Month: March 2015

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Challenge to President Obama’s Immigration Reform Moves to 5th Circuit

The lawsuit filed by 26 states against President Obama’s Expanded DACA and DAPA immigration reform programs has been officially scheduled before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The 5th Circuit will hear arguments from both sides on April 17, 2015 to decide whether the temporary hold on President Barack Obama’s immigration executive action should be lifted.  The Department of Justice, who is defending the President’s Immigration programs, argues that the hold on Expanded DACA and DAPA interferes with the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to keep our borders secure.  In contrast, the 26 states, led by Texas, argue that the President’s implementation of executive action was unconstitutional.

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USCIS Resumes Accepting H-2B Visa Applications

Beginning March 17, 2015 the Department of Homeland Security will resume accepting H-2B visa applications.  The adjudication of H-2B visas was previously placed on hold due to the pending lawsuit of Perez v. Perez.  H-2B premium processing will continue to be unavailable.

The H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker program permits U.S. employers to hire noncitizens to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs.  There is a “cap,” or numerical limit on the total number of H-2B visas that may be allocated each fiscal year.  Currently, this cap is set at 66,000, and 33,000 H-2B visa applications are accepted during each half of the fiscal year.  H-2B visas may be issued for up to a three-year period.  Please contact Stern & Curray if you are interested in learning more about an H-2B visa.

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Federal Judge Keeps President Obama’s Expanded DACA and DAPA Programs on Hold

Federal Judge Andrew Hanen denied a request from the Department of Justice that would have allowed the President’s Expanded DACA and DAPA programs to move forward during the course of the current lawsuit.  By declining to consider this request, President Obama’s Executive Action immigration reform programs will remain on hold at least until a court hearing set for March 19th, 2015.  Applicants will not be able to apply for Expanded DACA or DAPA until a court rules that the President’s immigration reform programs can go forward.  Applicants who qualify for the original DACA announced in June 2012 may continue to apply for this program.

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House of Representatives Passes Bill to Fund the Dept. of Homeland Security

After months of debate and anxiety, the House of Representatives voted this week to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS.  DHS is the federal agency charged with managing border security, customs, emergency management, and counter-terrorism intelligence. The vote the week prevents the agency’s shutdown and will keep DHS fully funded until the end of September. The bill passed with a 257-167 vote and is expected to be quickly signed by President Obama.

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