USCIS Adopted an Untested, Legally Problematic, Less Effective Process to Extend Work Permits
Today, 70 law professors and scholars delivered a letter to Secretary of U.S Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) L. Francis Cissna outlining the legal issues with the administration’s decision to extend work permits for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders from El Salvador, Haiti, and Syria with delayed applications. USCIS employed an unorthodox, untested, and legally problematic procedure to automatically extend work permits for upwards of 30,000 TPS holders because of USCIS’ own failure to process and approve applications on a timely basis.
Instead of publishing an electronic notice in the Federal Register, USCIS mailed upwards of 30,000 physical notices, leading to “legal service providers report[ing] instances of employers terminating TPS holders because the employer did not understand or accept the” notices. The letter further argues that notices are unlawful under the Administrative Procedure Act, as USCIS’ decision to use such Notices is “an arbitrary, capricious, and irrational action,” especially considering that USCIS has yet to provide an explanation for why it adopted an untested process more likely to lead to errors and confusion.
The law professors conclude by urging the administration to cease its use of the new notices; demanding an explanation as to why USCIS departed from past practices; and asking that USCIS immediately issue extensions through the Federal Register for Haiti, El Salvador, and Syria; and countries experiencing future delays.
Read the full letter here: http://bit.ly/TPSLawProfLetter.