the terms of a settlement in a lawsuit over the improper denial of applications for Special Immigrant Juvenile classification or SIJ-based adjustment of status. The plaintiffs had alleged that USCIS was violating the terms of a 2010 settlement by requiring SIJ applicants to remain the subject of a state court order at the time of their applications, even though such orders typically expire when a child turns eighteen.
Under the terms of the stipulation, USCIS agreed that it would not deny, revoke, or terminate the application of any class member for SIJ status who was unmarried and under twenty-one when the application was filed. The agency also agreed to reopen SIJ applications that were denied because the applicant aged out of a state court dependency order.
The case is Perez-Olano v. Holder, No. 05-3604 (C.D. Cal.).
New Rules Issued for H-2B Program
On April 28, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor released a final rule and interim final rule in response to court decisions invalidating certain portions of the H-2B program. The final rule creates a new method for determining the prevailing wage for employees in the H-2B program. The rule states that in the absence of a collective bargaining agreement, the prevailing wage will generally be equivalent to the mean wage in the geographic area under the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics survey. Employer-provided surveys may still be used under certain conditions, however. The interim final rule proposes a new process for obtaining temporary labor certifications for potential H-2B employees. The rule imposes new recruitment and other requirements, including leaving positions open to U.S. workers for up to twenty-one days before the position’s start date. The rules are at 80 Fed. Reg. 24,042 and 24,146.
[This is an excerpt from the May 15, 2015, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.]
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