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President Biden is Open to Dividing His Immigration Bill & other Immigration News for January 29, 2021

Protest for Immigration Rights

President Biden is Open to Dividing His Immigration Bill & other Immigration News for January 29, 2021

Protest for Immigration Rights

Peri B. Edelman | January 29, 2021

President Biden is Open to Dividing His Immigration Bill

On January 20th, President Biden indicated that immigration reform was a top priority for his administration. Many House members working on Biden’s immigration proposal said that they want to try to pass a comprehensive bill before splitting it up into components. It is well established that a sweeping immigration package could meet fierce resistance in the 50-50 Senate if Democrats do not eliminate the legislative filibuster or find ways to include immigration proposals in the budget reconciliation process.

Biden Orders COVID-19 Entry Restrictions

On January 25, President Biden signed a proclamation that foreign travelers who were present in present in Brazil, Ireland, the Schengen Area of Europe, South Africa, or the United Kingdom during the preceding two weeks would be barred from entry into the United States. The proclamation remains in effect until terminated by the administration.

The entry bans do not apply to:

  • U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), noncitizen nationals, or the spouse of a citizen or LPR.
  • Parents or legal guardians of an unmarried U.S. citizen or LPR under age 21.
  • Siblings of a U.S. citizen of LPR if both are unmarried and under 21.
  • Children, foster children, or wards of a U.S. citizen or LPR, as well as prospective adoptees entering in IR-4 or IH-4 classifications.
  • Members of the armed forces and their spouses and children.
  • Foreign nationals traveling at the invitation of the U.S. government for efforts against COVID-19.
  • Noncitizen air or sea crewmembers, foreign government officials and their immediate relatives, and noncitizens covered by NATO or U.N. visas.
  • Any noncitizen whose entry is deemed in the national interest by the Secretaries of Homeland Security or State.

President Biden Freezes Trump’s Last-Minute H-1B Non-Immigrant Visa Rules

President Biden has instituted a 60-day freeze on two last-minute rules from the Trump administration that would allow only higher-wage foreign workers to be employed in the U.S. The January 8th rule states that only the highest-paid applicants to the H-1B visa program would be selected. Currently, foreign workers are randomly selected through the annual H-1B visa lottery. The new rule was scheduled to take effect on March 9. Under the January 14thrule, U.S. employers filing for H-1B non-immigrants would be required to attest that they would pay H-1B holders higher wages than other U.S. citizen employees with similar experience and qualifications. That rule was scheduled to take effect on March 15.

Texas Judge Blocked President Biden’s 100 Deportation Delay

On Jan. 20, the President Biden issued a delay on deportations for many undocumented immigrants who have final orders of removal. The memo states that the 100-day pause applies to all noncitizens with final deportation orders except those who have engaged in a suspected act of terrorism, people not in the US before Nov. 1, 2020, or those who have voluntarily agreed to waive any right to remain in the United States. The Judge claimed that it violated the Administrative Procedures Act. Biden administration does not recognize this injunction as legally binding, arguing a previous administration cannot tie the hands of a current one on matters of federal policy. This is unlikely to be sustained on appeal.

Senate Democrats Introduce Legislation to Grant TPS to Venezuelans

Democratic senators introduced legislation to grant Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, to Venezuelans in the U.S. saying the actions former President Trump took on his last day in office to shield Venezuelans from deportation fall short. Trump’s executive order deferred for 18 months the removal of Venezuelans who were at risk of being sent back to their home country under the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program. Both TPS and DED allow recipients to legally live and work in the United States, but experts say the latter is a better option because it allows migrants to legally work. Biden said during the presidential campaign that he would extend TPS protections for Venezuelans. TPS can be granted by Congress or a presidential executive order.

Click on a Link Below for the Most Recent Information Relating to Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visa Scheduling Status in the United States Embassy/ U.S. Consulate General for the Following Countries:

I have been receiving many calls as to when a visa appointment will be scheduled. Many foreign Consulates have not scheduled any immigrant visa appointments since the pandemic began. Please be patient. If your case is in the queue, it will be scheduled once Consulate resume processing.

