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Found 14 results

  1. Young undocumented immigrants who want to apply under a new federal policy for a reprieve from deportation could be inadvertently turning themselves in to authorities for deportation if they are deemed ineligible, several immigration experts are warning. "You don't want to go to a zoo if a cage door is open, because it can bite back. And you don't want to walk into the maw of a federal agency if you have a history," Casey Wolff, an immigration attorney in Collier County, said of illegal immigrants who may meet other qualifications for Deferred Action, but have been arrested. Wolff and other local immigration specialists said the program still is too new to understand if it will take a twist and work against applicants and their families under certain circumstances. They have tried to temper the excitement of young would-be applicants. The over-arching message if you think you might not make the cut is "Don't apply yet." Samuel Blanco, an immigration attorney with an office in East Naples, said this skepticism comes from immigration enforcement programs like Secure Communities, which originally was framed as a way to identify high-priority deportees like violent criminals, but yawned much wider and resulted in low-priority deportations nationwide. The deferred action policy, also known as DACA, went into effect Aug. 15. It expands the previous deferred action program, allowing for undocumented youth under the age of 31 to apply for a renewable two-year temporary reprieve of deportation proceedings under certain conditions. Details emerged between the June 15 announcement by the Department of Homeland Security and when the policy went into effect last week, with the agency elaborating on what type of criminal background could compromise eligibility. Undocumented immigrants who arrived as children but have felony, "significant" misdemeanor (including DUIs and domestic violence, but excluding minor traffic offenses), or multiple misdemeanor convictions are ineligible for deferred action, except under "exceptional circumstances," according to the Department of Homeland Security. Blanco, Wolff and an immigration specialist from Catholic Charities of Collier County said they are advising clients with an arrest record to proceed carefully before turning over to the federal government the application, $465 fee, and evidence documenting their life in the U.S. for the past five years. The supporting documents to prove eligibility and identity could include passports, birth certificates, school transcripts, and medical, financial and military records. "Unless you believe you have a very simple, straightforward case with no complications ... get legal advice," Blanco said. "Don't apply first. Don't be the guinea pig." It's a concern U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services tries to address in a question-and-answer section on its website. The agency states: "If your case does not involve a criminal offense, fraud, or a threat to national security or public safety, your case will not be referred to ICE for purposes of removal proceedings except where DHS determines there are exceptional circumstances." It also notes that if the agency doesn't approve deferred action in someone's case, it will apply its policy regarding the referral of cases to ICE and take into account if the applicant falls under a 2011 Citizenship and Immigration memo that outlines policies and the issuance of Notices to Appear, which are charging documents that initiate removal proceedings. "We really don't know what's going to happen to these folks once some of them start getting denied," said Blanco, who along with Wolff reported that the majority of calls to their practices regarding the deferred action policy were from Latin Americans and Eastern Europeans. In central California, one group has been warning farmworkers and their children not to sign up for the program at all. "Immigration agents could haul them off that same day," said Manuel Cunha, president of the Nisei Farmers League. "Even if they don't, if this policy is disbanded, now ICE has the addresses of all the families. Why would you want to squeal on your parents?" Laura Lichter, a Denver attorney who heads the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said everyone takes a risk by applying. "I would say that people are between a rock and a hard place. In most cases, people can take (the government) at their word that their intent is to administer this policy in a fair and appropriate manner but there are going to be people that are going to find themselves having problems," she said. Source:
