Drug Trafficking found to be particularly serious crime

  1. The Fourth Circuit upheld the BIA and the IJ’s determination that the petitioner’s aggravated felony conviction for a drug trafficking crime, for which the petitioner received a sentence of five years’ imprisonment, was per se a particularly serious crime under INA §241(b)(3)(B). The court thus found that the petitioner was ineligible for withholding of removal.

BALCA overturns denial of Labor Cert

BALCA overturned the Certifying Officer’s denial and ordered that the labor certification be granted, holding that Notice of Filing (NOF) regulations only require the NOF to contain information specific enough to apprise U.S. workers of the job opportunity, and do not require employers to run advertisements enumerating every job duty, job requirement, and condition of employment.

Portability Provisions cannot be used if original I-140 not valid

  1. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal, holding that the court lacked jurisdiction to consider whether USCIS failed to comply with disclosure requirements under 8 CFR §103.2(b)(16) when it revoked the plaintiff-beneficiary’s I-140 petition. The court also held that the plaintiff could not port his I-140 to subsequent employers, because the I-140 was not valid to begin with, as USCIS found numerous deficiencies in the petition submitted by the original employer. The court thus found that the plaintiff was not statutorily eligible to adjust status.

Applying for NACARA?

  1.  The BIA ruled that the 10 years of continuous physical presence required by 8 CFR §1240.66(c)(2) for an individual seeking special rule cancellation of removal under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) should be measured from the individual’s most recently incurred ground of removal, at least where that ground is among those listed in 8 CFR §1240.66(c)(1).

Texas’s request for 30 day extension DENIED

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request from Texas and other states for a 30-day extension to file briefs in support of the lawsuit to block President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Instead, the Court accepted DOJ’s request for a shortened eight-day extension, making it possible for the Court to decide the case in the 2015–16 term, should the Court grant the government’s cert petition.

Changes in the Visa Waiver Program

The White House released a fact sheet on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), including information on new security changes announced yesterday. The fact sheet states that DHS will immediately take steps to modify its Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) applications to capture information from VWP travelers regarding any past travel to countries constituting a terrorist safe haven. In addition, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson issued a statementon steps that have been taken to strengthen the screening of those who are traveling to the United States, including security enhancements to the VWP.

Abuse of Discretion ruled

BALCA held that an American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA) wage for an institution of higher education may sample only other institutions of higher education pursuant to the regulations. Accordingly, BALCA overruled the prevailing wage determination (PWD) made by the Center Director (CD) and remanded, finding that the CD’s insistence that the employer provide a survey that sampled each type of ACWIA entity constituted an abuse of discretion.


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