Mexico

Ecuador

El Salvador

Dominican Republic

Ghana

This newsletter is a general information regarding recent changes in immigration law. Every matter is different. If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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President Biden’s Executive Orders on Immigration So Far & other Immigration News for January 22, 2021

multiple small american yard flags

President Biden's Executive Orders on Immigration So Far & other Immigration News for January 22, 2021

multiple small american yard flags

Peri B. Edelman | January 22, 2021

This week we had a change in Administration. Here are some of the exciting events that transpired after the Biden inauguration:

President Biden Sent a Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill to Congress Shortly After Being Sworn Into Office

The proposed legislation, titled the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, is delineated as the following:

  1. Pathway to a green card for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients
  2. Pathway to a green card for beneficiaries of Temporary Protected States (TPS)
  3. Pathway to citizenship in 8 years (has not be elaborated as of yet)
  4. Extension of non-immigrant visa programs such as providing dependents of H-1B visa holders employment authorization, and preventing children under the age of 21 from “aging out” of the system
  5. Formulate plans to spend $4 billion over four years to address corruption, poverty and other issues in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras that have forced citizens there to seek refuge elsewhere. This is intended to slow the migration in Central America, where migrants have fled by the thousands to the U.S. in recent years
  6. Investment in border security

Many immigrants are excited about the proposed legislation. However, it will be an uphill battle. Now, the Democrats hold a slim majority in the House, and will have control of the Senate, but with a 50-50 split of lawmakers. The bill will need 60 votes to overcome the filibuster in the chamber -- meaning that 10 Republicans would need to get on board.

Currently, there are many immigration laws that exist that benefit immigrants without status to obtain a green card. Please contact my office to discuss the options.

President Biden's Executive Orders on Immigration So Far

  1. President Biden has ratified the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for 4 years.
  2. President Biden has revoked the Trump administration’s plan to exclude non-citizens from the census count.
  3. President Biden has blocked the deportation of Liberians who have been living in the United States.
  4. President Biden has reversed Trump’s travel ban which blocked travel to the United States from 13 primarily Muslim and African countries. President Biden has directed the State Department to restart visa processing for individuals from the affected countries and to develop ways to address the harm caused to those who were prevented from coming to the United States because of the ban.
  5. President Biden has also halted construction of Trump’s border wall with Mexico. The order includes an “immediate termination” of the national emergency declaration that allowed the Trump administration to redirect billions of dollars to the wall. It says the administration will begin “a close review” of the legality of the effort to divert federal money to fund the wall.

This newsletter is a general information regarding recent changes in immigration law. Every matter is different. If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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USCIS Experiencing Delays in Issuing Receipt Notices & other Immigration News for January 15, 2021

Immigration NYC Buildings from Boat POV with American Flag

USCIS Experiencing Delays in Issuing Receipt Notices & other Immigration News for January 15, 2021

Immigration NYC Buildings from Boat POV with American Flag

Peri B. Edelman | January 15, 2021

So far this week, one my clients received an approval of an H-1B non-immigrant petition, within a week of filing with the USCIS. Another client received an approval of Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Removal as he previously received a Removal (Deportation) order out of Texas. It is well known that it extremely difficult to receive a positive result in the state of Texas. He is now on the path to becoming a green card holder.

This week’s news:

USCIS is Experiencing 4-6 Week Delays in Issuing Receipt Notices

USCIS is experiencing delays in issuing receipt notices for some applications and petitions properly filed at a USCIS lockbox facility. There is a delay of 4-6 weeks in receiving a receipt notice after filing with a USCIS lockbox. The USCIS claims that delays may vary among form types and lockbox locations as some locations that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 must adhere to stricter local guidelines.

