USCIS has indicated that as of Friday, May 10, 2013, all H-1B data entry was completed and receipt notices have been sent. USCIS has also started to send out rejection notices. The receipt/rejection notices should be delivered by the end of May 2013.
May 16, 2013
Your Immigration Action Newsletter
Now that the bipartisan Senate Gang of Eight’s bill (S. 744) has been introduced we are monitoring the legislative process very closely. As you know, next week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will continue to introduce and debate amendments to hopefully improve the legislation, bringing us one step closer to real commonsense immigration reform.
Meanwhile, the President traveled to Mexico and Costa Rica at the beginning of May, where he discussed the economic relationship between these countries and the United States, as well as the potential impacts of commonsense comprehensive immigration reform. He followed up his trip with a meeting with Asian American and Pacific Islander national leaders in order to discuss the impact of immigration reform on one of our largest immigrant populations. You can read the details on the President’s meeting here.
Earlier this week, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Director of National Drug Control Policy, R. Gil Kerlikowske, and Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West joined me for a briefing with law enforcement officials from across the country at the White House to discuss their shared support for commonsense immigration reform. The briefing was the latest opportunity to hear directly from law enforcement officials about the importance of immigration reform from a local law enforcement perspective. You can read more about the briefing with law enforcement here.
As always, please share with your networks and we look forward to working with you as we continue to push for commonsense immigration reform!
Julie Chávez Rodriguez
White House | Office of Public Engagement
USCIS Announces ABT Settlement Agreement
May 14, 2013
The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice have agreed to settle a nationwide class action lawsuit challenging the denial of work authorization to asylum seekers who have been waiting six months or more for a decision on their asylum applications. The ABT Settlement Agreement will help ensure that certain individuals who seek to file an asylum application or have already filed an asylum application, are entitled to new procedures relating to the crediting of time toward eligibility for employment authorization.
USCIS to Expand Entrepreneurs in Residence Initiative
May 8, 2013
In just over one year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) innovative Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) initiative has produced real benefits that will strengthen agency policies and practices relating to job-creating immigrant entrepreneurs who help advance American economic growth. To read a summary about EIR team’s accomplishments, including recent enhancements to Entreprenuer Pathways, USCIS’s online resource center for entrepreneurs, and plans to bolster agency expertise in a broader range of industries, click here.
International Visitors Spent $14.4 Billion in the United States in March 2013
May 7, 2013
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank highlighted new data today that shows spending by international visitors to the United States in March 2013 totaled more than $14.4 billion, an increase of nearly 3 percent when compared to last year. International visitors spent $43 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States during the first quarter of 2013. The data release coincides with National Travel and Tourism Week, celebrated each year to recognize the positive impact the industry has on our economy.
DHS Testifies at Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Hearing on “Border Security: Examining Provisions in the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act”
May 7, 2013
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Policy Assistant Secretary David Heyman, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Deputy Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, and Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deputy Director Daniel Ragsdale address DHS’ work on border security and entry-exit controls.
Weekly Address: Fixing Our Immigration System and Expanding Trade in Latin America
President Obama describes the incredible opportunities to create middle-class jobs in America by deepening our economic ties and expanding trade in Latin America and discusses a recent Senate bill that takes commonsense steps to fix our broken immigration system.
President Obama Visits Mexico and Costa Rica
In preparation for his trip to Mexico and Costa Rica, President Obama met with US business leaders and Latino leaders to discuss the issues that would be raised on the trip, particularly economic development and comprehensive immigration reform. The President made clear that immigration reform continues to be a top legislative priority this year; business leaders agreed on the need to enact commonsense immigration reform as quickly as possible.
Cecilia Muñoz: “Let’s show we’re a nation of immigrants”
Cecilia Muñoz sent the message below to the White House email list, asking people to share their American stories. To kick things off, one of the President’s senior advisors sat down to share his story with you. Watch David Simas tell his American story, then tell us yours.
