Court Reverses Denial of CAT Relief Based on Internal Relocation Regulations

The Ninth Circuit issued an en banc decision that overruled previous decisions to the extent that they conflicted with the plain text reading of the regulations governing internal relocation and deferral of removal under CAT. The court held that neither the petitioner nor the government bears the burden of proof as to internal relocation; rather, such evidence, if relevant, must be considered in assessing whether it is more likely than not that the petitioner would be tortured if removed.

Washington Post: Little-Known Immigration Program Seeks to Reunite Central American Families Residing in the U.S.

The Washington Post reports on the Central American Minors Refugee/Parole Program, a new but little-known program that allows Central American immigrants who reside legally in the United States to bring family members to the country. The article states that the new policy applies to children from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador who face harm from violence and other dangers. Admission is also possible for spouses and grandchildren of immigrants in some cases.

Court Grants Petition for Review for Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claim

The Seventh Circuit remanded, holding that the BIA abused its discretion by ignoring a potentially meritorious argument when deciding on the motion to reopen, and that the BIA should determine if the petitioner’s attorneys incompetently neglected to offer evidence and arguments that might have resolved the inconsistencies identified by the Immigration Judge.

USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap for FY2015

USCIS announced that it has received enough petitions as of March 26, 2015, to reach the H-2B cap for FY2015. As such, USCIS will reject any new H-2B petitions that request a start date before October 1, 2015, and were received after March 26, 2015.

MSNBC: Hunger-Striking Immigrant Moms and Kids Allege Retaliationel

MSNBC reports that lawyers and advocacy groups are alleging that women and children who are holding a hunger strike at an immigrant family detention center in South Texas are now facing retaliation, including intimidation and isolation. MSNBC states that ICE denies that any hunger strike is underway at the Karnes County Residential Center, and said the agency is not aware that any women have fully refrained from eating at either the dining hall or in common living areas

DOS Cable on New USCIS Form I-407

DOS issued a cable on the worldwide deployment of a new USCIS Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status. After March 26, 2015, posts must discontinue the use of the prior version of Form I-407. The cable includes information on who can file, where to file, completing Form I-407, and additional filing and processing information.

USCIS Guidance on Delivery Service Errors for FY2016 H-1B Cap Filings

USCIS provided guidance on the proper action to take if H-1B cap-subject filings for FY2016 are mishandled by delivery services. USCIS advised that it will reject any petitions received after the cap is met, including second H-1B petitions filed because of a delivery service mishandling. AILA reminds members who elect to file a second H-1B cap-subject petition in accordance with this guidance that the first petition will be withdrawn even if it is ultimately selected in the lottery. The second petition is completely separate and does not “replace” the first petition.

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