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Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com

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Friday, March 27, 2020

As Coronavirus Infections Spread, So Have Clashes Between ICE Detainees and Guards

As Coronavirus Infections Spread, So Have Clashes Between ICE Detainees and Guards
by Julian Aguilar & Perla Trevizo

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.
This article is co-published with The Texas Tribune, as part of an investigative partnership.
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, so have confrontations between detainees and guards at Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities across the country, the latest in Louisiana and Texas.
The battles come as four people — two correctional officers and two detainees — tested positive for COVID-19 at New Jersey detention facilities.
On Monday, migrants clashed with guards over a lack of safe conditions and demanded to be released from the South Texas Processing Center in Pearsall, attorneys and family members said. The melee led to a standoff and the guards shot pepper spray at the detainees, which ended with nine of the migrants now held for disciplinary charges. The migrants had raised concerns about the lack of screening measures for new arrivals to the complex, operated by the Florida-based GEO Group under a contract with ICE.
A day later in Louisiana, an ICE spokesman said seven people were pepper-sprayed at the Pine Prairie detention center, also run by the GEO Group. Earlier, an ICE detainee in New Jersey described harrowing conditions and said migrants went on a hunger strike for soap. ProPublica obtained an audio recording in which the detainee said that guards, in response to the strike for hygiene products in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, told the detainees that they “have to die of something.”
On Tuesday, ICE confirmed the country’s first COVID-19 case in an ICE detention facility: a 31-year old Mexican national in custody in Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey. ICE suspended intake at the jail until further information is available, agency officials said.
By Thursday, the number of coronavirus cases had risen to four in ICE detention centers in New Jersey when officials at the Essex County Correctional Facility announced that three more people had tested positive there. Two are correctional officers and the other is a 52-year-old ICE detainee at the Newark facility. Seven migrants who were housed with the 52-year-old are under quarantine at the Essex facility.
Advocates for the immigrants and detainees themselves say the threat of COVID-19 has made their detention even more intolerable.
“Everyone is panicking,” an asylum-seeker who has been held about three months in Texas told a ProPublica reporter. “We don’t have anything. We don’t have disinfectants; they are not taking any precautions.”
The woman said detainees are using water to try to keep their area clean, concerned that if one migrant catches the virus, it could spread to the others inside their tight quarters.
The woman described being in a holding room with about 100 others and only four bathrooms available, and with only a few steps in between their beds.
Another detainee said they usually see workers come and go without taking additional precautions.
“Any of them could be sick and we wouldn’t know,” she said. She added that a group of people from Piedras Negras, the Mexican city that borders Eagle Pass, Texas, were brought in without being thoroughly checked.
“They only took their temperature but without asking them anything,” she said.
According to ICE’s guidance, new detainees who arrive at facilities are screened and isolated for a certain period of time if they have a fever or respiratory symptoms. The staff is also consulting with local health departments to determine whether there’s a need for testing.
ICE confirmed the disturbance inside the South Texas facility and said the detainees were demanding to be released. Staff ordered detainees to then return to beds but they refused, the spokesperson said.
“The detainees told facility staff they would continue their protest until they were released from custody; however, those actions compromised security protocols at the facility. After detainees refused to comply with numerous commands given by contract staff, the contract staff initiated an immediate ‘use of force’ by disbursing oleoresin capsicum, commonly referred to as OC Spray.”
There were no serious injuries reported.
“ICE identified approximately nine detainees as instigators that incited this disturbance. All nine are now in restricted housing pending disciplinary charges due to security violations,” the spokesperson added.
ICE says no detainees in its Texas facilities have tested positive for COVID-19. An employee at an ICE detention facility in Conroe, near Houston, tested positive for the virus this month.
When asked about the specific concerns regarding screening and allegations that new arrivals were not being vetted, ICE referred reporters to the online fact sheet, which provides information on how the detention center processes migrants and says the staff each day reviews guidelines from the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how staff should respond to the virus.
“We are really terrified for all the people who remain locked up in ICE detention,” said Bethany Carson, an immigration researcher and organizer with Grassroots Leadership, an Austin-based advocacy group. “It is absolutely impossible to follow health protocols such as social distancing in a detention center.”
For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

ICE Detainees Were Pepper-Sprayed During a Briefing on Coronavirus

ICE Detainees Were Pepper-Sprayed During a Briefing on Coronavirus
by Nonah Lanard

