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Court Rejects Gang Murder Witness’ Purported Social Group

Denying the petition to review the BIA’s reversal of the immigration judge’s grant of withholding of removal, the Eighth Circuit upheld the BIA’s finding that “former taxi drivers from Quezaltepeque who have witnessed a gang murder” was not socially distinct and thus could not qualify as a “particular social group.”

Court Holds that Imposition of Court Costs Does Not Qualify as “Conviction”

The Fourth Circuit granted the petition for review, finding that an assessment of $100 in costs, assessed attendant to prayer for judgment continued under North Carolina law, is not a “penalty” under INA §101(a)(48)(A)(ii) and is therefore not a “conviction” under the INA.

Specifics on ‘unlawful presence’ for F-1 and J-1 students

Starting August 9, 2018, a new policy goes into effect for F-1 and J-1 holders. They will start accruing unlawful presence the day after they violate their status, get an order from a Judge they are out of status, or get a ruling from Immigration their status is denied.

New USCIS Policy on Accrual of Unlawful Presence and F, J, and M Nonimmigrants Takes Effect Next Week

USCIS’s new policy on the calculation of unlawful presence for those in student (F nonimmigrant), exchange visitor (J nonimmigrant), or vocational student (M nonimmigrant) status and their dependents will take effect next Thursday, August 9, 2018.

District Judge Denies Government’s Application to Revise FloresSettlement Agreement

U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee issued an order denying the government’s application for limited relief from the settlement agreement in Flores v. Reno, calling the application “a cynical attempt, on an ex parte basis, to shift responsibility to the judiciary for over 20 years of congressional inaction and ill-considered executive action that have led to the current stalemate.”

Court Vacates BIA Ruling That IJ Was Without Authority to Grant a Waiver of Inadmissibility

The Eleventh Circuit granted the petition for review and found the BIA erred in concluding that immigration judges (IJs) cannot have concurrent jurisdiction over a waiver of inadmissibility for U visa applicants, stating the BIA did not address or analyze the plain meaning of INA §212(d)(3).

USCIS Issues Policy Memorandum on Issuance of Certain RFEs and NOIDs

USCIS issued a policy memo with guidance to adjudicators regarding the discretion to deny an application, petition, or request without first issuing a request for evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) if initial evidence is not submitted or if the evidence in the record does not establish eligibility. Guidance is effective September 11, 2018.

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