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. Continue Reading Better Late Than Never: ICE Announces Another Extension to I-9 Compliance Flexibility

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.    Continue Reading Still No Word From ICE On Virtual I-9s

The Trump administration, in response to a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as several other suits, agreed to rescind its surprise Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directive. We previously blogged about ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) July 6th announcement, prohibiting foreign students from studying in the United States where their colleges and universities had canceled in-person class instruction. Continue Reading Trump Administration Defrosts ICE’s International Student Directive

This blog was updated on July 8th to reflect the Harvard and MIT lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a policy change on July 6 that will substantially disrupt higher education for the fall semester. This major change in policy was issued without any opportunity for notice and comment by the public.

Despite the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic, ICE announced that it will no longer continue to allow 100% online studies programs for F-1 (academic) and M-1 (vocational) students. ICE has directed international students who presently participate in 100% online studies programs must either (1) transfer to an ICE-approved educational institution that allows hybrid (online and in-person) or fully on-campus, in-person courses, or (2) leave the U.S. or (3) remain in the U.S. without the underlying support of the school and suffer the possible initiation of removal (deportation) proceedings. ICE also indicated that it would publish a temporary or interim final regulation to a similar effect. Continue Reading ICE Gives the Cold Shoulder to Foreign Students

We’ve seen this movie before.

Scene 1: The President issues a proclamation in reliance on his authority to restrict the entry of certain noncitizens under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) § 212(f) so long as he asserts that allowing them in would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

Scene 2: The proclamation creates exceptions to the entry bans based on the national interests of the United States (among other grounds).

Scene 3:  Affected parties apply for exceptions; their requests are ignored or denied under opaque or nonexistent administrative procedures; and they sue in federal court.

This was the plot of the three travel-ban proclamations issued in 2017, the last of which the Supreme Court upheld in its 2018 decision, Trump v. Hawaii. After the Supreme Court’s  ruling, litigation ensued because plaintiffs in several suits alleged that the government’s actions (refusing visas under 22 CFR §§ 41.121 and 42.81) conflicted with the proclamation and the statutory authority of the Secretary of State in INA § 104. The litigation continues, having survived a government motion to dismiss, which a federal judge denied on June 5 in Emami v. Nielsen [and] Pars Equality Center v Pompeo (Pars Equality). Continue Reading Pursuing a National Interest Exception to the Presidential Entry Bans on Economic Grounds — Not A Fool’s Errand

Please join members of Seyfarth’s Immigration and Immigration Compliance teams for upcoming sessions on the recent presidential proclamations on immigration and virtual I-9 compliance concerns as they relate to returning to work in the COVID-19 era.

Register today!

Friday, June 26, 2020
Immigration & Presidential Proclamations – What it Means for the Business Community
https://www.seyfarth.com/news-insights/immigration-and-presidential-proclamations-what-it-means-for-the-business-community.html

Monday, June 29, 2020
Return to Business: Virtual I-9 and other COVID Compliance Concerns
https://www.seyfarth.com/news-insights/return-to-business-immigration-compliance-i-9-return-to-work-rtw-best-practices.html

If you have any questions regarding these events, please contact Kelly Sokolowski at ksokolowski@seyfarth.com.

Seyfarth Synopsis: President Trump issued a new entry ban directly affecting foreign nationals in H-1B, H-2B, J-1 and L-1 status.  Below is a list of 20 questions and answers that have surfaced in the first 24 hours since the proclamation was published.

1.  When does the entry ban take effect and for how long?

The entry ban portion of the proclamation takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on June 24, 2020.  The proclamation also extends a previous order that banned certain immigrant visas (i.e., green cards) from being issued by the U.S. Department of State.  Both provisions will last until at least December 31, 2020. Continue Reading FAQ – New Proclamation Suspending Entry of H-1B, L-1, J-1, and H-2B Nonimmigrants

By  Angelo A. Paparelli

In the wake of recent losses in the federal courts, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – on June 17, 2020 – issued a memorandum that rescinds two agency policies which, for more than ten years, had forced employers of H-1B (Specialty Occupation) workers stationed at customer worksites to submit voluminous and burdensome evidence.  Thankfully, under the new interpretation such evidence will no longer be required.

The June 17 memorandum also provides partial guidance on possible petition denials and revocations, as well as potential status violations, when employees are placed in nonproductive status, whether in response to COVID-19, or otherwise.  Yet it leaves many questions unanswered. Continue Reading Litigation Victories Force USCIS to Rescind Restrictive H-1B Memoranda — Agency Also Offers Unclear Guidance on H-1B “Nonproductive” Status

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. Continue Reading A Win for Dreamers: Supreme Court Rejects Bid to end DACA


On June 16, 2020, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) once again announced a 30-day extension of flexibility for the remote completion of Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification), and a dispensation from the usual rule requiring an in-person review of original documents of an employee’s identity and employment eligibility within three days of hire. The flexibility now runs until July 18th. Continue Reading ICE Extends Virtual I-9 Flexibility for 30 Days: Announcement Does Not Address Increasing Employer Questions