Tag Archives: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Important USCIS/DACA Reminder

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that their current period of DACA and employment authorization could expire if they wait too long to request renewal.

We strongly encourage you to submit your renewal request 150 to 120 days before your current period of DACA and employment authorization will expire. Timely filing will help ensure USCIS has sufficient time to consider your request.

On March 27, 2015, USCIS began mailing renewal reminder notices to DACA recipients 180 days prior to the expiration date of their current period of DACA. Previously, these reminder notices were mailed 100 days in advance.

USCIS continues to accept initial and renewal requests for two-year grants of DACA under the guidelines established in 2012. A federal district court order issued on February 16, 2015, enjoining USCIS from implementing the expanded DACA guidelines did not impact USCIS’ ability to continue processing DACA requests under the 2012 guidelines.

You may request renewal of DACA if you met the initial DACA guidelines and you:

  • Did not depart the United States on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent, approved DACA request, up to the present time; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Visit uscis.gov/daca or uscis.gov/acciondiferida to get updates and all the information you need to make an initial or renewal request for DACA.

As always, we encourage you to beware of immigration scams. Visit uscis.gov/avoidscams or uscis.gov/eviteestafas to learn how to protect yourself and how to find authorized legal services.

Kind Regards,

Public Engagement Division
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services


New Immigration Enforcement Policy Remains In Effect Despite Texas Lawsuit

Written by Patrick Taurel of ImmigrationImpact.com

The political lawsuit challenging the legality of parts of President Obama’s Executive Action should fail for a variety of reasons. But the lawsuit has already succeeded in two respects. First, it won a dubious preliminary injunction from a lower court judge temporarily halting the program while the case proceeds. (Earlier this week, the Obama Administration filed an emergency motion asking the judge to lift his order and let the program move forward, setting the course for an appeal to a higher court.) Second, the lawsuit has ginned up precisely the kind of fear and confusion it was conceived to create.

For example, some Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers are reportedly acting as if the injunction blocks not only expanded DACA and DAPA—but also the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new November 2014 enforcement priorities. Those new priorities direct DHS officers to focus limited enforcement resources on national security and public safety threats, individuals convicted of a wide array of crimes (including some misdemeanors), as well as recent entrants and certain other immigration law violators. Immigration practitioners from various parts of the country report that a few ICE trial attorneys and deportation officers have indicated that the new priorities memo is no longer controlling. This is flat wrong. The new enforcement priorities are in full force and effect. ICE and Customs and Border Patrol officers who refuse to follow them are failing to adhere to policy.

It should have been clear from day one that the preliminary injunction did not and does not block the new enforcement policy. First, the Texas judge who granted the preliminary injunction expressly––and correctly––stated that the new enforcement priorities are “not subject to judicial second-guessing[.]” The court then wrote that DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson’s “decisions as to how to marshal DHS resources, how to best utilize DHS manpower, and where to concentrate its activities are discretionary decisions solely within the purview of the Executive Branch[.]” If any doubts lingered, Secretary Johnson’s unequivocal press release the next day should have laid them to rest. In it, he said that the new enforcement priorities “remain in full force and effect.” On Wednesday, in a televised town hall, President Obama said that immigration officers who fail to adhere to the enforcement policy may face consequences, much like members of the military who are expected to follow orders.

While it’s true that under the preliminary injunction ICE and other agencies within DHS may be prohibited from considering whether a particular immigrant is eligible for DACA or DAPA, it does not follow that people who are potentially eligible for those programs should be removed. Based on the way those programs are structured, virtually every person who qualifies for either DACA or DAPA will not fall within the enforcement priorities and should not be priorities for deportation as long as the new enforcement policy is in effect—regardless of what happens with the lawsuit.

After President Obama announced his executive actions, DHS established a process for reviewing enforcement decisions. That process is still in place. Advocates can and should play a role in identifying departures from policy to ensure that individuals are not wrongfully detained and deported.

– See more at: http://immigrationimpact.com/2015/02/27/new-immigration-enforcement-policy-remains-effect-despite-texas-lawsuit/#sthash.XXPGBHxj.dpuf

ICE No Longer Honoring New Prosecutorial Discretion Memo

From the Carolinas Chapter of the American immigration Lawyers Association:

“ICE is now implementing it’s new policy of enforcement in accordance with the November Executive Action. But for those who have not yet received that desperate call from the client who has been taken into custody at his ICE check in, this is it: If the foreign national has a significant misdemeanor (most often arising in the form of a DUI/DWI) conviction or 3 misdemeanors or a final order after 1/1/14, he / she will be taken into custody when he / she checks in with ICE. If he / she is not checking in with ICE, he / she stands a chance of getting the knock on the door at 5:00 a.m. Individuals are being taken into custody even if they are currently in removal proceedings in Charlotte. They are being transferred to Stewart with no holds. ICE has been given the instructions NOT to take into consideration DACA or DAPA eligibility in such detention decisions.”

These directives have apparently come directly from HQ in Washington and are not the acts of rogue agents. It is absolutely imperative that you advise your clients accordingly.

President Obama’s Executive Order on Immigration

On November 20, 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a series of executive actions to improve the enforcement of illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

These executive order initiatives include:

  • Expanding the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to young people who came to this country before turning 16 years old and have been present since January 1, 2010, and extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years.
  • Allowing parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been present in the country since January 1, 2010, to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, in a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program, provided they pass required background checks.
  • Expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
  • Modernizing, improving and clarifying immigrant and nonimmigrant programs to grow our economy and create jobs.
  • Promoting citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents and providing an option for naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay the application fee.