News from the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers Vol. 10, No. 7B • July 15, 2014
1. White House Requests $3.7 Billion for Border Crisis – As the United States continues to grapple with an influx of undocumented children and others along the southern border, President Obama has requested a $3.7 billion supplemental appropriation to fund related activities.
2. EOIR Interim Rule Addresses ‘Largest Caseload’ in U.S. History With Temporary IJs – EOIR published an interim rule effective July 11, 2014, allowing the agency to designate or select temporary immigration judges with the Attorney General’s approval.
3. Leon Rodriguez Sworn In as USCIS Director – Leon Rodriguez was sworn in on July 9, 2014, as the new director of USCIS. The agency has nearly 18,000 employees.
4. New Publications and Items of Interest – New Publications and Items of Interest
5. Member News – Member News
6. Government Agency Links – Government Agency Links
1. White House Requests $3.7 Billion for Border Crisis
As the United States continues to grapple with an influx of undocumented children and others along the southern border, on July 8, 2014, President Barack Obama requested a $3.7 billion supplemental appropriation to fund activities at the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS), Justice (DOJ), State (DOS), and Health and Human Services (HHS). In its request to Congress, the administration said the money would be used for four main efforts: (1) deterrence, including increased detentions and removals of adults with children and increased immigration court capacity to speed cases; (2) enforcement, including enhanced interdiction and prosecution of criminal networks, increased surveillance, and expanded collaborative law enforcement task force activities; (3) foreign cooperation, including improved repatriation and reintegration, stepped-up public information campaigns, and efforts to address the root causes of undocumented migration; and (4) capacity, including increased detention, care, and transportation of unaccompanied children.
Of the total, $45.4 million would be used to hire approximately 40 additional immigration judge teams, including those anticipated to be hired on a temporary basis. This funding would also expand courtroom capacity, including additional video conferencing and other equipment in support of the additional immigration judge teams. These additional resources, when combined with the FY 2015 budget request for 35 additional teams, “would provide sufficient capacity to process an additional 55,000 to 75,000 cases annually,” the Obama administration said. In addition, $15 million would provide direct legal representation services to children in immigration proceedings, and $1.1 million would be used to hire additional immigration litigation attorneys to support federal agencies involved in detainee admission, regulation, and removal actions.
Also, $295 million would support efforts to repatriate the migrants and reintegrate them in Central America, to help the governments in the region better control their borders, and to address the “underlying root causes” driving the migrations, such as by “creating the economic, social, governance, and citizen security conditions to address factors that are contributing to significant increases in migration to the United States.” Beyond initial assistance, continued funding for repatriation and reintegration activities will be contingent on sustained progress and cooperation by the Central American countries, the administration said.
The supplemental appropriations request notes that separately, the administration plans to continue to work with Congress, following up on President Obama’s letter to congressional leadership on June 30, 2014, “to ensure that we have the legal authorities to maximize the impact of our efforts,” including “providing the Secretary of Homeland Security additional authority to exercise discretion in processing the return and removal of unaccompanied minor children from non-contiguous countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador,” and “increasing penalties for those who smuggle vulnerable migrants, like children.”
The Senate Committee on Appropriations held a related hearing on July 10, 2014. Witnesses included Hon. Jeh Johnson, Secretary, DHS; Hon. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary, HHS; Hon. Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., Counselor, DOS; and Juan P. Osuna, Director, Executive Office for Immigration Review.
SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS REQUEST
RELATED WHITE HOUSE FACT SHEET
SENATE HEARING TESTIMONY (WRITTEN AND WEBCAST)
2. EOIR Interim Rule Addresses ‘Largest Caseload’ in U.S. History With Temporary IJs
Following the Obama administration’s decision to increase the number of immigration judges deployed to handle cases related to the influx of undocumented migrants in the U.S. southern border area, the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) published an interim rule effective July 11, 2014, allowing the agency to designate or select temporary immigration judges, with the Attorney General’s approval.
The interim rule notes that EOIR “is currently managing the largest caseload the immigration court system has ever seen.” This is due to “attrition in the immigration judge corps and continuing budgetary restrictions” along with a large number of pending cases, the interim rule notes. Allowing the designation of temporary immigration judges will provide flexibility “in responding to the increased challenges facing the immigration courts.”
A new TRAC report finds that as of the end of June 2014, the number of cases pending in the immigration courts is at an all-time high of 375,503. TRAC’s preliminary figures indicated that the number of cases involving juveniles was 41,640, with more arriving daily. “As of the end of June 2014, the court backlog for juveniles from Guatemala is the largest with 12,841 cases, closely followed by Honduras (12,696) and El Salvador (12,162),” TRAC noted. According to the TRAC report, the average time for a pending case before an immigration judge is now 587 days.
The interim rule states that temporary immigration judges may include former Board members, former immigration judges, administrative law judges employed within or retired from EOIR, and administrative law judges from other Executive Branch agencies to act as temporary immigration judges for renewable six-month terms. Administrative law judges from other agencies must have the consent of their agencies to be designated as temporary immigration judges. In addition, the Director of EOIR will be able to designate, with the approval of the Attorney General, attorneys who have at least 10 years of legal experience in the field of immigration law and are currently employed by the Department of Justice to act as temporary immigration judges for renewable six- month terms. The 10 years of experience must be gained after admission to the bar and may be gained through employment by the federal, state, or local government, the private sector, universities, non-governmental organizations, or a combination of such experience.
