As the longest federal government shutdown in United States history endures, Law360 discusses how the lack of government funding has impacted the field of business immigration. Although most business immigration processes remain largely unaffected, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the State Department, the Department of Labor, Customs and Border Protection, and US immigration courts have all felt the strain of the shutdown. To find out more, including Paul Virtue’s comments on the shutdown, read the article here.
The federal government has entered its fourth week of a partial shutdown since December 22, 2018 because of a budget impasse between Congress and the White House. This shutdown is the longest since 1995-1996, when the federal government was closed for 21 days, and now represents the longest lapse in federal funding in recent history.
Many agencies and departments continue operations through this shutdown because of previously approved funding bills or the essential nature of their personnel. The information below summarizes the operating status of agencies responsible for immigration-related activities most relevant to employers. Continue Reading US Government Shutdown Impact on Immigration-Related Services
A federal judge has barred President Trump’s recent asylum ban, now forcing the administration to accept all migrants crossing the southern border who seek protection, rather than limit asylum requests to U.S. ports of entry. As of last evening, Judge John Tigar of the U.S. District Court of Northern California issued a temporary restraining order that will require the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to process all individuals crossing the California, Arizona, and Texas border. The bar will remain until a scheduled hearing to be held on December 19, when the judge will revisit the court’s view of a permanent injunction.
The judge’s bar quickly halts the administration’s new rule, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ accompanying policy guidance, which limit asylum pleas to official ports of entry between the United States and Mexico. The administration stated the restriction was necessary to protect U.S. national security from the migrant caravan, as 7,000 migrants, mainly from Honduras, began to arrive in Tijuana over the weekend.
The U.S. district court opinion describes the Congressional intent to offer asylum to all applicants, whether at designated ports of arrival or not, as explicitly cited under 8 U.S.C. § 1158(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
In a 5-4 decision issued on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, the US Supreme Court upheld the president’s broad statutory authority to suspend the issuance of visas to nationals of certain countries in the interests of national security. Finding the September 24, 2017, Proclamation 9645 (“Proclamation”) to be neutral on its face, the Court rejected the arguments of the State of Hawaii that the ban was a thinly veiled attempt to ban Muslims from the United States in violation of the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution and the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”).
“By its plain language, [the INA] grants the president broad discretion to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States,” the majority opinion, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, states. “The president lawfully exercised that discretion based on his findings—following a worldwide, multiagency review—that entry of the covered aliens would be detrimental to the national interest. And plaintiffs’ attempts to identify a conflict with other provisions in the INA, and their appeal to the statute’s purposes and legislative history, fail to overcome the clear statutory language.”
An article in Law360 outlines the key items addressed in the Trump administration’s spring 2018 regulatory agenda, which was made available to the public in early May 2018. Topics on the list include structural changes to the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the office within the US Department of Justice that oversees US immigration courts; changes to the EB-5 investor visa program, including increasing the minimum investment amount from $500,000 to $1.35 million; and rescission of the International Entrepreneur Rule (“IER”), a program implemented during the Obama administration to grant parole to entrepreneurs seeking to establish and build startup businesses in the United States.
The article can be read here.
On April 24, 2018, Judge John D. Bates of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ruled against the Trump Administration’s “unlawful” rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program. Arguing that the decision to end DACA was “arbitrary and capricious because the department failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful,” Judge Bates stayed his decision for 90 days to offer the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) the opportunity to provide sound justification for terminating the program.
Should DHS fail to adequately address its reasoning for canceling the DACA program within the timeframe, the government will be ordered to once again accept and process new and renewal DACA applications for eligible applicants.
On Wednesday, April 25, 2018, the US Supreme Court will hear argument in Trump v. Hawaii. Mayer Brown’s Legal Update provides background on this challenge to the third in a series of travel bans issued by President Trump and summarizes the questions before the Court in this final oral argument of its current term.
On March 27, 2018, ten former officials from the US Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Health and Human Services filed an amicus brief to the Supreme court challenging the government’s misplaced reliance of the “presumption of regularity” in the Trump Travel Ban case. “The presumption of regularity is founded on the commonsense idea that courts should assume that government officials ‘have properly discharged their official duties’…before entertaining doubts about the integrity of official acts or documents.” As former General Counsel of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, as well as former Executive Associate Commissioner and former Deputy General Counsel of that agency, Paul Virtue was one of the participants in the brief. The brief was submitted “to make clear that the “presumption of regularity” has never been an obstacle to a court’s consideration of evidence showing that government officials have acted with an improper purpose.” The brief can be read here.
On Tuesday, April 10, 2018, President Donald Trump announced that restrictions on travel would be lifted for citizens of Chad, one of eight countries included in the third version of the administration’s controversial travel ban. In doing so, the president cited improvement in Chad’s identity-management and information sharing practices. Originally announced on September 24, 2017 in the “Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats,” Travel Ban 3.0 imposed restrictions on travel for nationals of Chad and seven other countries: Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. Mayer Brown’s Legal Advisory in September 2017 addresses the precise restrictions on each of the countries. Continue Reading President Lifts Travel Ban 3.0 for Chad, But Seven Other Countries Remain Barred
Mayer Brown Litigation and Dispute Resolution partner Andrew Pincus (Washington, DC) was quoted in Corporate Counsel regarding the friend of the court brief that he and Mayer Brown attorneys Lauren Goldman and Karen Lim filed on behalf of 102 companies, including Amazon.com, eBay Inc., Facebook Inc., Google Inc., IBM Corp., Intel Corp., Levis Strauss & Co., Microsoft Corp, and Verizon Communications Inc.
Pincus told Corporate Counsel, “I think that the breadth and depth of support indicates the concern among American businesses that the rescission of DACA has significant adverse consequences for people they work with, and for American businesses generally. They [businesses] want to stand up and speak out and make sure that courts and Congress are aware of that.”