Executive Action Brings Relief to Millions of Immigrants

Immi in

Immigration Update from Willy, Nanayakkara, Rivera and Goins

The President’s Executive Action announcement has finally come.  While the specifics of how the programs will be instituted have yet to be determined, the overview of each program has been announced.  The changes provided affect both undocumented immigrants and immigrants lawfully present, and the highlights of the action are as follows:

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will be expanded, now having no age restriction.  Continuous presence must have begun no later than January 1, 2010 (not June 15, 2007).  This will take effect 90 days from the President’s announcement.

Deferred Action will be offered to parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (of any age) who have been continuously present since January 1, 2010, and should be up and running within 180 days.  As with DACA for children, certain criminal convictions will bar application.  Parents will have to register, pay a fee, be fingerprinted, and pay taxes.

Parole-in-Place will be expanded to include families of individuals trying to enlist in the armed services.

Certain investors will be eligible for parole into the U.S. or for parole-in-place.  National interest waivers could become available for entrepreneurs, researchers, inventors, and founders.  Details will be released on the application process in 2015.

I-601A provisional waiver will be expanded to include spouses and children of lawful permanent residents.   The grounds of showing  extreme   hardship   to   the   qualifying
relative have not changed.

Secure Communities will be discontinued and replaced with the Priority Enforcement Program.  Under Secure Communities, ICE worked in cooperation with local law enforcement to identify certain immigrants with criminal records to effect apprehension and removal, even of immigrants having minor criminal records.

The Department of Labor will certify more crimes under T and U visas, helping immigrants who were exploited by employers who failed to pay them lawful wages or took advantage of them due to their immigration status.

While already scheduled to become law, EAD work authorizations will be granted to certain H-4 dependents.

Details regarding changes in visa allocation, including the possible release of unused visas from years before, will be released in January.

Individuals with approved I-140’s who are stuck in visa backlogs awaiting priority dates will now be able to pre-register for adjustment of status.  This will allow people to enjoy some of the benefits of filing for adjustment of status before their visa numbers are available.

A coming interpretation will clarify what   jobs   qualify  for  AC21  porting  of  I-140’s to a same or similar position.

Finally, the government will release detailed memos and explanations as to how L-1B specialized knowledge is determined.

Information on each program’s implementation will come out in January of 2015.  This is a great day for millions of people that have been awaiting immigration reform.  While this is not a new law, it is the first substantial change to immigration policy and processes in many years.

For further updates, visit www.grwpc.com or call 281-265-2522.