  2. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has arrived! This is an amazing opportunity for DREAMers nationwide, and we're excited to present this detailed Step-by-Step Guide. Please forward this to any DREAMer who is considering applying for this program. STEP 1: Take a Deep Breath — Figure Out Whether DACA is Right For You Relax, there’s time! It’s important to learn as much as you can about DACA and figure out whether it makes sense for you to apply. Here are some things you should be asking yourself: Am I eligible for DACA? Is now the right time to apply for DACA? Given that DACA a temporary, discretionary program that could be terminated or changed at any time, what are the risks to applying? Do I have any longer-term immigration remedies to pursue? To find out more information about DACA, we suggest you review USCIS's official FAQ section. You can also check out E4FC's detailed DACA FAQs (created with Curran & Berger LLP), which will help you evaluate whether DACA makes sense for you. Finally, if you want to know about other options, you can review our guide (created with Curran & Berger LLP) Beyond Deferred Action: Long-Term Immigration Remedies Every DREAMer Should Know About. STEP 2: Understand Your Eligibility for DACA Once you’ve decided to apply, you’ll want to confirm that you’re eligible. For students living in the California Bay Area (that’s Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo counties), you can use E4FC’s free, anonymous, and online Case Analysis Service. We’ll help you understand your eligibility for DACA as well as longer-term immigration remedies. For students living outside the California Bay Area, we encourage you to use We Own the Dream’s national online screening tool. This is an automated tool that will give you a preliminary understanding of your eligibility. STEP 3: Not Sure Whether You’re Eligible? Get Legal Help Confused about whether you’re eligible for DACA? Have a complicated case (i.e. have a criminal incident, traveled outside the U.S., etc.)? You’ll definitely want to talk to an attorney. You can look for an informational event in your area. We’ve also written some suggestions for how to look for an attorney. STEP 4: Gather Your Application Documents Confirmed that you’re eligible for DACA? Great! Now it’s time to start gathering your application documents. First, carefully review the official USCIS instructions for gathering your pre-application documents. Here’s a summary of what you’ll need: Two (2) passport-style photographs (for the Employment Authorization application) Copy of foreign passport biographic page and any prior visa & I-94 cards (if available) Copy of original birth certificate and translation□ Copy of marriage certificate or divorce (if applicable) Copy of every criminal and/or traffic court case on record (if applicable) Every incident/arrest/police report. If you cannot get your record—eg. it is more than 5 years old and the police station records dept has destroyed it—then ask the police for a letter on letterhead saying that the record has been purged. Every criminal complaint/charging document from the district attorney (or other prosecutor). That’s the court document a prosecutor first files with all of the charges against you and what they think you are potentially guilty of having committed from a single incident. Every final criminal court disposition record. That’s the final ruling from the judge in your case stating the outcome after settlement or trial or dismissal; it should include your sentence and post-conviction sentencing information Post-conviction showing that you completed all terms of probation/sentence. For example, if you are still on probation, it is something showing you are currently in compliance. Copy of school records, such as: Proof of Enrollment Report Cards and/or Transcripts School Identification Card(s) Awards from high school (and college, if applicable) [*]Copy of high school diploma or GED certificate (if applicable) [*]Proof of entry prior to age 16, continuous residence in U.S. since June 15, 2007, and on June 15, 2012, such as: Federal Income Tax Returns or Tax Transcripts (filed independently or as a dependent) Employment records, letters from internships & volunteer work, medical records Leases, rental receipts, other dated receipts, utility bills, cell phone bills Bank statements, credit card statements, copies of cancelled checks Birth certificates of children and/or siblings born in the U.S. for the stated period Affidavits from relatives, friends, teachers, and churches attesting to your presence Photographs placing you in the U.S. since the age of 16 & since 2007 STEP 5: Gather Your Fees or Request a Fee Exemption Fees: The fees for DACA are $85 biometrics fee + $380 work authorization document fee = $465 total. Fee Exemption (must be completed and approved before you file): You cannot apply for a fee waiver, but there are some very limited exemptions. There are fee exemptions for those under 18, homeless, in foster care, lacking parental support, with income less than 150% of federal poverty guidelines, who cannot care for themselves because of chronic disability, or who have accumulated very serious medical-related debt. There will be a separate fee exemption form, which must be approved before a DACA request can be filed without a fee. It is hard to know how long it will take to review fee exemption requests. Check USCIS for more information about these exemptions, and how to apply. Other Financial Assistance: If you need help paying the application fees, you can apply for money from the Fund for DREAMers. STEP 6: Attend an Application Processing Event to Get Help Finalizing Your Application Go to We Own the Dream to find an application processing event in your area: STEP 7: