Headlines

Summary

  1. Immigration Bills Fail in Senate, Including DACA; House Bill's Prospects Appear Dim; Second Court Enjoins DACA Rescission

    Four immigration bills failed in the U.S. Senate, and a House bill appears doomed.

  2. President Trump Calls for Establishment of National Vetting Center

    President Donald Trump signed a National Security Presidential Memorandum to establish a National Vetting Center.

  3. Coalition of Business Leaders Tells Trump: We Support International Entrepreneur Rule

    A coalition of business leaders, investors, and organizations sent a letter on February 8, 2018, to President Donald Trump in support of the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), which is in effect following a court order.

  4. Surge in H-2B Petitions Possible for Second Half of FY 2018, USCIS Announces

    USCIS announced that it may receive more H-2B nonimmigrant petitions than there are H-2B visas available in the second half of fiscal year 2018, and will take a "flexible" approach.

  5. USCIS, DOS Tighten Screening Procedures for Refugees and Family Members

    USCIS and DOS implemented new procedures "to ensure that all individuals admitted as refugees receive similar, thorough vetting.”

  6. Klasko News

    The latest news at the firm including recent and upcoming events and publications.

1. Immigration Bills Fail in Senate, Including DACA; House Bill's Prospects Appear Dim; Second Court Enjoins DACA Rescission

A bipartisan deal on immigration, the so-called “Common Sense Plan,” failed on February 15, 2018, in the U.S. Senate, 54-45. The legislation would have provided a pathway to legalization for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) “Dreamers” and provided $25 billion for border security measures, among other things. Reportedly, the Trump administration opposed the deal and had threatened to veto it despite substantial bipartisan support. A White House-supported bill also failed in the Senate, 39-60. The latter bill would have cut family immigration, ended the diversity visa (DV) program, and increased federal removal powers. Two other immigration proposals also failed on February 15.

Sen. John Thune was quoted as saying, “Well, we’ll go back to the drawing board.” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she was “very disappointed” and added that “we’ve got real problems that we need to solve.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives is hard at work on a tough bill—the “Securing America’s Future Act,” also dubbed the “Goodlatte bill” after its main author, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee—that appears not to have sufficient support in either the House or the Senate. Among other things, the bill would provide temporary, renewable legal status to DACA recipients rather than citizenship. It would authorize border wall funding, end family-based immigration, end the DV program, and require employers to use the E-Verify program, among other measures.

Also, on February 13, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York became the second court to enjoin DACA rescission, with a nationwide preliminary injunction while lawsuits proceed. The court ordered the Trump administration to maintain the DACA program on the same terms and conditions that existed before promulgation of the DACA Rescission Memo, subject to several limitations: the administration need not consider new applications by individuals who have never before obtained DACA benefits; need not continue granting advance parole to DACA beneficiaries; and may adjudicate DACA renewal requests on a case-by-case basis.

The court decision is here. Here is the Department of Homeland Security press release issued before the Senate voted on the “Common Sense Plan”.

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2. President Trump Calls for Establishment of National Vetting Center

On February 6, 2018, President Donald Trump signed a National Security Presidential Memorandum to establish a National Vetting Center (NVC) “to coordinate the efforts of departments and agencies to better identify individuals seeking to enter the country who present a threat to national security, border security, homeland security, or public safety.”

A statement issued by the White House said the NVC, to be led by the Department of Homeland Security, “will help fulfill the President’s requirement that departments and agencies improve their coordination and use of intelligence and other information in the vetting process.”

The statement says:

The Federal Government’s current vetting efforts are ad hoc, which impedes our ability to keep up with today’s threats. The NVC will better coordinate these activities in a central location, enabling officials to further leverage critical intelligence and law enforcement information to identify terrorists, criminals, and other nefarious actors trying to enter and remain within our country. The NVC’s operations will adhere to America’s strong protections for individuals’ privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties. The Administration’s top priority is the safety and security of the public, and the NVC will empower our frontline defenders to better fulfil that obligation.

The statement is here.

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3. Coalition of Business Leaders Tells Trump: We Support International Entrepreneur Rule

A coalition of business leaders, investors, and organizations sent a letter on February 8, 2018, to President Donald Trump in support of the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), which is in effect following a court order. The Trump administration has signaled that the IER is likely on the chopping block. The letter says that killing the IER “would upend the ability of talented immigrant entrepreneurs to launch new enterprises and employ American workers in communities across the United States.”

Among other things, the letter notes that “Rescission of the International Entrepreneur Rule” has been pending review with the Office of Management and Budget since November 17, 2017. “This potential new rule places a dark cloud over IER, as immigrant entrepreneurs are uncertain of how long IER will be in place,” the letter notes:

The rescission rule stifles investment into new companies with foreign-born founders, which ultimately costs the U.S. economy. It also exacerbates an alarming trend of elite entrepreneurs launching successful startups outside the United States. Twenty years ago our country’s share of global venture investment was 90%, but that number has dropped precipitously to 81% in 2006 and to 53% in 2017. In 2016, China was home to six of the ten largest venture capital investments in the world. If we continue to push entrepreneurs overseas, our share of global investment will continue to decrease.