Applications for the FY 2013 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program Due by May 22
On April 18, USCIS announced the availability of the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, a competitive grant opportunity which promotes immigrant civic integration and prepares permanent residents for citizenship. Applications are due by May 22, 2013.
For more information please visit www.uscis.gov/grants
USCIS Offering Over 60 Free Webinars on Revised Form I-9, E-Verify, Self-Check, and Employee Rights Throughout the Month of May
What better way to learn more about the revised Form I-9, E-Verify, Self Check and Employee Rights than by taking advantage of a free webinar in May. To meet demand, the Department of Homeland Security has scheduled over 60 webinars this month. We invite you to take part in this great opportunity. Visit the E-Verify Webinar webpage, I-9 Central or view the flyer for a list of this month’s sessions.
Hi, everyone –
This is the start of a national debate. Across the country, we’re having a serious discussion about how we can build a fair and effective immigration system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
And we need your help to make sure that genuine, personal perspectives are part of the conversation. The truth is, that if we go back far enough, nearly every American story begins somewhere else — so often with ancestors setting out in search of a different life, carving out a future for their children in this place that all of us now call home.
We want to make sure that idea isn’t far from the minds of policymakers here in Washington as we work to reach an agreement to reform immigration.
To kick things off, one of the President’s senior advisors sat down to share his story with you.
When Americans from all over the country — each with different backgrounds, each from different circumstances — all speak out with the same voice, it’s powerful in a way that’s hard to ignore. We’ve seen it again and again, in debate after debate.
And this is the kind of issue where putting a face on the push for reform takes an abstract concept and makes it real. So share your American stories with us, and we’ll put them to use.
We’ll publish them on the White House website. We’ll share them on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll do everything we can to make sure they’re part of the debate around immigration reform.
Get started here:
Director, Domestic Policy Council
The White House
Entrants from DV 2013 (those who submitted entries during the registration period between October 4, 2011 and November 5, 2011), should now check the status of their entry using their confirmation number through Entrant Status Check on the E-DV website. To view instructions for DV-2013 entrants and selectees, see travel.state.gov then go to Instructions for the 2013 Diversity Visa Program.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Last week, Congress took another step forward in advancing commonsense immigration reform. Just a week after bipartisan Senate leaders introduced their comprehensive bill – the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744) – Secretary Napolitano testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the legislation:
“As the President stated earlier this week, this bill is clearly a compromise, and there are some things we don’t agree on, but the bill is largely consistent with the President’s principles on commonsense comprehensive reform. The bill would continue to strengthen security at our borders and hold employers more accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented workers. It would provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are already in this country illegally. It would also modernize our legal immigration system, allowing families to be reunited in a humane and timely manner and grow our economy by attracting the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and workers who will help create good paying jobs. These are all commonsense steps that the majority of Americans support. The President and I, as well as the rest of the Cabinet, stand willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that comprehensive immigration reform becomes a reality as soon as possible. DHS is ready to work directly with this Committee to further refine the bill and pass the much-needed reforms that will help make our border safer and our country stronger.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee also held two hearings on S. 744 where a broad range of leaders from the law enforcement, business, faith, and immigrant communities spoke in support of moving this bipartisan legislation forward.
Former Director of Hispanic Media Luis Miranda briefs President Obama ahead of Hispanic media interviews in the Oval Office, February 21, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.)
Be sure to check out our former colleague Luis Miranda’s personal journey to citizenship and the White House in the blog highlights below. We appreciate his service with the Obama Administration and for speaking out so personally on this important issue.
We are also happy to announce the launch of our new Spanish language immigration web page, which will help to provide updates and information on our efforts to enact commonsense immigration reform. You can visit the new site here, or view the original page here.
As always, please share with your networks and we look forward to working with you as we continue to push for commonsense immigration reform!
