USCIS Formally Proposes H-1B Registration Process: USCIS published a proposed rule that would require petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions to pay a $10 fee for each electronic registration they submit to USCIS for the H-1B cap selection process. Comments were due October 4, 2019. USCIS has not yet announced whether it intends to implement the H-1B registration process for the upcoming FY2021 H-1B cap filing season, which begins on April 1, 2020, but it is expected.
Border Tent Courts: DHS has erected tent structures in Laredo and Brownsville, Texas, where individuals subjected to the Migrant Protection Protocols, commonly known as the Remain in Mexico Program, will have their cases heard via video teleconference by an immigration judge in another location. A group of Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives sent a letter to the DHS and DOJ Inspectors General calling for an investigation of the use of tent facilities to adjudicate immigration hearings via video teleconference for asylum seekers subject to the “Remain in Mexico” program.
Refugee Ceiling is Set at 18,000 for FY2020: President Trump announced that the US is authorized to admit a maximum of 18,000 refugees in FY2020, citing “ongoing security and humanitarian crisis on our border and the massive asylum backlog, which now includes nearly one million individuals.” A pathetic response to the world’s refugee crisis.
USCIS Changes “Foreign National” to “Alien” in Policy Manual: The INA (Immigration and Nationality Act) which was signed into law in 1952, defines “any person not a citizen or national of the United States” as an “alien.” That term, however, is widely viewed as offensive and over the course of the last 50 years has been replaced in government memoranda and elsewhere with the term “foreign national.” In a gratuitous gesture, USCIS just released a technical update to its policy manual replacing all instances of the term “foreign national” with “alien.” Just another attempt by the current administration to demean foreign nationals.
Afghans and Iraqis File Law Suit Alleging Long Processing Delays of Special IV Applications: A district court issued a memo stating that the government’s delays in the processing and adjudication of the SIV applications and members of the class are unreasonable and ordered that the government submit a plan for promptly processing and adjudicating the applications of current class members.