News & Analysis as of

September 2016 Special Immigration Alert

I. DOS Announces 2018 Diversity Lottery - The U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) just released its instructions for the DV-2018 Diversity Visa (DV-2018) lottery. The registration period begins on Tuesday, October 4,...more

Fifth Circuit Overturns $226,000 Fine Imposed on a Staffing Company for Completing Section 2 of Form I-9 Remotely

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) takes the position that employers must physically review original documents in the actual presence of a new hire when completing the attestation in Section 2 of the Form I-9 (the...more

Report Shows Better Oversight Needed for DHS Fee-Collecting Programs

Last week, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report after examining the way the U.S. Department of Security (DHS) manages the billions of dollars it collects from its various programs. In FY 2014, DHS...more

DHS Extends Time Period for STEM OPT Employment Authorization

As of May 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expanded the time period during which a foreign student with a degree from a U.S. university in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field may...more

Unionized Employers, Take Note: E-Verify Is a Minefield

On May 13, 2016, a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) judge ordered The Ruprecht Company, a meat processor and food manufacturer, to provide confidential immigration documents to the union and to rescind its participation...more

Major Modifications to Immigration Programs May Cause Major Headaches

Today, I’m delighted to bring you what I hope will be the first of several updates for employers from the immigration law perspective. One of my newest colleagues, Ashley Mendoza, along with my law partner Brenda Eckert,...more

Buyer Beware: Noncompliant Electronic I-9 Software Risks Customer Company Fines

Electronic I-9 software can be very attractive to companies looking for efficiency and ensuring compliance. Not to mention the elimination of file drawers that once housed these voluminous paper I-9 files. However, buyers...more

TFTEA – CBP Organizational Structure

Among its many provisions, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (“TFTEA” or the “Act”), H.R. 644, formally establishes U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) as a department within Homeland Security (“DHS”)....more

What To Expect When You're Not Expecting: How To Handle Unplanned Visits From Federal Agencies

The unannounced arrival of an investigator from a federal agency is an unwelcome business interruption which can be a drain on productive time and arouse collective anxiety in your business environment. Effective management...more

Final Reminder: Employers Using E-Verify: Get Ready to Download Your “Historic Records Report” by Year-End

U.S. employers enrolled in E-Verify -- the electronic system of employment eligibility verification -- should prepare to download and preserve all E-Verify data submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)...more

Employers Using E-Verify: Get Ready to Download Your “Historic Records Report” by Year-End

U.S. employers enrolled in E-Verify -- the electronic system of employment eligibility verification -- should prepare to download and preserve all E-Verify data submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)...more

Executive Action Update: 3 Year EADs Issued After 2/16/15 Injunction Must Be Returned by 7/17/15

It is no surprise that the implementation of this administration’s executive actions has run into a series of political and legal snags. But what is surprising is the administration’s response or overall handling of the...more

DHS Adopts Regulations Giving Universities and Foreign Students Greater Flexibility

Effective May 29, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security will amend its regulations under the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). The change will (1) eliminate existing limits on the maximum number of designated...more

Updated Guidance Encourages DHS Attorneys to Timely Exercise Prosecutorial Discretion

On April 6, 2015, the Acting Principal Legal Advisor for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA), Riah Ramlogan, issued a memorandum to OPLA attorneys relating to the...more

An ICE Detainer is Merely a Request—Not a Requirement

Law enforcement officers and agencies are often faced with deciding whether they are required to detain an otherwise releasable prisoner when there is a detainer on the prisoner from the federal Department of Immigration and...more

Electronic I-9 Compliance Systems: Choosing the Right Fit

A growing trend in I-9 compliance is the use of electronic software to manage I-9 and E-Verify compliance responsibilities. This shift towards electronic solutions brings along some significant challenges due to the rigorous...more

I-9 Verification Updates from AILA-DHS Liaison Meeting

On November 6, 2014, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Verification and Documentation Liaison Committee met with USCIS Verification Division and ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C....more

Executive Order Requires State Agencies and State Contractors to Use E-Verify

On December 3, 2014, Texas Governor Rick Perry issued Executive Order No. RP-80, which requires state agencies and state contractors to use E-Verify. The Order imposes, as a condition of all state contracts for service, a...more

Guidance on the President’s Immigration, Deportation, and Deferred Action Executive Orders

Among other executive actions, on November 20, 2014, the President announced significant changes to removal and deportation policies, as well as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. ...more

President Obama Announces Executive Action on Immigration

During last week's primetime television broadcast, President Obama announced steps to fix what he termed the “broken” US immigration system. The president focused his speech on increasing border security and providing a...more

OIG 2015 Plan Focuses on ICE’s Business Selection Process for I-9 Investigation

As part of its 2015 fiscal year Annual Performance Plan published on October 1, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) will review the approach of Immigration and Customs...more

I-9 Forms, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, EB-5 Visas, and Reform Q&A - This month in Immigration

I-9 Audits - A fine for a couple of I-9 violations pales in comparison to the $34 million settlement paid by Infosys in 2012 for repeated I-9 violations and omissions discovered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement...more

Avoiding Fines by Starting the I-9 Process Early. Just Not Too Early…

As we have noted in prior posts, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) has been aggressively pursuing I-9 inspections and imposing record fines (about $12.5 million per year) as part of its multi-year strategic plan....more

DHS and White House Respond to Increase in Unaccompanied Immigrant Children at the Border

Last week, President Obama and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released statements on a plan to address an increase in unaccompanied immigrant children at the southwest border of the United States. The statements...more

ICE Gets Graded By Homeland Security: What does this mean for employers?

In February, 2014, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security (OIG) issued a final report (Report) “grading” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s operations. The Report found specific...more

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