Palmer Polaski Blog

USCIS has made some changes regarding the eligibility requirements for U.S. citizenship. Among other requirements, applicants for U.S. citizenship must pass a government and civics test. In November 2020, USCIS updated policy guidance on the naturalization civics test, increasing the general bank of questions to 128, the number of exam questions to 20, the number […]

In yet another blow to the rights of foreign nationals, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) recently denied a motion to reopen a case where the attorney representing the foreign national admitted to committing legal error and acknowledged that he was ineffective in removal proceedings. The BIA held “acceptance of responsibility of error” was insufficient […]

On December 11, a federal district court ordered that the State Department stop enforcing Section 1 of Presidential Proclamation 10014, which prohibits the issuance of immigrant visas to selected immigrants. President Trump indicated that the Proclamation was intended to protect the U.S. labor market during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, it appears more likely that the […]

While two proposed rules have been overturned, there remains one proposed rule moving through the rulemaking process that would have the effect of usurping the authority of Congress and converting H-1B program into an “advanced level only” visa. On November 2, DHS proposed to amend its regulations governing the process by which USCIS selects H-1B […]

A class action filed by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) may provide relief for H, L, and J applicants who would not otherwise be able to apply for a visa at a consulate abroad. The suit was filed in response to Presidential Proclamation 10052 (6/22/20, amended 6/29/20), which suspended entry of nonimmigrants in the […]

In November, USCIS and the Labor Department tried to change prevailing wage rules applied to the PERM and H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 visa programs. But on December 1, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California set aside the agencies’ interim final rule because it did not follow the proper rulemaking steps […]

On December 11, DOJ and DHS announced a new final rule governing the procedures of asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) — set to go in effect on January 11, 2021, nine days before President-elect Biden’s inauguration. The immigration bar quickly announced its opposition to the rule, stating it […]

USCIS recently acknowledged that its lockbox facilities are experiencing significant delays for processing receipt notices. This is a result of increased filings in recent weeks coupled with facility capacity restrictions necessary to protect the health and safety of the lockbox workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. The uptick in filings is likely due to several factors, […]

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, on December 17, granted summary judgment in favor of two nationwide classes suing the DHS, USCIS, and ICE for failing to timely produce the class members’ immigration files (A-Files). The court found that the agencies’ practice of failing to produce the immigration case files within […]

On December 4, U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York ordered the DHS to begin accepting new applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The court had previously held that Chad Wolf was not lawfully serving as DHS Acting Secretary when he issued a July 28, 2020 memorandum […]


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