THREAD: what's going on here? USCIS is looking for excuses to deny work permits to immigrants with lawful status and pending applications, which are usually granted as a matter of course. This will be potentially disruptive to the economy & to families' economic wellbeing. https://twitter.com/asgvisalaw/status/1283436377703677957
2/ Upon first read this looks unlawful. The reg (8 CFR 274.12(c)) lists categories where noncitizens must apply for work permits, they aren't automatic. But that doesn't mean USCIS has the discretion to deny the work permit, just that the noncitizen must file a form & pay a fee.
3/ These include common categories including people with green card applications pending, spouses of diplomatic folks, spouses of certain categories like J, M, and H, people paroled into the US for humanitarian reasons, & people with certain defenses pending in immigration court.
4/ Now USCIS is saying that in addition to filing a form & paying a fee, these folks will have to prove "that the positive factors outweigh any negative factors that may be present, and that a favorable exercise of discretion is warranted" & that they cannot appeal a denial.
5/ Oh almost forgot - this includes #DACA, which of course already involves exercise of discretion. Now they're saying we could grant your DACA but in theory deny your work permit, because we just don't like you. Sorry, no appeal.
6/ Why are they doing this now? The guidance says that it's because of Trump's 6/22 Proclamation (the one that halted issuance of many legal temporary employment-based visas). In other words, they think they are protecting American jobs by refusing to let lawful immigrants work.
7/ This is part of the Trump administration's ongoing scapegoating of immigrants for COVID-19 and the economic fallout, both of which are his fault. Asylum-seekers aren't to blame, and neither are green card applicants & folks with employment-based visas. Trump is to blame.
8/ This is also a great reminder of why the agency is going broke: mismanagement of money & time. A work permit should take no more than 10 min to adjudicate. A huge packet of discretionary evidence could take hours.