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New Cases and Developments

NACUA's Legal Resources staff summarizes current higher education cases and developments and provides the full text of selected cases to members. New cases and developments are archived here for up to 12 months.  Cases provided by Fastcase, Inc.

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Immigration & International Activities; Employment; Foreign Students

Int’l Refugee Assistance Project, et al. v. Trump (D. Md. October 17, 2017)

Memorandum and Opinion granting-in-part and denying-in-part Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Preliminary Injunction. Plaintiffs, consisting of twenty-three individuals and seven organizations, challenged the President’s Proclamation 9645, which indefinitely barred the entry into the United States of foreign nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Venezuela, because of identified security inadequacies related to terrorism and other public-safety threats. The court found that Plaintiffs were likely to succeed on their claims that the Proclamation violates the Establishment Clause and section 1152(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which bars discrimination on the basis of nationality in the issuance of immigrant visas.  Regarding Plaintiffs’ Establishment Clause claim, although the court noted that “past actions do not ‘forever taint’ present ones,” it was not persuaded that the third iteration of the travel ban cured previous constitutional violations by evidencing “rejection of the President’s prior calls for a Muslim ban.” Furthermore, the court found Plaintiffs established a likelihood of irreparable harm, that the balance of equities weighed in favor of the Plaintiffs, and the injunction would further the public interest of preventing discrimination and constitutional violations. The injunction is limited to barring enforcement against individuals “who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” and will not apply to travelers from Venezuela or North Korea.

10/20/2017
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Foreign Students; Employment; Immigration & International Activities

Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project Summary Disposition (U.S. October 10, 2017)

Order vacating and remanding Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project to the U.S. Court of Appeals Fourth Circuit to dismiss as moot. The Court found that the provisions of Executive Order No. 13,780 had “expired on its own terms” on September 24, 2017, and therefore, the case no longer presented a live case or controversy. 

10/18/2017
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Foreign Students; Employment; Immigration & International Activities

Amicus Brief in Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project (September 18, 2017)

Amicus brief by the American Council on Education and twenty-nine other higher education associations to the Supreme Court in the United States for the case Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project. At issue is whether Executive Order No. 13,780, which temporarily restricted foreign nationals and refugees from certain countries and refugees from entering the United States, violated the Establishment Clause and if the global injunction it enacted was impermissibly overbroad. The amicus brief outlines the “serious negative effects that the [Executive Order] will have on American institutions of higher education.” Amici argue that students, professors, and researchers must be able to travel domestically or abroad, without impediment;  otherwise, U.S. colleges and universities “will struggle to maintain the level of talent and experience that makes the United States the world leader in higher education and research development.” 

9/20/2017
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Employment; Foreign Students; Immigration & International Activities

Issue Brief by the American Council on Education (September 7, 2017)

Issue Brief from the American Council on Education outlining key elements of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) rescission memorandum, providing context for the rescission, and discussing steps Congress can take to continue the provisions of the DACA program. “The brief is intended to help campuses understand what will happen and prepare higher education leaders to speak to their congressional delegation about the importance of acting now to protect DACA.”

9/8/2017
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Immigration & International Activities; Employment; Foreign Students

Statement by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities on the President’s Decision to End Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) (September 5, 2017)

Statement issued by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson regarding the President’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. The statement calls attention to the “great uncertainty” undocumented students face without additional legislation from Congress. The DACA program afforded individuals that illegally immigrated to the U.S. before sixteen years of age a period of deferred prosecutorial enforcement, alongside the opportunity to apply for employment authorization documents. APLU urged Congress to “take swift action to pass legislation that, at a minimum, codifies the provisions of the DACA program into law.”

9/8/2017
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Employment; Foreign Students; Immigration & International Activities

Department of Homeland Security Memorandum on Rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) (September 5, 2017)

Memorandum issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rescinding a previous memorandum issued on June 15, 2012 entitled, “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Come to the United States as Children,” which set forth the policies of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The DACA program afforded individuals that illegally immigrated to the U.S. before sixteen years of age a period of deferred prosecutorial enforcement, alongside the opportunity to apply for employment authorization documents. In the instant memorandum, DHS included the Attorney General’s determination that DACA “was effectuated by the previous administration through executive action, without proper statutory authority and with no established end-date, after Congress' repeated rejection of proposed legislation that would have accomplished a similar result. Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch.” The memorandum established that all DACA initial requests filed after September 5, 2017 will be denied, all pending DACA initial requests and renewal requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and DACA renewal requests filed by October 5, 2017 from current beneficiaries whose benefits expire by March 5, 2018 will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  Furthermore, the memorandum established that no new applications for advance parole associated with DACA will be approved and that DHS will retain the authority to revoke or terminate an advance parole document at any time.

9/6/2017
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Foreign Students; Employment; Immigration & International Activities

Fact Sheet Announcing the Suspension of Russian Nonimmigrant Visa Operations (Aug. 21, 2017)

Fact sheet issued by the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Russia announcing that all nonimmigrant visa operations in Russia will be suspended beginning August 23, 2017, and will “resume on a greatly reduced scale” in Moscow beginning September 1. Because students and scholars often visit the United States on nonimmigrant visas, this suspension may impact colleges and universities who admit and employ Russian nationals, although the FAQs indicate that a block of visas will be available to students in early September.

8/22/2017
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Employment; Immigration & International Activities

Press Release by USCIS on the Resumption of H-1B Premium Processing for Certain Cap-Exempt Petitions (July 24, 2017)

Press release issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announcing that it will resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B visa petitioners. Postsecondary institutions often use H-1B visas to hire international staff and faculty, but in April, USCIS temporarily suspended premium processing of these petitions. Petitioners who may now be eligible for premium processing include higher education institutions, nonprofit entities affiliated with higher education institutions, and nonprofit or governmental research organizations. This resumption is effectively immediately. 

8/1/2017
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