Got a crime?

The Tenth Circuit granted the petition for review, holding that the Board of Immigration Appeals’ decision to retroactively apply Matter of Briones to the petitioner’s case found no support in the principles underlying the law of retroactivity, in U.S. Supreme Court or circuit precedent, or in relevant authority from other jurisdictions. The court further found that the petitioner’s reliance on the court’s 2005 decision in Padilla-Caldera v. Gonzales, which wasamended and superseded in 2006, was reasonable.

SB Stopped Cold

In a 54 to 45 vote, the Senate blocked S. 2146, the Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act, from advancing to the Senate floor. To move forward, the bill required a supermajority, or 60 votes.

The Board of Immigration Appeals cannot simply ignore the evidence.

The Second Circuit reversed the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and remanded, finding that it was unable to meaningfully review the agency’s removability determination, because the BIA had failed to consider material evidence—namely, the petitioner’s 1994 marriage certificate. On remand, the BIA was instructed to evaluate the authenticity of the marriage certificate, and to articulate the standard the agency applies when assessing the credibility of an individual who testifies on matters concerning removability in a contested removal proceeding.

Are you from Northern Mariana Islands?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will allow up to 12,999 nonimmigrants in fiscal year (FY) 2016 for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) program. DHS published the notice in today’s Federal Register.
Under the CW-1 program, employers in the CNMI can apply for temporary permission to employ foreign nationals who are ineligible for any existing employment-based nonimmigrant category under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The CW program is in effect until Dec. 31, 2019. DHS reduced the FY 2016 CW-1 limit by 1,000 to meet the CNMI’s existing labor market needs and provide opportunity for potential growth, while meeting a regulatory requirement to reduce the numerical limit each year.
Today’s announcement does not affect the status of current CW-1 workers unless their employer files for an extension of their current authorized period of stay. Approved petitions with an employment-start date between Oct. 1, 2015, and Sept. 30, 2016 will generally count towards the 12,999 limit. The numerical limit applies only to CW-1 principals. It does not directly affect anyone currently holding CW-2 status, which is for spouses and minor children of CW-1 nonimmigrants. However, CW-2 nonimmigrants may be indirectly affected because their status depends upon that of the principal CW-1.

Immigration Judges hard at work

A recent Transactional Records Access Clearing House (TRAC) report found that Immigration Judges completed 198,105 cases during FY2015, up 7.3% from 184,597 in FY2014. The data indicated that this marks the first time in six years that immigration court case closings have risen rather than fallen, halting a downward slide that had been observed since FY2009.

Don’t make small mistakes on PERM

  1. BALCA affirmed the denial of certification where the employer incorrectly entered the prevailing wage validity period on the ETA Form 9089 as less than the minimum 90 days required by 20 CFR §656.40(c). BALCA rejected the employer’s argument of harmless error, even though the prevailing wage determination issued by the State Workforce Agency did not include specific validity dates, and only indicated a validity period of “90 days from the date of this determination.”

After 20 years of IIRAIRA – 9th Circuit rules that crime of violence definition is unconstitutionally vague

The Ninth Circuit granted the petition for review and remanded, holding that the language in 18 USC §16(b), which is incorporated into INA §101(a)(43)(F)’s definition of a “crime of violence,” was unconstitutionally vague. The court found that §16(b)’s language suffered from the same indeterminacy the U.S. Supreme Court found in the Armed Career Criminal Act’s (ACCA) “residual clause” definition of a violent felony in Johnson v. United States, and was thus void for vagueness.


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