May 30

Temporary Protected Status for Haiti Extended for Six Months

DHS Secretary will Re-Evaluate Designation Later This Year
Release Date: May 24, 2017

WASHINGTON— Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Haiti (and eligible individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in Haiti) through Jan. 22, 2018. After consulting with the appropriate U.S. government agencies and reviewing country conditions, Secretary Kelly has determined that a limited, six-month extension is warranted. Although Haiti has made significant progress in recovering from the January 2010 earthquake that prompted its designation, conditions in Haiti supporting its designation continue to be met at this time.

Current beneficiaries of Haiti’s TPS designation seeking to extend their TPS must re-register by July 24, 2017. TPS beneficiaries who re-register may request a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Those who re-register and request a new EAD during the 60-day re-registration period may receive an automatic extension of their expiring EAD for up to 180 days from the date their current EAD expires. Current EADs will not be automatically extended without a new EAD request. If a beneficiary’s EAD request is approved, they will receive a new EAD with an expiration date of Jan. 22, 2018. TPS beneficiaries are strongly encouraged to re-register and file their EAD applications as early as possible to avoid lapses in documentation of employment authorization.

During this six-month extension, beneficiaries are encouraged to prepare for their return to Haiti in the event Haiti’s designation is not extended again, including requesting updated travel documents from the government of Haiti. At least 60 days before Jan. 22, 2018, Secretary Kelly will re-evaluate the designation for Haiti and will determine whether another extension, a redesignation, or a termination is warranted, in full compliance with the Immigration and Nationality Act. The designation of TPS was intended by Congress to be temporary, and the Secretary will fully re-evaluate the country conditions to determine whether Haiti’s TPS designation should continue.

Temporary Protected Status for Haiti Extended for Six Months (2017, May 30). www.uscis.gov. May 24, 2017.

May 26

USCIS Will Issue Redesigned Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents

Release Date: April 19, 2017

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a redesign to the Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. USCIS will begin issuing the new cards on May 1, 2017.

These redesigns use enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features to create cards that are highly secure and more tamper-resistant than the ones currently in use.

The new card designs demonstrate USCIS’ commitment to continue taking a proactive approach against the threat of document tampering and fraud. They are also part of an ongoing effort between USCIS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to enhance document security and deter counterfeiting and fraud.

The Redesigned Cards

The new Green Cards and EADs will:

• Display the individual’s photos on both sides;
• Show a unique graphic image and color palette:
• Green Cards will have an image of the Statue of Liberty and a predominately green palette;
• EAD cards will have an image of a bald eagle and a predominately red palette;
• Have embedded holographic images; and
• No longer display the individual’s signature.

Also, Green Cards will no longer have an optical stripe on the back.

How To Tell If Your Card Is Valid

Some Green Cards and EADs issued after May 1, 2017, may still display the existing design format as USCIS will continue using existing card stock until current supplies are depleted. Both the existing and the new Green Cards and EADs will remain valid until the expiration date shown on the card.

Certain EADs held by individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and other designated categories have been automatically extended beyond the validity date on the card. For additional information on which EADs are covered, please visit the Temporary Protected Status and American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act web pages on uscis.gov.

Both versions are acceptable for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, E-Verify, and Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE). Some older Green Cards do not have an expiration date. These older Green Cards without an expiration date remain valid. Individuals who have Green Cards without an expiration date may want to consider applying for a replacement card bearing an expiration date. Obtaining the replacement card will reduce the likelihood of fraud or tampering if the card is ever lost or stolen.

Eligibility for Green Cards and EADs

For more information about the Green Card application process, please visit USCIS.gov/greencard.