Complete Application Forms Individuals *must* file the following forms: Form I-821D - Application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Form I-765 - Application for Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Form I-765WS - Employment Authorization Worksheet This is recommended, but not mandatory: Form G-1145 - E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance (you’ll want to paperclip this to the front of the Form I-821D) STEP 8: Include Payment (Check or Money Order) In the application package you mail to USCIS, you’ll need to include two separate checks *or* money orders: one the $85 biometrics fee, and one $380 work authorization fee. If you plan to use personal checks, be sure there’s enough money in your account. If either check bounces, your application will be rejected. Checks must be made payable to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security." STEP 9: Confirm You Have the Correct USCIS Address The address to mail your application will depend on your U.S. state of residence (i.e. California, Illinois, New York, Texas, etc.). On the USCIS website, check the section “Filing Addresses for Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” to find the correct mailing address on the Form I-821D. NOTE: USCIS will not accept any online, email, or faxed applications. STEP 10: Copy Your Entire DACA Application Before You Send It Make a photocopy or scan of your entire application, including the checks or money orders.You may need to refer to your application again in the future (or show it to an advocate or attorney). This is especially important if the Dream Act passes, or if you become eligible to file for permanent status; you will want a record of everything you stated in your DACA application. STEP 11: Mail Your DACA Application When you mail your application, we highly recommend that you select a delivery option that allows you to track your package. You will want to have proof the document was sent AND be able to see when it arrives. STEP 12: Sign Up for E-Notification or Manually Track Your Paper Receipt Number Online E-Notification Confirmation: If you fill out the Form G-1145, you’ll receive an e-Notification when your forms have been accepted (you’ll want to paperclip this form to the front of the Form I-821D) Paper Receipt Confirmation: Within 1-4 weeks of sending your DACA application, you should receive a paper receipt in the mail. We hope that all applicants will be able to track the online progress of their individual DACA receipts here and also track the general progress of all DACA applications’ processing times nationwide here. STEP 13: Attend a Biometrics Appointment Within four (4) months of getting your DACA receipt, you should get an appointment notice to visit an Application Support Center (ASC) to have your biometrics taken. Make sure to bring a valid (unexpired) government-issued photo ID (i.e. your passport) to your appointment. STEP 14: Look Out for a Possible “Request for Further Evidence” (RFE) Applying for DACA doesn’t require an individual interview, so you shouldn’t need to go to your local USCIS office for an interview. However, if anything is missing from your application, or if the adjudicating USCIS officer has questions, you may be mailed a “Request for Evidence” (RFE). You will need to respond to this RFE with additional proof by the deadline given (around 12 weeks). If you ignore this request, your case will be automatically denied. STEP 15: Await Notification of DACA Approval At this time, we don’t know how long DACA cases will take to process. Other USCIS humanitarian applications take around 8-12 months for a final decision (or longer). Once you receive notification that DACA has been approved, you will receive a work authorization card valid for 2 years. STEP 16: Obtain Local and State Benefits Once you’ve received your work authorization card, you can apply for various local and state benefits. All DACA recipients will be eligible for a Social Security Number. In some states, you will be able to apply for an identification card or driver's license. In California, you will be able to apply for an identification card or driver’s license. However, at this time, the State of California has not announced whether DACA recipients will be eligible for any additional public benefits. STEP 17: Investigate Long-Term Immigration Remedies Remember that DACA is only a temporary, discretionary program that could be terminated or changed at any time. While you’re waiting for approval of your DACA case (or even if your case has already been adjudicated), we encourage you to investigate if you have a longer-term immigration remedy. You can review our guide (created with Curran & Berger LLP) Beyond Deferred Action: Long-Term Immigration Remedies Every DREAMer Should Know About. For students living in the California Bay Area(that’s Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo counties), you can use E4FC’s free, anonymous, and online Case Analysis Service.
  3. For those that got themselves a lawyer, how much are you paying him/her for thier services to help you fill out the application? Just a good measure to see what you guys/girls are paying to help you fill out the applications.