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.
For the third time in three days, people detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement were pepper-sprayed on Wednesday as the coronavirus pandemic raises tensions within immigration jails. All of the pepper-spraying incidents have occurred at detention centers run by the private prison giant GEO Group. 
ICE spokesperson Bryan Cox wrote in a statement that four people were pepper-sprayed while in a room with 75 other immigration detainees at the LaSalle ICE Processing Center in Jena, Louisiana. Cox said these measures were used after the detainees tried to “force their way out of the housing area.”
A draft of a court declaration from Mariel Villarreal, an immigration attorney at Pangea Legal Services, presents a more comprehensive and disturbing picture. Villarreal’s declaration states that the pepper-spraying occurred as women received a presentation about the coronavirus yesterday morning. The declaration is based on a conversation Villarreal had with a client, who was one of the 79 women in the room where people were pepper-sprayed on Wednesday. 
“[My client] informed me that during the presentation, the women had questions about the virus and were expressing fears about their safety in the detention center,” the attorney wrote in the declaration. “[My client] stated that the women’s questions were going unanswered and their concerns were being ignored by the officers.” (Mother Jones is withholding the client’s name because Villarreal has not yet obtained permission to share it publicly.)
The latest use of force comes as immigrants and asylum seekers detained by ICE grow more fearful about being crammed into immigration jails in the midst of a pandemic. On Monday, about 60 people were pepper-sprayed at another GEO Group ICE detention center, in Texas, after they demanded to be released to protect themselves from the virus, the San Antonio Express-News reported. ICE announced on Tuesday that a detainee in New Jersey had tested positive for COVID-19, the first confirmed case in its custody. On Wednesday, I reported that seven men were pepper-sprayed at GEO Group’s Pine Prairie, Louisiana, immigration detention center after they refused to go outside because they were fearful of being mistreated by guards while isolated from other detainees. 
The women believed they were teargassed, but Cox said it was pepper spray that was used against them. Villarreal’s declaration continues:
[My client] then informed me that the officers grew impatient and angry with the women and released tear gas into the room where they were giving the presentation. The officers promptly left the room and locked the doors.
[She] told me that her and the rest of the women were left locked inside the room with tear gas for approximately one hour. She stated that the women were screaming to be let out of the room, but no one came to their aid.
[She] stated that the women were coughing, crying, and that some fainted throughout the approximately one hour that they were locked in the room with tear gas.
[She] said that after approximately one hour, officers came and unlocked the doors, and they entered wearing full protective face gear to prevent effects of the tear gas.
[She] informed me that, as we were speaking, her eyes were red and burning and that her whole neck area and throat were in pain.
In the middle of our conversation, the call was lost and I did not receive a call back from [my client]. I called the ICE Processing Center to attempt to be reconnected with [her], but I was informed that it was not possible at that time.
Data released by ICE on Wednesday showed that the number of people in the agency’s custody increased by more than 700 between March 14 and March 21, rising to more than 38,000 in total. Health experts and immigrant advocates are calling on ICE to release people from detention who don’t pose a threat to public safety, but ICE is refusing to do so.
For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Immigrants Afraid Of The Coronavirus Outbreak Are Protesting Inside ICE Facilities

Immigrants Afraid Of The Coronavirus Outbreak Are Protesting Inside ICE Facilities
by Hamed Aleaziz

