Siskind's Immigration Bulletin: March 2019

Published 15 March 2019 by Siskind Susser PC

Dear Readers:

Since the election of President Trump, we have known that the Administration was hostile to one of President Obama’s signature policy achievements – the introduction of work authorization for H-4 spouses of backlogged green card applicants. After two years, the Administration sent a proposed rule rescinding the H-4 work card to the Office of Management and Budget and it is expected to be published soon. More than 100,000 spouses are expected to be affected if the rule is finalized. The key word is “if”. The rescinding rule is expected to encounter significant opposition from the public. And it will no doubt be challenged in the courts. Which is a common theme in this Administration. One extreme measure after another has been introduced. And most have been challenged in the courts. When the H-4 rule is published, we’ll be summarizing it and then following developments after that.

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ABCs of Immigration: ‘Public Interest’ Waivers Under the Federal J-1 Waiver Programs

“Public Interest” Waivers Under the Federal J-1 Waiver Programs

Any federal government agency has the capability of sponsoring a J-1 visa holder for a waiver of the home residency requirement, as long as the agency believes a waiver would be in the public interest, under §212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). In practice, only a handful of federal agencies grant virtually all of the public-interest waiver recommendations to J-1 physicians. The majority of these waivers are rooted in a commitment to providing work in underserved communities or veterans hospitals, and an additional set of rules governing these waivers.


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QUESTION: I applied for Work Authorization (EAD) and Advance Parole along with my I-485 application. Will travel before the Parole is approved forfeit just my Parole application or will that also cause the denial of my application for EAD?

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Border and Enforcement News

According to reports, the Trump administration is implementing a procedure to force certain asylum-seekers wishing to come to the United States to remain in Mexico while their cases are processed. The plan, to begin at the San Ysidro border crossing, reportedly includes busing asylum-seekers to their hearings at a courthouse in San Diego, California, from Tijuana, Mexico.

This activity follows a December 2018 announcement by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen of a new “Migration Protection Protocols (MPP),” which will apply to individuals arriving in or entering the United States via Mexico without documentation. ” ‘Catch and release’ will be replaced with ‘catch and return,’ ” the announcement states.

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News from the Courts

Tens of Thousands of Immigration Court Hearings Canceled Due to Shutdown; Trump Announces Three-Week Reopening of Federal Government

According to a report by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), more than 80,000 immigration court hearings were canceled due to the partial federal government shutdown, which began at midnight on December 22, 2018, and ended on January 25. President Donald Trump has announced a reopening of the government for three weeks, until February 15.

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News Bytes

USCIS Announces Countries Eligible for H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State (DOS), have announced the list of countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs in 2019.

For 2019, the agencies have agreed to:

  • Add Mozambique and Samoa to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs;
  • Add Paraguay to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A visa program;
  • No longer designate Ethiopia and the Philippines as eligible countries because they no longer meet the regulatory standards for the H-2A and H-2B visa programs; and
  • No longer designate the Dominican Republic as an eligible country for the H-2B visa program because it no longer meets the regulatory standards for that program.

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Updates from the Blogs

Greg Siskind’s Blog on

Bruce Buchanan’s Blog on

 For a complete list of new blog posts click here.


State Department Visa Bulletin: April 2019

To view the April 2019 Visa Bulletin from the State Department click here.