The State Department recently announced a plan to require virtually all applicants for U.S. visas to provide more details as part of the vetting and approval process. Only certain official and diplomatic visa applicants would be exempt.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently turned away an appeal by the state of Arizona, which had sought to end its participation in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. When the state attempted to deny program beneficiaries the driver's licenses they were entitled under DACA, the 9th Circuit struck Arizona's policy down. The Supreme Court left that ruling in place, requiring Arizona to issue the licenses.
"The system is being gamed, there's no doubt about it," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a speech last October. He was trying to get Congress to tighten the rules for asylum.
H-1B visas are available for several types of workers, but the most well known is the "specialty occupations" visa. It is available to highly skilled foreign workers who work in jobs which typically cannot be performed by people without at least a bachelor's degree in their field. Examples include engineers, architects, and computer programmers.
Two major court decisions involving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program were announced this week. First, the U.S. Supreme Court put off an appeal of a federal court order. That order, a nationwide injunction, ordered the federal government not to shut down DACA on Monday, March 5, as had previously been announced. Second, another federal judge ordered all federal immigration enforcement authorities to stop revoking Dreamers' DACA protections or deporting them based on allegations of minor criminal activity.
Although many immigrants worry that they could be targeted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement despite causing no problems, recent information suggests that the agency has been focusing mostly on those with criminal issues. At the same time, however, ICE arrests were up overall in 2017 -- especially among those without prior convictions.
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, just released its ruling on whether President Trump's travel ban passes constitutional muster. In a 9-4 vote, the appellate court held that it does not.
Activist Ravi Ragbir leads a coalition of 150 faith-based pro-immigrant groups referred to collectively as the New Sanctuary Coalition. He is one of several immigrant rights activists who seem to have been targeted for deportation because of their outspoken political beliefs.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has just released a formal policy on when it will send immigration agents into local, state and federal courthouses in order to make arrests.
The Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General's Office has just issued a report about immigrant detention centers. It found "significant issues" in four centers, including insufficient hygiene and medical care, potentially unsafe food, and inhumane treatment.