Posts in Enforcement
Delays at Immigration Inspection Anticipated at US-Canada Border

The recent transfer of more than 700 border agents from the US-Canada border to the US-Mexico border means travelers between Canada and the US should be ready for delays at immigration inspections.  The Department of Homeland Security announced that the temporary transfer of border agents from the northern to the southern border is to assist with the influx of asylum-seekers from Central America.

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Removal Order Upheld for H-1B Worker whose Employment-Based Application for Permanent Residence was Denied

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision  (Ma v. Sessions) earlier this month, upholding the removal order of an H-1B worker whose timely filed H-1B extension petition was denied and whose following application for permanent residence based on employment also was denied.  The court reasoned that the H-1B worker was not eligible for permanent residence because he had more than 180 days of unlawful status by the time he had filed his application for permanent residence.  The H-1B worker argued that he was in lawful status while his H-1B extension petition was pending because the regulations automatically extend work authorization during this time and that he only started accruing unlawful status once his extension petition was denied.  The court disagreed. It held that such work authorization does not constitute “lawful status” and that the H-1B worker had ceased to be in lawful status once the underlying petition had expired. As such, the H-1B worker had well over 180 days of unlawful status at the time he applied for permanent residence and was not eligible for any relief.

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Department of Homeland Security Will Increase Use of Facial Recognition Technology to Record Departures from the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) unit, which is responsible for immigration enforcement along U.S. borders, has indicated it will expand the use of facial recognition technology to record departure information from international travelers.  The technology is being implemented gradually at airports nationwide. 

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New USCIS Policy on Removal Proceedings Takes Effect

Starting October 1, 2018, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) may begin removal (also referred to as “deportation”) proceedings after denying an application for a benefit, such as an application for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident (Form I-485), naturalization (Form N-400), or change or extension of status (Form I-539).  This new policy stems from President Trump’s Executive Order 13768, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.”  

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