On November 20, 2014 President Obama asked the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General to undertake new, more inclusive recommendations on reforming the United States' broken immigration system through his executive orders. The following 10 areas, confined to the law, can take action to increase border security, focus enforcement resources and ensure accountability in our immigration system.
Please be aware, there is currently an injunction issued by a Federal Judge that has temporarily placed the President's immigration actions on a temporary hold. If you or a loved one is interested in the Deferred Action for Parents of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents, you may contact us for more details.
If you or a loved one has questions about eligibility for the new immigration actions, contact us now for a FREE immigration consultation.
What are the President's Executive Actions?
Strengthen Border Security
Homeland Security will implement a strategy to fundamentally alter the way in which resources are used at the southern U.S. border. DHS will commission three task forces for various law enforcement agencies. The announcement intends to better structure border officials and agents to secure the nation's borders.
- Read more: Executive Action: Strengthen Border Security
Revise Removal Priorities
Homeland Security will be directed to implement a new department-wide enforcement and deportation policy. National security threats, convicted felons, gang members and illegal entrants who have been apprehended at the border are among some of top priorities for removal. Under this new policy, those who entered illegally prior to January 1, 2014 who never disobeyed a prior order of deportation and were never convicted of a serious crime, will not be high priorities for removal. This aims to balance the resources and officers to serious offenders.
- Read more: Executive Action: Revise Removal Priorities
Replace Secure Communities with New Priority Enforcement Program
A new program that will continue to rely on fingerprint-based technology and data submitted during bookings by state and local law enforcement agencies to determine when ICE will seek custody of certain criminals. This is expected to enhance ICE's ability to arrest, detain and remove individuals deemed threats to national security, border security and public safety.
- Read more: Executive Action: End Secure Communities
Expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program
One of the most exciting updates, that our Los Angeles immigration lawyers are pleased to share is the expansion of the current DACA program. The expansion of DACA will encompass a broader class of children. Now, regardless of the age the person was on June 15, 2012, all undocumented children who entered the U.S. before the age of 16 and meet other specific criteria will be eligible for DACA. The policy has now changed to give temporary status and employment authorization for 3 years, rather than 2 years.
Extend Deferred Action to Parents of U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents
Parents of U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident children who meet certain criteria will now be eligible for Deferred Action and Employment Authorization for a period of three years. This program will allow for these individuals to pay taxes and contribute to the economy, whereas they couldn't before.
- Read more: Executive Action: Expanding Deferred Action to Parents of U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents
Expand Provisional Waivers to Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents
President Obama has decided to expand on the 2013 provisional waiver program for undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens to include the spouses and children of Green Card holders, as well as the adult children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. The policy seeks to expand and clarify the "extreme hardship" standard as well.
Promote the Naturalization Process
In order to promote access to U.S. citizenship, Homeland Security will permit the use of credit card payments as an option for the filing fee that is typically only accepted in check, cashier check and money order form.
Support High-Skilled Business and Workers
The government will look into a number of administrative actions to better enable U.S. businesses to hire and retain highly skilled foreign born workers.
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