  4. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas and other senior Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials will hold a stakeholder conference call today to discuss Secretary Janet Napolitano’s June 15th Deferred Action policy memorandum. In accordance with the Secretary’s memorandum, USCIS will begin accepting requests for consideration of deferred action on August 15, 2012. During the teleconference, Director Mayorkas will provide a brief overview of the development of the process by which certain young people who came to the United States as children may request deferred action and take questions. Please join U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas in a teleconference regarding the deferred action for childhood arrivals process on Friday, August 3, 2012 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm (Eastern). To Participate in the August 3 Conference Call Please use the information below to join the session. We recommend calling in 20 minutes prior to the start of the teleconference. Call-in Number: (800) 779-9654 Passcode: DHS
  5. Obama Dilutes a DREAM

    Last month, President Obama announced a ‘new immigration policy” by executive order: the immediate implementation of his version of the DREAM Act by the Department of Homeland Security. Advocates were ecstatic. They called it “the right thing to do, to give temporary legal status to those who had been brought into the country illegally by their parents at a young age through no fault of their own.” Many of the beneficiaries are Latinos. They number around 1.4 million, according to the Pew Research Center. They call them the “dreamers.” The press seemed to agree that the action was a political win for Obama. But the action is risky for Obama. It’s a wee bit too clever. It has every chance – probably sooner rather than later – to backfire, particularly on Latinos. Two reasons: First, the policy is nothing new. It’s always been possible to apply for and get temporary waivers from deportation, even at the last minute. These “waivers” got dressed up last fall as a new policy on “prosecutorial discretion.” Obama ordered Homeland Security to focus its limited resources only on deporting illegal immigrants who were convicted violent criminals or who had defied prior deportation orders. All others might qualify for a temporary waiver. Last month Obama pointed these possible waivers toward over a million dreamers. Second, the waiver is not a blanket for a specific group. Each so-called dreamer will have to apply and qualify individually for a temporary deferment. No one knows yet what proof Homeland Security will demand of each dreamer to show they were brought into the country by their parents unknowingly, illegally before the age of 16 and had lived here continuously for five years (school records will be critical). Further, it is unclear how many misdemeanors and felonies Homeland Security will allow an applicant to have, before dinging their deferral application (including driving without a valid driver’s license, buying and using false identity documents like Social Security and green cards, lying about immigration status for public assistance and having DUIs and other such indiscretions on the record). Many dreamers could actually be putting themselves in jeopardy of deportation after their applications are scrutinized, no matter how young or innocent they were when they first arrived. Especially if they had defied a deportation order. “We are advising dreamers who are not in deportation proceedings to do nothing until the deferment qualifications are made clear,” said the executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Crystal Williams, at a press conference days after Obama’s announcement. Immigration lawyers are also very concerned that scam advocates in the immigration communities might try to take advantage of eager dreamers. Obama’s dream could end up being a huge disappointment. Latino leaders already notice the current deferral process is vague and slow; there is already a huge backlog. They will find the case-by-case process untenable. They will demand (already have begun) more blanket and looser waivers – which the president cannot deliver. The high expectations can’t possibly be met. By summer’s end most Latinos will realize this is probably all the president can do to legalize some illegal immigrants. Passing amnesty legislation in Congress is highly unlikely before the election. It is even conceivable that Obama’s dream could take away any other effort to legalize illegal immigrants via a “comprehensive” reform bill before 2014. The best advocates probably can expect is that in the next two years, a few thousand of unquestionably qualified dreamers may be given temporary one- to two-year work visas under Obama’s dream. Those waivers may or may not be extended and lead to permanent residency. But what is even more likely is that hundreds of thousands of dreamers won’t even apply. Sooner rather than later it will be said that “once again Obama did not keep his “promise’ to Latinos” on immigration. Obama’s dream could backfire. Source:
  6. So, just like everyone else, IM MAD that they had to cancel it AGAIN. Obviously, they are not ready to talk about any new information because they don't have everything set in stone. This is what they had to say below. USCIS Public Engagement Division: Deferred Action Call Postponed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services sent this bulletin at 07/26/2012 02:14 PM EDT Dear Stakeholder, Today’s 4pm EST conference call on deferred action for childhood arrivals is postponed. We will let you know of the new date and time as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience. Kind Regards, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  7. Dear Stakeholder, On June 15, 2012, Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a memorandum to DHS components on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion with respect to certain childhood arrivals on a case-by-case basis. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement invite interested individuals to participate in a joint national teleconference to provide further details and collect additional input regarding the implementation of Secretary Napolitano’s memorandum on Thursday, July 26 from 4pm – 5pm (Eastern). To Participate in the July 26 Conference Call: Please use the information below to join the session. We recommend calling in at least 20 minutes prior to the start of the teleconference. Call-in Number: 1-800-779-9654 Passcode: DHS This call is intended for stakeholders only. Members of the media should call (202)282-8010 with inquiries. Kind regards, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Source:
