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AILA Doc. No. 15090905 | Dated May 16, 2016
In the lawsuit regarding the October 2015 Visa Bulletin, the district court granted the government’s motion to dismiss, finding that it lacked jurisdiction under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to review the government’s revision to the October 2015 Visa Bulletin, because that revision did not constitute “final agency action.” (Mehta v. DOS, 5/16/16) (AILA Doc. No. 15092901)
DOS and DHS filed in the Western District of Washington a motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' class action lawsuit, contending that the court lacks jurisdiction under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to review the revisions to the "Dates for Filing Visa Applications" chart, and that the plaintiffs have failed to state a viable claim for relief. p>
USCIS provides information on how the U.S Department of State (DOS) allocates immigrant visas, the DOS Visa Bulletin process, and specific ways to adjust status depending on the specific situation (AILA Doc No. 15111608). p>
USCIS also quarterly posts the pending employment-based I-485 inventory. p>
On October 28, 16 House Democrats requested from DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and DOS Secretary John Kerry the number of individuals affected by the September 25 Revision to the October Visa Bulletin, as well as any plans to provide relief to those harmed (AILA Doc. No. 15102933). p>
Make your voice heard. Take action today by asking Congress to help restore the September 9, 2015, October Visa Bulletin and sign this White House petition asking President Obama to step in and revert back the decision of changing dates on the Visa Bulletin and to honor those dates originally published at least until end of October 2015.
Today, AILA participated in its regularly scheduled monthly call with Service Center Operations and followed up on the questions on the October Visa Bulletin which we submitted shortly after the new Visa Bulletin format was announced on September 9. Though these questions remain relevant notwithstanding the revised filing dates, USCIS declined to answer them, and indicated that it would be incorporating the answers to some of our questions into publically-available FAQs. USCIS did not give AILA a timeline on when those FAQs would be released.
Since the release of the revised October Visa Bulletin on September 25, 2015, AILA has spoken with officials from the White House Domestic Policy Council and the Department of Homeland Security who recognize our concerns surrounding the change, and promised follow-up. In addition to our main ask that the Administration reinstate the filing dates listed in the initial October Visa Bulletin (September 9, 2015 version), AILA has called for the Administration to conduct a public stakeholder engagement and provide meaningful information on what happened and what we can expect moving forward. AILA will continue to engage in dialogue on this issue with Administration officials.
On September 28, 2015, a class action complaint was filed in the Western District of Washington. The plaintiffs asked the court to strike down the revised September 25, 2015 version of the October Visa Bulletin, and to compel USCIS to accept adjustment applications pursuant to the original September 9, 2015 Bulletin. The case is Mehta v. DOS.
On September 28, 2015, AILA sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, and Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz expressing disappointment in September 25, 2015 changes to the October Visa Bulletin, and asking that the dates published in the September 9, 2015 Visa Bulletin be restored.
On September 25, 2015, the Department of State published a revised Visa Bulletin for October, rolling back the "Dates for Filing" for several visa categories. This "Revised September 25, 2015" Visa Bulletin supersedes the previous Visa Bulletin for October, which was published on September 9, 2015.
AILA issued a press release noting that the government's inept handling of the October visa Bulletin has led to serious consequences for thousands of people.
AILA had also submitted a set of in-depth questions to USCIS on the October visa bulletin immediately following the release of the September 9, 2015 Visa Bulletin. These questions remain relevant notwithstanding the September 25 Visa Bulletin change, but to date, remain unanswered. AILA will post responses when we receive them.
USCIS, in coordination with Department of State (DOS), revised the procedures for determining visa availability for applicants waiting to file for employment-based or family-sponsored preference adjustment of status. The revised process will better align with procedures DOS uses for foreign nationals who seek to become U.S. permanent residents by applying for immigrant visas at U.S. consulates and embassies abroad.
This revised process will enhance DOS's ability to more accurately predict overall immigrant visa demand and determine the cut-off dates for visa issuance published in the Visa Bulletin. This will help ensure that the maximum number of immigrant visas are issued annually as intended by Congress, and minimize month-to-month fluctuations in Visa Bulletin final action dates.
The Visa Bulletin revisions implement November 2014 executive actions on immigration announced by President Obama and Secretary of Homeland Security Johnson, as detailed in the White House report, Modernizing and Streamlining Our Legal Immigration System for the 21st century, issued in July 2015.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 15090905.
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