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DOL Notice on Process Change for H-2B Labor Certifications

DOL published notice in the Federal Register on a change to the Office of Foreign Labor Certification’s (OFLC) process for issuing final H-2B labor certification decisions for applications with a start date of need between April 1 and September 30, 2018.

VSC Will Continue Accepting L-1 Petitions Until February 12, 2018

Vermont Service Center (VSC) Liaison Committee has confirmed with the VSC that petitioners should continue to file L-1 petitions with the VSC until February 12, 2018, at which point the Texas Service Center (TSC) will start accepting Form I-129 petitions requesting L nonimmigrant classification.

Court Denies Petition for Review of Eligibility of Follower of Santa Muerte for Withholding and CAT Protection

In Garcia-Moctezuma v. Sessions, the Eighth Circuit denied the petition for review of the denial of withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture, holding that substantial evidence supported the finding that the petitioner, a follower of the deity Santa Muerte, failed to establish either a sufficient nexus between his faith and his mistreatment in Mexico or a likelihood of torture if removed to Mexico.

DOJ Demands Documents and Threatens to Subpoena 23 “Sanctuary” Jurisdictions

DOJ announced that it sent letters to 23 cities, counties, and states as part of a review of 8 U.S.C. 1373 compliance, demanding the production of documents that could show whether each jurisdiction is restricting information sharing with federal immigration authorities. The letter states that recipient jurisdictions that fail to respond will be subject to a DOJ subpoena.

DHS Issues Waiver to Expedite Border Construction Project in New Mexico

DHS announced that it has issued a waiver that eliminates its “obligation to comply with various laws” in the vicinity of the U.S.-Mexico border, beginning at the Santa Teresa, New Mexico port of entry and extending 20 miles westward, in order to “ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads.” DHS published a notice of determination regarding the waiver in the Federal Register on January 22, 2018.

Court Affirms Preliminary Injunction Ordering CBP to Improve Conditions in Holding Cells

In Doe v. Kelly, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion affirming the preliminary injunctionissued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, which found that CBP is violating the constitutional rights of Tucson Sector immigration detainees and ordered CBP to take certain steps to improve conditions in its Tucson Sector holding facilities.

BIA Says DHS Is Not Precluded by Res Judicata from Initiating Separate Proceedings

Declining to follow the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Bravo-Pedroza v. Gonzales, the BIA held that DHS is not precluded by res judicata from initiating a separate proceeding to remove a foreign national as one convicted of an aggravated felony burglary offense under INA §101(a)(43)(G), based on the same conviction that supported a crime of violence aggravated felony charge under §101(a)(43)(F) in the prior proceeding.

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