Arrivals: This Week in Immigration News (11.19.18 – 11.23.18)

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US Judge Stalls Trump’s Asylum Restrictions

THE STORY: A federal judge has temporarily blocked Trump’s asylum ban. The decision came after lawyers sued the Trump administration for trying to stop immigrants who enter the country illegally from seeking asylum.

THE CONTEXT: Trump has tried to reshape U.S. immigration practices since he took office in 2017, but the federal judiciary has been a recurring check on his policy changes. A federal judge blocked Trump’s initial travel ban and it was a federal judge who ruled that the Trump administration had to reunite families that had been separated at the border.

WHAT’S NEXT: Trump has criticized the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which just blocked the asylum ban, for being partisan. This sparked a rare response from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who affirmed the independence of the judiciary. The 9th Circuit’s block on the asylum ban will stay in effect for the next month and the case will likely head to the Supreme Court.


H-1B Visas To Create Startup Hubs

THE STORY: U.S. universities are making use of H-1B visas to create startup hubs.

THE CONTEXT: Various U.S. universities are using a work program called Global Entrepreneur in Residence (GEIR) to help fuel startup innovation. The program makes it possible for foreign nationals to work at U.S. universities while pursuing their own startups. People in the program can receive a cap-exempt H-1B visa. GEIR is currently active at institutions like the University of Massachusetts and University of Colorado Boulder. The program has also already helped spawn several startups.

WHAT’S NEXT: Now a group called InnovateABQ is starting a non-university program in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The program will use GEIR to facilitate entrepreneurship by immigrants, but expand it beyond the academy, helping to open the door to more highly skilled immigration.

Read further in this piece from Crunchbase.


New Bill To Protect Spouses Of H1-B Visa Holders

THE STORY: A new bill would protect the spouses of H-1B visa holders who are at risk of being blocked from working.

THE CONTEXT: H-4 spouses of H-1B visa holders who are on track for a green card, but are subject to backlogs, are eligible for work authorization. In the last three years, more than 100,000 people have been given the ability to work through the program, but the Trump administration is planning to put an end to the H-4 work authorization program, which would force many H-4 spouses to stop working. Two congresswomen from California have recently introduced a bill which would protect the rights of these immigrant spouses.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Trump administration is likely to revoke the work authorization for spouses by the end of 2018. While a single bill protecting immigrant spouses likely won’t pass a divided Congress, the protections could be folded into a larger immigration or border patrol bill, which is more likely to see the light of day.

Read further in this Mercury News piece.