As background, on January 17, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the International Entrepreneur final rule with an original effective date of July 17, 2017 (Klasko’s Client Alert is here). On July 11, 2017, DHS published a final rule delaying the effective date until March 14, 2018, to allow for a full review of the rule (read Klasko’s Client Alert on this development). The Trump administration proposed in late 2017 to rescind the final rule. In December 2017, a federal court ruled in National Venture Capital Association v. Duke that the rule should go into effect because the government had not provided sufficient notice-and-comment for the delay rule under the Administrative Procedure Act, which was also covered in a Klasko Client Alert as well.

The full text of the coalition letter is here. TechNet, with 77-member companies, sent a similar letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, available here. Here is the court’s decision. A USCIS statement following the court order can be found here. And here is information on how to submit an international entrepreneur application.

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4. Surge in H-2B Petitions Possible for Second Half of FY 2018, USCIS Announces

Following the Department of Labor’s recent announcement that it will not begin releasing H-2B temporary labor certifications until February 20, 2018, due to an unprecedented number of applications, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it may receive more H-2B nonimmigrant petitions than there are H-2B visas available in the second half of fiscal year 2018.

USCIS said it is “maintaining a flexible approach to this issue,” which may include randomly selecting petitions received on the final receipt date “to ensure that we allocate H-2B visas fairly and do not exceed the cap.” USCIS said more information would be forthcoming.

The USCIS announcement can be found here. Information on the cap count for H-2B nonimmigrants is here.

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5. USCIS, DOS Tighten Screening Procedures for Refugees and Family Members

On February 1, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State implemented new procedures “to ensure that all individuals admitted as refugees receive similar, thorough vetting—whether they are principal refugees, accompanying family members, or following-to-join refugees.” A following-to-join refugee is the spouse or child of a principal refugee who lives abroad and wishes to join the principal refugee in the United States.

These measures were implemented following a 120-day review mandated by Executive Order 13780, which directed the Department of Homeland Security to determine what additional procedures should be implemented to ensure that individuals seeking admission as refugees do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States.

According to USCIS, new measures that apply to following-to-join refugees processed overseas include:

  • Ensuring that following-to-join refugees receive the full baseline interagency screening and vetting checks that other refugees receive.
  • Requesting that the following-to-join refugee submit his or her Form I-590, Registration for Classification as Refugee, in support of the principal refugee’s Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, earlier in the adjudication process. USCIS or the Department of State will contact petitioners directly to request this information.
  • Vetting certain nationals or stateless persons against classified databases.

The USCIS notice is here, and here is related Department of State memorandum. A report required by Executive Order 13780 is here.

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6. Klasko News

FIRM NEWS

Registration is Open for Klasko’s Annual Spring Seminar
It’s time to register for the Annual Klasko Spring Seminar! It will take place on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at the Union League in Philadelphia. Registration is now open; agenda, speakers and details to follow.

Introducing Statutes of Liberty: An Immigration Podcast
Klasko is pleased to announce the debut of this brand-new way to provide you with the latest news and insights on immigration law. Join us by subscribing to this podcast, on our website or on iTunes, as we unravel the ins and outs of American immigration policy, from the issues of today to the historic basis for laws already in place.

Ronald Klasko and Daniel B. Lundy Named to Top 25 EB-5 Attorneys List
Congratulations to both Ron and Dan on their repeated recognition in this annual edition of EB5 Investors Magazine. The recognition is evaluated based on their experience in the EB-5 industry, track record and reputation within the field.

Michele G. Madera Elected to Partnership
Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP is pleased to announce that Michele G. Madera has been elected to partnership in the firm. Michele’s practice is focused on employment-based non-immigrant and immigrant matters for large corporations with a high volume of immigration matters. Read the full announcement here.


IN THE NEWS

Ron’s Recent Speaking Engagements Receive News Coverage
Ron’s presentations on the outlook for immigration legislation and ethical issues in representation, plus topics on EB-5 immigration, at Latin America and Caribbean Chapter 2017 CLE Conference was picked up by CityBizList. The same publication also recently covered his involvement with the 11th Global Residence and Citizenship Conference in Hong Kong. The news of Ron’s presentation also made it online with The Legal Intelligencer.

More News Outlets Quoting William A. Stock on H-1B Changes
Bill spoke to NBC News on December 15, 2017 about the Trump administration potentially ending the rule that allows spouses of H-1B holders to work. This San Francisco Chronicle article published on December 19, 2017 is about the increase in RFEs and decrease in approvals for H-1B. The article quoted Bill on the nature of the requests, which has been a trend since Trump took office. Bill also spoke live on BloombergQuint on the threats to the H-1B visa program on January 3; his segment begins at 23 minutes. The Legal Intelligencer reported on Bill’s participation as panelist at the 8th Annual Biennial Global Immigration Conference in London. Another story by the San Francisco Chronicle featured a quote from Bill on getting ahead of the RFE trends for H-1B visas.

Coverage of Top 25 Attorneys List Recognition
The news of Ron and Dan’s recognition to the Top 25 Immigration Attorneys list by EB5 Investors Magazine made it to CityBizList on February 12, 2018.

