EXECUTIVE ACTIONS ON IMMIGRATION UPDATES (DACA and DAPA)
We have been keeping a close watch on updates to the executive actions on immigration announced by President Obama on November 20, 2014. Changes regarding DACA are expected to be announced in detail in the next couple of months (February, 2015) and the new DAPA (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability) in May, 2015.
Please see a summary of the changes and expected effective dates below:
- EXPANDING DACA (DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS)
o Removes the upper age restriction for DACA applicants and current DACA recipients seeking renewal;
o Requires continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010, rather than the prior requirement of June 15, 2007; and
o Extends the deferred action period and employment authorization to 3 years.
USCIS will initiate these new changes approximately 90 days after November 20, 2014 (February, 2015).
- ESTABLISHING DAPA (DEFERRED ACTION FOR PARENTAL ACCOUNTABILITY)
o Applies to undocumented parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent resident children born on or before November 20, 2014 and parents must have continuous residence in the United States since January 1, 2010; and
o Parent must not be an enforcement priority (include but not limited to national security and public safety threats) for removal from the United States.
USCIS will consider each DAPA application on a case-by-case basis and will begin accept request approximately 180 days after November 20, 2014 (May, 2015).
If you believe that you may be eligible for the anticipated expanded DACA or the new DAPA, you may begin gathering documentation that establishes factors such as:
- Relationship to a U.S. citizen/lawful permanent resident (if applicable); and
- Continuous residence in the United States over the last 5 years or more (if applicable).
Please call us at (404) 890-0372 to discuss your eligibility for immigration benefits and documentation in more detail.
We just completed our conference call with U.S. White House Senior Administration Officials. President Obama will be announcing his plan to the public at 8 PM tonight.
There will be 3 parts to his announcement of changes to the immigration system that will become effective this spring:
3. Changes to the legal immigration system
Under the enforcement category, a new memo will name three enforcement priorities which will be operational immediately:
1. Suspected terrorists, convicted felons, convicted gang members and people apprehended at the border;
2. People convicted of serious or multiple misdemeanors, and very recent entrants (after 1/1/14); and
3. Those who, after 1/1/114 failed to leave under a removal or returned after removal.
Under the DACA category, there will be an expansion of the current DACA which will remove the age cap and change the date that continuous presence must have started to 1/1/14. This should be available in 90 days. There will also be a new deferred action for parents (DAP). Parents of US citizens and lawful permanent residents (of any age) who have been continuously present for 5 years may be eligible for deferred action which will be granted for a 3 year period. This plan is to begin within 180 days.
Under the legal immigration system changes category, OPT for students in STEM fields will be expanded and entrepreneurs will be able to be paroled into the U.S. for job creation.
This is a very brief explanation of the upcoming changes. Search for the hashtag #immigrationaction to receive up to date information from the White House and continue to check the USCIS website for detailed information.
We will continue to update you as more information develops.