Senate Introduces Bill to Grant TPS to Venezuelans
The Senate has introduced a bipartisan bill that would allow Venezuelans to seek temporary protected status (TPS) in the United States.
The bill is spearheaded by Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Marco Rubio of Florida.
According to the United Nations, more than 3 million Venezuelans have fled their country to escape the dire economic crisis. Venezuelans are struggling to afford basic necessities such as food and toiletries due to the astronomic inflation rate plaguing the country.
The United Nations has called on nations like the United States to take in Venezuelan refugees, given the strain placed on South American countries who have few resources to provide for incoming refugees.
The bill is not expected to advance until the new year, but it is the first step in making Venezuela’s government accountable for the economic crisis and providing relief to Venezuelan nationals.
Asylum requests are currently at an all-time high for Venezuelan nationals.
I-539 Workload Transfer
USCIS has announced the transfer of Form I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status for F, M, J, or B nonimmigrants from the Vermont Service center to the Texas Service Center, Nebraska Service Center, California Service Center, and Potomac Service Center.
The transfer was made to distribute the workload for these applications.
USCIS Reaches H-2B Cap for First Half of Fiscal Year
USCIS has announced that it has reached the H-2B cap for the first half of fiscal year 2019. The H-2B visa is available to US employers seeking to hire temporary non-agricultural workers.
To qualify US employers must demonstrate that (1) there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work; (2) employing H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers and (3) its need for the prospective worker’s services or labor is temporary, regardless of whether the underlying job can be described as temporary.
Dec. 6, 2018 was the final receipt date for new cap-subject H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date before April 1, 2019. USCIS will reject new cap-subject H-2B petitions received after Dec. 6 that request an employment start date before April 1, 2019.
On Dec. 11, 2018, USCIS conducted a lottery to randomly select petitions received on Dec. 6.
USCIS has now assigned all petitions selected in the lottery the receipt date of Dec. 11.