More than 70 immigrants were pepper-sprayed at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center on Wednesday, according to a government document obtained by BuzzFeed News — the fourth known use-of-force incident this week at ICE facilities as fear and anxiety spreads among detainees over COVID-19.
Since Monday, guards at three ICE detention facilities in Louisiana and Texas — LaSalle ICE Processing Center, Pine Prairie ICE Processing Center, and South Texas ICE Processing Center — have used force to quell inmate protests.
Advocates and attorneys have reported that ICE detainees have had limited access to soap and are worried that the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, could spread undetected, leaving those with underlying medical conditions and the elderly at risk. ICE officials have said they are constantly monitoring detainees and staying in close touch with medical experts on the potential spread of the disease in detention facilities. ICE has so far confirmed that one of the 38,000 detainees in its custody has tested positive for the coronavirus in New Jersey.
“They are freaking out about it,” said Alexandra Seo, whose mother is at the LaSalle ICE Processing Center in Jena, Louisiana. “She is saying ‘help her’ she is begging for help.”
On Wednesday, ICE medical officials, along with members from the private prison company running the facility, GeoGroup, held a meeting about COVID-19 at LaSalle, according to the government document obtained by BuzzFeed News. It was then that a group of detainees began protesting and ignored the guards’ orders. Soon after, four detainees rushed an exit door. The guards decided to use pepper spray to keep the other 75 detainees in the area, according to the document.
ICE spokesperson Bryan Cox confirmed the incident, saying detainees “refused to comply with directives from facility staff and four attempted to force their way out of the housing area.”
On Monday, officials used “pepper balls” on 23 detainees at the LaSalle facility following a protest, according to a separate document. At Pine Prairie, ICE said a group of detainees were pepper-sprayed on Tuesday after becoming “physically combative” in the recreation area. At the South Texas ICE Processing Center, 60 detainees started a demonstration as they demanded to be released from the jail and refused to comply with orders, according to ICE.
“The detainees told facility staff they would continue their protest until they were released from custody; however, those actions compromised security protocols at the facility,” said Adelina Pruneda, an agency spokesperson. “After detainees refused to comply with numerous commands given by contract staff, the contract staff initiated an immediate ‘use of force’ by disbursing oleoresin capsicum, commonly referred to as OC Spray.”
Advocates believe the incidents are tied to heightened fears surrounding the spread of COVID-19. In recent days, attorneys from the ACLU and other organizations have filed legal requests to force ICE to release certain detainees from custody. Researchers have found that more than half of those in immigration detention do not have a criminal conviction, while more than 6,000 have passed initial asylum screenings.
“Our on the ground team has been inundated with messages from detained people because they’re scared for their lives. They don’t even have soap in detention centers and ICE refuses to release them,” said Laura Rivera, director of the Southern Poverty Law Centers’ Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative Detained. “People are now telling us ICE is retaliating to their peaceful protests with violence including the use of pepper spray and rubber bullets. ICE immediately escalated the situation at LaSalle, deploying guards in riot gear to pepper spray the people demanding their release. We can’t look away now, out of worry for our own health. The lives of those caged inside these detention centers are literally on the line. Conditions on the inside are far more perilous than those on the outside.”
ICE has come under fire in recent months for issues related to medical care provided within its detention centers. In December, the House Oversight and Reform Committee announced it had opened an investigation into the medical care of detainees in the wake of a BuzzFeed News story that revealed a series of allegations of substandard care from a whistleblower. BuzzFeed News first reported the memo and documented its reports of detainees being given incorrect medication and suffering from delays in treatment of withdrawal symptoms.
In March, BuzzFeed News reported on a 2019 DHS memo outlining issues with a detention center in New Mexico. The internal email detailed how immigrants were exposed to poor sanitation and quarantine practices during an outbreak of chicken pox and mumps. Investigators also said they saw immigrants housed in an area that was not “appropriately cleaned and sanitized,” potentially contributing to the spread of infectious diseases.
For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

Fact check: Trump utters series of false and misleading claims at coronavirus briefing

Fact check: Trump utters series of false and misleading claims at coronavirus briefing
by Daniel Dale & Tara Subramaniam

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump, who has been regularly dishonest and inaccurate in his remarks about the coronavirus crisis, delivered another series of false and misleading claims at the White House coronavirus briefing on Thursday.
Here is a preliminary roundup:

Gov. Jay Inslee's comments and the media

Trump denounced "the fake news" for a report that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee had clashed with him on a Thursday phone call and had told him that "we need Tom Brady" in securing critical medical equipment rather than the "backup" Trump had pledged to be -- using the football metaphor to urge the federal government to take a leading role in the effort. (The Washington Post broke the story.)
    Trump then said that Inslee did make the comment, but "meant it very positively -- but they took it differently." Trump proceeded to repeat that the reporting was "only fake news."
    Facts FirstThe reporting on this exchange was not "fake news." Trump himself confirmed that Inslee did utter the "Tom Brady" quote, as did Inslee implicitly (with a joke about it on Twitter). There is no indication that Inslee's remark was meant to be interpreted in a manner substantially different than how the Post and other outlets interpreted it.
    Inslee declined to discuss the specifics of the call at a Thursday press conference, but added, "I think it would be very, very helpful if the federal government could be more assertive and aggressive and more organized in helping all of us to obtain these systems."