Philadelphia Business Journal Covers Michele G. Madera’s Promotion
In the wake of the firm’s announcement to partnership, Michele G. Madera was featured in the Philadelphia Business Journal’s People on the Move.


RECENT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Ronald Klasko | Daniel B. Lundy | Anu Nair
Three partners from Klasko Immigration Law Partners spoke at the 2018 Las Vegas EB-5 & Investment Immigration Convention. This two-day networking and educational event featured a gathering of migration agents, regional centers, immigration and securities attorneys, developers, broker-dealers and other prominent EB-5 program stakeholders. The conference also featured interactive panels moderated by professionals experienced in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, as well as in-depth workshops designed especially for attorneys, agents, intermediaries and project developers.

William A Stock | Michele G. Madera | Feige M. Grundman
Three Klasko attorneys hosted a free webinar on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 12:30 pm. Topics covered included trends on what is changing (and what is staying the same) for H-1B cap season in 2018, and offer strategies and planning tips to implement right away.

William A. Stock
On February 20, 2018, Bill moderated a panel covering the trends and concerns spurred by the latest executive orders, regulatory agendas, and day-to-day decisions from the Trump administration. The webinar was presented by the Philadelphia chapter of SHRM.

Daniel B. Lundy
Mr. Lundy presented a live webinar entitled EB-5 Visa: Representing Foreign Clients Seeking to Immigrate Through Investment for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute on January 17, 2018. The program covered basic concepts of EB-5, direct versus regional center investments, investor eligibility and meeting the core requirements of the EB-5 visa category.

Michele G. Madera
Michele G. Madera participated in this practice-oriented webinar presented by LawLogix entitled Top 7 Case Management Tips to Prepare for H-1B Cap Season. The webinar provided best practices and tips for managing the frantic rush of H-1B cases while also minimizing the chances that your petition will be rejected because of missing or insufficient documentation.

Lisa T. Felix
On Wednesday, January 11, Lisa T. Felix spoke alongside Penn Global ISSS, Penn Career Services, and Vidur Bhatnagar, a former Penn International Student and is the Founder and CEO of Keriton, at this event geared towards Penn students looking to launch a business in the United States. Lisa also spoke to students at Community College of Philadelphia studying to become paralegals on January 25, 2017.

Lisa T. Felix | Andrew J. Zeltner
Lisa and Drew spoke to Wharton’s Canada Club on January 31 with the presentation entitled U.S. Immigration and Employment Options for the Canadian MBA and covering details on the following visas: F-1, H-1B, TN, L-1, and treaty visas.


UPCOMING SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Ronald Klasko | Anu Nair | F. Oliver Yang
During this live webinar entitled Why Wait? A Path to the US through Grenada Citizenship/E-2 Visa, Ron, Anu, and Oliver will outline the benefits and requirements of pairing the citizenship by Investment program in Grenada with the E-2 visa option, and make time to answer questions from the attendees. This visa option may be an alternative for some Chinese investors facing the unprecedentedly long wait for immigration to the U.S. The webinar will be on Wednesday March 14 at 8:30pm (EST) or Thursday, March 15 at 9:30am in China.


ICYMI: RECENT BLOG POSTS AND ALERTS

The EB-5 Visa – Understanding the Foreign Currency Control Challenges
Klasko associate Karuna Simbeck breaks down the complicated process Chinese investors face in order to transfer their investment from China to the U.S. in order to participate in the EB-5 visa program.

Recent Blog from Ron Klasko: Klasko’s Criteria for Analyzing an E-2 Start-Up Business
Many Klasko investor clients are looking for advice on choosing a business opportunity in the U.S. that will qualify for issuance of an E-2 treaty investor visa. Here Ron shares the criteria used in analyzing potential E-2 business opportunities.

Long-Time Visa Holders Fear New Immigration Guidance on Questioning Prior Approvals
A recent court ruling on the International Entrepreneur Rule, prompted Andrew (Drew) J. Zeltner to pen this article for the Legal Intelligencer entitled Court Decision Provides New Hope For International Entrepreneurs Seeking To Utilize the “Start-Up” Visa. He also wrote a Klasko Client Alert on this same topic.

CLIENT ALERT: The Latest Proposed Changes to U.S. Immigration
Michele G. Madera wrote this round-up of the latest proposed changes that will be published for notice and comment in 2018 from the Trump administration. The changes would affect many aspects of the H-1B visa, including the holders themselves, employers and spouses, and rescinding the IER.

CLIENT ALERT: TN Eligibility for Economists
Michele G. Madera covers the new guidance from the USCIS “clarifying” the definition of which employees with Economics degrees can use the TN category of Economist.


FIRM FEATURE
Celebrating the Philadelphia Eagles 

Eagles’ fever hit the firm hard this year! Leading up to the Super Bowl, everyone celebrated with a tailgate party with chips, dips, and desserts galore. During the big game, staffers won prizes as part of a game of Super Bowl Squares. And in post-game glory, everyone enjoyed a lunch that showcased the best tastes in Philly, including cheesesteaks and Tastykakes.

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This newsletter was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Klasko Immigration Law Partners is an active member.

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