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USCIS issued a statement on the Supreme Court’s DACA decision.

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that President Trump’s attempt to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was “arbitrary” and invalid, and the administration would need to go through the proper processes to end the program. On June 19, USCIS issued a statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision. USCIS holds the position that the Supreme Court’s decision “has no basis in law” and only “delays” the end of the program. USCIS further said that DACA is not a “long-term solution,” and that Congress has the ability to reform immigration laws to allow for solutions for undocumented immigrants.

USCIS Publishes Final Rule on Employment Authorization for Asylum Applicants

Today, USCIS published a final rule making multiple changes to the regulations governing asylum applications and eligibility for employment authorization based on a pending asylum application. The rule is effective on August 25, 2020. On the Immigration Impact blog, the American Immigration Council’s Aaron Reichlin-Melnick writes that the rule “will strip most asylum seekers of the right to seek work authorization” and that, in response to concerns that the rule would force many into desperate straits, DHS suggested that asylum seekers become familiar with state homelessness resources.

USCIS will furlough employees if it does not get funding.

USCIS has requested emergency funding from Congress to sustain its operations. The agency has said that if it does not get funding, it will administratively furlough some employees starting around July 20. In addition to funding in the next coronavirus relief bill, USCIS has suggested fee hikes of 10% to compensate for the decrease in applications over the last few years. USCIS has 19,000 employees and contractors at more than 200 offices.

USCIS Will Resume Premium Processing for Certain Petitions

USCIS announced that it will resume premium processing for Form I-129 and Form I-140 in phases over the month of June 2020. The announcement provides the effective dates over the month of June on which USCIS will begin accepting premium processing requests for specific applications.

USCIS has reopened some offices

Starting June 4, USCIS began reopening some offices to the public. USCIS has taken some precautions against the spread of COVID-19, including providing hand sanitizer, requiring a face covering, and providing floor markings to ensure social distancing is practiced. Application Support Centers are still closed until further notice.

Recent Announcements from USCIS, DHS, and DOS

Last week, USCIS announced that for certain types of requests and notices issued between March 1 and July 1, 2020, inclusive, USCIS will consider responses received within 60 calendar days after the response due date set in the request or notice before taking any action. DHS announced that beginning May 1, 2020, Form I-9 List B identity documents set to expire on or after March 1, 2020, and not otherwise extended by the issuing authority, may be treated the same as if the employee presented a valid receipt for an acceptable document for Form I-9 purposes. DOS announced that starting June 1, 2020, the National Visa Center will no longer accept or respond to inquiries through mail, and all inquiries will need to be submitted through the online Public Inquiry Form.

USCIS Is No Longer Issuing Form N-560AB

USCIS announced that, effective April 10, 2020, it is no longer issuing Form N-560AB, Certificate of Citizenship. USCIS is now issuing Form N-560A for all Certificates of Citizenship associated with Forms N-600, N-600L and Child Citizenship Act adopted children. Previously issued Forms N-560AB remain valid.

USCIS has extended its office closures through May 3.

On April 1, USCIS announced that the temporary office closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have been extended to May 3. USCIS will continue to provide limited emergency services, including processing employment authorization extensions.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Finds USCIS Improperly Interpreted “Degree” to Require Specific Subspecialty for H-1B Visa

Earlier this month, a federal judge in North Carolina ruled that USCIS erred in denying an H-1B petition based on its finding that an engineering position did not qualify as a specialty occupation because it did not require a degree in a specific subspecialty.

USCIS and Covid 19 and RFE’s

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it is adopting a measure to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to requests for evidence (RFEs) and notices of intent to deny (NOIDs) dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020.
For applicants and petitioners who receive an RFE or NOID dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020, any responses submitted within 60 calendar days after the response deadline set forth in the RFE or NOID will be considered by USCIS before any action is taken.
USCIS is adopting several measures to protect our workforce and community, and to minimize the immigration consequences for those seeking immigration benefits during this time.

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