Month: May 2015

by SCwpadmin SCwpadmin 410 Comments

Appeals Court Denies Stay in Exective Action Lawsuit

President Obama’s latest executive actions on immigration will remain on hold after a federal appeals court refused to lift an injunction on the two executive orders.

The first order would have implemented Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). The plan would allow parents of US citizens and lawful permanent residents to request deferred action and apply for work authorization for three years provided they have resided in the US continuously for the past five years and pass a background check. The second order would have expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to include childhood arrivals who were 31 years of age or older when DACA was initially announced, as well as extending the period of work authorization under DACA from two years to three years. DAPA was scheduled to take effect in February, while the DACA expansion was scheduled to take effect this month. Combined, the plans would affect an estimated 4.7 million undocumented immigrants.

Twenty six states filed suit challenging the executive orders as an unconstitutional overreach of presidential power, and a US district judge issued the injunction in February when he sided with the states in the suit. The injunction is now likely to remain in place for the duration of the federal government’s appeal.  The court ruling does not affect the existing DACA program, which will continue to accept requests and issue deferred action and work authorization.

by SCwpadmin SCwpadmin 80 Comments

Premium Processing for H-1B Extension of Stay Petitions To Be Suspended Beginning May 26, 2015

USCIS announced that it will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B Extension petitions from May 26, 2015 until July 27, 2015. This suspension will enable USCIS to implement employment authorization to eligible H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants.

During this time, USCIS will continue to premium process Extension of Stay petitions filed prior to May 26, 2015, and will continue to refund the premium processing fee if USCIS does not act on the case within the guaranteed 15-calender-day period. This suspension only affects premium processing requests for Extension of Stay petitions; all other Form I-129 H-1B petitions will remain eligible for premium processing during this time.

by SCwpadmin SCwpadmin No Comments

Reminder: TPS Registration Deadline for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone is May 20, 2015

Reminder to all potential applicants that Wednesday May 20, 2015 is the registration deadline for nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone who believe they are eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to apply.

To demonstrate eligibility, applicants must show that they have been residing continuously in the U.S. since November 20, 2014, have been continuously physical present in the U.S. since November 21, 2014, and must pass a background security check.  If granted, TPS will be awarded from November 21, 2014 until May 21, 2016.

TPS may be granted to foreign nationals who are present in the United States when disaster hits their home country or when conditions in their home country prevent safe return.  TPS is granted for temporary conditions such as civil war and/or armed conflict and environmental disasters.  TPS is a temporary grant of lawful immigration status in the United States that does not lead to citizenship, permanent residence, or any other immigration status.

While a foreign national holds TPS, he or she:

  • may not be removed from the United States;
  • may apply for employment authorization; and
  • may be granted travel authorization.

Call to schedule a consultation with a Stern & Curray attorney if you believe you may qualify for TPS.



by SCwpadmin SCwpadmin 103 Comments

DACA Recipients in Arizona Get In-State Tuition

A judge in Maricopa County Arizona recently ruled that DACA recipients should be eligible to receive in-state tuition at Arizona colleges.  After this ruling, the Arizona State Board of Regents announced that DACA recipients are eligible for in-state tuition rates at public universities.  This change is being implemented immediately and represents a significant commitment to access to more affordable higher education.  Currently more than 23,000 immigrants in Arizona have received DACA status since the program was initiated in 2012.


by SCwpadmin SCwpadmin 95 Comments

Federal Judge Strikes a Blow to the Family Detention Program

A United States District Court Federal Judge issued a tentative ruling which finds that the Department of Homeland Security’s policy of housing mothers and children in family detention is in violation of an 18 year-old court settlement.  Specifically, the settlement in question pertains to the detention of migrant children and mandates that minor children should be placed in the custody of a family member or legal guardian when at all possible.  The settlement also dictates that if a minor child is held in detention, they should be housed in the least restrictive conditions possible.

The federal judge ruled that mothers and children cannot be detained in unlicensed detention facilities such as the Karnes Family Detention Facility and the Dilley Facility in Texas – two of four large family detention facilities in the United States.  The judge commented that it is inappropriate to detain mothers and children without extenuating circumstances such as an existing safety concern or a flight risk.  At this point the tentative ruling has just been released to attorneys who are party to the case who will begin to negotiate a settlement.  If a settlement cannot be reached, the Department of Homeland Security may be forced to restructure or even abandon their family detention policy.