Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP has learned that Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) officials have been issuing expedited removal orders to certain H-1B nonimmigrant workers seeking entry at Newark airport in New Jersey. H-1Bs that have been targeted include those working at IT consulting firms and those posted at third-party worksites.
Expedited removal in which the government covers the costs of the return airline ticket, bars the individual from reentering the U.S. for a period of five years. CBP officers are authorized to institute expedited removal when they believe that an individual is entering the U.S. in violation of the terms and conditions of the visa. Reports from those impacted state that they were put into secondary inspection by CBP officers and coerced into signing statements that contain falsehoods. These statements were then used as the basis for their removal. Interestingly, the H-1Bs were not advised that they could withdraw their applications to enter the U.S. and return home at their own expense. This option would have allowed the nonimmigrants to apply for a new H-1B visa stamp either with the same or a new H1B employer and reenter the U.S. at anytime thereafter.
Entering nonimmigrants are often placed into secondary inspection if CBP officers wish to question the alien as to the intent of their stay in the U.S. Although intimidating, it is critical for nonimmigrants to ensure that they answer all questions honestly and accurately, as only erroneous expedited removal orders can be vacated. Unfortunately, aliens seeking entry at CBP do not have a right to counsel and therefore, must be extremely precise when articulating their reasons for entry to CBP. It is believed that CBP in Newark is instituting these actions in response to the recent USCIS memo which limits the definition of the employer-employee relationship and in particular targets IT consulting companies and “job shops.”
Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP will continue to provide updates on this issue.