March 22, 2024 - Weekly Immigration News Update

Posted by Keshab R. Seadie | Mar 22, 2024 | 0 Comments

Dear Clients and Colleagues,

We hope this newsletter finds you well. In this edition, we bring you important updates on various immigration matters. Please take a moment to review the following key highlights:

H-1B Registration Closing Imminently

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds all that the initial registration period for the Fiscal Year 2025 H-1B visa cap will conclude on March 25, 2024, at noon ET following an extension from the previous deadline of March 22, 2024 at noon ET. Prospective petitioners and their representatives are encouraged to complete their submissions promptly to ensure consideration for the upcoming fiscal year's allotment of H-1B visas.

DHS Embarks on AI Integration for Officer Training

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has introduced pilot projects to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into its operations, including a program aimed at enhancing the training of immigration officers. This initiative is expected to support more accurate and efficient immigration outcomes, marking a significant step forward in the use of technology within the agency.

Supreme Court Clarifies Judicial Review on Immigration Hardship Cases

In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that circuit courts possess the authority to review immigration hardship denial cases, overturning a previous denial for a Trinidad and Tobago native. The decision underscores the courts' ability to scrutinize mixed questions of law and fact in the context of cancellation of removal applications, providing hope for many facing similar predicaments.

 Securing a Second Chance: Navigating the Path to Cancellation of Removal

Cancellation of removal is a form of relief from deportation available to certain non-citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) in the United States who are in removal (deportation) proceedings before an immigration judge. This legal provision allows individuals who meet specific criteria to avoid deportation and, in some cases, to obtain lawful permanent resident status. The requirements and process differ significantly between non-LPRs and LPRs.
For Non-Lawful Permanent Residents
Non-LPR cancellation of removal is available to non-permanent residents who can demonstrate:
  1. Physical Presence: They have been physically present in the U.S. for a continuous period of at least 10 years prior to the date of application.
  2. Good Moral Character: They have maintained good moral character during this period.
  3. No Disqualifying Offenses: They have not been convicted of certain crimes that would make them ineligible.
  4. Exceptional and Extremely Unusual Hardship: Their removal would cause exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, parent, or child.
Applicants must apply for this relief in immigration court, and it is subject to the discretion of the immigration judge. It's important to note that there is an annual cap of 4,000 grants for non-LPR cancellation of removal.
For Lawful Permanent Residents
LPR cancellation of removal is available to green card holders who:
  1. Admissibility/Deportability: Have been deemed inadmissible or deportable on certain grounds.
  2. Residency: Have been an LPR for at least five years.
  3. Continuous Residence: Have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least seven years after having been admitted in any status (before the issuance of the Notice to Appear or committing an offense that makes them removable).
  4. No Aggravated Felonies: Have not been convicted of an aggravated felony.
The grant of cancellation of removal for LPRs does not impose an annual cap and allows them to retain their lawful permanent resident status.
Applying for Cancellation of Removal
To apply for cancellation of removal, individuals must complete and submit Form EOIR-42A (for LPRs) or EOIR-42B (for non-LPRs) to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) during their removal proceedings. This process involves presenting evidence and, often, testimony in immigration court to support their case.
The immigration judge will then decide whether the applicant qualifies for cancellation of removal based on the evidence presented. If granted, the individual can remain in the U.S. and may receive lawful permanent resident status if they were not already an LPR. However, if denied, the individual may be removed from the United States.
Given the complexity of immigration laws and the high stakes involved, individuals seeking cancellation of removal are strongly encouraged to seek legal assistance from a qualified immigration attorney. This can significantly increase their chances of achieving a favorable outcome.

USCIS Reinforces Anti-Discrimination Stance

USCIS has announced an update to its Policy Manual, emphasizing its agency-wide anti-discrimination guidance. This reaffirmation covers all public-facing interactions, ensuring that individuals are treated equitably, regardless of whether they belong to a class or group specifically protected under federal anti-discrimination laws. This move is part of USCIS's broader efforts to uphold its mission statement and core values, promoting fairness and equality in all its processes.

Supreme Court Rules on Jurisdiction Over Hardship Determinations
Further to the Supreme Court's ruling on judicial review of immigration hardship cases, this decision clarifies that questions of law and fact related to the “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” standard are indeed reviewable. This pivotal decision resolves a split among U.S. circuit courts and opens the door for more robust judicial oversight in cancellation of removal cases.

Trend in EB-1A, EB-1B, and EB-2 NIW Adjudications Raises Concerns

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has highlighted a worrying trend in the adjudication of EB-1A, EB-1B, and EB-2 NIW petitions, noting deviations from established standards and policies. AILA has engaged with USCIS to address these issues, advocating for adherence to proper legal and procedural standards. USCIS has acknowledged the concerns and is taking steps to enhance decision-making quality and ensure fair treatment for all applicants.

Michael Cohen and Attorney Avoid Sanctions for AI-Generated Legal Citations

In a remarkable decision on Wednesday, a New York federal judge opted not to impose sanctions on Michael Cohen or his legal counsel despite their submission of fictitious legal cases created by Google's artificial intelligence service in support of a motion related to Cohen's criminal case.
The judge characterized the inclusion of AI-generated case citations as “embarrassing and certainly negligent.” However, it was determined that there was no malicious intent or bad faith behind their actions. The ruling highlights the growing intersection of technology and the legal profession, emphasizing the need for diligence and verification in the use of AI tools.
The incident has sparked discussions within the legal community about the potential pitfalls of relying on artificial intelligence for legal research and documentation. This case serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of thoroughly vetting AI-generated content before its submission in court proceedings.
While Cohen and his attorney have avoided sanctions, the judge's remarks underscore the expectations placed on legal professionals to ensure the accuracy and reliability of their submissions. As AI technology continues to evolve, this case will likely prompt further scrutiny and guidelines on its use within the legal industry.


We hope you find this information valuable. If you have any questions or require legal assistance related to any of these updates, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.


Keshab Raj Seadie, Esq.
Law Offices of Keshab Raj Seadie, P.C.

Disclaimer: This newsletter is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Always consult an attorney for personalized advice.


About the Author


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today

We serve clients throughout the United States including New York and New Jersey and in the following localities: New York City; Albany County including Albany; Dutchess County including Poughkeepsie; Erie County including Buffalo; Monroe County including Rochester; Nassau County including Mineola; Onondaga County including Syracuse; Orange County including Goshen; Putnam County including Carmel; Rockland County including New City; Suffolk County including Riverhead; Ulster County including Kingston; Westchester County including White Plains; Bergen County including Hackensack; Essex County including Newark; Hudson County including Jersey City; Middlesex County including New Brunswick; and Union County including Elizabeth. Attorney Advertising.