To request an EAD, you must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Visit uscis.gov for more information about EADs.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/19/2017

USCIS Will Issue Redesigned Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents
(2017, May 8). www.uscis.gov. May 26, 2017

May 26

USCIS Efforts in Investigating Large-Scale Immigration Fraud Leads to Sentencing

Release Date: May 8, 2017

TAMPA, Fla. — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) assisted in an investigation that led to U.S. District Judge Charlene E. Honeywell sentencing Rosa Cingari to 12 years and 7 months in federal prison and Domenico Cingari to 8 years and 1 month in federal prison for conspiracy, making false statements in immigration applications and petitions, and mail fraud. The Court also ordered the Cingaris to forfeit real property located at 130 West Park Street in Lakeland, which was used to facilitate the offenses. As part of their sentence, the Court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $740,880, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct.

A federal jury found Rosa and Domenico Cingari guilty on November 9, 2016. They were indicted on July 9, 2015.

According to evidence presented at trial, Rosa and Domenico Cingari owned and operated R.E.P.C. Accounting and Translations out of their home on West Park Street in Lakeland. They assisted illegal aliens in obtaining Florida driver licenses by filing fraudulent immigration documents. Specifically, they filed I-589, Applications for Asylum and Withholding of Removal forms; I-130, Petitions for Alien Relative forms; and I-765, Work Authorization forms. Most of the applications and petitions submitted to USCIS by the Cingaris contained materially false information. The Cingaris filed the fraudulent immigration documents in order to obtain USCIS I-797C Notices of Action. The Cingaris put their mailing address on all of the fraudulent forms so that USCIS would mail the Notices of Action to their business. They then sold the Notices of Action to their alien clients. The Cingaris charged their clients between $500 and $1,300 for the fraudulent immigration applications. They collected at least $740,880 from their clients during the fraud scheme.

“In maintaining the integrity of our immigration system, USCIS has zero tolerance for fraud,” said Katherine Baranowski, USCIS Tampa Acting District Director. “Justice has been served with this sentencing, and we remain vigilant in detecting and bringing to prosecution any immigration fraud.”

“Immigration fraud subverts the orderly process of citizenship and compromises the security of our homeland,” said Ivan J. Arvelo, acting special agent in charge of HSI Tampa. “HSI will move aggressively to investigate those who corrupt the integrity of our nation’s immigration system.”

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and USCIS. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Stacie B. Harris and Simon Gaugush.

For more information about USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and Facebook(/uscis).

USCIS Efforts in Investigating Large-Scale Immigration Fraud Leads to Sentencing
(2017, May 8). www.uscis.gov. May 26, 2017

January 27

FACT SHEET: CHANGES TO PAROLE AND EXPEDITED REMOVAL POLICIES AFFECTING CUBAN NATIONALS

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

January 12, 2017
Contact: DHS Press Office, 202-282-8010

WASHINGTON- Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced several changes to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policies and regulations affecting Cuban nationals. These changes reflect the reestablishment of full diplomatic relations with Cuba and other concrete steps toward the normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations, as well as Cuba’s agreement to accept and facilitate the repatriation of Cuban nationals who are ordered removed from the United States. The changes represent another important step in the normalization of the migration relationship between the two countries, and are intended to ensure regular, safe, and orderly migration between them.

WHAT IS CHANGING?

Beginning today, DHS has rescinded certain policies unique to Cuban nationals. Specifically, DHS has eliminated a special parole policy for arriving Cuban nationals commonly known as the “wet-foot/dry-foot” policy, as well as a policy for Cuban medical professionals known as the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program. It is now Department policy to consider any requests for such parole in the same manner as parole requests filed by nationals of other countries.

DHS is also eliminating an exemption that previously prevented the use of expedited removal proceedings for Cuban nationals apprehended at ports of entry or near the border.

The existing Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program is not affected by this announcement and remains in effect.

WHY THE CHANGE?

For decades, DHS and the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) have had special policies for considering parole requests from Cuban nationals. Those policies were justified by certain unique circumstances, including conditions in Cuba, the lack of diplomatic relations between our countries, and the Cuban Government’s general refusal to accept the repatriation of its nationals.

