This week saw some significant changes to various areas of immigration. Read on to learn more!
1. Attorney General Barr changes rule regarding bond for asylum seekers
On Tuesday, Attorney General Barr issued a ruling denying a group of asylum seekers who did not enter the country legally a bond hearing which now become precedent for all asylum seekers. The ruling places the power to grant a bond hearing to individual asylum seekers solely within the purview of DHS and strips the power from immigration judges. These changes could result in asylum seekers who have demonstrated they have a credible fear in returning to their country being held for an indefinite amount of time.
2. U.S. immigrant visa denials rise due to a State Department manual change
FY 2018 saw a marked rise in the denial of immigrant visas on grounds the applicant would be a burden on the U.S. The increase in denials is the result of a January 2018 change to a State Department foreign affairs manual that gives more latitude in denying visas based on applicants or their family members needing public assistance.
Read more at Reuters.
3. Changes to the H-1B visa lottery result in more advanced degree applicants being chosen
USCIS announced that changes to the H-1B visa program resulted in an 11% increase over last year in advanced degree applicants being chosen out of the total 65,000 visas awarded. The changes were the result of USCIS complying with President Trump’s 2017 executive order related to buying and hiring American. Further changes to the H-1B visa program will go into affect for the 2020 selection process.
Read more at Law360.
4. USCIS announces new guidence for spousal petitions that involve minors
USCIS released more details on new guidance regarding spousal petitions involving minors. The new rules require an additional interview for I-130 petitions that involve minors at an earlier stage in the petition process. According to USCIS, this additional interview will give officers “an additional opportunity to verify information contained in the petition and assess the bona fides of the claimed spousal relationship”
Read more at USCIS.
5. Acting Secretary McAleenan announces the release of immigration report
On Tuesday, Acting Secretary McAleenan (DHS) announced the release of a Homeland Security Advisory Board report on immigration which included their recommendations for the future. According to Secretary McAleen, the Board recommended things such as additional training for officers, new regional processing centers, and the negotiation of a new initiative between the U.S. and Mexico.
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