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Monthly U.S. immigration law news roundup: USCIS ‘replaces Trump-era mission statement’

Welcome to the Garfinkel Immigration news roundup, where every month we will summarize and provide links to the latest stories impacting U.S. immigration.

Below is the February 2022 edition of the Garfinkel Immigration news roundup:

Key updates regarding L and E spousal work permits

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has implemented some key updates that will significantly impact work authorization eligibility for spouses of E and L visa holders.

On February 9, 2022, the government confirmed that CBP adjusted the E and L Class of Admission (COA) codes for family members on January 31, 2022. This update was made in accordance with the settlement reached in mid-November in Shergill, et al. v. Mayorkas, wherein spouses of E and L visa holders will now be authorized to work incident to status, once issued a Form I-94 with the new COA. They will no longer have to apply for separate employment authorization documents after arriving to the United States.

The Form I-94s, issued after January 31, 2022, for family members, now reflect that change. The new COAs follow below:

  • E-1S: Spouse of E-1
  • E-1Y: Child of E-1
  • E-2S: Spouse of E-2
  • E-2Y: Child of E-2
  • E-3S: Spouse of E-3
  • E-3Y: Child of E-3
  • L-2S: Spouse of L-1A or B
  • L-2Y: Child of L-1A or B

Read the full story here.

House passes bill with more measures for immigrants in STEM fields

The United States House of Representatives passed a bill earlier this month which included multiple immigration provisions.

The bill creates “an immigrant startup visa and also an exemption from annual green card limits and backlogs for foreign nationals with a Ph.D. in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields,” according to an article written by Forbes Senior Contributor Stuart Anderson.

“Supporters of the provisions will argue that no bill promoting innovation can justify not including improved ways to attract and retain foreign-born talent,” Anderson writes. “More than 70% of the full-time graduate students at U.S. universities in electrical engineering, industrial engineering and computer and information sciences are foreign nationals.”

The provisions still must be included in the final version of the bill in the United States Senate and receive 60 votes in that legislative body to become law.

Find out more via Forbes here.

USCIS replaces Trump-era mission statement that removed “nation of immigrants” label

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) changed its mission statement earlier this month to better reflect “the inclusive character of both (the) country and (the) agency.”

The new mission statement reads: “USCIS upholds America’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility with fairness, integrity, and respect for all we serve.”

“At its core, USCIS is about delivering decisions to families, businesses, workers, and those seeking refuge in our country on their applications, petitions, requests, and appeals,” USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou said in a statement. “The United States is and will remain a welcoming nation that embraces people from across the world who seek family reunification, employment or professional opportunities, and humanitarian protection.”

The statement continued: “USCIS is committed to ensuring that the immigration system we administer is accessible and humane. As we look towards the future, my commitment will remain the same – USCIS will continue to serve the public with respect and fairness, and lead with integrity to reflect America’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility today and for generations to come.”

Find out more here.

Independent immigration courts envisioned in new legislation

Immigration courts would become an independent entity under new proposed legislation in the United States House of Representatives.

Immigration courts are currently supervised by the United States Department of Justice via the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

“Many immigration lawyers and judges, including witnesses who appeared before the subcommittee last month, have called for restructuring the courts under Article I of the Constitution, similar to existing systems that specialize in taxes, bankruptcy, and other discrete areas of law,” according to an article published by Bloomberg News. “The American Bar Association and other legal groups have lobbied on the issue.”

The story continues: “(Rep. Zoe) Lofgren’s (D-Calif.) measure would create an independent immigration system made up of trial, appellate, and administrative divisions, plus a main office. Judges would serve 15-year terms and could be reappointed.”

Read the full Bloomberg News story here.

Supreme Court to hear Biden appeal of Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy

The Supreme Court will listen to the Biden administration’s appeal of lower court decisions that have prevented the government from terminating the “Remain in Mexico” policy, according to an article published by NBC News in mid-February.

The “Remain in Mexico” policy was initially implemented by the Trump administration.

“The Biden administration has repeatedly tried to end the program but has been rebuffed in court following challenges from Missouri and Texas,” The NBC News story reads. “The states argued that after President Joe Biden nixed the policy, the number of migrants trying to enter the country skyrocketed.”

The Supreme Court will hear the case in April, according to NBC News.

Read the full story here.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm at 704-442-8000 or via email with any questions.

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