Report Highlights Economic Benefits of Public Defenders in Removal Proceedings
A report released in late May by the global consulting firm NERA concluded that the fiscal savings to the government could well offset any costs associated with providing government-funded attorneys to indigent noncitizens in removal proceedings.
The report, on behalf of the New York City Bar Association, concluded that providing government-funded counsel would save the government more than $170 million per year in reduced detention costs, as fewer continuances would be required and more detainees would be able to secure bond. The report also found that the government would save nearly $10 million in transportation costs and $20 million for children who would otherwise be placed in foster care.
Meanwhile, the report estimated the cost of providing public defenders in removal proceedings to be $208 million per year, based on calculations that approximately 90,000 respondents would qualify for a government-appointed attorney.
The report is entitled “Cost of Counsel in Immigration: Economic Analysis of Proposal Providing Public Counsel to Indigent Persons Subject to Immigration Removal Proceedings.”
CBP Releases Report, Revised Policy on Use of Force
On May 30, 2014, U.S. Customs and Border Protection released an external report highly critical of the use of force by Border Patrol agents, as well as a revised handbook setting forth new use-of-force guidelines. The report, issued by the Police Executive Research Forum in February 2013, found that some Border Patrol agents had fired their weapons out of frustration at individuals throwing rocks, and stood in the path of moving vehicles to justify shooting at the drivers.
Under the new guidelines, Border Patrol agents are prohibited from shooting at the driver of a moving vehicle unless a deadly threat is posed to the agent or other persons. Agents are also encouraged to seek cover or use nondeadly force when confronting persons throwing rocks or other projectiles. According to media accounts, CBP initially rejected the recommendations proposed in the PERF report, but agreed to incorporate them earlier this year.
The PERF report is available at Appendix A. The new use-of-force guidelines are available at http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/UseofForcePolicyHandbook.pdf.
Federal Judge Requires DOL To Follow Time Limits After H-2A and H-2B Filings
A federal judge in North Carolina issued a ruling requiring the Department of Labor to adhere to statutory and regulatory time limits in acknowledging and granting labor certification applications submitted in connection with H-2A and H-2B petitions.
The ruling, issued by Judge William L. Osteen of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, ordered DOL to send a notice of deficiency or acceptance within seven days of receiving a labor certification application, as required by 8 U.S.C. §1188(c)(2)(A) (INA §218(c)(2)(A)). The ruling also ordered DOL to determine whether to grant the certification at least thirty days prior to employees’ projected start date, as required under §1188(c)(3)(A). The judge rejected the government’s argument that the time limitations were advisory because Congress set forth no consequences for failing to adhere to the deadlines.
The decision is International Labor Management Corp. v. Perez, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57803 (M.D.N.C. Apr. 25, 2014) [enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers].
Massachusetts Proposes Initiative To Facilitate Entrepreneurship, Avoid H-1B Caps
On April 10, 2014, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced an initiative designed to circumvent the caps on H-1B visas by encouraging universities to sponsor foreign nationals who attend college in the state. While employed part-time by a university, the graduates would seek to develop their own business ventures. Gov. Patrick requested $3 million to start the program, after which universities would seek sources of sustainable funding. Universities are exempt from the annual limits on H-1B visas. The initiative is known as the “Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program.”
USCIS Limits Validity of Medical Examinations
As of June 1, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will limit the period of validity of any Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, to one year following submission to the agency. Applicants for immigration benefits are also required to submit the form within one year of their medical examinations. The policy applies to any Form I-693 filed in support of an application adjudicated on or after June 1. A copy of the Policy Alert (PA-2014-005) is reprinted at Appendix B.
[This is an excerpt from the June 15, 2014, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.]
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