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2011 News
 
December 2011
12/18/11

According to a recent New York Times article, a survey of Immigration Court Judges in the New York area reflected that immigrants received “inadequate” legal assistance in 33% of cases between mid-2010 and mid-2011, and “grossly inadequate” assistance in 14% of the cases. The article is based on a new report on the representation of immigrants in the New York area, which is compiled by the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in Manhattan. For cases in the New York area, the report shows a 74% success rate for those who are represented and not detained; an 18% success rate for those who are represented and detained; a 13% success rate for those who are unrepresented and not detained; and a 3% success rate for those who are unrepresented and detained.

   
12/14/11

The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report for December 1, 2011.

   
12/09/11

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for January 2012 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

   
12/08/11

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University has released data from the period July to September 2011, which reflects that only 13.8% of the total number of people (7,378) placed in removal proceedings had criminal records (a significant decline from the prior year where 16.5% had criminal records). These statistics are significant in that Obama and the Agency committed earlier this year to the use of "prosecutorial discretion" and focusing on the removal of criminal aliens, which clearly is not happening in practice.

   
November 2011
11/17/11

The Department of Homeland Security has announced further guidance on its implementation of prosecutorial discretion in Immigration Court matters, in accordance with the announcement the Government released over the summer on the same issue. According to the latest plan, it will immediately review all new cases of individuals who are slated to be placed in removal proceedings before the Immigration Court to determine whether the cases should instead be closed. Additionally, all cases involving individuals with criminal histories will be expedited. In December 2011, the Department of Homeland Security will initiate a pilot program to review all of the cases on the dockets of the Denver and Baltimore Immigration Courts to determine which cases merit closure. If the program is successful, it will be implemented in Immigration Courts throughout the country. The information is contained in a formal memo on prosecutorial discretion from ICE's Principal Legal Advisor, Peter Vincent, a memo containing formal guidance to ICE attorneys regarding the exercise of prosecutorial discretion, and a memo describing the next steps for the public to expect going forward on this issue.

The Executive Office for Immigration Review, which oversees the U.S. Immigration Court system throughout the country, has announced that a pilot program will run in the Baltimore and Denver Immigration Courts from December 4, 2011 to January 13, 2012, during which DHS attorneys will review cases for prosecutorial discretion. Certain non-detained cases will be rescheduled during this time.

   
11/14/11

The National Benefits Center has released its latest processing times report for the period ending September 30, 2011.

   
11/10/11

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for December 2011 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

   
11/09/11

The American Immigration Counsel ("AIC") and the American Immigration Lawyers Association ("AILA") have conducted a survey of immigration practitioners throughout the country concerning the Department of Homeland Security's use of "prosecutorial discretion." The report of their findings on prosecutorial discretion reflects a sporadic use of prosecutorial discretion, despite the administration's release of guidance earlier this summer encouraging the use of prosecutorial discretion with respect to immigrants' cases.

   
11/07/11

The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report for November 1, 2011.

   
11/04/11

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua for an additional 18 months, from January 6, 2012 to July 5, 2013. The 60-day re-registration period runs from November 4, 2001 through January 5, 2012.

   
October 2011
10/27/11

Dyson Law, P.C. is proud to announce the selection of Attorney Stephanie Dyson as a 2011 Massachusetts Super Lawyers "Rising Star" for the 4th straight year in the field of immigration law. Attorney Dyson was previously selected as a "Rising Star" for immigration law in 2008, 2009 and 2010 as well. Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars are selected as the up-and-coming attorneys in their respective practice areas by their peers and verified by the attorney-led research staff at Law & Politics magazine.

   
10/18/11

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has released its latest statistics on removals of undocumented immigrants for Fiscal Year 2011. According to the statistics, only 55% of those removed were criminal aliens.

   
10/14/11

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced the designation of South Sudan and the extension of the designation of Sudan under the Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") program from November 2, 2011 to May 2, 2013. The deadline for filing for TPS benefits for South Sudan is April 10, 2012. The 180-day re-registration period for Sudan is in effect from October 13, 2011 to April 10, 2012.

