Recent Activity Surrounding the Revised October Visa Bulletin
***First off, please think about signing this White House Petition to restore the original visa bulletin, every bit helps! https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/uscis-and-dos-changed-priority-dates-categories-all-sudden-and-causing-financial-and-mental-loss ***
The Department of State (DOS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have some explaining to do. For the thousands of upset and disappointed individuals out there who were negatively impacted by the abrupt change in the October 2015 visa bulletin, just know that there are people and organizations out there fighting for you!
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) announced on September 28th that the organization submitted a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, and Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz expressing disappointment in the September 25, 2015 changes to the October Visa Bulletin and asking that the dates published in the September 9, 2015 Visa Bulletin be restored.
On that same day, a class action suit was filed in the Western District of Washington against the DOS, USCIS and DHS on behalf of 15 named plaintiffs and the thousands of affected class members who are beneficiaries of approved employment based visa petitions who would have been eligible to file Adjustment of Status (AOS) applications on October 1st under the October 1st visa bulletin, but who are no longer eligible to do so as a result of the issuance of the revised visa bulletin. The complaint alleges that the decision to abruptly revise the visa bulletin just days before eligible individuals were to file AOS applications amounted to an abuse of discretion under the APA and a violation of plaintiffs’ due process rights.
The very first paragraph in the lawsuit says it all:
“This case is about what happens when thousands of law-abiding, highly skilled immigrants spend millions of dollars preparing to apply for green cards in reasonable reliance on an agency’s binding policy statement, only to find out at the last minute that a hapless federal bureaucracy has abruptly, inexplicably, and arbitrarily reneged on its promise.”
Yesterday, September 30th, AILA announced that it participated in its regularly scheduled monthly call with Service Center Operations and followed up on questions it had regarding the October visa bulletin shortly after the new format was announced on September 9th. AILA explained that even though the questions remained relevant, USCIS declined to answer them, instead stating that it would be including those answers in public FAQs. Though no information was given, AILA has called for the Administration to hold a public stakeholder meeting to provide information regarding the abrupt change and provide information on what is to come of this change in the future.
Also, ABC news has now picked up this story, which may provide further pressure on the government agencies involved to re-think their arbitrary decision regarding the visa bulletin roll back. One thing is for sure; the government has some serious explaining to do.
You can read the full story here http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/immigrants-face-visas-costs-millions-34155859