Ex-Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock to appear in court in Chicago

Legal Compliance

Former Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock is scheduled to appear in court for the first time since the U.S. Supreme Court declined to get involved in his corruption case.

A federal judge in Chicago set a Wednesday hearing for the 37-year-old, who once was a rising star of the Republican Party.

Schock resigned from Congress in 2015 amid scrutiny of his spending, including redecorating his office in the style of the "Downton Abbey" TV series. He was indicted in 2016 on 22 counts, i ncluding wire fraud and falsification of election commission filings.

Schock has pleaded not guilty. His attorneys argued the case should be dismissed, saying his prosecution violated separation-of-powers clauses. The Supreme Court declined last month to consider it.

The case was originally filed in central Illinois. The Justice Department transferred it to prosecutors in Chicago last year.

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USCIS Adjusting Premium Processing Fee

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today it is adjusting the premium processing fee for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers beginning on Oct. 1, 2018 to more effectively adjudicate petitions and maintain effective service to petitioners.

The premium processing fee will increase to $1,410, a 14.92 percent increase (after rounding) from the current fee of $1,225. This increase, which is done in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act, represents the percentage change in inflation since the fee was last increased in 2010 based on the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers.

“Because premium processing fees have not been adjusted since 2010, our ability to improve the adjudications and service processes for all petitioners has been hindered as we’ve experienced significantly higher demand for immigration benefits. Ultimately, adjusting the premium processing fee will allow us to continue making necessary investments in staff and technology to administer various immigration benefit requests more effectively and efficiently,” said Chief Financial Officer Joseph Moore. “USCIS will continue adjudicating all petitions on a case-by-case basis to determine if they meet all standards required under applicable law, policies, and regulations.”

Premium processing is an optional service that is currently authorized for certain petitioners filing Forms I-129 or I-140. The system allows petitioners to request 15-day processing of certain employment-based immigration benefit requests if they pay an extra fee. The premium processing fee is paid in addition to the base filing fee and any other applicable fees, which cannot be waived.