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In This Issue

1. January 31st Council Practice Advisory: Challenging President Trump's Ban on Entry
2. AILA Denounces Executive Order on Immigration, Issues Call for Examples
3. Federal Courts Halt Executive Order on Immigration, DHS Responds
4. United States Unemployment Rate December 2016
5. PERM Processing Times as of January 12, 2017 

1. January 31st Council Practice Advisory: Challenging President Trump's Ban on Entry

The American Immigration Council released a January 31st practice advisory, "Challenging President Trump's Ban on Entry." The advisory provides information about how the Executive Order on entry bans is being implemented, offers resources and practice tips for attorneys whose clients are affected, and outlines the legal challenges that have been filed. Download full document.

2. AILA Denounces Executive Order on Immigration, Issues Call for Examples

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) issued a statement on January 27th denouncing the President's Executive Order on immigration. In the statement, entitled "Targeting Muslims and Refugees Betrays American Values and Will Not Make Us Safer," AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson warns, "Make no mistake: This Executive Order is a thinly veiled effort to make good on the President's promise to ban all Muslims from coming to the United States and to end our long, proud history as a leader in providing protection to those fleeing persecution."

AILA summarized the Executive Order as follows:

  • Suspends the refugee program for 120 days and suspends the Syrian refugee program indefinitely;
  • Caps refugee resettlement numbers at 50,000 for FY 2017;
  • Suspends immigrant and nonimmigrant entry for people from predominantly Muslim countries for a minimum of 90 days while the government undertakes a review of visa issuance and immigration benefits processes;
  • Requires in-person interviews for nonimmigrant visa applicants;
  • Establishes requirements for "extreme vetting";
  • Prioritizes refugees whose claims are based on religious persecution but only if the person's religion is a minority in their country of origin;
  • Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to expedite the completion of an entry-exit system.

The President has framed the Executive Order as a necessary security measure to combat and prevent terrorism within the U.S. It has been widely criticized as an unconstitutional ban on Muslims that does not achieve its stated purpose. AILA President William A. Stock offered this reminder: "Refugees are already required to go through an extremely rigorous vetting and security clearance process. These people are literally fleeing for their lives and the lives of their children. Shuttering our refugee program in a time of great need is the wrong thing to do. Rather than slamming the door, we should be welcoming them and offering the protection which America has historically provided as the beacon of light to the world." He warned, "President Trump makes it seem like these changes will be temporary by 'suspending' programs, but based on the positions he has taken and the stringent conditions imposed, the U.S. refugee program will be severely crippled."

Hundreds of immigration attorneys rushed to airports across the country to offer legal aid to detainees who were affected by the Executive Order. Lawsuits were filed on behalf of detainees, and several federal courts have already ruled to halt implementation of the order. AILA issued a Call for Examples of those affected by the ban, and also provides advocacy suggestions for those interested in taking action.

3. Federal Courts Halt Executive Order on Immigration, DHS Responds

Immigration attorneys from across the country flocked to airports over the weekend to provide legal support for individuals who were detained as a result of the President’s Executive Order of January 27, 2017. The Executive Order, entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” suspends the entry of all refugees for 120 days, bars the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely, and establishes a 90-day ban on the entry of citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) reported that the ban on individuals from these seven countries includes those who are dual citizens, nonimmigrant and immigrant visa holders, refugees, and Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs). Additionally, all pending applications from citizens of the affected countries currently residing in the U.S. have been suspended indefinitely, according to a leaked email from Daniel M. Renaud, Associate Director of Field Operations for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

As a result, all non-U.S. citizens traveling from one of the affected countries were detained upon landing in the U.S. on Saturday. Thousands gathered at major international airports such as JFK and Dulles to protest what has been described as a “Muslim ban” and to express support for detainees. Meanwhile, immigration lawyers sprang into action, working throughout the night to identify detainees and to file suit on their behalf. Because detainees were often denied access to legal counsel, attorneys created hand-made signs that identified themselves as immigration lawyers and relied on family members in airport waiting areas to come forward and report missing relatives.

The federal court of the Eastern District of New York was the first to issue a nationwide stay of removal, finding that “[t]here is imminent danger that, absent the stay of removal, there will be substantial and irreparable injury to refugees, visa-holders, and other individuals from nations subject to the January 27, 2017 Executive Order.” Federal courts in Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington State also issued rulings to halt deportations in response to the Executive Order. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ordered federal officials to provide lawyers with access to “all legal permanent residents being detained at Dulles International Airport.” Many detainees across the country have already been released, although more are still reportedly being held and confusion exists as to how aspects of the ban will be implemented going forward.

In response to this litigation, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a statement that expressed its commitment to continue to enforce all executive orders "in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people." DHS described the detainment of travelers over the weekend as a matter of travelers being "inconvenienced while enhanced security measures were implemented." DHS did confirm however that it “will comply with judicial orders.”

According to DHS, LPRs will be permitted to board planes to the U.S., but will be assessed for admission at the port of entry on a case-by-case basis. DHS Secretary John Kelly stated in a January 29th press release that LPR status “will be a dispositive factor” when the cases are adjudicated at the port of entry.

4. United States Unemployment Rate December 2016

The unemployment rates around the country can greatly impact a company's decision to sponsor an application for labor certification. When unemployment rates are high, companies may elect not to proceed with the certification process. Rates can vary by state and industry. There are several states with jobless rates that are well below the national average. Employers in these states may be more available to sponsor employees. USADWEB is providing information on the current unemployment rates as a convenient tool to assist you as you prepare your cases. The unemployment rate increased slightly from a nine-year low of 4.6% in November to 4.7% in December.

5. PERM Processing Times as of January 12, 2017

PERM processing times are important to you and your clients. Therefore, each month USADWEB is pleased to be able to update you on the current processing times for reviews, audits, and appeals as reported on


PERM Processing Times
Processing Queue Priority Dates
Month Year
Analyst Reviews October 2016
Audit Reviews May 2016
Reconsideration Requests to the CO December 2016
Gov't Error Reconsiderations Current

The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) is working diligently to reduce the Permanent Labor Certification Program's pending caseload. The dates on the above table reflect the month and year in which applications are now being adjudicated at the Atlanta National Processing Center. If you need assistance with an application that was filed more than 3 months prior to the month posted, you can contact the OFLC Helpdesk at

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USADNEWS Volume XI, Issue 1 January 2017

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The USADNEWS Blast is the eNewsletter from USADWEB, LLC, providing updates on immigration ad placement services. This bulletin is not sent unsolicited. The information provided is of a general nature and may not apply to any particular set of facts or circumstances. It should not be construed as legal advice and does not constitute an engagement of USADWEB's services.
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