The following additional items may be of interest to our readers:
Parole for Entrepreneurs Moving Forward: The international entrepreneur rule allows certain entrepreneurs to be granted “parole” and remain in the U.S. while they develop their business idea. The rule was crafted late in President Obama’s term and was set to take effect on July 17, 2017. The incoming Administration delayed implementation and was sued in federal district court. That court held: “Elections have consequences. But when it comes to federal agencies, the Administrative Procedure Act shapes the contours of those consequences.” The court concluded that the delay was unwarranted and ordered USCIS to implement its parole rule. The rule is scheduled to go into effect on March 14, 2018.
Public Charge: The Administration may be considering taking a more serious look at the “public charge” provisions that affect admissibility. Under INA §212(a)(4), an individual who is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence can be labeled a public charge and deemed inadmissible — a determination that relies on a number of considerations and is primarily based upon the receipt of cash benefits. A leaked draft of potential changes to the existing laws include the considerations of public assistance beyond cash benefits, including educational programs, CHIP, WIC, and others. Stay tuned.
TN Visa Becomes More Restrictive for Economists: USCIS recently issued new guidance on the specific work activities its officers should consider when determining whether an individual qualifies for TN nonimmigrant status as an economist. Professional economists requesting TN status must now engage primarily in activities consistent with the profession of an economist. Individuals who work primarily in other occupations related to the field of economics — such as financial analysts, marketing analysts, and market research analysts — are not eligible for classification as a TN economist.
DHS Issues Waiver to Expedite Construction Efforts on Border: On January 23, 2018, DHS issued a waiver that eliminated the Department’s obligation to comply with various laws, including environmental and cultural property laws. This waiver was issued to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads on the border in portions of the El Paso sector, a high-traffic area. In FY2016 alone, CBP apprehended over 25,000 illegal aliens and seized approximately 67,000 pounds of marijuana and 157 pounds of cocaine in the sector. DHS exercised its authority under section 102(c) of the 1996 IIRIRA legislation, which has been invoked on seven previous occasions: five times between 2005 and 2008 and twice in 2017.