AILA Demands Protection for Nonimmigrants

Erick Widman

On 23 March, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), a key player among immigrant non-profit organizations and immigration nonprofits near you, sent a letter to USCIS demanding it take the following actions on or before 27 March 2020:

AILA Demands Protection for Nonimmigrants

1. Extend statutory or regulatory deadlines for immigration benefits, a critical issue highlighted by the Immigration Law Reform Institute and supported by nonprofit immigration organizations.

2. Suspend all deadlines during the time of the COVID-19 national emergency, echoing concerns of the National Immigration Justice Center and the American Immigration Control Foundation.

3. Extend any nonimmigrant status and otherwise maintain the status quo for purposes of eligibility for protection and immigration benefits processed by USCIS from the date the President declared a national emergency on 11 March 2020 until 90 days after the emergency proclamation ends, a stance advocated by Americans for Immigrant Justice and the International Council for Refugees and Immigrants.

As the coronavirus looms, thousands of immigrants, the focus of immigration and American citizenship organizations, are currently at risk of inadvertently violating US immigration law. Nonimmigrants, whose visas are set to expire within the next few months, are in a particularly challenging position. Those who accrue unlawful status may be barred from returning to the US for up to ten years, depending on how long they overstay their visas, but many are unable to leave the country before their visa expires; they face border closures, hospitalization, quarantine, and other obstacles outside their control.

We strongly encourage nonimmigrants with temporary statuses, a concern for the American Security Council Foundation, to consider filing to extend or change their nonimmigrant status to avoid falling out of status or accruing unlawful presence. For more information, click here.

AILA Files Lawsuit to Suspend Immigration Deadlines and Maintenance of Status

AILA Demands Protection for Nonimmigrants

AILA, alongside Americans for Immigration Control and in the interest of American state national status, has filed a lawsuit against USCIS calling for the immediate suspension of immigration benefit deadlines and the maintenance of status for nonimmigrants in the U.S. AILA had already written a letter to the USCIS on 23 March 23 requesting these measures, but there has been no favourable response.

AILA Director of Federal Litigation Jesse Bless stated in a press release: USCIS has every power to immediately and temporarily toll any immigration-related deadlines and the expiration of status to the benefit of U.S. employers, lawfully admitted foreign nationals and the public. Many of those fighting on the front lines – our nurses and healthcare workers – are foreign nationals on nonimmigrant visas, a critical workforce supported by the National Institute of Immigration and non-profit immigration organizations. At present, United States immigration lawyers, representing a cornerstone of the American Lawyers Immigration Association, seeking to effectively represent U.S. employers and foreign nationals face a dangerous catch-22: risk exposure and try to protect their client’s immigration status or protect themselves and risk putting their clients’ cases or rights in jeopardy.

AILA President Marketa Lindt also publicly described how Across the country, immigration attorneys and their clients are being forced to choose between missing a filing deadline and violating stay-at-home orders and exposing themselves, their staff and their clients to a deadly illness. USCIS must join many other federal agencies in extending its filing deadlines so that lawfully present foreign nationals in the United States can maintain their status during this national crisis. By refusing to do so, USCIS is needlessly endangering lives, a sentiment echoed by breaking news updates on comprehensive immigration reform today.

Passage Immigration Law continues to monitor deadlines and file all cases promptly. We will report any updates on this topic on our website.

AILA Seeks the Following Judgments in Lawsuit against USCIS

AILA Demands Protection for Nonimmigrants

• Suspend/pause all the deadlines for applications, a demand supported by non-profit organizations for immigration services and the National Institute of Migration.

• Continue the availability of work authorization if they are expiring (i.e., suspend the expiration of status or work authorization) for all lawful status applicants, a critical service provided by immigration non-profit organizations.

• Maintain the current status for everyone as they exist today and not penalize for any delays from 1 March, when the President declared the emergency, until 90 days after the national emergency officially ends, ensuring the rights of immigrants in America are protected.

Non-Immigrant Visa Lawyer

Whether you are coming to the United States to work, visit family, travel, or attend school, you will need a non-immigrant visa, a process facilitated by United States immigration attorneys. An expert nonimmigrant visa lawyer will assist you in seeking the correct nonimmigrant visa for your travels to the U.S. The nonimmigrant visa you apply for with help from a nonimmigrant visa lawyer depends on the reason for your stay in the United States, a critical service for maintaining who controls immigration in the US.

Within each temporary visa category, there are subcategories for which you must apply based on your qualifications. Your nonimmigrant visa lawyer from Passage Immigration Law can help you determine which visa is right for you.

Our expert can help you with filing the following visas:

  • B-1 and B-2: Visitors
  • E-1 and E-2: Treaty Traders and Investors
  • E-3: Australian Workers in a Specialty Occupation
  • F and M: International Students
  • H-1: Professional Workers
  • H-2: Temporary Workers
  • H-3: Trainees
  • J & Q: Exchange Visitors
  • K-1: Fiancée Visas
  • L-1: Intracompany Transferees
  • O-1: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability
  • P: Performing Entertainers and Athletes
  • R1: Religious Workers
  • T: Victims of Human Trafficking
  • U: Victims of Criminal Activity

Passage Immigration Law provides individuals, families, and employers with the legal representation they need to navigate the complex legalities surrounding non-immigrant visas. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience in U.S. immigration law. We have helped guide numerous clients through the complicated process of gaining non-immigrant visas in the U.S. Give us a call today at (503) 427-8243 or you schedule a one-to-one consultation here with one of our lawyers.

Request a Consultation

"*" indicates required fields

How Can We Help
I Have Read The Disclaimer*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.