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Archives: November 2014

Obama Deferred Action Plan (DAP) Saves five Million Undocumented Immigrants from Deportation

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced, under his executive action powers as president of the United States, that he has decided to extend immigration deportation relief to some undocumented immigrants currently present in the United States.  He made the announcement admist strong opposition to granting immigration relief without the participation of Congress and instilling of fears in the American public that he was appropriating powers that he does not have under the Constitution. The final November 20, 2014 executive order, however, was cautiously crafted, and contains no power misappropration.

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The announcement of the deferred action affecting immigrants was far reaching, but a law by executive action of this type did not start with Obama.  Many past United States presidents have used the executive order privilege, for the most part, when faced with emergencies and law-making deadlocks.DAP 1

Obama’s November 20, 2014 DAP saves about five million immigrants from deportation, and provides the following relief:

A.  It Expands the benefits of the 2012 deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA)

The DACA relief lifespan is extended from two to three years; the continuous residence requirement is now changed from June 15, 2007 to November 1, 2010; the 30 year age cap is now removed; and the immigrant should have been physically present in the United States on the November 20, 2014 effective date.

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B.  Undocumented parents of United States Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents cannot be deported for three years.

To be eligible, the immigrant should have continuously resided in the United States for a five year period; present in the country on November 20, 2014; and the United States Citizen or Permanent Resident child should have been born on or before November 20, 2014.  The parents’ backgrounds should be free of the types of crimes for which the Obama administration could deport immigrants.  The eligible immigrant can get work permit and cannot be deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for three years.  The relief is subject to renewal.

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C.  It increases the number of immigrants investor visas by about 33,000 to 53,000 per year

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D.  It reforms the Secure Communities program

This program allows for the taking and transmitting of the fingerprint of anyone booked into a local jail to immigration officers who can then order the local jail to hold the person until the immigration officers can pick them up for removal purposes.

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The new DAP now limits the hold only to immigrants convicted of a serious crime or with a third misdemeanor.

E.  It expands the unlawful presence provisional waiver benefit to Lawful Permanent Residents.

The law was enacted in March of 2013, and permits unlawful presence violators to file for a waiver of unlawful presence violation in the United Staes and remain in the country until their waiver applications are approved before they can leave the country to attend their visa interviews in an overseas US embassy.  Before the provisional waiver law, they had to apply outside the country, and before November 20, 2014, the benefit was limited only to spouses of United States Citizens.

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F.  It expands the optional practical training based work permit lifespan for foreign students in the STEM fields of study from seventeen months to two and half years

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STEM comprises of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields of study.

What the DAP does not Provide

It is not a pathway to United States citizenship.  If, for example, it is not renewed at the end of the three yeas, the immigrant beneficiaries could be subject to removal, just as they were before the relief was granted to them.

When does the Law Come into Effect

The law new expansions to the DACA relief will take effect in about ninety days, and the three year relief from deportation of parents of United States Citizens and Permanent Residents will take effect in 180 days from the November 20, 2014 enactment date.

This blog is by an attorney at Swaray Law Office, LTD., in Brooklyn Center in Minnesota.  Brooklyn Center is contiguous to Minneapolis, Crystal and Brooklyn Park and other northern cities.  It is not a legal advice, and should you want legal advice on the Obama November 20, 2014 Deferred Action Plan (DAP), please contact the office via email at swarayassociates@cs.com or (763) 549-0670.

USCIS Grants TPS to Ebola Striken Countries

Due to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has announced his decision to designate Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months.  As a result, eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone who are currently residing in the United States may apply for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Federal Register notices provide details and procedures for applying for TPS and are available at www.uscis.gov/tps.

The TPS designations for the three countries are effective Nov. 21, 2014 and will be in effect for 18 months. The designations mean that eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries) will not be removed from the United States and are authorized to work and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The 180-day TPS registration period begins Nov. 21, 2014 and runs through May 20, 2015.

To be eligible for TPS, applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all eligibility criteria, including that they have been “continuously residing” in the United States since Nov. 20, 2014 and “continuously physically present in” the United States since Nov. 21, 2014.  Applicants also undergo thorough security checks.  Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS. The eligibility requirements are fully described in the Federal Register notices and on the TPS Web page at www.uscis.gov/tps

Liberians currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) based on President Obama’s Sept. 26, 2014 memorandum may apply for TPS. If they do not apply for TPS within the initial 180-day registration period, they risk being ineligible for TPS because they will have missed the initial registration period. Liberians covered by DED who already possess or have applied for an EAD do not need to also apply for one related to this TPS designation. However, such individuals who are granted TPS may request a TPS-related EAD at a later date as long as the TPS designation for Liberia remains in effect.

Applicants may request that USCIS waive any or all fees based on demonstrated inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a written request. Fee-waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. USCIS will reject any TPS application that does not include the required filing fee or a properly documented fee-waiver request.

All USCIS forms are free. Applicants can download these forms from the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/forms or request them by calling USCIS toll-free at 1-800-870-3676.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sending to swarayassociates@cs.com
20 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20529 · 1-800-375-5283