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DHS to Enhance Security for Visa Waiver Program|
On August 6, 2015, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the implementation of new security measures for noncitizens seeking to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.
Among other changes, travelers will have to present e-passports to gain admission to the United States under the program, and more air marshals will be stationed on international flights departing from participating countries.
Citizens of more than three dozen countries can currently enter the United States through the Visa Waiver Program. By statute, the period of admission under the program may not exceed 90 days.
USCIS Discloses Extent of Backlogs at Asylum Offices
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services disclosed the approximate backlog for scheduling interviews at each of the eight asylum offices in the United States.
As of July, the longest backlog was at the Los Angeles asylum office, which was scheduling interviews for applications filed in August 2011. The shortest backlog was at the Houston asylum office, which was scheduling interviews for applications filed in April 2014.
USCIS stated that shorter backlogs exists for minors and applicants whose interviews merely need to be rescheduled, but did not provide corresponding figures.
The figures, initially released on August 7, 2015, will be updated monthly. They can be viewed at http://www.uscis.gov/ Other Services > Humanitarian > Refugees & Asylum > Asylum > The Affirmative Asylum Process > Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin.
DOJ Settles Discrimination Claim Involving Oregon City
On August 5, 2015, the Department of Justice announced the reaching of a settlement with Eugene, Oregon, over allegations that the city violated the INA by restricting law enforcement positions to U.S. citizens. Under the settlement, the city must pay an undisclosed civil penalty and be subject to federal monitoring for three years.
BITS & PIECES
DHS—The Department of Homeland Security announced August 10, 2015, a trilateral agreement with Mexico and Canada to expand the Trusted Traveler program as the first step toward the creation of a North American Trusted Traveler Network.
[This is an excerpt from the Sept. 1, 2015, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.]
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