   
10/06/11

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for November 2011 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

   
10/06/11

The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report for October 1, 2011.

   
September 2011
09/28/11

The U.S. Department of State has announced that the 2013 Diversity Visa Program (DV-2013) will open at noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Tuesday, October 4, 2011, and will close at noon, EDT, Saturday, November 5, 2011.

   
09/28/11

The Boston Globe reports that 111 criminal aliens have been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New England this week as part of President Obama's renewed efforts to target undocumented individuals with criminal backgrounds.

   
09/23/11

The Boston Globe reports that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has denied a number of requests for the exercise of "prosecutorial discretion" in connection with removal proceedings, despite the agency's claim that it plans to ease up on enforcement against deserving, non-criminal undocumented immigrants.

   
09/16/11

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released its latest processing time reports as of July 31, 2011.

   
09/12/11

According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) report covering removal proceedings over the last decade, only 15% of the cases in Immigration Court were criminal-related prosecutions.

   
09/12/11

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for October 2011 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

   
August 2011
08/18/11

The Obama administration has indicated that it will indefinitely delay the deportation of undocumented immigrants and offer them work permits so that it can focus on the deportation of criminal aliens. The news is welcome in Boston, where the Immigration Court has the 2nd largest backlog in the nation of 8,880 cases pending an average of 617 days.

   
08/17/11

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released its latest processing time reports as of June 30, 2011.

   
08/16/11

Following an announcement by President Obama that he will extend Deferred Enforced Departure ("DED") for Liberians from September 30, 2011 to March 31, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has advised that all Employment Authorization Documents ("EADs") for Liberians qualifying for DED will be automatically extended to March 31, 2012 to allow qualified individuals time to apply for and receive new EADs.

   
08/10/11

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for September 2011 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

   
08/01/11

The U.S. Department of State has released its statistics on J waiver approvals for Fiscal Year 2010.

   
08/01/11

The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report for August 1, 2011.

   
July 2011
07/20/11

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has published the Immigration Yearbook of Statistics for 2010 which reflects numbers of refugee approvals, asylum approvals by country of nationality, and asylum approvals by type of application (affirmatively filed with the Asylum Office or defensively filed with the Immigration Court).

   
07/20/11 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released its latest processing time reports as of May 31, 2011.
   
07/18/11 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has now published Immigration Forms Data on its website outlining the number of approved and denied applications for various application types.
   
07/12/11

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for August 2011 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

   
07/06/11

The U.S. Department of State has announced that all visa services are suspended at the U.S. Consulate in Sanaa, Yemen until further notice due to the deteriorating security situation in the country.

   
June 2011
06/29/11 The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General has issued a study "Supervision of Aliens Commensurate with Risk" which details detention priorities. The report also provides a list of the top 15 countries which will not issue travel documents (meaning that Immigration and Customs Enforcement experiences difficulty in attempting to remove a detained individual to his or her native country).
   
06/17/11 Immigration and Customs Enforcement has issued two new memoranda concerning prosecutorial discretion, including factors to be taken in to consideration by agency officials. The first memo relates to the exercise of prosecutorial discretion with regard to ICE enforcement priorities generally. The second memo relates to prosecutorial discretion with regard to victims of crimes, witnesses and plaintiffs.
   
06/17/11

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a decision today in Commonwealth v. Clarke, SJC-1-888, holding that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky applies retroactively to guilty pleas that occurred on or after April 1, 1997.

   
May 2011
05/20/11

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) report reflects 5837 new immigration prosecutions during February 2011, an 8.8 percent increase in prosecutions over the previous month.

   
05/19/11

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has published a Federal Register announcement and an Update concerning the re-designation of Haiti under the TPS program.