Characteristics that would qualify a candidate for designation as a temporary immigration judge include the ability to demonstrate the appropriate temperament to serve as a judge; knowledge of immigration laws and procedures; substantial litigation experience, preferably in a high-volume context; experience handling complex legal issues; experience conducting administrative hearings; and knowledge of practices and procedures.
EOIR will provide the training necessary for temporary immigration judges to perform the assigned duties. The Chief Immigration Judge may choose to specify particular types of matters for which each temporary immigration judge will be assigned, consistent with the individual’s training and experience.
3. Leon Rodriguez Sworn In as USCIS Director
Leon Rodriguez was sworn in on July 9, 2014, as the new director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The agency has nearly 18,000 employees.
The Senate confirmed Mr. Rodriguez in June 2014. He previously served as the director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a position he held from 2011 to 2014. From 2010 to 2011, he served as chief of staff and deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Department of Justice (DOJ). Previously, Mr. Rodriguez was county attorney for Montgomery County, Maryland, from 2007 to 2010. He was a principal at Ober, Kaler, Grimes & Shriver in Washington, DC, from 2001 to 2007.
Mr. Rodriguez served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania from 1997 to 2001, first as chief of the White Collar Crimes Section from 1998 to 1999 and then as first assistant U.S. Attorney until his departure. Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Rodriguez was a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division at DOJ from 1994 to 1997 and a senior assistant district attorney at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in New York from 1988 to 1994. He received a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from Boston College Law School.
4. New Publications and Items of Interest
E-Verify enhancements. E-Verify recently released three new enhancements: (1) a duplicate case alert pop-up feature; (2) further action notices for Web service users; and (3) a prompt to validate or update user e-mail addresses and phone numbers. E-Verify has also released guidelines for using the E-Verify trademark. MORE INFORMATION
The 2014 edition of the Global Business Immigration Practice Guide has been released by LexisNexis. Dozens of members of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers co-authored and edited the guide, which is a one-stop resource for dealing with questions related to business immigration issues in immigration hotspots around the world.
The 2014 edition adds a chapter on Singapore. Other chapters cover Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, the European Union, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Latchi Delchev, a global mobility and immigration specialist for Boeing, called the guide “first-rate” and said the key strong point of the book is its “outstanding usability.” She said she highly recommends the book and notes that it “is helpful even to seasoned professionals, as it provides a level of detail which is not easily gained from daily case management.”
Mireya Serra-Janer, head of European immigration for a multinational IT company, says she particularly likes “the fact that the [guide] focuses not just on each country’s immigration law itself but also addresses related matters such as tax and social security issues.” She noted that the India chapter “is particularly good. The immigration regulations in India have always been hard to understand. Having a clear explanation of the rules there helps us sort out many mobility challenges.”
This comprehensive guide is designed to be used by:
- Human resources professionals and in-house attorneys who need to instruct, understand, and liaise with immigration lawyers licensed in other countries;
- Business immigration attorneys who regularly work with multinational corporations and their employees and HR professionals; and
- Attorneys interested in expanding their practice to include global business immigration services.
- An overview of the immigration law requirements and procedures for over 20 countries;
- Practical information and tips for obtaining visas, work permits, resident status, naturalization, and other nonimmigrant and immigrant pathways to conducting business, investing, and working in those countries;
- A general overview of the appropriate options for a particular employee; and
- Information on how an employee can obtain and maintain authorization to work in a target country.
Each chapter follows a similar format, making it easy to compare practices and procedures from country to country. Useful links to additional resources and forms are included. Collected in this Practice Guide, the expertise of ABIL’s attorney members across the globe will serve as an ideal starting point in your research into global business immigration issues.
The list price is $299, but discounts are available. Contact your Lexis/Nexis sales representative; call 1-800-833-9844 (United States), 1-518-487-3385 (international); fax 1-518-487-3584; or go to the Lexis/Nexis website.
ABIL on Twitter. The Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers is now available on Twitter: @ABILImmigration. RECENT ABIL MEMBER BLOGS
5. Member News
Charles Kuck discussed why immigration is important in the United States. VIDEO FROM CCTV AMERICA
Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm is excited to announce the recent appointment of Managing Partner and North Carolina Board Certified Immigration Law Specialist Steven H. Garfinkel to the Charlotte Regional Partnership’s Board of Directors for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. The Charlotte Regional Partnership is a nonprofit economic development organization in Charlotte, North Carolina, which advocates for job creation, long-term growth, and investment opportunities in the Charlotte area. MORE INFORMATION
Stephen Yale-Loehr was interviewed recently on WHCU Radio about the U.S. immigration system and the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border. AUDIO PODCAST of the interview.
Mr. Yale-Loehr was quoted on PolitiFact in an article on statements by Rick Santorum about undocumented immigration. He noted that deferred action for childhood arrivals does not apply to children arriving on or after June 15, 2012.
Mr. Yale-Loehr was quoted in articles at the following links: June 30: FORBES and July 1: CNN.
Mr. Yale-Loehr will speak on two panels at an EB-5 finance course sponsored by the Council of Development Finance Agencies in Washington, DC, on August 12, 2014. FOR MORE DETAILS OR TO REGISTER.
6. Government Agency Links
Follow these links to access current processing times of the USCIS Service Centers and the Department of Labor, or the Department of State’s latest Visa Bulletin with the most recent cut-off dates for visa numbers:
USCIS Service Center processing times online
Department of Labor processing times and information on backlogs
Department of State Visa Bulletin
Visa application wait times for any post