Rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

On September 5, 2017 U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security asserting that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program was not statutorily authorized, and was therefore an unconstitutional exercise of discretion by the previous administration.   Based on the Attorney General’s position, the Trump Administration announced that it is winding down the DACA program over the next six months.  With regard to the rescission and winding down of the program, the Administration’s announcement outlines the following:

·       Current DACA recipients generally will not be impacted until after March 5, 2018, six months from today’s date, allowing Congress the opportunity to consider appropriate legislative solutions.

·       DHS’s enforcement priorities remain in place.  Absent a law enforcement interest, the Department will generally not take actions to remove active DACA recipients.

·       Initial requests for Employment Authorization Documents under DACA properly filed and accepted through September 5, 2017 will be processed.  Additional DACA initial applications filed after September 5, 2017 will not be accepted.

·       Renewal applications for DACA Employment Authorization Documents properly filed and accepted by October 5, 2017, for people whose current Employment Authorization Documents expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018, will be processed.  Any requests filed after October 5, 2017 will not be accepted.

·       Currently approved applications for advance parole for DACA recipients will generally be honored, but new applications will not be approved.  All pending applications for advance parole by DACA recipients will be closed and associated fees will be refunded.

Please contact us if you have any further questions.

Executive Order: "Buy American and Hire American"

The Executive Order signed by President Trump on April 18, 2017 outlines executive branch policy to “buy American and hire American.”  To advance the “hire American” policy, the Order directs the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security to propose new rules and issue new guidance to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance in order to protect the interests of United States workers in the administration of the U.S. immigration system, to include the prevention of fraud or abuse.  The Order directs the agencies to suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas “are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.”  The Order provides no specific time frame for completion of the directives.   While this Executive Order is consistent with the administration's intention to move toward reform of the H-1B program, it will not result in any immediate changes or impacts on H-1B processing or procedure. By this Order agencies are asked to review policies related to all visa programs and recommend changes to eliminate fraud and abuse, and to propose additional reforms to ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most skilled or highest-paid applicants.