Julie Chávez Rodriguez
White House | Office of Public Engagement
Secretary Napolitano Speaks at the American Hotel & Lodging Association Legislative Action Summit
April 24, 2013
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today delivered remarks at the American Hotel & Lodging Association Legislative Action Summit, highlighting the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) priorities, including the need to reform and modernize our nation’s immigration laws, and efforts to facilitate legitimate travel and trade. “The hotel and lodging industry and DHS have a shared desire to ensure that the United States remains open and welcoming to business and tourists – from across the country and around the world – who support our nation’s economy,” said Secretary Napolitano. “We want to make sure that travel to, from, and within the United States is not only safe and secure, but also efficient.”
Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security Announce Safeguards for Unrepresented Immigration Detainees with Serious Mental Disorders or Conditions
April 22, 2013
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will issue a new nationwide policy for unrepresented immigration detainees with serious mental disorders or conditions that may render them mentally incompetent to represent themselves in immigration proceedings.
USCIS Announces Citizenship and Integration Grant Opportunity
April 18, 2013
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today the availability of the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, a competitive grant opportunity which promotes immigrant civic integration and prepares permanent residents for citizenship. The program will provide nearly $10 million in funding for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country. Applications are due by May 22, 2013.
USCIS Welcomes New Citizens at the Library of Congress
April 15, 2013
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas administered the Oath of Allegiance to 25 new citizens today during a special naturalization ceremony at the Library of Congress to celebrate National Library Week. In addition, Director Mayorkas and Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Director Susan H. Hildreth announced a partnership to provide immigration and citizenship information at public libraries across the United States.
Updated Data on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
April 12, 2013
USCIS has posted updated data on requests for consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals at www.uscis.gov/data. The data include: the cumulative number of requests received and accepted for processing, biometrics appointments scheduled, requests under review and requests approved and denied. The data also shows the number of accepted and approved requests from the top 20 countries of origin and location of residence. Please also note that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals reporting period will change from a mid-month to an end-of-month cycle.
USCIS Reaches FY 2014 H-1B Cap
April 8, 2013
For the first time since 2008, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2014 within the first week of the filing period. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption.
E-Verify Celebrates Another Successful Year!
April 8, 2013
E-Verify ended 2012 on a high note, providing even better, faster and more accessible resources to the public. From the launch of the Employee Rights Toolkit, to Self-Check and the development of quick audit reports, searchable databases and the E-Verify Self Assessment Guide for E-Verify Direct Access Users and the E-Verify Self Assessment Guide for E-Verify Web Services Users, there was something for everyone. Read the E-Verify blog.
A Personal Journey to Citizenship and the White House
Luis Miranda, the former Director of Hispanic Media for the White House Office of Communications, recently wrote an op-ed for USA Today sharing his immigration story – that began as a young, undocumented kid, and ended in the White House.
Working Together to Combat Human Trafficking
On April 9, we hosted the first-ever White House Forum to Combat Human Trafficking. The event brought together leaders from government, the private sector, advocates and survivors, faith leaders, law enforcement, and academia to talk about what we can do, together, to end human trafficking.
Working Together to Support Victims of Human Trafficking
On April 9, Secretary Janet Napolitano joined Senior Advisor to President Obama Valerie Jarrett and Attorney General Eric Holder at the White House Forum on Combating Human Trafficking where they announced the Administration’s latest effort to combat the hidden crime of human trafficking and help victims of human trafficking. During the Forum, they released a draft Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking, which will be open for public comment for 45 days.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) have much at stake when it comes to commonsense immigration reform. Three-quarters are foreign-born and AAPIs naturalize at the highest rates of those who choose to become American citizens. Read one story here.
USCIS Invitation: Revised Form I-9 Teleconference (PDF)
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites interested individuals to participate in a stakeholder teleconference on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. (Eastern). Beginning May 7, 2013 all employers are required to use the most recent version of the Form I-9. USCIS subject matter experts will discuss and answer questions about the revised Form I-9 during the stakeholder teleconference. For more information about the revised Form I-9, please visit I-9 Central on our website. Please click here to RSVP for this engagement.
