On February 17, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it will dispose of any E-Verify records older than 10 years on May 14, 2021. On May 19, the E-Verify Records Disposal Date was extended to June 4, 2021. This notice provides a reminder to employers that participation in E-Verify requires ongoing maintenance;
US Citizenship and Immigration Services
Big-Picture, Clean-Slate Immigration Reforms for the Biden-Harris Administration
By Angelo A. Paparelli and Stephen Yale-Loehr
As a new administration takes office on January 20, and the tantalizing prospect of enlightened immigration reforms looms on the horizon, an intriguing question has surfaced on Twitter:
“Is there a progressive version of Stephen Miller? Someone who has (1) put in the time to understand how the immigration system works in great detail, (2) relentlessly committed to changing the system, and (3) is actually politically effective?” Austin Kocher, PhD
As grizzled and tireless proponents of a just immigration system, we humbly nominate ourselves for (1) and (2), and for (3) propose the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). To be sure, our audacity notwithstanding, others are more worthy. Many experts have suggested ways to restore America’s historic stature as a welcoming nation of immigrants.
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USCIS Furlough Averted, but Crisis Still Looms
On August 25, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) Deputy Director for Policy, Joseph Edlow, confirmed the agency no longer intends to furlough 13,000 employees at the end of the month. The message, circulating on social media and now posted on the USCIS website notes that while the doors of the agency will remain open through the end of FY 2020, there will be “aggressive spending” reductions impacting services across the board. USCIS is largely funded by filing fees, which support the agency’s operations, but USCIS claims the fees are not sufficient and accordingly announced a fee increase to take effect later this year.
Deputy Director Edlow warns that there will be operational impacts as a result of foregoing the planned furlough, that may include increased processing times for pending case queries, longer case processing times, and increased adjudication times for adjusting status and naturalizing. The message also notes that there is no guarantee that future furloughs can be avoided, leading him to call on Congress to take long-term action.
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The 2020 Summer Defrost Continues: ICE Extends I-9 Flexibility
On August 18, 2020, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that employers have an additional 30-day extension to the flexibilities in rules related to Form I-9 compliance. This relaxation of the requirement to defer the in-person, physical inspection of new hires’ identity and employment eligibility documentation was initially granted in March and will now expire on September 19, 2020. …
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Better Late Than Never: ICE Announces Another Extension to I-9 Compliance Flexibility
Posting early morning on July 20, but dated July 18, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed that employers have an additional 30-day extension to the flexibilities in rules related to Form I-9 compliance. This relaxation of the requirement to physically inspect all new hires’ identity and employment eligibility documentation was granted earlier this year, extended in May, and in June. The expiration date for these accommodations is now August 19, 2020.
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Still No Word From ICE On Virtual I-9s
As of early Friday morning, July 17, there’s been no announcement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirming whether it will continue the flexibility granted in the Form I-9 process, temporarily suspending the in-person physical inspection requirement. ICE originally announced the relaxation on March 20, as employers were beginning to grapple with COVID-19 work-from-home and shelter-in-place orders. The initial guidance allowed companies to review “Section 2 documents remotely (e.g., over video link, fax or email, etc.) and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents within three business days for purposes of completing Section 2.” The relaxation of this requirement was extended through Sunday, July 19. Employers who have been using the virtual process, and will need to switch gears over the weekend, are getting very nervous. …
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A Win for Dreamers: Supreme Court Rejects Bid to end DACA
Seyfarth Synopsis: The Supreme Court allows DACA to proceed on the grounds that DHS did not meet the regulatory Administrative Procedures Act requirements in rescinding the program. The Court did not rule on the legality of the DACA program itself.
In the Supreme Court’s June 18th decision on Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, the Court rejected an attempt to dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on the grounds that the Administration failed to abide by regulatory procedures.
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The Form I-9 & the New M-274- Handbook for Employers: Like Peanut Butter & Jelly
In anticipation of the 10/21/19 version of the Form I-9 becoming mandatory for use, on May 1, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) released the new M-274, Handbook for Employers. The M-274 is the handy companion to the Form I-9, and its importance should not be understated. The Handbook contains critical guidance on I-9 compliance, designed to supplement an employers’ understanding of its employment eligibility verification responsibilities and obligations. The M-274 contains 96 pages and should be used in conjunction with the Form I-9 instructions. …
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USCIS to Reopen Offices on June 4th
On April 24, 2020, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a targeted reopening date of June 4, 2020 for offices that are currently closed in response to COVID-19.
What is impacted by this reopening announcement?
This impacts offices that provide in-person services, including field offices, asylum offices and application support centers (ASCs). On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended in-person services at these offices to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
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New COVID-19 Q&As Related to Form I-9 and E-Verify
Late Friday afternoon, April 3, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security posted the following questions and answers in response to stakeholders queries on Form I-9 obligations in the midst of COVID-19. We applaud the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for taking the lead on coordinating these responses and anticipate they will continue to be responsive to employer queries. The Q&A reiterates the original Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidance, including confirming a hard deadline on timing- three days to complete the I-9 initially via a virtual/remote method and then three days to update with an in-person inspection once the business resumes normal operations. The Q&A also provides clarification on how to complete a Form I-9 with an expired driver’s license (sneak peek: use the actual expired date and write COVID-19 on the Form). Curiously the Q&A references electronic systems that don’t offer an additional information box field but suggests attaching a note to the I-9. The Q&A also confirms our suggestion, the person who views the documents in -person should enter their name and date in the Additional Information Box.
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