Supreme Court Will not Re Hear Obama’s Deferred Action Immigration Orders

By Peek & Toland on December 6, 2016

Supreme court won't re-hear Obama's deferred action planThe last chance for sweeping immigration reform during President Obama’s term passed in October. That’s when the Supreme Court declined to reconsider an executive order on deferred action that would have protected millions of immigrants.

The Supreme Court’s 4-4 tie on deferred action in June was a disappointing blow to the administration’s key immigration reform.

The stalemate at the nation’s highest court effectively killed the White House’s plans to protect millions of undocumented immigrants and give them work permits. The court has lacked a justice since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia earlier this year.


The Obama administration asked the court to look again at the case when a ninth justice is on the bench.

The impasse was ongoing until after the presidential election. President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland. However, the majority Senate Republicans refused to act, saying the next president should nominate the justice for the Scalia seat.

The immigration case could return to the nation’s highest court but it would not be until a later term.

The deferred action case covers the expansion of Obama’s program. It does not impact immigrants covered by Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). That initiative benefits some undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States as a child.

The case impacts people who would have been covered under the 2014 expansion of DACA. It also impacts a new program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans. DAPA applies to immigrants lacking documentation who have minor children who are citizens or permanent residents.

Deferred action gives immigrants greater stability. It would temporarily shield undocumented immigrants, giving them a Social Security number and permission to work in the United States.

How Many Immigrants Would be Protected by Deferred Action?

A report in Vox said about 4.5 million immigrants would be protected by the expansion of deferred action.

The program divided the candidates during the presidential election. Republican nominee Donald Trump supported the deportation of undocumented immigrants. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, vowed to expand the immigration reforms further than Obama.

Aside from the political posturing, the impasse has caused considerable stress and misery for immigrants. If you are an undocumented immigrant whose child is a citizen through birth, there’s an understandable fear that you’ll be separated. Deferred action was a step in the right direction.

If you are facing an immigration issue and need assistance, call our family immigration team in Austin and the surrounding areas at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Immigration Reform

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Tech Industry Pushes Immigration Visa Reforms

By Peek & Toland on October 11, 2016

Tech giants like Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon are reported to be heading a drive for immigration visa reforms amid claims there is a shortage of skilled American workers.

The visa in question is the H1-B visa. The visas are used to bring over highly skilled workers from abroad and are prized in the tech industry.

The claims have also sparked a political furor. The right-wing website Breitbart branded claims that the U.S. education system is insufficiently preparing students for the tech industry as “insulting.”

Teach companies back visa reforms

It picked up comments from an article written by two attorneys from the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a body that has taken a hard line on immigration.

The Institute took issue with the claims of a labor shortage from big tech. It claimed the companies are passing over American workers because they want to bring cheaper labor in from overseas.

Calls for immigration visa reforms followed a rush by tech companies to secure the limited number of H1-B visas available in the spring.

The Wall Street Journal reported the comments of Adams Nager, an economic policy analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Nager said the date when applications opened on April 1, wasn’t so much a start date as a starting gun to secure skilled labor.

U.S. companies could sponsor 65,000 overseas workers who held a bachelor’s degree or higher and an additional 20,000 foreign nationals with an advanced degree from U.S. institutions. We noted how the cap for H1-B visas was quickly reached and exceeded.

The fact that demand was so much higher than supply points to major problems with the H1-B visa lottery system. However, there is little consensus about visa reforms.

Congressman’s Visa Reforms Would Tighten up the Rules

The tech companies are calling for more visas to be available. However,  a congressman has submitted a bill that would further restrict visa supply at the end of August.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) wants to restrict loopholes in their application process.

The report stated Southern California Edison Co. laid off approximately 400 employees last year. It replaced them with workers hired through consulting companies that were heavy users of H1-B visas.

Firms of more than 50 workers that have large numbers of H-1B employees (15 percent or higher) must submit paperwork with the visa applications proving they advertised the job to American workers and looked at their applications. Firms can be exempted from the paperwork requirement. However, an employee must hold a master’s degree or receive a salary of more than $60,000 annually.

Issa’s bill would remove the loophole for employers who apply for visas for master degree holders.

The H1-B visa application process is a controversial and complicated one. If you are considering making an application it’s important to know it’s difficult to secure these visas. Indeed, one misstep in the application process can invalidate your hard work. An experienced Texas H1-B visa attorney can help maximize your chances and save you considerable time and trouble. Contact us today at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Visas

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