As the United States continues to grapple with an influx of undocumented children and others along the southern border, President Obama has requested a $3.7 billion supplemental appropriation to fund related activities.
EOIR published an interim rule effective July 11, 2014, allowing the agency to designate or select temporary immigration judges with the Attorney General's approval.
The first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals approvals will begin to expire in September 2014. To avoid a lapse in the period of deferral and employment authorization, individuals must file renewal requests.
The I-901 Mobile Fee site provides automated fee payment for F-1, F-3, M-1, M-3, and J-1 nonimmigrants and allows users to check the status of their I-901 (fee remittance form) payments. The site includes access to recent I-901 news and updates and information on frequently asked questions.
News and noteworthy, upcoming and recent speaking engagements, publications, and what you may have missed.
1. White House Requests $3.7 Billion for Border Crisis
As the United States continues to grapple with an influx of undocumented children and others along the southern border, on July 8, 2014, President Barack Obama requested a $3.7 billion supplemental appropriation to fund activities at the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS), Justice (DOJ), State (DOS), and Health and Human Services (HHS). In its request to Congress, the administration said the money would be used for four main efforts: (1) deterrence, including increased detentions and removals of adults with children and increased immigration court capacity to speed cases; (2) enforcement, including enhanced interdiction and prosecution of criminal networks, increased surveillance, and expanded collaborative law enforcement task force activities; (3) foreign cooperation, including improved repatriation and reintegration, stepped-up public information campaigns, and efforts to address the root causes of undocumented migration; and (4) capacity, including increased detention, care, and transportation of unaccompanied children.
Of the total, $45.4 million would be used to hire approximately 40 additional immigration judge teams, including those anticipated to be hired on a temporary basis. This funding would also expand courtroom capacity, including additional video conferencing and other equipment in support of the additional immigration judge teams. These additional resources, when combined with the FY 2015 budget request for 35 additional teams, “would provide sufficient capacity to process an additional 55,000 to 75,000 cases annually,” the Obama administration said. In addition, $15 million would provide direct legal representation services to children in immigration proceedings, and $1.1 million would be used to hire additional immigration litigation attorneys to support federal agencies involved in detainee admission, regulation, and removal actions.
Also, $295 million would support efforts to repatriate the migrants and reintegrate them in Central America, to help the governments in the region better control their borders, and to address the “underlying root causes” driving the migrations, such as by “creating the economic, social, governance, and citizen security conditions to address factors that are contributing to significant increases in migration to the United States.” Beyond initial assistance, continued funding for repatriation and reintegration activities will be contingent on sustained progress and cooperation by the Central American countries, the administration said.
The supplemental appropriations request notes that separately, the administration plans to continue to work with Congress, following up on President Obama’s letter to congressional leadership on June 30, 2014, “to ensure that we have the legal authorities to maximize the impact of our efforts,” including “providing the Secretary of Homeland Security additional authority to exercise discretion in processing the return and removal of unaccompanied minor children from non-contiguous countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador,” and “increasing penalties for those who smuggle vulnerable migrants, like children.”
The Senate Committee on Appropriations held a related hearing on July 10, 2014. Witnesses included Hon. Jeh Johnson, Secretary, DHS; Hon. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary, HHS; Hon. Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., Counselor, DOS; and Juan P. Osuna, Director, Executive Office for Immigration Review.[Back to Top]
2. EOIR Interim Rule Addresses 'Largest Caseload' in U.S. History with Temporary IJs
Following the Obama administration’s decision to increase the number of immigration judges deployed to handle cases related to the influx of undocumented migrants in the U.S. southern border area, the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) published an interim rule effective July 11, 2014, allowing the agency to designate or select temporary immigration judges, with the Attorney General’s approval.
The interim rule notes that EOIR “is currently managing the largest caseload the immigration court system has ever seen.” This is due to “attrition in the immigration judge corps and continuing budgetary restrictions” along with a large number of pending cases, the interim rule notes. Allowing the designation of temporary immigration judges will provide flexibility “in responding to the increased challenges facing the immigration courts.”
A new TRAC report finds that as of the end of June 2014, the number of cases pending in the immigration courts is at an all-time high of 375,503. TRAC’s preliminary figures indicated that the number of cases involving juveniles was 41,640, with more arriving daily. “As of the end of June 2014, the court backlog for juveniles from Guatemala is the largest with 12,841 cases, closely followed by Honduras (12,696) and El Salvador (12,162),” TRAC noted. According to the TRAC report, the average time for a pending case before an immigration judge is now 587 days.
The interim rule states that temporary immigration judges may include former Board members, former immigration judges, administrative law judges employed within or retired from EOIR, and administrative law judges from other Executive Branch agencies to act as temporary immigration judges for renewable six-month terms. Administrative law judges from other agencies must have the consent of their agencies to be designated as temporary immigration judges. In addition, the Director of EOIR will be able to designate, with the approval of the Attorney General, attorneys who have at least 10 years of legal experience in the field of immigration law and are currently employed by the Department of Justice to act as temporary immigration judges for renewable six- month terms. The 10 years of experience must be gained after admission to the bar and may be gained through employment by the federal, state, or local government, the private sector, universities, non-governmental organizations, or a combination of such experience.
Characteristics that would qualify a candidate for designation as a temporary immigration judge include the ability to demonstrate the appropriate temperament to serve as a judge; knowledge of immigration laws and procedures; substantial litigation experience, preferably in a high-volume context; experience handling complex legal issues; experience conducting administrative hearings; and knowledge of practices and procedures.
