President Obama’s Potential Executive Actions on Immigration
President Obama’s Potential Executive Actions on Immigration
According to Fox News’s source, President Obama is preparing to announce his executive action on immigration as early as next week. The following 10 points of his draft plan may possibly be included in his executive immigration action:
- Expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) to Include More Young Undocumented Migrants
President Obama could change the requirement of continuous residence from June 15, 2007 (please see (c) below) to January 1, 2010, which would make a larger number of undocumented childhood arrivals eligible for DACA relief.
DACA allows recipients to live and work in the US without having to fear deportation and is granted for 2 years at a time.
To qualify for DACA in its current form, the applicant must show that he or she :
- Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching her or her 16th birthday;
- Has continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
- Is currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, has obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
An estimated 300,000 more undocumented childhood arrivals could benefit from this change. Currently, over 500,000 DACA applications (not including renewals) have been approved.
- Expand Deferred Action to Parents of US Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents
By expanding deferred action to parents of US citizens and lawful permanent residents (green card holders; LPRs), President Obama could provide reprieve to almost 4.5 million undocumented immigrants. This number depends on how restrictive its continuous physical residence requirement will be; meaning, the individual will likely be required to show physical present here in the US for at least 5, 10, or more years. So, the longer the requirement, the narrower the group of qualifying individuals under this possible executive immigration action. Still, this would be a great benefit for potentially millions of individuals who otherwise do not qualify for relief by allowing them to live and work in the US lawfully.
- Expand Provisional Waivers to Spouses and Children of Lawful Permanent Residents
In January 2013, President Obama announced that he wanted to provide immediate relatives of US citizens with a way to waive their US entry without inspection without having to leave the country for prolonged periods. This I-601A provisional waiver applies to immediate relatives of US citizens, but President Obama could expand this to immediate relatives of LPRs through executive action on immigration.
- Expand Parole-in-Place
Parole-in-Place allows immediate relatives of Active, Selected Reserve, and Former Members of the US armed forces with “parole” on their unlawful entry. Essentially, it provides a way for individuals to obtain a green card, and when eligible, naturalize to become a US citizen. By expanding this already existing program, more individuals can apply to adjust their status (apply for a green card) here in the US despite their previous unlawful entry.
- Prioritize Deportations to Serious Criminals and Threat to Safety
The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) does currently focus its efforts on deporting serious criminals and those who pose a threat to public safety and welfare; however, House Democrats have urged President Obama to require DHS to achieve this goal through executive action. This would relieve concerns for those hardworking individuals who are here without documentation, but pose no threat to public safety.
- Promote the naturalization process
Naturalization is the process by which green card holders can obtain citizenship. The current filing fee is $680. President Obama may want to encourage people to begin this process by offering a 50% fee reduction for the first 10,000 applicants. This process generally has two requirements, an English and Civics examination.
- Expand Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (“STEM”) Visas
Business-related groups like the US Chamber of Commerce and FWD.us are calling for an expansion of visas for foreign-born, highly-skilled (primarily in STEM field) workers to support US business and economic growth. This is estimated to offer almost 500,000 individuals a path to US citizenship.
- End ‘Secure Communities’ Program
Simply stated, the Secure Communities (“S-Comm”) program has been a catastrophic failure. The program was intended to “secure communities” by sharing information through a partnership between the FBI and local law enforcement, which was to result in deportations of those who are deemed high priority, or threats to public safety. Instead, it accomplishes the opposite of what it was meant to do. Indeed, many state and local agencies rejected it.
- Increase Pay for Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officers
The National Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Council, the union representing ICE officers and employees, requested more funding. Increased pay could be part of President Obama’s executive action on immigration.
- Strengthen Border Security
Along with increased pay for ICE workers, this initiative would expand efforts to secure the US-Mexico border. This has been a high priority for Republican lawmakers, particularly after the recent humanitarian crisis where undocumented children from Central American fleeing from dangerous conditions were seeking refuge here in the United States.
At this time, we only know what President Obama’s potential executive actions on immigration are; however, our Sacramento immigration lawyers are well-prepared to assist you when his executive immigration action is announced. Our Sacramento immigration lawyers have a 99.99% success rate and are well-equipped with the know-how to navigate around this new policy for favorable decisions. If you have any questions regarding President Obama’s executive action on immigration once announced, do not hesitate to contact our Sacramento immigration law firm. Carson & Kyung will learn your facts and determine whether you have a course of action under any existing or upcoming policies.
*The information provided in this post does not constitute legal advice or opinion. The information is for guidance purposes only. Individual situations vary and you should contact us for a consultation. Carson & Kyung, Sacramento’s Immigration Attorneys on President Obama’s Potential Executive Actions on Immigration. Image courtesy of whitehouse.gov.