As of September 12, 2018, the CIS will be able to deny applications and petitions for nonimmigrants (temporary professional workers, students, visitors, and others) and immigrants (green card applicants) without giving applicants an opportunity to provide additional evidence or correct even innocent mistakes. Up until now, CIS could, and usually would, issue an RFE (Request for Evidence) or NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) if it received a petition or application that presented evidence of eligibility but might have been missing one or more pieces of necessary (or simply helpful) evidence. This new guidance from CIS reminds us of two important points. First, under the current administration, legal immigration is becoming much more difficult. Second, it is extremely important to make absolutely sure that all petitions and applications are carefully prepared and comply with all relevant statutes, regulations, and agency guidance. Whereas in the past, one could correct an innocent mistake by providing additional evidence, now a petition or application can be denied without an RFE or NOID. At the very least, this will result in greater expense and time required to refile. In the worst case scenario, the result will be greater numbers of applicants ending up in deportation proceedings, with a subsequent increase in immigration court backlogs.
Effective September 11, 2018, premium processing will no longer be available for most H-1B petitions. And, to add insult to injury, the premium processing filing fee will increase to $1410.00 on October 1, 2018. So, once again, while much of the reporting on immigration rightly focuses on the cruel hardships this administration is imposing on undocumented people, the government is also continuing to attack lawful immigration and make legal immigrant and nonimmigrant processing harder and more expensive for law-abiding, U.S. citizen-employing U.S. businesses. Read more here.
Even big businesses do not agree with Trump when it comes to immigration, because they are well aware that his policies hurt not only the economy, but also tear apart families. 59 CEOs of some of the biggest companies in the United States signed a letter relaying their concerns about Trump's policies and say that many of their skilled employees are at risk of being deported. Criticism of Trump's immigration policies really is coming from all sides now, so clearly something is wrong and inhumane. Read more here.
Don’t accept the negative connotations anti-immigrant extremists attached to lawful family immigration. Extremists use the loaded term “chain migration” to describe the lawful system of bringing one’s close family to the U.S., a system that has been in place for many, many, many decades and has strengthened American families, communities, culture, and the economy. It’s not chain migration, it’s support for strong families.