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US Immigration Law Archives

Federal judge: DOJ can't withhold grants from sanctuary cities

A federal judge in California has just ruled that the Department of Justice does not have the authority to make or deny criminal justice grants based on a city or county's "sanctuary" status. He issued a nationwide injunction to prevent the DOJ from requiring cities and counties to cooperate with federal immigration priorities in order to receive these grants.

To address backlogs, DOJ sets new quotas for immigration judges

In the U.S., immigration courts are part of the Department of Justice. That allows the DOJ to set their policies and even reverse the precedents they set. Recently, the DOJ issued a memo setting a new, high quota for immigration judges.

State Dept to require social media info from most visa applicants

The State Department has announced that it wants to collect more information from virtually everyone who applies for a U.S. visa -- approximately 15 million people each year. If new regulations are approved, it will begin collecting social media histories, past email accounts, phone number histories and other information from all standard visa applicants, including those visiting for business, tourism or education.

Change in immigration policy to impact pregant women

A policy change finalized in December 2017 says that female immigrants held in Texas and elsewhere will not be released simply because they are pregnant. Congress was informed of the change in policy by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on March 29 before reporters were told of it later that day. Currently, those who attempt to cross the border illegally must be detained, but they can be released if they pass an asylum threshold test.

USCIS suspends expedited H1-B visa processing

The H1-B visa program allows employers in Texas and around the country in certain industries to hire foreign workers when specialized skills are required, but obtaining the necessary documentation is challenging for technology, engineering and research firms because only 85,000 of the employment-based visas are issued each year. Companies can pay an additional fee to speed up their paperwork and find out within 15 days whether or not their H1-B visa applications will be approved, but U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on March 20 that expedited processing was being suspended until Sept. 10.

Economists: Family immigration a key source of healthcare workers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, seven of the 10 fastest-growing occupations require no college degree. The top two fastest-growing occupations are among them: home health and personal care aides. By 2026, those two occupations are expected to grow by 1.2 million positions.

Supreme Court to hear immigration detention case

For people in Texas facing the threat of immigration detention or deportation, a U.S. Supreme Court decision to hear a dispute over detention could carry important repercussions for the future. The administration of President Donald Trump appealed a lower court ruling relating to people who had been convicted of criminal offenses and completed their sentences before being detained for potential deportation.

5th Circuit rules most of SB4 constitutional. What happens next?

In August, the chief U.S. District Court judge for the Western District of Texas found there was overwhelming evidence that Texas's sanctuary city ban, SB4, would "erode public trust and make many communities and neighborhoods less safe" along with causing localities to "suffer adverse economic consequences." He issued an order prohibiting its enforcement.

New rules for sponsors of H-1B visas at third-party work sites

The H-1B visa is widely used to allow high-tech workers to come to the U.S. temporarily to work in so-called "specialty occupations." The nonimmigrant visa is also available for certain Department of Defense project workers and fashion models, but the controversial version of the H-1B visa is the "specialty occupation" visa.

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