    How unforeseen the coronavirus crisis was

    Trump repeated his previous claim that "this was something that nobody has ever thought could happen to this country." He added, "Nobody would have ever thought a thing like this could have happened."
    Facts FirstThis is false. The US intelligence community and public health experts had warned for years that the country was at risk from a pandemic. Experts had also warned that the country would face shortages of critical medical equipment, such as ventilators, if a pandemic occurred.
    You can read a full fact check here about some of the pandemic warnings. You can read a full fact check here about warnings about the need for additional ventilators in a pandemic.

    Americans' views on coronavirus-related closures

    Trump said, "We have to open up. We can't say, 'Let's close.' People don't want to close." He also said, "People want to go back to work. I'm hearing it loud and clear from everybody." He added, "This is the United States of America. They don't want to sit around and wait."
    Facts FirstWhile there is no polling data on how long Americans want the country's institutions to remain closed, it is clear that not "everybody" wants workplaces to reopen quickly amid an ongoing pandemic. A poll released on Thursday found that large majorities of Americans say the closure of businesses, schools and entertainment activities was necessary to address the pandemic.
    A Pew Research poll conducted March 19-24 found that 89% of the 11,537 US adults surveyed thought the closure of K-12 schools was necessary, 91% thought canceling major sports and entertainment events was necessary, 85% thought limiting restaurants to carry-out only was necessary, and 71% thought requiring most businesses other than grocery stores and pharmacies to close was necessary.
    A Fox News poll conducted March 21-24 found that 75% of the 1,011 registered voters surveyed supported a national "stay-in-place" order for everyone other than essential workers.
    Public health experts have warned that it would be unwise to immediately abandon measures that keep Americans out of physical contact with each other.

    The trade deficit with China

    Trump repeated his regular claim that the trade deficit with China used to be $500 billion, saying, "$500 billion a year they were taking out. We had trade deficits that were so large nobody has ever seen anything like it."
    Facts FirstThere has never been a $500 billion trade deficit with China. The 2018 deficit was about $381 billion when counting goods and services; the goods and services deficit fell to about $308 billion in 2019. (The deficit with China has not been $500 billion even if you only count trade in goods.)

    The history of tariffs on China

    Trump repeated another regular claim about trade and China: "They're paying us a lot of money in tariffs and other things. They never paid us 10 cents."
    Facts FirstStudy after study has shown that Americans are bearing the cost of the tariffs; Americans make the actual tariff payments. That aside, it's not true that the Treasury has never received "10 cents" from tariffs on China. The US has had tariffs on China for more than two centuries; FactCheck.org reported that the US generated an "average of $12.3 billion in custom duties a year from 2007 to 2016, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission DataWeb."

    Mexican troops on the border

      Trump repeated his claim that "we have 27,000 Mexican soldiers on our southern border."
      Facts FirstMexico has deployed around 27,000 troops, but Trump exaggerated how many are being stationed near the US border in particular; Mexico's defense minister said in October that it was about 15,000 on the US border, about 12,000 on Mexico's own southern border.
      For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

      Mexican Border City to Quarantine Returning Migrants

      Mexican Border City to Quarantine Returning Migrants
      by The Associated Press

      MEXICO CITY — The Mexican border state of Chihuahua said Thursday it will set up a shelter to house deported migrants for a two-week quarantine.
      The state said the shelter would be set up in “the next few days” to house migrants returned to the border city of Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas.
      The state government says an average of 65 migrants are deported through Ciudad Juarez every day, for a total of about 5,200 so far this year.
      The quarantine move is part of a series of measures announced Thursday to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The United States has over 81,000 cases, while Mexico has 585, though testing is far less frequent in Mexico.

      Dirvin García Gutiérrez, the head of migrant services or Chihuahua state, said officials would also try to ease crowding at migrant shelters in Ciudad Juarez that currently hold about 1,400 people, most of whom are from Central America. The city's 14 shelters — most of them privately run — should hold no more than 50 to 80 people apiece, he said.