A bipartisan group of eight U.S. senators on Tuesday (April 16, 2013) introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, an 844-page bill that aims to bolster border security and seeks to provide some of the nation’s 11 million undocumented people with a path to citizenship. A brief summary issued by the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA) is below. S. 744 details:
- Can become legal. Allow noncitizens who are unlawfully present and who entered the U.S. before December 31, 2011, to adjust status to that of Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI). Eligible applicants would be required to pay a penalty and back taxes. Individuals in RPI status would receive work authorization and may travel abroad. They would also become eligible to apply for LPR status after 10 years, and can apply for naturalization 3 years after acquiring a green card.
- Family. Move the current FB-2A category into the immediate relative classification, allow for derivatives of immediate relatives, eliminate the FB-4 category, cap the age of eligibility of married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens at 31, and bring back the V visa.
- Employment. Exempt from the quota: EB-1 immigrants, doctoral degree holders, physicians who have completed the foreign residency requirement, and derivatives. Add a new “EB-6″ category for entrepreneurs.
- Temporary. Create a W-1 visa for lesser-skilled workers, a W-2 visa for aliens coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform agricultural services or labor under a written contract, and a W-3 visa for “at-will” workers with an offer of full-time employment in an agricultural occupation.
- Asylum. Eliminate the one-year filing deadline and authorize asylum officers to grant asylum during credible fear interviews.
- E-verify. Require all employers to be on the system after 5 years.
- H-1B. Increases the quota to a floor of 110,000 and a ceiling of 180,000, increases the U.S. advanced degree exemption to 25,000, but limits it to STEM graduates, adds a recruitment requirement for all H-1B labor condition applications involving a detailed posting on an Internet site designed by the Labor Department, adds a non-displacement attestation, changes the prevailing wage formula, provides EADs for spouses, and adds a 60-day grace period after an H-1B has been terminated from his or her job.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Big Immigration Development
Today, the President met with Senator McCain and Senator Schumer to discuss commonsense immigration reform. In a statement released earlier, President Obama said:
“This afternoon, Senators Schumer and McCain briefed me on the bipartisan immigration reform bill that they have drafted with their colleagues in the Senate. This bill is clearly a compromise, and no one will get everything they wanted, including me. But it is largely consistent with the principles that I have repeatedly laid out for comprehensive reform. This bill would continue to strengthen security at our borders and hold employers more accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented workers. It would provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are already in this country illegally. And it would modernize our legal immigration system so that we’re able to reunite families and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who will help create good paying jobs and grow our economy. These are all commonsense steps that the majority of Americans support. I urge the Senate to quickly move this bill forward and, as I told Senators Schumer and McCain, I stand willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that comprehensive immigration reform becomes a reality as soon as possible.”
President Barack Obama delivers remarks on immigration reform at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 29, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
As this issue moves forward, it’s time to make your voices heard. Our voices are louder when we speak together, so we’re asking you to share your stories and highlight the work that’s being done in your communities. We are optimistic that together we can achieve commonsense immigration reform!
As always, please share this statement with your networks and make your voices heard in this important discussion!
Julie Chavez Rodriguez
White House | Office of Public Engagement
CBP Announces Automation of Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
March 27, 2013
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published an interim final rule in the Federal Register to automate Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. The interim final rule, effective on April 26, 2013, streamlines the admissions process for nonimmigrants arriving to the United States. Affected nonimmigrants traveling to the United States by air or sea will no longer need to fill out a paper Form I-94. However, individuals who go through secondary inspection, such as asylees, refugees, and parolees, will be provided a paper copy of Form I-94 by a CBP officer.
USCIS Temporarily Suspends Adjudication of Most H-2B Petitions Following Court Order
April 2, 2013
Effective March 22, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is temporarily suspending adjudication of most Form I-129 H-2B petitions for temporary non-agricultural workers while the government considers appropriate action in response to the Court order entered March 21, 2013 in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas et al v. Solis, which granted a permanent injunction against the operation of the portion of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) 2008 wage rule related to certain prevailing wage determinations and gave DOL 30 days to come into compliance with the Court order.
