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Immigration Cases to Look Out for in 2017

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Jennings v. Rodriguez and the Battle Over Immigrant Detention

The debate behind Jennings is whether certain immigrants are entitled to bond hearings following six months of mandatory detention. Under mandatory detention, , certain immigrants who arrive at the border — as well as some criminal or “terrorist” immigrants — are detained without any hearings. Mandatory detention,” can drag on for years without a bond hearing. The Supreme Court justices appeared divided during oral arguments for the class action this November, with some members of the high court raising due process issues.

Although immigration detention has always been a controversial topic, the case may have taken on extra significance now that Trump will be president. Trump wants to use detention to its full force to ensure that people show up at their hearings and are removed if they’re ordered removed. This means that more people could find themselves detained while awaiting the outcomes of their deportation cases.

For updated information on the case, please click here: http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/jennings-v-rodriguez/

 

Lynch v. Morales-Santana: Addressing Gender Issues in Immigration Law

 Morales-Santana asks whether sections of older U.S. immigration law run afoul of the U.S. Constitution by forcing unmarried fathers to meet heavier criteria than mothers to pass American citizenship to their kids born abroad.  In Morales, the U.S. government seeks to reinstate a deportation order against a convicted felon whom the government claims is a permanent resident alien. The Plaintiff, Morales, argues that he has citizenship through his biological father, a U.S. citizen, and that a statutory distinction that would deny him citizenship unfairly discriminates between mothers and fathers. The question being addressed asked is therefore, whether gender-based distinction in immigration law for establishing derivative citizenship violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection.

For updated information on the case, please click here: http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/lynch-v-morales-santana/

 

Lynch v. Dimaya: Defining Crime of Violence for Immigration Purposes

In Dimaya, the Supreme Court must decide whether part of the “crime of violence” definition, as incorporated into immigration law, is unconstitutionally vague. Specifically, the justices will determine whether an immigration provision deeming the “sexual abuse of a minor” to be an aggravated felony includes consensual sex between someone who is nearly 18 and a 21-year-old.

For updated information on the case, please click here: http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/lynch-v-dimaya/

 

Mesa v. Hernandez may have Significant Implications on U.S. Government Activities

Mesa is a constitutional tort suit against a U.S. border control officer who, while standing on the U.S. side, shot and killed an unarmed Mexican teenager while he was in Mexico. It was decided on a limited record but after extensive investigation, U.S. criminal justice authorities declined to bring charges against the officer.

The Supreme Court is now reviewing a Fifth Circuit holding that the Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment claim was barred on the merits by the Supreme Court’s 1992 decision in United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, and that the Fifth Amendment substantive due process claim was barred by qualified immunity.

Mesa has the potential to generate a very important decision by the Supreme Court this term, impacting foreign intelligence surveillance, drone strikes, and many other U.S. government activities abroad. The case is significant because the Fourth Amendment governs all manner of searches and seizure by U.S. officials, from electronic surveillance to physical searches of persons, buildings, computers and other devices, to thermal imaging to shootings. Furthermore, the substantive due process component of the Fifth Amendment governs government action that could be characterized as arbitrary, excessive, or conscience shocking.

The case is set for argument on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.For updated information on the case, please click here: http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/hernandez-v-mesa/

 

 The H-1B Debate

1. The Disney Saga Continues

In the latest chapter of the legal fight with Disney over its alleged use of foreign workers, 30 former Disney workers recently filed federal civil suit against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. Inc. over national origin and race discrimination.  Specifically, the class action suit accuses Disney of laying off information technology workers “based solely on their national origin and race” and replacing them with Indian nationals who received “special treatment.”

This is not the first lawsuit over the issue but the previous suits levied racketeering claims rather than bias allegations. Plaintiffs Leonardo Perrero and Dena Moore sued twice in the past, claiming that Disney and outsourcing companies were misleading in their sponsorship of replacement workers for visas, in violation of federal law. Both of those cases were dismissed in 2016. The replacement workers had been brought in on H-1B visas.

2. Tenrec, Inc. et al v. US Citizenship and Immigration Services et al: A Class Action regarding the H-1B Lottery

On September 22, 2016 an Oregon federal judge threw out United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Motion to Dismiss a class action lawsuit against the agency regarding the H-1B Cap lottery. The judge held that the suing businesses and their would-be H-1B recipient employees had standing to bring their claims. A class action lawsuit had been filed against USCIS to end the current random lottery process for H-1B cap petitions, which are currently required to be filed in a 5 day window beginning on April 1st and are randomly selected without regard to order of filing in previous years.  Those suing are advocating that USCIS allow those with rejected H-1B petitions the opportunity to re-submit petitions and receive a place in line ahead of those who file for the first time at a later date. This remedy would provide “priority” for next fiscal year’s H-1B numbers to those who had filed for an H-1B this year, or in previous years, and were not selected in the random lottery.  In response to the lawsuit, USCIS had filed a Motion to Dismiss the case, which the federal judge threw out.

The case may go to trial and if it does, the Federal District Court could rule against USCIS. A ruling against USCIS could lead to significant changes to the H-1B Cap lottery system. If implemented, changes that prioritize those who had previously filed for the H-1B Cap would make it easier for those applicants to eventually be selected in the lottery.

To view the full order and opinion, please click here: http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/oregon/ordce/3:2016cv00995/127243/28/

 

 

 

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