Pending Legislation Provides Deferred Action on Deportations
Given the current political climate in the United States, and the fact that the country is heading into another presidential election, there is almost no chance that Congress will enact comprehensive Immigration reform legislation in the next few years. Nonetheless, on November 20, 2014, President Obama used his presidential authority to announce significant immigration measures that will at least temporarily shield from deportation many of the 5 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.
President Obama’s executive order provides for expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the creation of the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was scheduled to begin accepting applications for the expanded DACA program on Feb 18, 2015. However, on Feb 16, 2015, a federal district judge in Texas blocked both the DACA expansion and creation of DAPA by issuing a temporary injunction. The action by the district court has been widely criticized and the Obama administration has appealed on an expedited basis. The general expectation is that the Texas decision will be overturned in the next few months so that DACA and DAPA will both soon go into effect.
Assuming the District Court’s order is overturned and both DACA and DAPA go into effect, the key point in understanding how both programs work is the idea of Deferred Action. If you qualify for protection under DACA or DAPA this means that you will be authorized by the Department of Homeland Security to remain in the United States for three years, or longer if the deferral period is subsequently extended. However, this does not mean that you will be granted a lawful status or the right to permanent residency in the US. It only means that people covered by DACA or DAPA will not be subject to any action for removal from the United States for the duration of the deferral period. If you are eligible under DACA or DAPA, then you will be entitle to receive a work permit that will remain valid during the deferral period.
If you are interested in learning more about obtained deferred action status under DAPA or DACA for you or a family member, please contact us now.
RECENT POSTS ON IMMIGRATION REFORM
The Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will decide whether President Obama has the authority to declare that millions of immigrants can remain in the U.S. illegally. The Court will probably hear arguments in the case in April and likely rule in June. As we have reported previously, the lawsuit stems from provisions in the […]
Immigration was a major issue for much of 2015. Despite the negative press, the news was not all bad for immigrants. Last week we covered some of the top developments of 2015 from January to June. Here are the top ones for the rest of the year: July 2015 California moves to allow undocumented immigrants […]
Immigration was the spotlight issue of 2015. Everyone was talking about it from politicians to the media to the general public. Unfortunately, the discussions were often negative and focused on keeping people out of the U.S. Even though 2015 was bad for immigration policy in a political sense, legally there were a lot of positive […]
It is all too common for nonimmigrants to be detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for a prolonged period with little hope of release while their case is pending. We have a case right now of a person who has been held for over a year already. Fortunately in a recent decision, the U.S. […]
A decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on November 9th means more delays in implementing rules to protect millions of nonimmigrants from deportation. Although the ruling is disappointing and frustrating, there is hope. The argument will now move to the US Supreme Court, where we expect the decision to be reversed. As we’ve […]
One of the biggest obstacles for undocumented immigrants seeking permanent residency is the fact that they entered the US illegally. The unlawful entry often prohibits them from getting a green card even if they have a family member who could sponsor them. However, there are some very unique exceptions. One of those involves Deferred Action […]
The Immigrant Investor Program, also known as EB-5, is set to expire on September 30th as Congress continues to debate its merits. The EB-5 program enables foreigners to obtain legal permanent residency in the US through investment in a new commercial enterprise. Although the program brings almost $2 billion into the US annually, it has […]
A California plan to expand health insurance to undocumented immigrants is creating a political stir. Already approved by the state Senate, the proposed legislation would allow los indocumentados (as they are known in Spanish) to buy private insurance on the state’s insurance exchange. However, even if the Assembly and Governor pass the law, it will […]
There is more activity this week in the litigation over President Obama’s executive action deferring deportation for over 5 million undocumented immigrants. Oral arguments in Texas v. US are scheduled to take place before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans on July 10. While the appeal has been pending, […]