News in Brief

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers:

DACA Statistical Update: As of December 13, USCIS reports that more than 350,000 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) applications have been received by the agency, and over 100,000 cases have been approved. Approximately 157,000 cases are actively under review. Of the more than 350,000 cases received, over 250,000 are from Mexican nationals; El Salvadoran nationals comprise the next highest number, more than 15,000 applications.

No Premium Processing for Multinational Executive/Manager Green Card Cases for Foreseeable Future: Despite earlier reports that USCIS would expand its premium processing service to EB-1-3 multinational executive and manager employment-based green card cases, USCIS reported otherwise in mid-November, stating that premium processing would not be extended to EB-1-3 anytime soon.

USCIS Expands e-Request System Inquiry System: USCIS has expanded its services offered by e-Request, which allows individuals to inquire about that status of applications and petitions submitted to USCIS when they are outside normal processing times, or to notify USCIS about an administrative error in a notice or document sent by USCIS.  For details and instructions, go to https://egov.uscis.gov/e-request/Intro.do.

ICE Expands Detainee Helpline: ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations launched the second phase of its ICE Community and Detainee Helpline for detainees in Washington, Baltimore, Atlanta, Miami, and New Orleans. Detained individuals in these facilities will have access through toll-free telephone systems to the Office of the Public Advocate, where they can obtain assistance to obtain basic immigration case information, report incidents, or inform ICE of “pertinent issues such as detainee vulnerabilities.”  The helpline is part of an overhaul of detention facilities and detainee conditions ICE pledged to begin 2010.

Immigration Court Backlogs, ICE Requests for Deportations Decrease; ICE Prosecutorial Discretion Case Closures Increase: Recent data analyzed by the independent Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) show that that backlogs in the immigration courts have dropped for the first time in years (even though processing times and wait times continue to increase). Data also show a rise in the number of prosecutorial discretion closures – cases the government decided not to prosecute under its new guidelines – and that ICE sought fewer deportation orders:  20% fewer than in 2011 and 23% fewer than in 2010. Deportation orders had sharply increased in 2010 from previous years.

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