Bender’s Immigration Bulletin – January 15, 2011

Bender’s Immigration Bulletin – January 15, 2011

Juan Osuna Appointed Acting Director for EOIR

Attorney General Eric Holder announced the appointment of Juan Osuna as Acting Director for the Executive Office for Immigration Review. The announcement was made on December 23.

“Juan has been with the department for more than a decade and has developed an extensive knowledge of immigration litigation and earned a reputation as a diligent and thoughtful advocate and manager,” said Attorney General Holder. “I am confident he will lead the office with the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and dedication.”

In 2010, Osuna was an Associate Deputy Attorney General working on immigration policy and other issues. Prior to that, he worked in the Department of Justice Civil Division, where, in addition to handling immigration policy he oversaw civil immigration–related litigation in the federal courts. Previously he served as a member and as chairman of the Board of Immigration Appeals.

He teaches immigration policy at George Mason University of Law. He has an undergraduate degree from George Washington University and two law degrees (including a master’s in law and international policy) from American University.


USCIS Revises Form N-648

On December 22, USCIS released a revised Form N-648, “Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions,” for individuals with disabilities who seek exceptions from the English and civics requirements for naturalization. In January, USCIS will offer public information sessions on the revised form and online videos to explain how to use the form.

The law requires naturalization applicants to demonstrate proficiency in U.S. civics and the English language. Form N-648 is used to request exemptions from either or both of these requirements. The form allows medical professionals to provide information that is necessary for USCIS to understand the medical professional’s diagnosis and its relationship to the naturalization requirements.

USCIS will continue to accept the previous version of the form until March 21, 2011.

USCIS released policy guidance (Appendix B) and a fact sheet (Appendix C) on the revised form in late December.


EOIR Swears in 9 IJs

Chief Immigration Judge Brian O’Leary invested nine immigration judges during an investiture ceremony on December 17, 2010. The new judges will preside in the immigration courts as follows: El Paso: Guadalupe R. Gonzalez; Newark, NJ: Amiena Khan; Philadelphia: Steven A. Morley; Los Angeles: David Neumeister, Lee A. O’Connor, and Rachel A. Ruane; Chicago: Virginia Perez-Guzman; New York: Aviva L. Poczter; and Portland, Oregon: Andrea H. Sloan.

Biographical information for the new judges may be found at the Executive Office for Immigration Review.



USCIS — USCIS reminds naturalization applicants that starting January 5, 2011, some civics test answers will change due to the recent federal elections. These are questions 20 (name of a State’s U.S. Senators), 23 (name of the district’s Congressperson), and 47 (the Speaker of the House of Representatives).

USCIS—On December 23, 2010, USCIS began accepting only the version of Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with a November 23, 2010, revision date. Completion of Part 6 of the Form I-129, “Certification Regarding the Release of Controlled Technology or Technical Data to Foreign Persons in the United States” will not be required until February 20, 2011.


Haitians Reminded to Register for TPS

Haitian nationals are reminded that the registration deadline for Temporary Protected Status is January 18, 2011. The TPS designation for Haiti will remain in effect through July 22, 2011.

[This is an excerpt from the January 15, 2011, issue of Bender’s Immigration Bulletin.]