Federal Register Notices – 2019

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January 2019

Date Title
January 18, 2019 (PDF) Under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may generally only approve petitions for H–2A and H–2B nonimmigrant status for nationals of countries 1 that the Secretary of Homeland Security, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, has designated by notice published in the Federal Register. That notice must be renewed each year. This notice announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is identifying 84 countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H–2A program and 81 countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H–2B program for the coming year.
January 23, 2019 (PDF) The U.S. Department of Labor (Department) is publishing this final rule to adjust for inflation the civil monetary penalties assessed or enforced by the Department, pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Inflation Adjustment Act). The Inflation Adjustment Act requires the Department to annually adjust its civil money penalty levels for inflation no later than January 15 of each year. The Inflation Adjustment Act provides that agencies shall adjust civil monetary penalties notwithstanding Section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Additionally, the Inflation Adjustment Act provides a cost-of-living formula for adjustment of the civil penalties. Accordingly, this final rule sets forth the Department’s 2019 annual adjustments for inflation to its civil monetary penalties.
January 31, 2019 (PDF)

This final rule amends Department of Homeland Security (“DHS” or “the Department”) regulations governing petitions filed on behalf of H-1B beneficiaries who may be counted toward the 65,000 visa cap established under the Immigration and Nationality Act (“H-1B regular cap”) or beneficiaries with advanced degrees from U.S. institutions of higher education who are eligible for an exemption from the regular cap (“advanced degree exemption”). The amendments require petitioners seeking to file H-1B petitions subject to the regular cap, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, to first electronically register with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) during a designated registration period, unless the registration requirement is temporarily suspended. USCIS is suspending the registration requirement for the fiscal year 2020 cap season to complete all requisite user testing of the new H-1B registration system and otherwise ensure the system and process are operable.

This final rule also changes the process by which USCIS counts H-1B registrations (or petitions, for FY 2020 or any other year in which the registration requirement will be suspended), by first selecting registrations submitted on behalf of all beneficiaries, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will then select from the remaining registrations a sufficient number projected as needed to reach the advanced degree exemption. Changing the order in which USCIS counts these separate allocations will likely increase the number of beneficiaries with a master's or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education to be selected for further processing under the H-1B allocations. USCIS will proceed with implementing this change to the cap allocation selection process for the FY 2020 cap season (beginning on April 1, 2019), notwithstanding the delayed implementation of the H-1B registration requirement.


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February 2019

DATE TITLE
February 1, 2019 (PDF) This notice provides an update of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) poverty guidelines to account for last calendar year’s increase in prices as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
February 8, 2019 (PDF) The Secretary of Homeland Security has determined, pursuant to law, that it is necessary to waive certain laws, regulations, and other legal requirements in order to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads in the vicinity of the international land border near the City of San Diego in the State of California.
February 12, 2019 (PDF) In Proclamation 9822 of November 9, 2018 (Addressing Mass Migration Through the Southern Border of the United States), I found that our immigration and asylum system is in crisis as a consequence of the mass migration of aliens across the border between the United States and Mexico (southern border). Accordingly, pursuant to sections 212(f) and 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1182(f) and 1185(a), respectively), I found that the unlawful entry of aliens through that border is detrimental to the interests of the United States and suspended and limited entry of such aliens. I exempted from the scope of Proclamation 9822 any alien who entered the United States at a port of entry and properly presented for inspection, as well as any lawful permanent resident of the United States.
February 21, 2019 (PDF) For the period beginning January 1, 2019, and ending on March 31, 2019, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Immigration Bond interest rate is 2.38 per centum per annum.
February 28, 2019 (PDF) Notice of Availability for Policy Guidance Related to Implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols

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March 2019

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March 1, 2019 (PDF)

Through this notice, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announces actions to ensure its continued compliance with the preliminary injunction order of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Ramos v. Nielsen, No. 18–cv–01554 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 3, 2018) (‘‘preliminary injunction’’). Beneficiaries under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador will retain their TPS while the preliminary injunction remains in effect, provided that an individual’s TPS is not withdrawn under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 244(c)(3) or 8 CFR 244.14 because of ineligibility.

DHS is further announcing it is automatically extending through January 2, 2020, the validity of TPSrelated Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), Forms I–797, Notice of Action (Approval Notice), and Forms I–94 (Arrival/Departure Record) (collectively ‘‘TPS-Related Documentation’’), as specified in this notice, for beneficiaries under the TPS designations for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador, provided that the affected TPS beneficiaries remain otherwise individually eligible for TPS. See INA section 244(c)(3). This Notice also provides information explaining DHS’s plans to issue a subsequent notice that will describe the steps DHS will take after January 2, 2020, should continued compliance with the preliminary injunction be necessary.

March 4, 2019 (PDF)

The Department of Labor’s (Department’s or DOL’s) Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) is making this announcement to inform employers and other interested stakeholders of how H–2B Applications for Temporary Employment Certification, Form ETA–9142B, filed by employers on or after July 3, 2019, will be assigned to staff for review.

The Department believes these procedural changes will provide for fairer and more orderly assignment and review of applications. The Department is seeking public comments on these procedural changes.

March 6, 2019 (PDF)

Based upon a review of the Administrative Record assembled pursuant to Section 219(a)(4)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1189(a)(4)(C))(‘‘INA’’), and in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury, I conclude that the circumstances that were the basis for the designation of the aforementioned organization as a Foreign Terrorist Organization have not changed in such a manner as to warrant revocation of the designation and that the national security of the United States does not warrant a revocation of the designation.

Therefore, I hereby determine that the designation of the aforementioned organization as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, pursuant to Section 219 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1189), shall be maintained.

