Immigration Law Update
September 2017

New Immigration Restriction: Employment-based Green Card Applicants Will Interview with USCIS

According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the agency will phase in a personal interview requirement for adjustment of status applications (green card cases) based on employment sponsorship. These interviews will also be required for certain relatives who are beneficiaries of visa petitions filed by refugees and asylees. Previously, interviews for most of these cases were not required because they were considered to be of minimal value. For more information see

The changes implement part of President Trump's Executive Order 13780, "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States." They are aimed at improving the detection of fraudulent applications and providing officers with an opportunity to verify and assess information contained in the applications. 
Immigration advocates are concerned that these requirements will increase the already long wait times for visas and green cards for deserving applicants and make it more difficult for foreign talent to come to or remain in the United States. They also fear it will make the process more complex and expensive for employers.  
Unanswered questions remain: 
  • Which company representative will be required to attend the interview? 
  • What happens if the interview location is hundreds of miles away from the place of employment? 
  • How much longer is the process expected to add on to the usual wait time for approvals?

DACA Recission Affects Employers, Workers and Students
On September 5, 2017, President Trump announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, a five –year old executive memorandum that gave certain undocumented immigrants the ability to work, pursue higher education, obtain social security numbers, and be free from the threat of deportation for two year increments.  

DACA recipients are part of the population known as “Dreamers,” who were brought to the U.S. by their parents at a young age, and have grown up in this country; many do not even remember their country of origin or speak its language. To obtain Deferred Action and work authorization (an EAD), eligible DACA applicants had to pay filing fees, prove they were in school, had graduated high school or served in the army, pass a criminal background check, and prove their presence in the U.S. prior to June 12, 2007. DACA is slated to end in six months, i.e. March 2018. The Trump Administration states that it is phasing the program out to give Congress a chance to come up with a legislative solution
Any business that employs DACA recipients – including hospitals, construction companies, restaurants, colleges, etc. –may soon lose talented and valuable employees. Here are some key FAQs for employers about the DACA rescission:

What is going to happen to current DACA holders?
Answer: Current DACA recipients can retain the period of deferred action and employment authorization until they expire.

Can an undocumented student apply for DACA for the first time now?
Answer: No new applications will be accepted.

If an employee’s DACA period is expiring soon, can he renew his DACA benefit?
Answer: Anyone whose DACA status is expiring before March 5, 2018, must apply to renew their status and EAD before October 5, 2017. USIS will reject all applications to renew DACA and EADs after October 5, 2017.

What happens when an individual’s DACA benefits expire within the next two years?
Answer: Unless congress legislates a change, someone with expired DACA will be considered to be unlawfully present and will no longer be eligible for lawful employment.
Employers impacted by the elimination of DACA should contact their local Congressional representatives to explain the need for their workers to continue their employment and the impact ending DACA will have on their business and the economy. 

For further information, visit or contact Laurie Woog at Mandelbaum Salsburg
The Immigration Law Update is presented by Laurie Woog. Laurie is Chair of Mandelbaum Salsburg's Immigration Law Practice and has over twenty years of experience in the immigration law field. She represents clients in employment and family-based immigration cases before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and U.S. consulates abroad in all areas of immigration, including temporary work visas such as H-1b, L-1, R-1 and O-1s, and green cards through family relationships, labor certification (PERM) and employment based on extraordinary ability in the arts, science and business, national interest waivers, and outstanding professors and researchers. Laurie handles many applications for green cards based on marriage, extensions of status, and naturalization. For more information, please contact Laurie at or 908-233-0076.