Trump Admininstration’s New DHS Immigration Enforcement Criteria And The Future of Travel/Visa Ban

After a short lull in immigration policy action, things are changing again. Last week the Trump Administration informed the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that it would issue a new Executive Order (EO) on the travel/visa ban this week which will replace the initial EO and moot the 9th Circuit’s national temporary restraining order. The new EO is expected late this week and has not been released in draft form. The Trump Administration has offered some information about the new EO as follows: it will not take effect immediately upon issuance, to allow for preparations and avoid the chaos that ensued when the initial EO took effect immediately; it will apply to the same seven countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen); it will clarify how it applies to dual citizens of a listed country and another country that isn’t on the list; it will be clear that lawful permanent residents of the US are not affected by the EO; it may allow some refugees from Syria. These points address the most obvious legal and operational deficiencies of the initial EO. Continue reading

What Does California’s New E-Verify Law Mean For Employers?

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Our blog post on January 5, 2016 summarized California’s new E-Verify law and other updates.  So what should California employers do differently now with respect to I-9s and E-Verify?  Enrollment in E-Verify remains voluntary under federal and California law except for federal contractors with the FAR provision in their contract.  California’s new law (AB 622) added significant penalties at the state level for E-Verify violations in addition to federal penalties.  Continue reading

Implementation Of DACA Expansion And New DAPA Program Delayed

Even before the President’s executive actions on immigration have been implemented, there is a new development. On Monday, a federal district court in Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of the new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  The original DACA program implemented in 2012 is unaffected.  The injunction is temporary while the case State of Texas v. U.S.A. proceeds in federal court.  The litigation was brought by 26 states objecting to the President’s executive action on immigration which was announced in late 2014 for implementation in 2015.  The injunction affects only two of the areas addressed by the executive action (DACA expansion and DAPA).  The Obama administration has announced that it will appeal the decision, and the immigration bar expects the decision will be overturned based the outcome of prior cases.  But implementation of DAPA and the DACA expansion are postponed for now.

- Leigh Cole

It’s That H-1B Time of Year Again!

February has rolled around again and we’re thinking about powder days for skiing in the mountains and Caribbean vacations to find some sun, and April showers to bring May flowers… yes, April is right around the corner! So it’s time to start working on H-1B petitions that must be filed on April 1 for eligibility under the annual numerical limit on H-1B approvals known as the H-1B cap.  Continue reading

The President’s Executive Actions on Immigration: What Employers Need To Know

On November 20, 2014 President Obama announced a set of immigration changes to be implemented by executive action within the parameters of current U.S. immigration laws.  The announcement was accompanied by a 33-page memorandum opinion from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) explaining why the proposed executive action is legal. None of the proposals can take effect until sometime in 2015 after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) develops detailed criteria and application procedures for each program. Meanwhile Congress could change all of this at any time by amending the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Continue reading