NewsIndiaTimes – that’s all you need to know News India Times January 19, 2018 20 Immigration By StaffWriter -NEWYORK B aljinder Singh, 43, from Carteret, New Jersey is the first naturalized Indian American citizen to be stripped of his U.S. citizenship under the Trump administration. This is the first case under a government initiative which is designed to clamp down on fraudulent immigration, reported AFP. According to the Justice Department, Singh flew into San Francisco in 1991 with no travel documents or proof of identity and gave his name as Davinder Singh, He then dodged a subsequent court hearing, ordering him to be deported in January 1992 but a month later he filed for asylum under the name Baljinder Singh, which he then abandoned after getting married to his American wife in 2006, auto- matically becoming a naturalized citizen. AFP reported that last Friday, a federal judge in New Jersey revoked his naturaliza- tion, reverting him back to lawful perma- nent resident, which means that he can be subject to removal proceedings. "I hope this case, and those to follow, send a loud message that attempting to fraudulently obtain US citizenship will not be tolerated," U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Francis Cissna said. The Justice Department said that this was the first denaturalization under Operation Janus, a long-running Department of Homeland Security initia- tive against fraudulent immigration and the government did file a complaint against Singh last September. Last September the initiative identified 315,000 cases where fingerprint data was missing, raising concerns about the natu- ralization process, the USCIS plans to pros- ecute 1,600 other cases. Since he took charge last year, President Donald Trump has majorly cracked down on illegal immigration. Baljinder Singh Becomes First Indian-American To Be Stripped Of U.S. Citizenship By StaffWriter -NEWYORK he United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has clarified that the Trump Administration has no plans to end extension for H-1B visa hold- ers whose petition for Green Card has been accepted, as was reported earlier. The clarification by USCIS will come as a huge relief for hundreds of thousands of H-1B visa holders, and for those visa hold- ers who are now in an advanced stage of their Green Card petitions. Earlier, the Trump Administration had reportedly floated a memo in the Department of Homeland Security to gauge if it was viable to reinterpret the “may be given” clause when it comes to renewing the initial term of the H-1B visa, which is for three years, up to a maximum of six years. After six years, extensions are given, usually in two-year increments, to those visa holders whose petitions for Green Card has been accepted. The reported memo outlined a proposal where H-1B visa holders, whose Green Card petitions has been accepted, to ‘self- deport’ from the US till the time they got permanent residency. The intention was to throw open those jobs for American citi- zens. An estimated 500,000-750,000 visa workers would have been impacted by the draconian move, if it had been enacted. “…USCIS is not considering a regulato- ry change that would force H-1B visa hold- ers to leave the United States by changing our interpretation of section 104(c) of AC- 21, which provides for H-1B extensions beyond the 6 year limit. Even if it were, such a change would not likely result in these H-1B visa holders having to leave the United States because employers could request extensions in one-year increments under section 106(a)-(b) of AC21 instead,” said JonathanWithington, Chief of Media Relations at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in a state- ment. “The agency is considering a number of policy and regulatory changes to carry out the President’s Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, including a thorough review of employment based visa programs,” he added. ImmigrationVoice, an advocacy group fighting for the rights of skilled visa work- ers in the US, including to remove country caps on workers from India for permanent residency, expressed satisfaction at the USCIS clarification. “We are ECSTATIC to share this Breaking News,” it said in a post on its Facebook page, on Monday night. “USCIS has announced to us that it is retracting its policy to deny all H-1B visa through (beyond) year 6 based on section 104. This is a GREAT development. And we thank USCIS to make (for making) the right deci- sion,” it said. “ImmigrationVoice members should however remain alert and remain active in pushing for bill H.R.392 because UCSIS will not stop in looking for reasons to deny individual renewal applications. We have been able to prevent the blanket denial but there is expected to be uptick in the indi- vidual case denial. USCIS retraction state- ment specifically said that it will not issue blanket H-1B denials based on section 104, but it has not commented on the very high rate of denial for the individual cases. This is a proof that when immigration commu- nity comes in together to advocate for sane policies, it results in a success. We need to do the same thing with the bill H.R.392,” said ImmigrationVoice. McClathchy Bureau, which had first reported the memo in the DHS to ‘self- deport’ H-1B visa workers, in a report on Tuesday, January 9, said: “Under intense pressure from the business and technology communities, the Trump administration appears to be backing away from a policy change that could have forced foreign tech workers out of the country,” adding that despite what USCIS said, “the agency reversed course on that proposal. “…multiple sources with direct knowl- edge of the conversations inside the department said that was not true, and that the administration had shifted over the last two weeks in response to the swift and harsh reaction from the business com- munity,” the report said. Credit also goes to the bipartisan effort of Democrat Congresswoman from Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard, and Rep. Kevin Yoder, a Kansas Republican, who sent a joint letter to President Donald Trump, urging him “not to deport H-1B holders awaiting per- manent residency processing.” “We strongly believe this action would be harmful to the American economy, credibility, and relations with India and the Indian-American community,” wrote Yoder and Gabbard on Friday. Both are members of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans. Earlier, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had warned it would be “tremendously bad policy” to tell highly skilled people they are not welcome to stay in the United States. Groups that represent Indian compa- nies and workers — such as the National Association of Software and Services Companies, ImmigrationVoice and Compete America — started deploying lobbyists and other representatives at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to argue against possible regulatory changes that could prevent foreign tech industry work- ers from keeping their visas longer than six years, according to U.S. and India-based industry sources and worker advocates familiar with the plans, reported McClatchy. The administration’s decision to drop consideration of the policy shift was met with cheers by foreign-worker representa- tives. “This a major accomplishment for everyone who came together to express their outrage about a cruel and vindictive policy proposal,” said Leon Fresco, who served as a deputy assistant attorney gen- eral for the Justice Department in the Obama administration and who now rep- resent H-1B workers. The McClatchy report also shed some new light on an upcoming ruling on the H- 4 visa work permit, or EAD for some spous- es of H-1B visa workers. “Citing a proposal to eliminate the work authorization for the spouses of H-1B workers, one industry source said the Trump team was already taking steps to make the program so burdensome that it could potentially accomplish the same goal even if regulations are not changed,” the report said, indicating that even if the Trump Administration did not outright take away the EAD, they would in all likeli- hood impose tough new rules which would make it hard to qualify for one. “They’re trying to encourage these peo- ple to leave our country,” the source said, according to the McClatchy report. H-1B Visa Extensions To Continue: USCIS T Reuters