December 2017

On Dec. 14, the Office of Management and Budget Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OMB) published the biennial Unified Agenda.  A long-standing outgrowth of previous regulatory reform efforts, the Unified Agenda offers the public the “current thinking” of federal agencies on upcoming Agency regulatory priorities.

Of importance to the immigration community, DHS USCIS posed the following regulatory priorities-

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. USCIS’s role is to efficiently adjudicate and manage petitions, applications, and requests for immigration benefits for foreign nationals seeking lawful immigration status in the United States and for individuals seeking to become citizens of the United States, and other matters within the jurisdiction of the agency, in a manner that detects, deters, and prevents fraud, protects the jobs and working conditions of American workers as appropriate, and ensures the national security, public safety, and welfare of the American people. In the coming year, USCIS will promulgate several regulatory and deregulatory actions to directly support these commitments and goals.
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On Dec. 4, 2017, the Supreme Court issued an order allowing President Trump’s Proclamation on Travel Ban to go fully into effect. With certain exceptions, this ban places entry restriction on nationals of eight countries – Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. As previously reported, in September a U.S. District Judge in Hawaii blocked the Proclamation from taking effect, except for nationals of North Korea and Venezuela. On Nov. 13, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily put part of the lower court’s ruling on hold, allowing the Proclamation to take effect, but only for those individuals from the impacted countries who do not have bona fide ties to the United States.

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