Comment: Request for Cases Concerning Religious Workers
Attorney Barbara J. Brandes Esq. has sent us the request below concerning religious workers, and we are happy to bring it to the attention of Immigration Daily readers.

As a follow-up to my conversation with Immigration Daily, I ask you to reach out to the public and legal community for examples of ministers whose R-1 extensions, or I-360's/ AOS applications were denied because they moved to different churches without first notifying USCIS of their move.

USCIS's denials are ultra vires the law and I am contemplating filing a class action against USCIS to cease and desist denying these cases and to reopen and approve cases for ministers they denied who did nothing more than to follow the direction of their bishops who later decided to move them to a different church without first notifying USCIS.

The laws relating to ministers clearly states that ministers are tied to the denomination while other religious workers are tied to the organization. Further, ministers are permitted under the INA and CFR to self-petition. Moreover, when USCIS amended the regulations for religious workers in 2008 to require prior notification before movement, there was a notice and comment period during which stakeholders raised their concerns that the amended regulations would be applied to ministers to which the response was no need to be concerned because "ministers are tied to the denomination" while other religious workers are tied to the organization.

Despite the above, USCIS has been unlawfully applying 8 CFR 214.2(r)(13) and denying extensions of R-1 status or 245 Adjustment of Status for ministers who continuously worked as ministers but moved or changed to different churches within the same denomination without first notifying USCIS.

Please forward examples of such cases to No phone calls please.

Article: Immigration 2015: Good Sound Bites, Bad Policy, and a Proposed Solution. By Gerard M. Chapman

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ComingsNGoings: Immigration Event
May 21, 2015, 11:30am - 1:00pm, Washington, DC. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) will hold a discussion on "Guestworkers, Unauthorized Immigrants, and the Impact of Immigration Status on Wages." The panel will explore the relationship between immigration status and wages. For more information and registration information see here.

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