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California Housing and Employment Department Issues New Guidelines on U Visas |
On September 10, 2014, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing issued a directive expanding the grounds for which it will provide certifications to noncitizens seeking U nonimmigrant status. The Department qualifies as a law enforcement agency as it investigates claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Ralph Civil Rights Act.
Under the new directive, the Department will provide certifications to victims of twenty-seven qualifying criminal offenses, including sexual and trafficking offenses that may arise in workplaces. Previously the Department could certify only thirteen such offenses. The Department also will no longer limit issuance of certifications to cases under active investigation. Instead, certifications may be issued to persons who have been or are likely to be helpful to an investigation or prosecution.
The directive is reprinted at Appendix A.
Lucas Guttentag Joins USCIS as Senior Counselor
On September 9, 2014, Lucas Guttentag began serving as a senior counselor in the Office of the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. According to an announcement from USCIS, Guttentag will advise Director Leon Rodriguez on a range of immigration policy matters.
Prior to joining USCIS, Guttentag founded the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, and taught at Yale Law School, Stanford Law School, and Berkeley School of Law. He received his bachelor’s degree from University of California at Berkeley and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
EOIR Issues FOC Guidance for Unaccompanied Minors
The Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, in conjunction with the Office of Legal Access Programs, issued a memorandum entitled The Friend of the Court Model for Unaccompanied Minors in Immigration Proceedings. This memorandum, dated September 10, 2014, is intended to address the special attention warranted in cases of unaccompanied minors in immigration court proceedings. The model, currently employed in several immigration courts maintaining separate juvenile dockets, has been found to be a valuable tool, allowing for the effective and efficient management of juvenile hearings. This memorandum discusses the definition, scope, and application of the model. The memorandum is reprinted at Appendix B.
[This is an excerpt from the Oct. 1, 2014, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.]
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