      For more info contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

      Immigration chief on thin ice for adopting Obama’s stance during crisis

      Immigration chief on thin ice for adopting Obama’s stance during crisis
      by Daniel Lippman & Anita Kumar

      Top Trump administration officials grew angry with Matt Albence, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, after he announced that immigration authorities would halt most enforcement efforts during the coronavirus outbreak, according to three people familiar with the situation.
      The displeasure with Albence spread throughout Trumpworld and triggered worries about the political implications of adopting — even temporarily — an immigration stance similar to the Obama administration approach. “He’s been on thin ice for some time,” a fourth person said.
      “Director Albence is a devoted and skilled career law enforcement professional, and the administration has complete confidence in him,“ a senior White House official said in response to questions from POLITICO. The Department of Homeland Security, in which ICE is housed, and ICE didn’t respond to requests for comment. Albence did not provide a comment.
      ICE last week said it would prioritize deportation for foreign nationals who have committed crimes or pose a threat to public safety, and not those at doctors’ offices and hospitals.
      “ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) will focus enforcement on public safety risks and individuals subject to mandatory detention based on criminal grounds,” ICE said in a statement posted on its website. “For those individuals who do not fall into those categories, ERO will exercise discretion to delay enforcement actions until after the crisis or utilize alternatives to detention, as appropriate.”
      Trump made cracking down on immigration a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign, calling for a southern border wall and deporting all 11 million immigrants in the country illegally.
      The change, announced March 18, is similar to an Obama administration policy that focused on immigrants who had committed crimes. Albence made the decision unilaterally, according to two people familiar with the matter.
      After Albence notified lawmakers about the change in phone calls last week and the press release was issued, he was chastised by acting deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli who wasn’t happy with him after the surprise announcement, according to a former senior DHS official.
      The day after the press release, Cuccinelli tried to walk back the statement. He tweeted a thread issuing a “clarification” of ICE’s announcement about enforcement during the pandemic.
      “@ICEgov will, as it has during other times of crisis, conduct enforcement operations that protect our communities and uphold our laws. This means that @ICEgov will continue to prioritize arresting and removing criminal aliens and other aliens who pose a threat to public safety, just as it always has during President @realDonaldTrump’s administration,” he also said.
      “That does not mean that no other removable aliens will in fact be removed, but during the current public health situation, removals will be done in such a way as to minimize the exposure of our agents and of the removable aliens we are encountering.”
      Trump also saw news on it and was wondering what was going on, according to the former senior DHS official.
      Senior DHS officials were “really ripping in terms of that happening because it wasn’t really coordinated with anyone else,” said the person. “He got in deep shit for that the next day. So they’ve been trying to un-ring that bell.”
      A DHS official confirmed that DHS headquarters telegraphed frustration to Enforcement and Removal Operations — the ICE component that handles detentions and deportations — over reports regarding a pause in some enforcement operations.
      Betsy Woodruff Swan contributed to this report.

      For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

      U.S. to Return Canada-Bound Asylum Seekers Stopped at Border to Home Nations

      U.S. to Return Canada-Bound Asylum Seekers Stopped at Border to Home Nations
      by Reuters

      TORONTO — After years of asylum-seekers crossing the Canada-U.S. border illegally to file refugee claims, Canada is turning them around and sending them back to the United States, which says it plans to send them swiftly back to their countries of origin.
      Canada said last week it will no longer accept irregular migrants trying to cross the shared border with the United States and will instead return them to U.S. authorities, as a temporary measure amid the coronavirus outbreak.
      "In the event an alien cannot be returned to Mexico or Canada, CBP will work with interagency partners to secure return to the alien’s country of origin and hold the alien for the shortest time possible," U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesman Michael Niezgoda told Reuters in an email.
      "For those who remain in CBP custody, CBP will, to the extent possible, keep them separated. Symptomatic individuals will be referred to CDC and placed in isolation."

      Since 2017 around 54,000 people have crossed the border into Canada, many saying they want to evade U.S. President Donald Trump’s crackdown on refugees and illegal immigrants.
      Initially, in early March, Ottawa had said it would keep irregular migrants crossing the border in quarantine for two weeks. Last week, it said it reached an agreement with the United States to close the border to all but essential travel.
      Amnesty International said the Canadian position violates its obligations under the 1951 UN refugee convention, including a clause on non-refoulement or the return of asylum seekers to places they fled due to persecution, often their home countries.
      "It demonstrates a lack of leadership. It demonstrates a lack of legal commitment to the obligations Canada has signed up for," said Justin Mohammed, a human rights law and policy campaigner for Amnesty International Canada.
      Immigration and Refugees Minister Marco Mendocino's office referred questions about irregular migrants to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, who was not available.

