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News Excerpts From the Dec. 1, 2015, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

EOIR Appoints New Immigration Judges and Assistant Chief Immigration Judges | In November, the Executive Office for Immigration Review announced the appointment of two new immigration judges and six new assistant chief immigration judges. Jonathan Simpson, a former assistant chief counsel for U...

News Excerpts From the Dec. 15, 2015, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

USCIS Releases Online Civics Test in Spanish | On November 19, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that noncitizens wishing to naturalize may take online practice civics exams containing questions and answers in Spanish as well as English. The practice questions are written in...

News Excerpts From the Jan. 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

USCIS Ombudsman Recommends Improvements to SIJ Adjudication Process| On December 11, 2015, the Ombudsman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a 12-page report containing recommendations for improving the process for adjudicating applications for Special Immigration Juvenile (SIJ) status...

News Excerpts From the Jan. 15, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Funding Bill Imposes Restrictions on VWP, Increases H and L Fees, Makes H-2B Changes The omnibus funding bill enacted in December contained provisions restricting participation in the Visa Waiver Program by applicants who are nationals of or who have recently visited certain countries in Africa and...

News Excerpts From the Feb. 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

SEVP Issues Report Responding to Feedback Received at NAFSA Conference | In December, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) issued a report responding to feedback received at the 2015 NAFSA annual conference. The report addresses 15 key issues raised at the conference that affect students...

News Excerpts From the Feb. 15, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

DHS Receives Three-Month Extension on OPT Ruling On January 23, 2016, a federal district judge extended by three months the deadline for the Department of Homeland Security to promulgate a replacement regulation authorizing an extension of the maximum Optional Practical Training period from twelve...

News Excerpts from the March 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

EOIR Revises Docket Priorities | On February 3, 2016, Chief Immigration Judge Print Maggard issued a memorandum revising certain docket priorities for the Executive Office for Immigration Review. In cases involving unaccompanied minors, immigration courts will schedule an initial master calendar...

News Excerpts From the March 15, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Attorney General Appoints Three New BIA Members | On February 26, 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch appointed three new members to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Two of the new Board members—Molly Kendall Clark and Ellen Liebowitz—previously served as senior legal advisors to the...

News Excerpts From the April 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

H-1B FY 2017 Cap Season Begins April 1 | USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2017 cap on April 1, 2016. The congressionally mandated cap on H-1B visas for FY 2017 is 65,000. The first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree...

News Excerpts From the April 15, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Immigration Judge Paul Schmidt Announces Retirement | On March 31, 2016, Immigration Judge Paul Wickham Schmidt announced that he will retire on June 30 after more than three decades of government service. Schmidt, a judge at the Arlington (Va.) Immigration Court, previously served as the Chairman...

News Excerpts From the May 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

EB-4 Visa Limit Reached for Special Immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras A final action date of January 1, 2010 has been set for special immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and is reflected in the State Department’s Visa Bulletin Employment-Based Preference Cases...

News Excerpts From the May 15, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

USCIS Finishes Data Entry for Cap-Subject H-1B FY17 Applications | USCIS announced on May 2 that it has finished data entry for cap-subject H-1B petitions. It will begin returning those not chosen in the lottery. Some petitions are being transferred from the Vermont Service Center to the California...

News Excerpts From the June 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Supreme Court Decides Luna Torres v. Lynch | On May 19, The Supreme Court decided Torres v. Lynch , 578 U.S. ___ (2016). Justice Kagan delivered the opinion, joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, and Alito, and Chief Justice Roberts. Justice Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion joined by Justices...

News Excerpts From the June 15, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Labor Department Will Streamline H-2A Process | On May 20, 2016, the Department of Labor’s Office for Foreign Labor Certification announced that it would streamline the process for H-2A employers filing petitions under the 2015 final herder rule. Going forward, employers and their authorized...

News Excerpts From the July 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Colorado Repeals Employment Verification Requirement | On June 8, 2016, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill (House Bill 16-1114) repealing a state requirement that employers maintain a separate affirmation form and retain copies of documents presented when newly hired employees complete...

News Excerpts From the July 15, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Review of Supreme Court Activity | In the last weeks of the 2015 term, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision, a nondecision, and two grants of certiorari in cases that apply to immigration. The nondecision was in United States v. Texas , 2016 U.S. LEXIS 4057, in which the entire June 23 decision...

News Excerpts From the Aug. 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Class Certification Granted in Suit Over Legal Representation for Minors | On June 24, 2016, a federal judge granted a request to certify a class of children in an ongoing suit against the Attorney General for failing to providing legal representation. The main class certified by the court consists...

News Excerpts From the Aug. 15, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

DHS Expands Eligibility for Provisional Waivers | On July 29, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a final rule expanding the class of noncitizens eligible to receive provisional unlawful presence waivers. Under the new regulation, all...

News Excerpts From the Sept. 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Ninth Circuit Limits Class of Noncitizens Subject to Mandatory Detention | On Augist 4, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a major ruling limiting the number of noncitizens subject to mandatory detention because of prior criminal convictions. The unanimous decision authored...

News Excerpts From the Sept. 15, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Justice Department Corrects Data Given to Supreme Court in Major Immigration Case | On August 26, 2016, Acting Solicitor General Ian Heath Gershengorn admitted in a letter to the Supreme Court that the Justice Department provided incorrect data in a 2002 case involving the constitutionality of provisions...

News Excerpts From the Oct. 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

H-1B Practice Alert | U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the period of transferring H-1B petitions from the California and Vermont Service Centers to the Nebraska Service Center ended August 31, 2016. USCIS to Adopt Parole Policy for U Visa Applicants On September 7...

News Excerpts From the Oct. 15, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Supreme Court To Consider Constitutionality of “Crime of Violence” Definition | On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court announced that it would consider whether the definition of “crime of violence” under 18 U.S.C. §16(b) is unconstitutionally vague. The statute defines...

News Excerpts From the Nov. 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

DHS Advisory Committee Recommends Closing of Family Detention Centers | On September 30, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers issued a lengthy report calling for the department to close its three family detention centers. Among other recommendations...

News Excerpts From the Nov. 15, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Supreme Court To Review BIA Definition of 'Sexual Abuse of a Minor' | On October 28, 2016, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in a case challenging a precedential decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals holding that consensual intercourse between a twenty-one-year-old and a seventeen...

News Excerpts From the Dec. 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

GAO Finds Wide Disparities in Asylum Grant Rates | On November 14, 2016, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report finding wide disparities in asylum grant rates at immigration courts throughout the country. The report analyzed nearly 600,000 asylum applications completed between...