Supreme Court Will Consider TPS “Admission” Circuit Split

In Sanchez v. Wolf, 2021 WL 77237 (U.S. 2021), the Supreme Court will consider a circuit split over whether Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is an “admission” into the U.S. that authorizes foreign nationals (primarily those who entered the country unlawfully) to seek lawful permanent resident status based upon such admission.

USCIS Modification of H-1B Selection Process to Prioritize Wages

On January 7, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a final rule that will modify the H-1B cap selection process, amend current lottery procedures, and prioritize wages that President Trump claims to protect the economic interest of U.S. workers and better ensure the most highly skilled foreign workers benefit from the temporary employment program. Cap-subject H-1B petitions will be prioritized to favor higher levels of offered wages within each occupation code and geographic area of employment. The changes apply to all regular or advanced-degree registrations (or petitions, if registration is suspended) submitted on or after March 9, 2021. Registrations or petitions properly submitted before that date will be subject to the regulations in place at the time of submission.

The Biden administration has said it plans to halt these “midnight regulations” pushed through by President Trump in the last days of his administration. The Biden administration could then issue its own rule, go through Congress to rescind the wage changes, or seek litigation.

Chad Wolf Resigns as Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary

Chad Wolf stated that his decision to resign was due to “recent events” and court rulings that have challenged the legality of his appointment by the Trump administration to run the department. Peter Gaynor, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will take over as acting DHS secretary.

This newsletter is a general information regarding recent changes in immigration law. Every matter is different. If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

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Predictions for President-Elect Biden’s Top Immigration Priorities & other Immigration News for January 8, 2021

capitol building in front of blue sky

Predictions for President-Elect Biden's Top Immigration Priorities & other Immigration News for January 8, 2021

capitol building in front of blue sky

Peri B. Edelman | January 8, 2021

Predictions on President-Elect Biden's Top Immigration Priorities

1. Saving Dreamers

The Supreme Court reinstated DACA. The Biden Administration plans on providing Dreamers a path to citizenship, but that requires legislative action. Now, since there is a mini blue wave in the U.S. government, legislation on behalf of Dreamers has a chance of getting passed.

2. Reforming Enforcement

Currently, immigration courts have a backlog of more than 1.2 million cases. The pandemic has only added to that number. Non-detained cases in New York City have not been heard since March 2020. President-Elect Biden is likely to put a pause on mass deportations. He called the Obama administration’s mass deportations a “big mistake.”

3. Reversing Many of Trumps Executive Orders

Trump administration has issued more than 400 executive actions on immigration, including everything from border and interior enforcement, to refugee resettlement and the asylum system, the Muslim ban, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the immigration courts, business immigration, COVID-19, the public charge rule, health insurance, and visa processes. President-Elect Biden said he would reverse many of those changes within his first 100 days in office, but experts said it could take much longer to see the results of those changes.

4. Removing the Border Wall with Mexico

President-Elect Biden has stated that he will halt any future construction and end Trump policies that saw military personnel and funding diverted into border construction projects. According to Pentagon estimates, that could save the U.S. government $2.6 billion. Biden also plans to create a federal task force to ensure parents and children who were separated at the border are reunited.

President Trump Extends Exclusion of Foreign Workers in Response to COVID-19 for 3 Months Despite His Term Ending

On December 31, 2020, Trump extended the suspension of new nonimmigrant visas for foreign workers as his measure to address the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic claiming foreign workers are taking jobs from U.S. citizens. The exclusions include H-1B specialty occupations, H-2B temporary nonagricultural workers, J-1 exchange visitors, and L-1 intracompany transferees, along with any accompanying relatives. President-Elect Biden is likely able to reverse this once he takes office.

Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visa Processing Status Updates

Click on any country below to see the most recent information relating to immigrant and non-immigrant Visa Processing Status from the United States Embassy/ U.S. Consulate General:

Mexico

Ecuador

El Salvador

Dominican Republic

Ghana

This newsletter is a general information regarding recent changes in immigration law. Every matter is different. If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.

Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.