Centralized Filing and Adjudication for Certain Inadmissibility Waivers
Beginning June 4, 2012, applicants abroad who have applied for certain visas and have been found ineligible by a U.S. consular officer can mail requests to waive certain grounds of inadmissibility directly to a USCIS lockbox facility. This change affects where individuals abroad who have been found inadmissible for an immigrant visa or a nonimmigrant K or V visa must send their waiver applications.
Applicants have experienced processing times from one month to over a year, depending on the filing location. By centralizing the processing and adjudication, USCIS should be able to provide faster and more efficient processing and consistent adjudication.
The change affects filings for Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal, and Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion (if filed after a denial of a Form I-601 or Form I-212).
During a limited six-month period, immigrant visa waiver applicants in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, will have the option to either mail their waiver applications to the USCIS lockbox in the United States or file in person at the USCIS office in Ciudad Juarez.
For the interim policy memorandum, released on May 23, covering the centralized filing and adjudication, see Appendix A.
BITS AND PIECES
2011 Human Rights Reports Released
Secretary of State Clinton announced the release of the 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. The U.S. government for almost forty years has published these reports. They assess each country's situation against universal human rights standards during each calendar year. Each report stands on its own; countries are not compared to each other or placed in any order other than alphabetically by region. The reports and fact sheets are available at www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm#wrapper.
First-Ever National Stakeholder Symposium to be June 26
USCIS announced its first "National Stakeholder Symposium," to be held on June 26, 2012, at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC. The daylong symposium, open to all stakeholders, will encompass plenary sessions and a series of breakout discussions to address USCIS strategic points of interest, according to the press release. A detailed agenda will be released later. Interested stakeholders should e-mail the Public Engagement Division by June 15 at email@example.com and reference "Symposium" in the subject line of the e-mail.
Case Against U.S. Department of Agriculture Decided
The Department of Agriculture's civil rights unit released a precedent-setting decision on May 31, 2012, which said that the U.S. Forest Service discriminated against Latinos on the Olympic Peninsula by using Border Patrol agents as interpreters and as law-enforcement support in routine matters. The USDA's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights ordered the Forest Service to make significant policy changes to remedy its discriminatory policies and practices. The decision came in response to a complaint filed by the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project on behalf of one of its clients. The complaint stemmed from an incident in May 2011 in which a Forest Service officer called the Border Patrol during a routine stop in the Olympic Peninsula. The incident led to the death of the partner of the complainant in the case. The decision is available at www.nwirp.org/Documents/PressReleases/DecisionOfOASCRUSDAreCivilRightsComplaintREDACTEDforRelease.pdf.
FOIA Lawsuit: Documents Available on H-1B Fraud
In July 2010, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Legal Action Center, in cooperation with counsel at Steptoe and Johnson LLP, filed a FOIA lawsuit against DHS seeking the public release of records concerning agency policies and procedures related to fraud investigations in the H-1B program, according to a LAC press release. On Friday, May 18, 2012, DHS released unredacted copies of all the documents sought by AILA. To view the documents released and for further information on the litigation, go to www.legalactioncenter.org/ litigation/freedom-information-act-litigation-h-1b.
[This is an excerpt from the June 15, 2012, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.]
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