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Immigration Law

News Excerpts from the May 15, 2017 Issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin

Lawsuit over Expanded OPT Dismissed

On April 19, 2017, a judge in Washington, D.C., dismissed a lawsuit by a union representing technology workers challenging the extension of the Optional Practical Training program for graduates with STEM degrees. U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton rejected the union’s argument that the Department of Homeland Security exceeded its statutory authority by allowing certain STEM graduates to extend their OPT periods from twelve to thirty-six months. Judge Walton found that the union had standing to bring suit, but failed to allege a plausible claim for relief. The case is Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al., No. 1:16-cv-01170 (D.D.C.).

DOJ Settles Discrimination Claim Against Florida Company

On April 6, 2017, the Justice Department announced a settlement with a Miami-based roadside assistance company over claims that it required LPRs to show unexpired permanent resident cards to demonstrate their employment authorization, but did not require U.S. citizens to submit specific documents. Under the settlement, the Road America Motor Club, Inc., must pay a civil penalty of $34,200 and more than $1,000 in back wages to one particular worker. The company must also train human resources personnel and undergo monitoring. The settlement was reached with the Justice Department’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER), formerly known as the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices.

USCIS To Issue Redesigned Permanent Resident Cards and EADs

On April 19, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it would begin issuing redesigned Permanent Resident Cards and employment authorization documents beginning May 1, 2017. Designed to include additional security features, the new cards will display the holder’s photo on both sides and embedded holographic images. Permanent Resident Cards will be predominantly green and display an image of the Statue of Liberty, while EADs will be predominantly red and display an image of a bald eagle.

Certification Changes for SEVP

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that the Student and Exchange Visitor Program will no longer accept accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools for certification purposes. Schools that are accredited by ACICS must update Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student.”

New Form 1-407

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has updated form Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status. The new edition is dated March 31, 2017. Prior editions may still be used.