2019 Immigration Litigation Updates

By: Attorney Cynthia Milian

This year we have seen several policies proposed and when they are about to get implemented at the consular level or local field office level, federal courts have stepped in to enjoin these polices. This article provides a brief update on litigation that affects many of our clients daily and a proposed action for you to be prepared for whatever may come next in the immigration world.

DACA

As of December 2019, Federal Court orders have allowed United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to accept requests to grant renewals of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). USCIS is not accepting requests for individuals that have never applied for DACA before. Therefore, as of December 2019, DACA renewals are being accepted.

Action: Renew your DACA.

Healthcare and Consular Process

Recently, the US President issued a proclamation requiring individuals that are seeking an immigrant visa after a certain date, to demonstrate to the consular officers at the time of their consular interview that they have the means to be covered by health insurance within 30 days of entering the United States. If the applicant was unable to meet this requirement, it would result in a denial of the visa application. A nationwide temporary restraining order has been issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon stopping the implementation of this Proclamation.

Action: Although it is not being implemented now, consider getting health insurance or health insurance quotes to prepare yourself for your consular interview, should the courts allow for implementation of this policy. 

Public Charge

The public charge rule is not in effect for now. On October 11, 2019, several courts enjoined the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and USCIS from enforcing the DHS Public Charge Final Rule. This injunction specifically prevents the government from implementing the use of any new or updated forms whose submission would be required under the Final Rule, including the Form I-129, Form I-485, Form I-539, Form I-864, Form I-864 EZ, Form I-944, and Form I-945.

Action: Stay informed on changes of the rule. If you can work, continue to work to show the government financial responsibility for any future immigration benefits which you may qualify for.

TPS

Temporary Protected Status for the following countries has been extended through March 31, 2021.

  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Sudan

Action: USCIS states “not to pay for or submit any form until USCIS updates official re-registration information on [their] webpage.”

Find more information here: https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/temporary-protected-status

Other Immigration Updates

Proposed increase in Filing Fees

On November 2019, DHS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would increase the government filing fees for most immigration benefits by an average of 21%. The public can participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments, which are due by December 16, 2019. After this comment period is over, the DHS will address the comments and publish a final rule in the Federal Register.

Multiple DUI’s and Good Moral Character

On October 25, 2019, the Attorney General released a case which stated that evidence of two or more convictions for driving under the influence during the relevant period for cancellation of removal, establishes a presumption that an alien lacks good moral character.  Click here to read the decision.

For more information and to stay up to date with recent immigration news and trends, visit our website and sign up for our newsletter. You can also contact our office at (713) 589-2085 and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced immigration attorneys.

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