Temporary Protected Status Extended for Hondurans
April 3, 2013
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Honduras for an additional 18 months, beginning July 6, 2013, and ending Jan. 5, 2015. Current Honduran beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from April 3, 2013, through June 3, 2013. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to register as soon as possible once the 60-day re-registration period begins. Applications will not be accepted before April 3, 2013.
Temporary Protected Status Extended for Nicaraguans
April 3, 2013
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Nicaragua for an additional 18 months, beginning July 6, 2013, and ending Jan. 5, 2015. Current Nicaraguan beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from April 3, 2013, through June 3, 2013. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to register as soon as possible once the 60-day re-registration period begins. Applications will not be accepted before April 3, 2013.
Readout of Secretary Napolitano’s Visit to Texas
April 4, 2013
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner Thomas Winkowski traveled to Houston to meet with state and local stakeholders to discuss the need for commonsense immigration reform and underscore the Administration’s efforts to secure the nation’s borders. Over the past four years this Administration has dedicated historic levels of personnel, technology, and resources to the Southwest border, and undertaken an unprecedented effort to transform our nation’s immigration enforcement systems into one that focuses on public safety, border security, and the integrity of the immigration system.
President Obama to New Citizens: “In Each of You, We See the True Spirit of America”
On March 25, President Obama spoke at a at a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians at the White House. He welcomed 28 new American citizens to our nation of immigrants and called for reforms to our immigration system that will help harness the talent and ingenuity of all those like them who want to work hard and find a place here in America.
Champions of Change: Organizing for Immigration Reform
The White House honors eleven people who embody the spirit of Cesar Chavez’s legacy and commit themselves to working in their communities to advocate and organize around immigration-related issues. Read their stories.
US Customs and Border Protection at 10 Years
A few questions on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), looking back at its history, and ahead to its future. CBP joins with our colleagues across the DHS enterprise in marking a decade of unprecedented achievement in serving our Nation and the American people.
USCIS Invitation: Immigration Relief for Victims of Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence and Other Serious Crimes
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cordially invites interested participants to a web-ex training session on April 17, 2013 from 2:00-4:00 pm (EST). During this training subject matter experts from the USCIS Vermont Service Center and Office of Policy and Strategy will provide an overview of the various forms of immigration relief available to victims of human trafficking, domestic violence and other serious crimes.
- To connect by web: https://connect16.uc.att.com/uscis/meet/?ExEventID=87346435&CT=M
- To connect by phone: 1-888-324-3912
- Passcode: T U VAWA
USCIS Invitation: National Spanish-Language Engagement
On Wednesday, May 8, 2013, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Eastern), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will conduct a national Spanish-language Enlace session as part of an ongoing series of quarterly public engagements. To participate:
- Call toll-free at 1-800-857-6924 (password – ENLACE);
- View the live Web stream here;
- Email a question here; or
- Follow on Twitter at @USCIS_es
USCIS Invitation: Business Representatives Engagement at the Texas Service Center
The USCIS Texas and Nebraska Service Centers invite you to attend the Business Representatives Engagement on Thursday, May 9, 2013 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm (Central Daylight Time). Please submit agenda items to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than April 25, 2013. If you would like to participate in the Business Representatives Engagement, please provide your full name, title and the office or organization you represent to Jennifer Kuylen at email@example.com no later than April 30, 2013.
For the first time since 2008, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2014 within the first week of the filing period. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as a “lottery”) to select a sufficient number of petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit. For cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, USCIS will reject and return the petition with filing fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate filing. The agency conducted the selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected were part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on Friday, April 5, 2013 that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2014. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. After today, USCIS will not accept H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2014 cap or the advanced degree exemption.
USCIS will use a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as the “lottery”) for all FY 2014 cap-subject petitions received through April 5, 2013. The agency will conduct the selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected will be part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit. Due to the high number of petitions received, USCIS is not yet able to announce the exact day of the random selection process. Also, USCIS is currently not providing the total number of petitions received, as we continue to accept filings today. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.
USCIS will provide more detailed information about the H-1B cap this week.