Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Empire Strikes Back (Again): Trump administration tightens rules for immigrant work permits


Acting Director of USCIS Ken Cuccinelli

Fox News reports another move to tighten immigration benefits by the Trump administration.  Yesterday, the administration issued new policy guidance tightening the rules for discretionary work permits to immigrants who have been temporarily paroled into the United States for "urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit" under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The move on the heels of the new public charge rule.

Section 212(d)(5)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act affords the Department of Homeland Security the discretion to parole noncitizens into the United States under "extraordinary" circumstances, such as to visit a dying relative or obtain life-saving medical treatment. "[T]he administration's guidance made clear that officials were wary it was being abused." U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said the new guidance emphasizes "the use of discretion when determining whether to grant employment authorization for foreign nationals paroled into the United States in keeping with existing policies."

Here is the USCIS guidance on work permits by Fox News on Scribd.

In announcing the new policy guidance, USCIS stated that:

"Certain foreign nationals may be paroled into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. Parolees are not entitled to employment authorization solely because they are paroled into the United States, but instead must establish eligibility and apply for employment authorization. USCIS will only consider employment authorization for parolees when, based on the facts and circumstances of each individual case, USCIS finds that a favorable exercise of discretion is warranted.

`Directly addressing loopholes that encourage the exploitation of our immigration system is the only way forward,' said Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli. `Responsible stewardship of our discretionary authorities enhances our ability to provide relief to those who lawfully qualify for it. With that in mind, USCIS is taking action within its discretionary authority by only granting employment authorization to parolees after consideration of all relevant factors on a case-by-case basis. This decision is in response to the national emergency at the southern border where foreign nationals are entering the United States illegally, as well as based on a review of USCIS adjudicatory practices over the past few years.'”




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