      Blair's spokeswoman said Ottawa was "committed to ensuring Canada remains a welcoming country for those fleeing war and persecution" and meeting its international commitments.
      "We must note that these restrictions are temporary, and are constantly being re-evaluated to best reflect the advice of our public health officials," spokeswoman Mary-Liz Power said in an email.
      Amnesty International considers aspects of U.S. immigration detention policy a violation of human rights, citing high detention rates, inadequate conditions and the practice of separating parents and children.
      U.S. authorities said last week they will delay arresting some people suspected of violating immigration laws until after the coronavirus crisis.
      Returning people to their country of origin will be tough given flight restrictions in the U.S, said Janet McFetridge, whose organization Plattsburgh Cares helps migrants on the U.S. side of the New York-Quebec border near Roxham Road, a popular crossing spot.
      "If they need to return to wherever they came from, they're going to have a very difficult time getting there right now," she said. "It's an absolutely bleak situation."
      (Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny; Editing by Amran Abocar and Chris Reese)

      For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

      3 Migrant Children in US Custody Test Positive for Virus

      3 Migrant Children in US Custody Test Positive for Virus
      by The Associated Press

      WASHINGTON — Three immigrant children in U.S. government custody at a New York facility have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said Thursday.
      The Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, said it has suspended releases from centers in New York that house immigrant children who were apprehended by U.S. border authorities without their parents or a guardian.
      Five staff members and a contractor at three separate facilities in New York also recently tested positive for the virus, as well as a staff member at a Texas facility and a foster parent in Washington state, the office said in a statement.
      The announcement came a day after immigrant advocates asked a federal judge in Los Angeles to order the agency to release about 1,200 immigrant children who have been in government custody more than 30 days due to concerns about the virus. The judge has scheduled a videoconference on the request for Friday.

      The office is tasked with the custody and care of immigrant children caught traveling alone across the U.S.-Mexico border. It contracts with shelters across the United States to house these children until they can be released to fitting sponsors, most often their relatives.
      There are about 3,500 children in the office's custody.

      For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

      H-1B Initial Electronic Registration Selection Process Completed

      H-1B Initial Electronic Registration Selection Process Completed


      USCIS has received enough electronic registrations during the initial period to reach the FY 2021 H-1B numerical allocations (H-1B cap). We randomly selected from among the registrations properly submitted. We intend to notify petitioners with selected registrations no later than March 31, 2020, that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration.

      Registrants’ online accounts will now show one of the following statuses for each registration (that is, for each beneficiary registered):
      • Submitted: A registration status may continue to show “Submitted” after the initial selection process has been completed. “Submitted” registrations will remain in consideration for selection until the end of the fiscal year, at which point all registration statuses will be Selected, Not Selected, or Denied.
      • Selected: Selected to file an FY 2021 H-1B cap-subject petition.
      • ​​​​​​​Denied: A duplicate registration was submitted by the same registrant for the same beneficiary, or a payment method was declined and not reconciled. If denied as a duplicate registration, all registrations you submitted for this beneficiary for the fiscal year are invalid.
      Only petitioners with selected registrations may file H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2021, and only for the beneficiary in the applicable selected registration notice.

      For more information, visit the H-1B Electronic Registration Process page.


      For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/

      USCIS Announces Flexibility for Requests for Evidence, Notices of Intent to Deny

      USCIS Announces Flexibility for Requests for Evidence, Notices of Intent to Deny


      In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it is adopting a measure to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to requests for evidence (RFEs) and notices of intent to deny (NOIDs) dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020.   

      For applicants and petitioners who receive an RFE or NOID dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020, any responses submitted within 60 calendar days after the response deadline set forth in the RFE or NOID will be considered by USCIS before any action is taken. 

      USCIS is adopting several measures to protect our workforce and community, and to minimize the immigration consequences for those seeking immigration benefits during this time. 

      USCIS will provide further updates as the situation develops and will continue to follow CDC guidance. Education and precautions are the strongest tools against COVID-19 infection. Please visit uscis.gov/coronavirus for latest facts and other USCIS updates.


      For more information contact us at http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/