March 15, 2019 (PDF) Designation of Akram ‘Abbas al-Kabi, aka Akram Abas al-Ka’bi, aka Sheik Akram al-Ka’abi, aka Shaykh Abu- Akram al-Ka’abi, aka Abu-Muhammad, aka Karumi, aka Abu Ali as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
March 22, 2019 (PDF)

Based upon a review of the Administrative Record assembled pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1189) (‘‘INA’’), and in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury, I conclude that the circumstances that were the basis for the designation of the aforementioned organization (and other aliases) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization have not changed in such a manner as to warrant revocation of the designation, and that the national security of the United States does not warrant a revocation of the designation. I also conclude that there is a sufficient factual basis to find that the aforementioned organization (and other aliases) uses the additional aliases: Amaq News Agency and Al Hayat Media Center, also known as Al-Hayat Media Center, also known as Al Hayat.

Therefore, I hereby determine that the designation of the aforementioned organization (and other aliases) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, pursuant to Section 219 of the INA, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1189), shall be maintained. Additionally, pursuant to Section 219(b) of the INA, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1189(b)), I hereby amend the designation of the aforementioned organization as a Foreign Terrorist Organization to include the following new aliases: Amaq News Agency and Al Hayat Media Center, also known as Al-Hayat Media Center, also known as Al Hayat.

March 22, 2019 (PDF) In the Matter of the Amendment of the Designation of ISIS (and Other Aliases) as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist
March 22, 2019 (PDF) The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is issuing this Notice to announce the annual update to: (1) The allowable charges that employers seeking H–2A workers in occupations other than herding or production of livestock on the range may charge their workers when the employer provides three meals per day; and (2) the maximum travel subsistence meal reimbursement that a worker with receipts may claim under the H–2A and H–2B programs. The Notice also includes a reminder regarding employers’ obligations with respect to overnight lodging costs as part of required subsistence.
March 27, 2019 (PDF) The Department of Justice (Department) is evaluating the possibility of revising the rules and procedures governing representation and appearance during proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s (EOIR) immigration courts and Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The Department is considering whether to amend those rules to allow for, and identify the nature and scope of, authorized practitioners’ limited representation of aliens before EOIR.  The Department is issuing this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to solicit public suggestions for any such potential amendments to the relevant portions of EOIR’s regulations.

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April 2019

DATE TITLE
April 2, 2019 (PDF) Extension of Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians
April 3, 2019 (PDF) On March 28, 2019, President Trump issued a memorandum to the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary), Kirstjen M. Nielsen, directing her to extend for certain, eligible Liberians, the 12-month deferred enforced departure (DED) wind-down period and to provide for continued work authorization through March 30, 2020, after which date the DED wind-down period will end.  During the extension of the 12-month wind-down period of DED, affected individuals may remain in the United States. This Notice automatically extends DED-related employment authorization documents (EADs) that have a printed expiration date of March 31, 2019, for an additional 180 days through September 27, 2019, for eligible Liberians. This Notice also provides instructions for eligible Liberians on how to apply for an EAD for the full 12-month period of employment authorization, through March 30, 2020.  USCIS will issue new EADs with a March 30, 2020, expiration date to eligible Liberians who are covered by DED under the Presidential Memorandum of March 28, 2019, and who apply for a new EAD. DHS recognizes that current DED-eligible Liberians with EADs that expire on March 31, 2019, will not receive new EADs before such EADs expire.  Accordingly, through this Notice, DHS also automatically extends the validity of DED-related EADs for 180 days, through September 27, 2019, and explains how Liberians covered under DED and their employers may determine which EADs are automatically extended and how this impacts the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I–9), E-Verify, and SAVE processes.
April 5, 2019 (PDF) In this final rule, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is making the 2019 annual inflation adjustment to its civil monetary penalties. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (2015 Act) was signed into law on November 2, 2015. Pursuant to the 2015 Act, all agencies must adjust civil monetary penalties annually and publish the adjustment in the Federal Register.  Accordingly, this final rule adjusts DHS’s civil monetary penalties for 2019 pursuant to the 2015 Act and OMB guidance. The new penalties will be effective for penalties assessed after April 5, 2019 whose associated violations occurred after November 2, 2015.
April 5, 2019 (PDF) For the period beginning April 1, 2019, and ending on June 30, 2019, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Immigration Bond interest rate is 2.45 per centum per annum.
April 5, 2019 (PDF) this Notice, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) is extending the designation of South Sudan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from May 3, 2019, through November 2, 2020. The extension allows currently eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through November 2, 2020, so long as they otherwise continue to meet the eligibility requirements for TPS.  This Notice also sets forth procedures necessary for nationals of South Sudan (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in South Sudan) to re-register for TPS and to apply for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS will issue new EADs with a November 2, 2020 expiration date to eligible beneficiaries under South Sudan’s TPS designation who timely re-register and apply for EADs under this extension.
April 8, 2019 (PDF) In 2016, DHS reduced Greece’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) travel authorization validity period for travel by nationals of Greece under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) from two years to one year. The reduction was based on a 2015 VWP assessment of Greece, which had identified a number of shortcomings in satisfying VWP requirements. In November 2018, DHS re-evaluated Greece’s progress to meet the requirements and determined that Greece has satisfied the requirements for normalizing Greece’s ESTA validity period to two years. This document announces that DHS therefore is increasing Greece’s ESTA validity period to two years.
April 15, 2019 (PDF) In the Matter of the Designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (and Other Aliases) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization
April 17, 2019 (PDF) The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comments.

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May 2019

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June 2019

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July 2019

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August 2019

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September 2019

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October 2019

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November 2019

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December 2019

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Updated April 18, 2019

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