  8. An exceptional attorney friend of mine, Kimberley Best Robidoux of Larrabee | Mehlman | Albi | Coker LLP attended a question and answer session today at the USCIS San Diego District Office and has provided an outline of the discussion. District Director Paul Pierre spoke initially to provide information and then opened it up to Q&A from the stakeholders who had been invited to the forum. He stated that he was providing what "likely" will happen with regard to the process but that there are still 2 weeks before anything will likely be finalized. So, he said, take everything with a grain of salt. The following is a brief summary of the points that he hit upon: - Anticipated 1.4 million applicants, but that estimate keeps growing (initially started at 800,000) - Applications will likely be processed at the Service Centers and then forwarded to District Offices for interviews (if needed; e.g. criminal issues) - Currently hiring about 400 people for the Service Centers in anticipation of the landslide of applications to be filed - Service Centers nay be sending some work to the local offices for adjudication so that they can clean out their pipelines to be prepared for the DACA cases - 100% of cases will be scheduled for biometrics which means that the ASCs will become backlogged. This will impact the cycle time for N-400s and I-485s adjudicated at the local offices. Will cycle times be more than 6 months? Yes, likely. ASCs will need more machines and more contractors to handle the workload - Local offices are gearing up for training for what will be adjudicated at the local offices - Form - likely will be an I-821D. Cannot use the I-821 because it has a fee ($50). The fee impact study had only been conducted in relation to TPS and not DACA and not enough time to do a fee impact study before August 15th. So, if they make a "D" form, no fee will be required and no fee impact study necessary. Likely that they will do a fee impact study and charge in the future. - Biometrics fee will be charged ($85). - I-765 will need to be filed for EAD card and fee will be imposed for the I-765 form ($340) - Applications will likely be filed at lockbox (likely Chicago or Phoenix) and then an A file will be created - Receipt Notices will likely not be generated for 60-90 days because of the initial onslaught of cases they are expecting to be filed as of August 15th - Biometrics may likely not be scheduled for another 30 to 60 days following issuance of Receipt Notice - Likely that RFEs may be issued in a majority of cases - If I-821D is approved, the I-765 will then be adjudicated (likely to be adjudicated immediately after approval of I-821D so don't have to wait an additional 90 days). There is no 90 requirement to process the I-821D so the filing of an I-765 with the I-821D does not start the 90-day clock. EAD card will be granted for a period of 2 years from the date of approval of I-765. - As of yesterday, there will not be any appeal rights - Will ODA applicants be able to travel? Don’t know yet - What happens at the end of the 2-year Deferred Action period? Don’t know yet. - May be able to "waive" requirements for a government issued ID in some cases but as of now, the Mexican consulates are gearing up to aid people with obtaining birth certificates and issuing passports. Student IDs should list both last names for Mexicans so that it will be easier to assist with obtaining birth certificates and processing passport applications. - Residence requirement - continuous physical presence (in the aggregate) for 5 years - temporary breaks are okay - Apply for ODA concurrently with a VAWA or U or T case? Yes, but they will need to "marry" all cases together with the A file so the VAWA or U or whatever case may be delayed while adjudicating and/or inputting information for A file for ODA. Source:
  9. If anyone can do it for us, it's Mr. Durbin. Comment below. Senator Dick Durbin on Tuesday expressed confidence that a bill providing a pathway to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants, even if challenged by a lawsuit, would eventually pass. “Some day, in the not-to-distant future, the DREAM Act is going to be the law of the land,” Durbin said in a speech at the Center for American Progress. “I hope to have the honor of attending many a naturalization ceremonies and watching each of these dreamers swear an oath of allegiance to the country they still call home.” His remarks come just about a month after the Obama Administration announced it would no longer seek deportation of some immigrants and allow them to apply for work permits. “These DREAMers are no longer whispering in the shadows,” Durbin said of the ramifications of the president’s action. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has said he intends to file a lawsuit to suspend Obama’s order, but Durbin dismissed that action as a threat. “We are lowering the priority here, we are saying we are not going to deport these [DREAM Act students], we will dedicate our resources to those that may be a challenge or problem for our future,” Durbin said, according to Roll Call. “That is a clearly recognized principle of law. Congressman King, we know where he’s coming from, and he can continue this if he’d like, but after all that we’ve been through and all these DREAMers have been through, a court challenge is not going to slow us down one bit.” The DREAM Act — short for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act — would grant conditional legal status to people illegally brought into the United States as Children if they attend a college or join the United States military. Source:
  10. Good read once again! Comment with anything you want. WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s new plan to grant temporary work permits to many young, illegal immigrants who otherwise could be deported may cost the government more than $585 million and require hiring hundreds of new federal employees to process more than 1 million anticipated requests, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press. The Homeland Security Department plans, marked “not for distribution,” describe steps that immigrants will need to take — including a $465 paperwork fee — and how the government will manage the program. Illegal immigrants can request permission to stay in the country under the plan by filing a document, “Request for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” and simultaneously apply for a work permit starting Aug. 15. Under the new program, which President Barack Obama announced last month, eligible immigrants must have arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday, are 30 or younger, have been living here at least five years, are in school or graduated or served in the military. They also must not have a criminal record or otherwise pose a safety threat. They can apply to stay in the country and be granted a work permit for two years, but they would not be granted citizenship. The internal government plans obtained by the AP provide the first estimates of costs, how many immigrants were expected to participate and how long it might take for them. It was not immediately clear whether or under which circumstances any immigrants would not be required to pay the $465 paperwork fee. The plans said there would be no waivers, but Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress last week that the government would grant waivers “in very deserving cases.” She said details were still being worked out. “We anticipate that this will be a fee-driven process,” Napolitano said. A DHS official said Tuesday that the department is looking at various estimates of the volume of applications and potential costs. Fee waivers could dramatically affect the government’s share of the cost. The plans said that, depending on how many applicants don’t pay, the government could lose between $19 million and $121 million. Republican critics pounced on that. “By lowering the fee or waiving it altogether for illegal immigrants, those who play by the rules will face delays and large backlogs as attention is diverted to illegal immigrants,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas. “American taxpayers should not be forced to bail out illegal immigrants and President Obama’s fiscally irresponsible policies.” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services estimated it could receive more than 1 million applications during the first year of the program, or more than 3,000 per day. It would cost the government between $467 million and $585 million to process applications in the first two years of the program, with revenues from fees paid by immigrants estimated at $484 million, according to the plans. The government estimated that as many as 890,000 immigrants in the first year would be immediately eligible to avoid deportation. The remaining 151,000 immigrants would likely be rejected as ineligible. The plans estimated that the Homeland Security Department could need to hire more than 1,400 full-time employees, as well as contractors, to process the applications. Salaries were included in the agency’s estimates of total program costs. Once immigrants submit their applications, it could take between two and 10 days for the Homeland Security Department to scan and file it. It could take up to four weeks longer to make an appointment for immigrants to submit their fingerprints and take photographs. A subsequent background check could take six more weeks, then three more months for the government to make its final decision before a work permit would be issued. Napolitano said new information about the program should be made available by Aug. 1. She has said immigrants would generally not be detained by immigration authorities while their application is pending. Source: http://www.washingto...dt6W_story.html
  11. Pretty interested read. Read and comment below on what you think! AUSTIN -- President Obama's decision last month to grant deferred action to thousands of immigrants eligible for deportation is either illegal or humane, according to dueling statements released Thursday by members of Texas' congressional delegation. On June 15, the administration announced it would instruct the Department of Homeland Security to begin issuing work permits and grant relief from deportation to certain immigrants brought to the country illegally before they were 16 years old. U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, who has labeled a host of immigration polices aimed at focusing on deporting serious criminals over other offenders "backdoor amnesty," told Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that the deferred action decision ignores "the rule of law." "The administration's amnesty agenda is a win for illegal immigrants but a loss for Americans," Smith told Napolitano on Thursday during a scheduled House DHS oversight committee hearing. "When illegal immigrants are allowed to live and work in the U.S., unemployed American workers have to compete with illegal immigrants for scarce jobs. With 23 million Americans unemployed or underemployed, this amnesty only makes their lives harder." Smith, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, added that the move is a magnet for fraud. "Many illegal immigrants will falsely claim they came to the U.S. as children, and this administration refuses to take the steps necessary to check whether their claims are true or not," he said. House Democrats, however, said they would rally around the president and defend him against attempts to stymie the administration's powers. "We agree that you are on solid moral and legal ground, and we will do everything within our power to defend your actions and the authority that you, like past Presidents, can exercise to set enforcement priorities and better protect our neighborhoods and our nation," wrote U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill. The letter was also signed by U.S. Reps. Charlie Gonzalez, D-San Antonio, the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo; Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston; Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin; Al Green, D-Houston; Gene Green, D-Houston; Ruben Hinojosa, D-Edinburg; and Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso. But Democrats also made it clear that they want more. "Despite this vital reprieve for a deserving group of promising individuals, we also understand that it does not diminish the need for a permanent solution and comprehensive immigration reform," the Democrats insisted. "Mr. President, we stand committed to fixing the broken immigration system once and for all, and we are ready to fight for a permanent solution that benefits all children and families, the economy, our national security and our nation." About 800,000 people would be eligible to apply for the work permits, according to Gutierrez's office. They are scheduled to be eligible starting next month. Source:
  12. They point out some pretty good things in this article. It's worth a read or just a skim through. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano assured lawmakers Thursday that deferred action for some qualified young illegal aliens would help the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) focus its limited resources on criminal threats. Moreover, DHS would implement the process of deferring immigration enforcement among some illegal aliens aged 30 or younger carefully to ensure that it is not subject to fraud and that it does not result in sanctuary for criminal aliens, Napolitano told a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee. Although the hearing marked the 40th time Napolitano has testified before Congress in her tenure as homeland security secretary, it marked her first appearance since her memorandum June 15 granting deferred action for a two-year period to young illegal aliens who committed no felonies or major misdemeanors and applied for the program. The two-year period is continually renewable so long as the immigrant does not commit any such crimes, Napolitano said. DHS officially will begin accepting applications from young illegal aliens seeking to defer removal or other enforcement actions on Aug. 15, Napolitano explained. The department hopes to finalize guidelines for the process by Aug. 1, she continued, although she acknowledged that DHS already has deferred action on about 1,000 young illegal aliens that qualify under the characteristics of the overall program. Napolitano described the deferred action for qualified young illegal aliens as a natural outgrowth of how DHS has set immigration enforcement priorities. In 2010, DHS set broad priorities to pursue criminal aliens and repeat migration offenders. In 2011, it clarified that immigration prosecutors and agents could exercise prosecutorial discretion to suspend administratively low priority enforcement cases against illegal aliens who posed no national security or public safety threat. The June 15 announcement specifically narrowed DHS focus further by providing relief for young illegal aliens who were brought to the United States by their parents under the age of 16 and who have lived in the country continuously for five years or more. These young aliens generally do not know their native countries and fit the profile of students who would be provided with permanent relief under the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act championed by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) Napolitano denied DHS was pressured into the decision by the White House and further objected to characterizations that the timing of deferred action was political in nature, given the upcoming presidential election and the Democratic Party's efforts to appeal to Latino voters. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), committee chairman, expressed skepticism that DHS would not issue further orders that would effectively provide a class of DREAMers with permanent residency and eventually citizenship, usurping the authority of Congress to pass or withhold such laws. DHS may plan to enact an advance parole program, whereby a class of people such as DREAMers under deferred action would essentially become permanent US residents, Smith said. Providing such relief to an entire class of people eventually would provide them with citizenship counter to the will of Congress. Napolitano assured him that DHS would not enact a blanket policy to do so, but that individual cases of qualified illegal aliens may be subject to advance parole. DHS still was in the throes of hammering out the exact process by which young illegal aliens would qualify for deferred action, Napolitano said, expressing doubt that they would have to submit a certified school transcript, despite Smith's insistence that it would be a good idea. Qualifying illegal aliens would have to prove their residency, and the guidelines stipulate they should be in enrolled in, or should have graduated from, high school. (Alternatively, they could serve honorably in the US military.) Read More:
  13. This FAQ is taken directly from DHS Website. If you have any questions, reply below. Over the past three years, this Administration has undertaken an unprecedented effort to transform the immigration enforcement system into one that focuses on public safety, border security and the integrity of the immigration system. As DHS continues to focus its limited enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety, including aliens convicted of crimes, with particular emphasis on violent criminals, felons, and repeat offenders, DHS will move to exercise prosecutorial discretion to ensure that enforcement resources are not expended on low priority cases, such as individuals who were brought to this country through no fault of their own as children, have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, or multiple misdemeanor offenses, and meet other key criteria. Effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States through no fault of their own as young children and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or entered into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. Only those individuals who can prove through verifiable documentation that they meet these criteria will be eligible for deferred action. Individuals will not be eligible if they are not currently in the United States and cannot prove that they have been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of not less than 5 years immediately preceding today