   
05/17/11

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced the extension of Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") for Haitians for an additional 18 months from July 23, 2011 to January 22, 2013. Additionally, Haitians who arrived in the United States for up to 1 year following the earthquake will also be eligible for TPS. Previously, TPS applicants had to show continuous residence in the United States since January 12, 2010.

   
05/12/11

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for June 2011 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

   
05/11/11

Today, Senators Richard Durbin, Harry Reid, and Robert Menendez re-introduced the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The proposal would offer a path to legal status to those who have graduated from high school, stayed out of trouble, and plan to attend college or serve in the U.S. military for at least two years.

   
05/10/11

President Obama continues to press for immigration reform and has offered a written plan to accomplish this end.

   
05/06/11

The DHS May 2011 Annual Flow Report provides information on the number of individuals admitted as refugees or granted asylum in the U.S. in 2010. According to the report, during 2010, 73,293 individuals were admitted as refugees and 21,113 individuals were granted asylum.

   
05/03/11

According to a recent New York Times article, immigrants who can afford a lawyer to represent them in Immigration Court proceedings are at least 5 times more likely to win as those without representation.

   
05/01/11

The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report for May 1, 2011.

   
April 2011
04/26/11

In a recent decision, Matter of Dorman, the Attorney General vacated a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals involving a same-sex marriage and remanded the case to the Board for additional findings, including an assessment of how the constitutionality of the Defense Against Marriage Act impacts the case.

   
04/18/11

The U.S. Embassy in Sana'a, Yemen announced the suspension of routine visa services until further notice. The U.S. Department of State hopes to resume normal processes soon.

   
04/07/11

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for May 2011 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

   
04/04/11

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued a "Questions and Answers" sheet concerning the automatic extension of F-1 Optional Practical Training ("OPT") for eligible students with pending or approved H-1B petitions with an employment start date of October 1, 2011, under the Fiscal Year 2012 H-1B cap.

   
04/03/11

The U.S. Department of State has announced that the U.S. Consulate in Cairo, Egypt will resume all visa services on April 10, 2011.

   
04/01/11

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has announced a policy regarding the resumption of removals of Haitian deportees to Haiti.

   
04/01/11

The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report for April 1, 2011.

   
March 2011
03/30/11

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued special guidance to Egpytian non-immigrants seeking F, J and M non-immigrant status.

   
03/30/11

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has learned that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") headquarters has directed its offices to place cases involving same-sex partners on hold while USCIS awaits final guidance relating to legal issues involving the Defense of Marriage Act.

   
03/28/11

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has learned that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") headquarters has directed its offices to place cases involving same-sex partners on hold while USCIS awaits final guidance relating to legal issues involving the Defense of Marriage Act.

   
03/18/11

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today it will start accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2012 cap on April 1, 2011.

   
03/17/11

The U.S. Department of State has announced that it has temporarily closed the U.S. Consulates in Pakistan due to violent protests and demonstrations. The Consulates will remain open for emergency services for U.S. citizens.

   
03/17/11

The American Institute of Taiwan ("AIT") has announced that beginning March 18, 2011, it will temporarily close for routine visa services in Taiwan in order to provide support in assisting American citizens evacuating from Japan due to the recent earthquake. AIT will continue to provide American Citizen Services.

   
03/17/11

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued a reminder to Japanese citizens of certain immigration benefits available to those affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami. It has also issued a "Questions and Answers" publication on these benefits.

   
03/15/11

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has issued its comments on to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's proposed policy of resuming deportations to Haiti.

   
03/11/11

The Executive Office for Immigration Review has announced the appointment of a new Immigration Judge to the Boston Immigration Court. Judge Steven Day, retired from the U.S. Marines, has been an appellate attorney with the Office of Immigration Litigation for the past 3 years. Judge Day will receive training at EOIR Headquarters and at the Newark Immigration Court. He will arrive at the Boston Immigration Court in April to handle the detained docket. 

In other EOIR news, Judge Eliza Klein will be transferred to the Chicago Immigration Court in July.

