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Executive Action for Immigration in 2014

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Recent Updates from USCIS Regarding the 2014 Executive Action on Immigration:

"Update: Due to a federal court order, USCIS will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA on February 18, 2015, as originally planned and has suspended implementation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. The court's temporary injunction, issued February 16, 2015, does not affect the existing DACA."

"Important information about DACA requests: Due to federal court orders, USCIS has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA. USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA. Until further notice, and unless otherwise provided in this guidance, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017. For more information, visit Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Response to January 2018 Preliminary Injunction."

During his presidency, Mr. Obama's immigration announcement on November 20th, 2014 allowed a glimpse of optimism and hope for immigrants and their families. However, on February 17, 2015, a federal judge enjoined certain aspects of these executive actions preventing DHS from implementing the DACA and DAPA programs until further notice. The DACA policy was rescinded on September 5, 2017 under the administration of President Trump. Current DACA recipients may renew their membership, but the USCIS will no longer accept new applications.

Although the changes regarding DACA is a great disappointment for many immigrants and their families, all is not lost. Cupertino Immigration Attorney Timothy Widman has over 20 years of experience and directly handles issues regarding visas, green cards, and citizenship on a daily basis. He is proud of his ability to help immigrants realize their dreams in a very tangible way.

If you would like guidance and support regarding your legal options, do not hesitate to get in touch with Attorney Widman's office!

What was the executive action?

President Obama revealed numerous immigration initiatives all at once, making it difficult to digest what they actually mean for you and your family. Overall, these administrative reforms have the potential to protect nearly five million immigrants currently residing in America. While he didn't provide an opportunity to apply for deferred action for everyone, he did greatly expand the use of prosecutorial discretion to affect almost 5 million noncitizens.

One of the key ways the President planned to fix the broken immigration system was by redefining the function of deportation. He stressed that the priority for deportation should be persons who pose a threat to (1) national security, (2) public safety, and (3) border security. At the same time, President Obama deprioritized deportation for those who have resided in the United States for long periods with no criminal history.

Although new applications for DACA has been repealed, the other actions Obama set in place are still in effect.

What are the initiatives announced by President Obama? They included:

  • Expanding eligibility for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to include persons who arrived in the United States before the age of 16 and who have been present since January 1, 2010, even if born prior to June 15, 1981, and extending the period of DACA and work authorization from to three years from the current two years.
  • Creating a Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program allowing persons who are not considered to be an enforcement priority to apply for deferred action and work authorization provided they have been residing in the United States since January 1, 2010 and are the parents of U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident children as of November 20, 2014.
  • Expanding the provisional unlawful presence waiver program to allow stateside waiver processing for (a) the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and (b) the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, who can show that the denial of their admission on an immigrant visa would result in extreme hardship to their qualifying relative(s), while clarifying the standard for proving extreme hardship.
  • Streamlining and modernizing employment-based immigration programs by, for example, clarifying the eligibility standard for I-140 National Interest Waivers and offering advance parole to prospective National Interest Waiver applicants, providing work authorization for certain dependents of H-1B visa holders who are in the process of applying for permanent residence, and making improvements to the L-1B visa program by clarifying the "specialized knowledge" standard and by working to restore companies' confidence in the L-1B program through more consistent adjudications.

Other initiatives include beefing up border security to prevent illegal crossings, encouraging citizenship education, and promoting positive public awareness of citizenship to lawful permanent residents.

Mr. Obama reiterated the fact that this country would not be what it is today without the contributions of immigrants. He hopes his new initiatives will encourage undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows and participate more fully in their communities and contribute in their jobs without worrying about being deported.

Don't wait to take action – call today!

President Obama's initiatives were not expected to be implemented until early to middle 2015. Meanwhile, a federal judge has temporarily halted the implementation of the expanded DACA and DAPA programs. This does not affect the existing DACA program or the other immigrant friendly executive actions announced on November 20, 2014.

Therefore, it is still too soon to apply for deferred action through the expanded DACA or DAPA programs. Nevertheless, President Obama's new initiatives offer hope for many to obtain a reprieve from deportation and receive work authorization. The first place to start is by speaking with an experienced immigration attorney. Attorney Widman can review all of your options and help you understand how executive action may benefit you.

You deserve the best future possible. By partnering with a Cupertino immigration attorney, you can begin taking steps to make your American dreams a reality.

Contact the Law Offices of Timothy D. Widman today to schedule your confidential consultation!