Attorney General Merrick Garland Vacates Matter of A-B, and Matter of L-E-A

On June 16 2021, Attorney General Merrick Garland vacated Matter of A-B (“A-B- I;” “A-B- II”), and Matter of L-E-A(“L-E-A- II”). According to a Department of Justice memorandum, the intent of these revocations is to ensure that “asylum claims-including those based on domestic violence, gang violence, or family relationships-are considered fairly, expeditiously, and in accordance with our Nation’s laws.” Matter of A-B limited asylum claims involving gang violence. Matter of L-E-A redefined the circumstances of when a family could be considered a “particular social group” for asylum. This decision was made under the backdrop of pressure by immigration attorneys for review of Trump-era policies and President Joe Biden’s executive order to “develop policies…for the safe and orderly processing of asylum claims.”

Biden Administration Increases H2B Visa Allotment

On May 25, 2021, the DHS and DOL announced a temporary increase of available H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker Visas. As of June 3, 2021, some of the 6,000 additional visas for Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) citizens remain available. The seasonal worker visa increase will expire on October 1, 2021. To qualify for Northern Triangle H-2B visas, employers must apply by July 8, 2021. If there are fewer than 6,000 beneficiaries for the Northern Triangle visas by July 23, 2021, the remaining visas will be available until September 30, 2021, to all beneficiaries under the returning worker limitation. For more information, please see Temporary Increase in H-2B Nonimmigrant Visas for FY 2021 USCIS.