In this year’s annual Dayzad Law Thanksgiving holiday card, we asked for your nominations for your favorite charity, so we could make a donation. We received amazing charity nominations from the Dayzad Law family, such as LA Gay and Lesbian Center; Bet Tzedek; Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law; Immigrant Defenders; American Cancer Society; Justice Campaign Housed within the AIC; Midnight Mission; UNICEF; Looking Beyond; The Innocence Project; and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
These are truly great charities. To break the tie, we took a run-off vote and ultimately sent a check to Immigrant Defenders, a local legal aid nonprofit working with the immigrant community. They provide deportation defense for hundreds of immigrants each year who would otherwise not have access to legal representation. This work is critical during a time when the government has made it extremely difficult for immigrants to receive a fair process. We are so grateful for legal aid groups like the Immigrant Defenders!
We kicked off the holidays by joining one of our clients in their annual “Shoeboxes of Love” program. Each member of our firm sponsored children in need, by sending a box of holiday gifts to each of them. This a tradition we cherish each year, as it is a blessing to bring joy to these immigrant children.
We hope you and your family have a happy and safe holiday season!
The President recently signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, along with the leaders of Mexico and Canada. This agreement replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, but (“NAFTA”) is largely the same agreement in many respects. As many of our clients know, NAFTA created the TN status for Canadian and Mexican nationals to temporarily live and work in the United States. Fortunately, TN status has not been changed in the new agreement. While some sections have been repackaged and reworded, the relevant immigration NAFTA provisions remain the same. This is good news for TN candidates and employers alike who can now breathe a (at least temporary) sigh of relief.
We are so grateful to be able to work with such great companies and individuals everyday. Even when times get tough, it is our clients that help us push through. During the holiday season it is important to reflect on what we have, but also on what we continue to fight for. It is clients like those below that remind us what is important and how in our practice we have the opportunity to bring communities, families, and workplaces together. We are thankful for your continued support and look forward to future success in the year to come.
We have written previously about the current administration’s increased scrutiny of immigration applications. We have heard reports that the government now is denying H-1B petitions for jobs that it has previously approved as a specialty occupation. One employer and its long-time employee are fighting back.
The employer argued that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) unlawfully denied an employee’s H-1B extension of status. The employer contends that the employee’s job meets one or more of the criteria for a specialty occupation. USCIS unlawfully denied the petition by misreading the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.
It is great to see employers standing up for their employees and challenging the government when it misapplies the law. This sends a clear message to USCIS that it cannot continue to unlawfully deny employment-based petitions. Employers and employees alike should fight to make sure their rights are preserved and their cases are fairly adjudicated.
As a part of Trump’s travel ban, foreign-nationals from the seven blocked countries, are prevented from entering the United States. The only way to circumvent this ban is to apply for a waiver, which is issued at the discretion of the government on a case-by-case basis. As a response to this, a coalition of organizations has filed a class action lawsuit challenging the implementation of the waiver provisions in the travel ban. The groups argue that the waiver application adjudication is inconsistent and arbitrary. The lawsuit aims to ensure that those who qualify for waivers actually receive them and are issued visas.
According to the State Department, the government has approved only 2% of waivers. Former U.S. consular officials have called the process “fraudulent.” The lawsuit hopes to clarify and implement a waiver process for those who would otherwise be unable to immigrate to the United States so that they can reunite with family or join employers who need them. The lawsuit is one way to fight against the discriminatory ban, which marginalizes entire groups of people based on their religious belief or countries of origin. Though we hope the ban is lifted entirely, we applaud these organizations that are doing what they can to navigate the uncertain immigration policies set forth by the current administration.