EIG Dispatch | September 5, 2017

Feature Story: Trump Administration Rescinds DACA

USCIS News: USCIS Offers Immigration Services for Hurricane Harvey

DC Insights: J-1 Program May be Scaled Back / Congress in Session

Headlines: Japan New Permanent Residency Guidelines

Feature Story: Trump Administration Rescinds DACA – Current DACA Beneficiaries Must Now Look to Congress

Today, the Trump administration, through Attorney General Jeff Sessions, announced it is rescinding DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and provided a 6-month period for an “orderly wind down,” phasing out the program in several stages.

In an FAQ released earlier today, DHS announced that:

  • Effective today, no new initial-filing DACA applications will be accepted.
  • Current DACA recipients will be allowed to retain their current DACA-based employment authorization until their employment authorization document (EAD) expires.
  • DACA recipients whose work authorization expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 may apply for a renewal of their work authorization.  All renewal applications must be received by USCIS before October 5, 2017.
  • Effective today, USCIS will no longer approve advance parole requests (Form I-131) associated with DACA. All pending I-131 application for advance parole will be administratively closed, and associated fees will be refunded to applicants.

For the past 5-years, DACA provided an opportunity for nearly 800,000 young people who were brought to the United States as children to apply for work authorization and temporary protection from deportation. This program allowed these individuals to go to school, pursue careers, and provide for their families. By all accounts, DACA has been a successful program on both humanitarian and economic grounds.

Dreamers, their communities, and their employers are now faced with uncertainty, waiting to see what action, if any, Congress will take before the sunset of the DACA program on March 5th, 2018. The President himself has put the onus on Congress, tweeting earlier this morning “Congress, get ready to do your job.”

If you have questions about how this news impact you or your family, contact your EIG attorney.

Latest USCIS News

USCIS Offers Immigration Services to those Affected by Hurricane Harvey. On August 30, 2017, USCIS posted an alert to their website notifying the public that certain forms of assistance are available to those affected by “unforeseen circumstances,” including natural disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey. Individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey (or any other unforeseen circumstances) can apply for relief which is available on a case-by-case basis. USCIS assistance includes:

  • Rescheduled interviews or biometrics appointments.
  • Expedited employment authorization applications.
  • Expedited processing of advance parole requests.
  • Additional time to respond to a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny.
  • Expedited replacement of lost or damaged immigration or travel documents.

Additional information about how to submit a service request for disaster related immigration assistance can be found within the USCIS Alert.

DC Insights: What We Learned in the Past 7 Days

WSJ Reports Potential U.S. Cultural And Exchange Program Cuts. On August 27, 2017, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that the Trump administration is considering reducing the number of cultural and exchange programs currently offered under the J-1 visa category. The J-1 category allows for around 300,000 foreign visitors each year and has 15 categories, covering a wide range of visitors, including college students, au pairs, physicians, summer workers, and more. Per the WSJ, the administration is focused on the categories related to employment such as the summer work travel program, which allows foreign students to work in the U.S. during their summer vacation from college. The White House has yet to release a statement on the issue.

Congress is Back in Session. The 115th U.S. Congress returns to session today after concluding its August recess. With a looming government shutdown on the horizon, the congressional to-do list is long.  As previously reported, President Trump has said that he would be willing to shut down the government if Congress was not willing to fund the border wall. However, the White House has backed off of that demand, lessening the threat of President Trump vetoing any continuing budget resolution over wall funding. The House and Senate will both be in session intermittently until the week-long Thanksgiving break.

Headlines: Immigration News from Around the World

Japan Introduces New Guidelines for Permanent Residency Applications. The Japanese Ministry of Justice has adopted new guidelines that will allow High Skilled Foreign Professionals who achieve a score higher than 80 points in Japan’s Points system, to apply for permanent residency one year after they have met one year of temporary residency requirement. This represents a change from the previous temporary residency requirement of five years. The new rule, which went into effect earlier this year in parallel with the point-based system, is only available to work visa holders.