In December 2014, the President announced a historic opening between the United States and Cuba, as well as an approach for reestablishing diplomatic relations and adjusting regulations to facilitate greater travel, commerce, people-to-people ties, and the free flow of information to, from, and within Cuba. Since that announcement, the United States and Cuba have reestablished full diplomatic relations and taken concrete steps towards enhancing security, building bridges between our peoples, and promoting economic prosperity for citizens of both countries.

DHS has also recently seen a significant increase in attempts by Cuban nationals to enter the United States without authorization. Many of those Cuban nationals have taken a dangerous journey through Central America and Mexico; others have taken to the high seas in the dangerous attempt to cross the Straits of Florida. This marked increase in actual and attempted migration has been driven in part by the perception that there is a limited window before the United States eliminates favorable immigration policies for Cuban nationals.

In light of these factors, the Secretary of Homeland Security has determined it is time to adjust the special parole policies for Cuban nationals. Considering the reestablishment of full diplomatic relations, Cuba’s signing of a Joint Statement obligating it to accept the repatriation of its nationals who arrive in the United States after the date of the agreement, and other factors, the Secretary concluded that, with the limited exception of the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program, the parole policies discussed above are no longer warranted.

CUBAN ADJUSTMENT ACT AND THE CUBAN “WET-FOOT/DRY-FOOT” POLICY

Under the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, the status of any Cuban national may be adjusted to that of a lawful permanent resident (i.e., “green card” status) if he or she (1) was inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States, (2) has been physically present in the United States for at least one year, and (3) is otherwise admissible.

The policy commonly known as “wet-foot/dry-foot” generally refers to an understanding under which Cuban migrants traveling to the United States who are intercepted at sea (“wet foot”) are returned to Cuba or resettled in a third country, while those who make it to U.S. soil (“dry foot”) are able to request parole and, if granted, lawful permanent resident status under the Cuban Adjustment Act.

The former INS established a policy strongly encouraging the parole of Cuban nationals who arrived in the United States so that they could apply for relief under the Cuban Adjustment Act. Secretary Johnson is rescinding this outdated INS policy.

EXPEDITED REMOVAL

DHS has the authority to effectuate the removal of certain categories of individuals, including those apprehended at ports of entry or near the border, through what is known as expedited removal. Under longstanding law and policies, however, Cuban nationals were exempt from being removed through expedited removal proceedings.

In light of recent changes in the relationship between the United States and Cuba, the Secretary has determined that such exemptions for Cuban nationals are no longer warranted. Today, the Department is amending its regulations and issuing a notice in the Federal Register to remove such exemptions from policies governing the use of expedited removal for Cuban nationals who arrive by air, land, and sea. Effective immediately, Cuban nationals who are apprehended at ports of entry or near the border may be placed into expedited removal proceedings in the same manner as nationals of other countries.

CUBAN MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL PAROLE PROGRAM

On August 11, 2006, DHS announced it would allow certain Cuban medical personnel in third countries (i.e., not Cuba or the United States) to apply for parole. Applicants under the Cuban Medical Professional Parole (CMPP) program were required to show that they were medical professionals currently conscripted to study or work in a third country under the direction of the Cuban Government. Individuals could apply for parole at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office, or U.S. embassy or consulate, located in the third country. Their immediate family members were also potentially eligible for parole.

In accordance with the Joint Statement, DHS will no longer accept parole applications from medical professionals under the CMPP program.

CUBAN FAMILY REUNIFICATION PAROLE PROGRAM

The Cuban Family Reunification Parole program allows beneficiaries of certain approved family-sponsored immigrant visa petitions to travel to the United States before their immigrant visas become available, rather than remain in Cuba to await a visa. The program seeks to expedite family reunification through safe, legal, and orderly channels of migration to the United States and discourage dangerous and irregular maritime migration.

DHS has determined that this program will remain in place because it serves other national interests.

FACT SHEET: CHANGES TO PAROLE AND EXPEDITED REMOVAL POLICIES AFFECTING CUBAN NATIONALS (2017, January 12). www.uscis.gov. January 27, 2017.

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