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A blog by Melissa Aguinaga on United States immigration law.

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Changes to Work Permits for Asylum Seekers

23 June 2020

The rules for asylum seekers applying for employment authorization documents, more commonly known as work permits, are changing. In a nutshell:

  • Asylum seekers cannot apply for a work permit until 365 days after filing for asylum,
  • Asylum seekers who file for asylum more than 1 year after their date of entry will not be eligible for a work permit,
  • Asylum seekers will not be eligible for a work permit if they have a criminal conviction for a non-political crime outside the US,
  • The Department of Homeland Security is amending regulations to remove language stating that asylum applications are deemed complete if properly filed with US Citizen and Immigration Services ("USCIS") and USCIS fails to return the application as incomplete within 30 days,
  • Even if an asylum seeker meets all of the above additional requirements and his or her work permit application is recommended for approval, the asylum seeker may not receive a work permit,
  • If an asylum seeker provides additional evidence documenting their asylum claim fewer than 14 days before their asylum interview, it may be considered an applicant-caused delay for purposes of a work permit resulting in no work permit being issued to the applicant,
  • An asylum seeker is not eligible for a work permit while they have an appeal pending in US federal court,
  • Asylum seekers who enter the country without inspection without “good cause” are not eligible for a work permit. “Good cause” is determined on a case-by-case basis.

¡Atención! Han habido cambios sobre las reglas del Permiso de Trabajo:

  • No se puede presentar una solicitud de permiso de trabajo hasta 365 días después de presentar una solicitud de asilo y retención de expulsión,
  • No será eligible para un permiso de trabajo si presenta la solicitud de asilo más de un año después de su fecha de entrada,
  • No será eligible para un permiso de trabajo si tiene una condena por un delito grave y/o un crimen no político fuera de los estados unidos,
  • Si usted es recomendado para una aprobación, eso no significa que esta autorizado para obtener un permiso de trabajo,
  • Si se presenta evidencia documental adicional menos de 14 días antes de la entrevista de asilo, puede ser considerado un retraso causado por el solicitante por propósitos del permiso de trabajo, entonces el permiso sera negado,
  • El permiso de trabajo no sera disponible durante el proceso de una apelación ante una corte federal,
  • No se otorgare permiso de trabajo si uno entro ilegalmente sin “buena causa”. Buena causa sera determinada dependiendo del caso de cada uno.

New Trump Proclamation Further Restricts Legal Immigration

23 June 2020

Yesterday, President Trump signed a proclamation blocking foreign workers from entering the US on certain visas, including the popular H-1B visa for skilled workers, for the remainder of the year. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump Administration has restricted legal immigration. The administration claims this latest move is necessary to protect Americans due to high unemployment levels stemming from the pandemic. It is estimated to affect hundreds of thousands of people who planned to come to the US legally.

The proclamation goes into effect at 12:01 am ET June 24, 2020 and will prevent foreigners from coming to the US through a variety of visa categories:

  • H-1B visa, crucial for employers in STEM fields, and any foreign national accompanying or following to join them,
  • H-2B visa, which provide temporary workers in nonagricultural industries, and any foreign national accompanying or following to join them,
  • J visa, if the foreign national is participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and any foreign national accompanying or following to join them, and
  • L visa, which allow companies to transfer employees working overseas to the US offices, and any foreign national accompanying or following to join them.

The proclamation will only apply to individuals identified above if they are:

  • outside the US on the proclamation's effective date,
  • do not have a nonimmigrant visa that is valid on the proclamation's effective date, and
  • do not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation, boarding foil, or advance parole document), valid on the proclamation's effective date or issued after the proclamation's effective date permitting the individual's admission to the US.

Exemptions

The proclamation does not apply to:

  • lawful permanent residents,
  • the spouse or children of a US citizen,
  • any individual seeking entry to provide temporary labor essential to the US food supply chain,
  • asylum seekers, or
  • any individual whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.