   
03/11/11

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued special guidance for Japanese citizens stranded in the United States due to the recent earthquakes and tsunami.

   
03/08/11

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that it will issue interim Employment Authorization Documents to El Salvadorans who have not yet received a final decision on their applications for re-registration under the Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") program.

   
03/08/11

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that its Boston office, including the Application Support Center, will be moving to a new location at 5 Channel Center in South Boston from the JFK Building in downtown Boston.

   
03/08/11

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that its Boston office, including the Application Support Center, will be moving to a new location at 5 Channel Center in South Boston from the JFK Building in downtown Boston.

   
03/08/11

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for April 2011 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

   
03/08/11

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced it will permanently close its field office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on March 31, 2011. 

   
03/07/11 Immigration and Customs Enforcement is seeking public comments on its draft policy on resuming deportations to Haiti.
   
03/02/11 The U.S. Department of State has announced that it has temporarily suspended all visa processing in Egypt due to the ongoing turmoil in the country.
   
03/01/11 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has updated its Poverty Guidelines for 2011.
   
03/01/11 The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report for March 1, 2011.
 
February 2011
   
02/25/11 The U.S. Department of State has announced that it has temporarily suspended all Embassy operations in Libya due to the ongoing turmoil in the country.
   
02/15/11 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released its latest processing time reports as of February 14, 2011.
   
02/11/11

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for March 2011 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

   
02/11/11

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that advance parole and employment authorization will be issued in the form of a single card in certain cases.

   
02/08/11

The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report for February 1, 2011.

   
02/03/11

Due to inclement weather, USCIS has announced a number of office closures for the day.

   
02/02/11

The Executive Office for Immigration Review has released its 2010 Fiscal Year Statistical Yearbook detailing statistics such as the number of cases received, the number of asylum/withholding of removal cases granted (60%), the number of aliens represented by an attorney before the Immigration Court (43%) and Board of Immigration Appeals (79%). The data reflects that only 45% of asylum cases are granted in the Boston Immigration Court.

   
02/01/11

Due to inclement weather, the following offices will be closed tomorrow, February 2: USCIS offices in our region (Lawrence, MA; Boston, MA; Bedford, NH; Johnston (Providence), RI; Portland, ME; and Hartford, CT); the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts; the Immigration Courts in Boston, MA and Hartford, CT; and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Burlington, MA.

   
January 2011
01/19/11 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released an advance copy of the 2011 Poverty Guidelines which will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services uses the Poverty Guidelines in adjudicating Affidavits of Support and in determining whether an immigrant will become a public charge.
   
01/18/11 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released its latest processing time reports as of January 14, 2011.
   
01/18/11 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released its latest processing time reports as of January 14, 2011.
   
01/12/11

The U.S. Department of State has issued its Visa Bulletin for February 2011 which reflects visa availability for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant petitions.

   
01/12/11

Due to severe weather conditions, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has closed its offices in Boston, Massachusetts; Hartford, Connecticut; Lawrence, Massachusetts; Portland, Maine; Bedford, New Hampshire (Manchester Field Office) and Providence, Rhode Island. The Application Support Centers in these cities are also closed today for fingerprinting appointments. The U.S. Immigration Courts in Boston, Massachusets and Hartford, Connecticut are also closed today.

   
01/05/11

The Administrative Appeals Office has released its latest processing times report for January 1, 2011.

   
01/03/11

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced the implementation of the Help Haitian Adoptees Immediately to Integrate Act of 2010 (Help HAITI Act of 2010) which President Obama signed into law on December 9, 2010. Under this new law, certain Haitian orphans who were paroled into the United States as a result of the earthquake in Haiti will now be eligible to apply for green cards in the United States. The deadline to apply for a green card under the Help HAITI Act is December 9, 2013. Further information is available on the USCIS website.

   
01/01/11 Happy New Year from Dyson Law, P.C.!
 
 
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