• New Executive Actions Relating to U.S. Immigration Law
  • May 28, 2015 | Author: Mara S. Mijal
  • Law Firm: Vandeventer Black LLP - Norfolk Office
  • On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive actions to prioritize the deportation of felons rather than families and to modernize and improve immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has indicated that they expect to implement some of these initiatives during the first part of 2015, with others taking longer. Following is a summary of some of these initiatives:
    1. Expanding the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to people of any current age who entered the United States before the age of 16; have lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2012; and satisfy all other DACA requirements, including a criminal background check. It is important to note that DACA does not offer a legal status; it is merely a deferral of deportation, though it possible to obtain temporary work authorization via this type of deferral.
    2. Offering deferred action for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010; had, on November 20, 2014, a son or daughter who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident; and are not an enforcement priority for removal due to national security and public safety threats.
    3. Developing modernized programs to grow the U.S. economy and create jobs. The primary goals include developing a method of allocating immigrant visas to maximize efficiency and use of all visas available; removing restrictions on natural career progression and general job mobility to provide relief for employment-based immigrants facing lengthy delays; authorizing parole into the United States for eligible inventors, researchers, and entrepreneurs who have been awarded substantial U.S. investor financing or hold the promise of innovation and job creation; and finalizing a rule to provide work authorization to the spouses of H-1B work visa holders who are on the path to lawful permanent resident status.
    The President has outlined several additional initiatives, though all of the details have not yet been finalized or released. If you have questions about these programs or their requirements, you should contact the USCIS or an attorney who specializes in immigration law to discuss your individual circumstances.