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USCIS will reject and return the petitions and associated filing fees to petitioners that were not selected, as well as any cap-subject petitions received after Feb. 27.

In January, the Department of Labor announced a change to its process of issuing labor certifications. As a result, on Feb. 7 USCIS advised of the likely need to conduct an H-2B visa lottery for the second half of FY18. As was noted in that Feb. 7 statement, USCIS would be maintaining a flexible approach to this issue by ensuring H-2B visas were allocated fairly and would not exceed the cap.

USCIS continues to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from, or not counted towards, the congressionally mandated cap. This includes petitions for the following workers:
•Current H-2B workers in the United States seeking to extend their stay and, if applicable, change the terms of their employment or change their employers;
•Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians, and/or supervisors of fish roe processing; and
•Workers performing labor or services in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam, until Dec. 31, 2019.

H-2B petitioners may continue to request premium processing together with their H-2B petition. However, please note that because the final receipt date was one of the first five business days of the filing season, petitions accepted in the lottery will be given a receipt date of March 1, 2018. Premium processing service for these petitions began on that receipt date.

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether federal immigration law gives the government the power to indefinitely detain any noncitizen it is considering deporting if the person previously committed certain crimes.

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider the issue. Immigration law says that if noncitizens commit a crime for which they can be deported, the government should take them into custody for potential removal when they're released from prison or jail. A person detained immediately can be held indefinitely. The government argues the same is true if the person is released and then later detained for possible removal.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that noncitizens not promptly detained must be given the opportunity to be released on bond.

Attorneys for a pregnant teen being held in a Texas immigration facility are asking a federal appeals court to reconsider its decision not to order the government to let her obtain an abortion.

Lawyers for the 17-year-old on Sunday asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to hold another hearing before all the judges on the court.

A three-judge panel ruled against the teen Friday, giving the government until Oct. 31 to find a sponsor to take in the teen so she could get an abortion on her own.

Her lawyers have accused federal officials of unlawfully restricting the teen's rights. But the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says it has a policy of "refusing to facilitate" abortions for minors in its care.

An appeals court is blocking, for now, an abortion sought by a pregnant 17-year-old immigrant being held in a Texas facility, ruling that the government should have time to try to release her so she can obtain the abortion outside of federal custody.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued its ruling Friday hours after arguments from lawyers for the Trump administration and the teenager. The court ruled 2-1 that the government should have until Oct. 31 to release the girl into the custody of a sponsor, such as an adult relative in the United States. If that happens, she could obtain an abortion if she chooses. If she isn't released, the case can go back to court.

The judge who dissented wrote that the court's ruling means the teen will be forced to continue an unwanted pregnancy for "multiple more weeks."

The teen, whose name and country of origin have been withheld because she's a minor, is 15 weeks pregnant. She entered the U.S. in September and learned she was pregnant while in custody in Texas.

She obtained a court order Sept. 25 permitting her to have an abortion. But federal officials have refused to transport her or temporarily release her so that others may take her to have an abortion. A lower federal court ruled that she should be able to obtain an abortion Friday or Saturday, but the government appealed.

Federal health officials said in a statement that for "however much time" they are given they "will protect the well-being of this minor and all children and their babies" in their facilities.

A federal appeals court has partially lifted a judge's order that blocked much of a Texas law targeting "sanctuary cities."

Monday's ruling by three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel allows more of the law to take effect, and says that the law could survive with some language changes.

The law requires Texas cities and counties to comply with federal immigration officials' requests to detain people who are suspected of being in the country illegally and jailed on non-immigration offenses.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia blocked much of the law on Aug. 31, a day before it was to take effect. The state asked the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to let the law take effect ahead of oral arguments set for November.

Descendants of black slaves, known as freedmen, who were once owned by members of the Cherokee Nation have a right to tribal citizenship under a ruling handed down by a federal court in Washington, D.C.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan ruled Wednesday in a long-standing dispute between the Cherokee Freedmen and the second largest tribe in the United States.

Freedmen have long argued that the Treaty of 1866, signed between the U.S. government and the Tahlequah, Oklahoma-based Cherokees, gave them and their descendants "all the rights of native Cherokees." There are around 3,000 freedmen descendants today.

But Cherokee leaders have argued the tribe has the fundamental right to determine its citizens, and in 2007 more than three-fourths of Cherokee voters approved an amendment to remove the Freedmen from tribal rolls.

The driver of a tractor-trailer turned deadly transporter for undocumented migrants is due to face criminal charges in a Texas court Monday in what police are calling a human trafficking crime.

Authorities called to the San Antonio Walmart lot Sunday morning where the trailer was parked found eight bodies and 30 undocumented immigrants severely injured from overheating inside. A ninth person later died in hospital, ICE officials said. Thirty-nine people were recovered from the trailer, including one person who was found in a nearby wooded area.

"Checking the video from the store, we found there were a number of vehicles that came in and picked up a lot of the folks that were in that trailer that survived the trip," San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said.

"The driver and whoever else we find is involved in this will be facing state and federal charges," he said.

The US Attorney's Office said the driver, James Matthew Bradley Jr., 60, of Clearwater, Florida, was being held in connection with the incident. Prosecutors plan to file a criminal complaint against Bradley in federal court on Monday morning.

"These people were helpless in the hands of their transporters," said Richard L. Durbin Jr., US attorney for the Western District of Texas.

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