The proclamation directs the Secretaries of State, Labor, and Homeland Security to determine standards in order to determine who may be covered under the “national interest” exemption, including individuals who:

  • are critical to the defense, law enforcement, diplomacy, or national security of the US,
  • are medical care providers to individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and are currently hospitalized,
  • are involved in medical research at US facilities to help the US fight COVID-19,
  • are necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the US, or
  • are children who would age out of eligibility for a visa because of this proclamation or Proclamation 10014.

The proclamation gives consular officers discretion to determine if an individual fits within one of these exempted categories.

What does this all mean?

Because many US consulates remain closed due to the pandemic, the proclamation may not immediately affect the number of foreign nationals who can enter the US legally. The closures have caused a staggering drop in visa issuances recently, per the US State Departments monthly visa issuance data.

Having already temporarily barred the issuance of new green cards for 60 days, the administration announced the ban on new green cards will extend through the end of the year. The administration claims these moves will create 525,000 jobs for Americans. However, companies use foreign workers to fill positions when they cannot find American workers with the required skills and experience because hiring foreign workers is an expensive and time-consuming process for companies to undertake. This is particularly true in STEM fields which suffer from labor shortages. Filling these positions drives economic growth and creates jobs for American workers. As a result, this proclamation will create uncertainty for employers facing gaps in their workforce which will affect the Americans they employ.

In a statement to Vox, David Bier, an immigration policy analyst for the Cato Institute, an American libertarian think tank, said:

“This order is economically baseless. It will hurt the recovery and U.S. workers. Foreign workers create demand for other better jobs for U.S. workers elsewhere in the economy. Restricting migration will not lower unemployment, but it will harm American businesses — that are struggling to make it through this period — who employ both Americans and immigrants.”

Cambios de los Requisitos Para Obtener una Licencia de Conducir en Florida

11 May 2020

Si usted esta enfrentando un proceso de expulsión o deportación ante las cortes de inmigración en Florida y desea obtener una licencia de conducir, debe de presentar la siguiente documentación:

  • copia de su notificacion de audiencia,
  • pasaporte valido y
  • tarjeta I-94

El Departamento de Motores y Vehiculos de la Florida anuncio hoy el nuevo requisito de presentar la tarjeta I-94. Esto sin duda presentara problemas para aquellos extranjeros que no tienen una tarjeta I-94.

La tarjeta I-94 es comunmente otorgado a aquello extranjero que entró a los Estados Unidos con una visa or permiso valido.


Asistencia Pandémica de Desempleo

30 April 2020

¿Soy elegible para asistencia de reempleo?

Lo que debe saber sobre la asistencia de reemplazo y la ley de cuidados asistencia pandémica de desempleo:
Asistencia Pandémica de Desempleo
Asistencia Pandémica de Desempleo

Fase 1 del Plan Para Reabrir Florida Comenzará el Lunes 4 de Mayo

30 April 2020

La primera fase de la reapertura de Florida incluirá:

  • Las escuelas permanecerán en aprendizaje a distancia
  • El gobernador DeSantis aún prohibirá las visitas a instalaciones para personas de la tercera edad
  • Las cirugías electivas pueden reanudarse
  • Los restaurantes pueden ofrecer asientos al aire libre con un espacio de seis pies entre las mesas y los asientos en el interior se permitirán al 25 por ciento de capacidad
  • Las tiendas minoristas también pueden operar al 25 por ciento de la capacidad interior
  • No hay cambios para bares, gimnasios y servicios personales como peluquerías
  • El gobernador DeSantis reconoció que revisará las pautas para gimnasios después de observar cómo les va a otros estados
  • Las personas vulnerables deben evitar el contacto cercano con personas fuera del hogar
  • Todos los individuos, cuando están en público, deben maximizar la distancia física de los demás
  • Evitar socializar en grupos de más de 10 personas en circunstancias que no permitan fácilmente el distanciamiento físico
  • Las máscarillas faciales se recomiendan para todos aquellos en interacciones cara a cara y donde no se puede distanciar socialmente

By Melissa Aguinaga, Esq.

Melissa Aguinaga

As an immigrant, Melissa Aguinaga has experienced the United States immigration system first-hand and firmly believes in its importance to the United States.

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