EOIR will provide the training necessary for temporary immigration judges to perform the assigned duties. The Chief Immigration Judge may choose to specify particular types of matters for which each temporary immigration judge will be assigned, consistent with the individual’s training and experience.[Back to Top]
3. DHS Announces DACA Renewal Process
The first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) approvals will begin to expire in September 2014. To avoid a lapse in the period of deferral and employment authorization, individuals must file renewal requests before the expiration of their current period of DACA. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages requestors to submit their renewal requests approximately 120 days (four months) before their current periods of deferred action expire.
On June 5, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the process for individuals to renew enrollment in DACA. USCIS has updated the related form to allow individuals previously enrolled in DACA to renew their deferral for a period of two years. As of June 5, USCIS has begun accepting renewal requests.
USCIS will also continue to accept requests for DACA from individuals who have not previously sought to access the program. As of April 2014, more than 560,000 people have enrolled in DACA. Those who have not continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, are ineligible for DACA.
Individuals may request DACA renewal if they continue to meet the initial criteria and:
- Did not depart the United States on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since they submitted their most recent DACA request that was approved; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Enrollees may begin the renewal process by filing the new version of Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; Form I-765, “Application for Employment Authorization; and the I-765 Worksheet. There is a $465 filing and biometrics (fingerprints and photo) fee for filing the I-765. As with an initial request, USCIS will conduct a background check when processing DACA renewals.[Back to Top]
4. SEVP Announces New Exchange Visitor Program I-901 Mobile Fee Processing Website
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has announced a new automated I-901 Mobile Fee website.
The I-901 Mobile Fee site provides automated fee payment for F-1, F-3, M-1, M-3, and J-1 nonimmigrants. It also allows users to check the status of their I-901 (fee remittance form) payments. The site includes access to recent I-901 news and updates and information on frequently asked questions. The site also includes information about Western Union payment automation. The system allows applicants to post Western Union payments and print their I-901 payment confirmations.
For more information on the I-901 Mobile Fee site and Western Union payment automation, see https://www.fmjfee.com.[Back to Top]
5. Government Agency Links
Follow these links to access current processing times of the USCIS Service Centers and the Department of Labor, or the Department of State’s latest Visa Bulletin with the most recent cut-off dates for visa numbers:
6. Klasko News
News and Noteworthy
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has elected firm founding partner William A. Stock (Bill) First Vice President on the national Executive Committee for the 2014-2015 term. Bill previously served as an elected Director for the AILA Board of Governors, as well as the Business Committee Chair, and the Distance Learning Committee Chair. He has spoken at numerous immigration conferences and written extensively, including being a Senior Editor of AILA’s annual Immigration & Nationality Law Handbook. AILA has over 13,000 members nationally who either practice or teach immigration law. AILA attorneys represent U.S. families seeking permanent residence for close family members, as well as U.S. businesses seeking talent from the global marketplace. AILA Members also represent foreign students, entertainers, athletes, and asylum seekers, often on a pro bono basis. Founded in 1946, AILA is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that provides continuing legal education, information, professional services, and expertise through its 39 chapters and over 50 national committees.
Upon his election as First Vice President of AILA, Bill was featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer’s “On the Boards” section on July 21, 2014.
Recently, Bill was interviewed for an NPR radio segment on ICE detainers which aired on numerous NPR stations across the country. To listen or to read the interview transcript, visit http://northernpublicradio.org/post/more-municipalities-deny-federal-requests-wont-detain-immigrants.
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
On August 22, H. Ronald Klasko (Ron) will be speaking at the 2014 AILA EB-5 Investors & Regional Centers CLE Conference in Chicago. Ron will participate in “Protecting Your Practice: Ethical Issues & Minimizing Risk,” a panel session which will walk through a sample engagement letter and will address key ethical concerns encountered in EB-5 practice.
Elise A. Fialkowski will be speaking on O1, EB-1 and NIW at PBI’s Immigration Law Forum 2014 on September 19. Among the key issues discussed will be O-1 criteria as against the EB-1A criteria; how much is “enough” for the O-1/EB-1 & EB-2 criteria; NIW criteria and issues; and premium processing or no premium processing.
Recent Speaking Engagements
Ron moderated “EB-5 Litigation: Tenant Occupancy and Material Change” at the EB5 Investors Magazine’s Third Annual Southern California EB-5 Conference on July 21, 2014 in Newport Beach, California. Ron led a panel discussion on litigation options on EB-5 cases. For more information, contact Ron at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On July 15, 2014, Elise spoke on the VISA panel at the Global Village for Future Leaders of Business and Industry® at Lehigh University. The Global Village is a unique leadership and cultural awareness training program with participants from more than 50 countries.
Michelle T. Kobler’s recent article “Legal Protections for Unaccompanied Minors Under Pressure” was published in The Legal Intelligencer on July 16, 2014. In this article, Michelle discusses the ongoing influx of unaccompanied minors into the United States, the proposed solutions, and current legal obligations under statutory law. The issue is one that has raised legal, procedural and philosophical questions across the immigration legal sector and beyond. For more information or to request a copy of this article, email Michelle at email@example.com.
Rohit Kapuria’s recently authored article, “Global Investment Immigration: It’s a Buyer’s Market,” was published in the Summer 2014 issue of EB5 Investors Magazine. In this article, Rohit discusses various investment immigration programs offered by countries and analyzes various factors that immigrant investors takes into account as they zero in on their program of choice. For more information or to request a copy of this article, email Rohit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What You May Have Missed