On September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of the program commonly known as DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Implemented as an Executive Action by President Obama in 2012, DACA provided temporary protected “status,” employment authorization and limited travel authorization to nearly 800,000 children and young people.
President Trump ran on a platform of immigration enforcement, and sadly it is not surprising that the DACA program has been eliminated; yet we all feel a deep sense of sadness at having to deliver the news to our clients, their families, and the employers that have come to rely on DACA recipients.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
The Department of Homeland Security has released the details of the wind-down, which will occur in phases. Here are the important highlights:
- No new applications for DACA will be accepted after September 5, 2017. They will be rejected and returned to sender.
As we reported in our most recent BLOG post, President Trump signed 3 immigration-related Executive Orders during his first week of office. The last few days have been a whirlwind of information and misinformation. The landscape also seems to changing on an almost-daily basis.
Here is our most recent round-up of positions and clarifications of the US State Department, US Department of Homeland Security, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
US STATE DEPARTMENT MATTERS:
– The DOS Visa Office confirmed that despite the executive order, the majority of interview-waives cases can still proceed. These include those applicants under age 14 and over age 79 (INA section 222(h)(1)(A)) and those applicants who seek the same visa category within one year of the most-recent visa’s issuance and/ or expiration (INA section 222(h)(1)(B)).
– The DOS Bureau of Consular Affairs confirmed provisional revocation of all valid immigrant and nonimmigrant visas held by nationals of the seven named countries.
By now, nearly every news outlet is reporting that newly-inaugurated President Trump has signed three (3) Executive Orders/ Actions this week. While the headline-grabbing and infamous border wall is an easy lead-off for the 5:00 news, the Executive Orders/ Actions had widespread impact on removal actions and priorities, especially along the Southern border of the United States, and admission of Muslims from around the world.
What Is an Executive Order?
Before we delve into the newly-penned orders, let’s begin with a fantastic overview of what they are and are not. Our friends and colleagues at Robert Reeves Law Group in Los Angeles put together a great summary:
Are you back? OK then, let’s proceed with the task at hand. Here is our initial breakdown of the Executive Orders. Many of the provisions will likely be subjected to judicial review as federal lawsuits are filed; but for now, these orders are new “law.”
If you are a night owl, you stayed up late to see the TV networks declare Donald J Trump the election winner. Even if you turned off the TV early, you awoke to the phrase some hoped to hear but few honestly expected… President-Elect Trump. Regardless of your political leaning, all involved in immigration will acknowledge one thing: we are in for a heck of a ride ahead.
Our office has already received several calls and emails, all wondering how the outcome will affect them, their families and their employees. It is still early in the game, and most of the information we can provide is an educated guess. But we will attempt to break down what matters most to you. Grab a cup of coffee and perhaps a snack.. this may be long.
The New Face of the Federal Government:
While the electoral map seems to show a clear Republican swing,
On October 27, 2016, national news outlets announced that Adam Crapser will soon be removed from the United States back to his native country of South Korea. With over 235,000 removals in FY2015, and similar numbers expected for FY2016, why is Adam’s story unique?
Adam is an International Adoptee who has spent 36 of his 39 years of life in the US.
Adam was born in South Korea and placed into an orphanage outside of Seoul with his biological sister. Within a handful of months, he and his sister were on their way to the United States as the adopted children of US citizens. Although privacy laws protect Adam’s files and exact details, we assume that Adam and his sister immigrated to the United States as IR-3 or IR-4 immigrants;
On July 22, 2015, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced plans to expand the I-601A Provisional Waiver program. The announcement was met with cheers from most within the immigration community. Then we all waited.. and waited… and waited for DHS to review the public’s comments and publish the final rule. On July 29, 2016, that announcement finally came. But what does it really mean to you?
In the Beginning: Unlawful Presence and The Three and Ten Year Bars.
Imagine yourself the recipient of a perfectly-made homemade cookie. The cookie is gooey and chocolatey, and comes from Grandma’s secret recipe. Now imagine that Grandma’s gift comes with a condition: you must first step outside on the patio to get it.
On March 24, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided a very important case that touches on areas of life that extend well beyond that of immigration law where the case arose. That case is Ledezma-Cosino v. Lynch.
It deals with a man from Mexico who was ordered deported from the United States not because he had committed any serious crime or because he was a terrorist, but because he had been labeled as a person lacking good moral character solely because of an existing alcohol addiction.
One might ask: what is “good moral character”? Surprisingly, the law does not define it very well and certainly within the federal statutes which affected Mr. Ledezma-Cosino, there was no list of what is considered “good moral character.” Rather, the list states what is not “good moral character.”
On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced a new policy entitled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This is a new policy developed by the Department of Homeland Security designed to allow certain young people who did not intentionally violate immigration law to continue to live and work in the United States.
This policy provides children who were brought into the United States without proper immigration documents or children whose immigration documents have expired and who have grown up in the United States to remain in the United States without continued fear of removal or deportation. Eligible immigrants must meet certain guidelines.
Who is eligible for DACA?
In order to be eligible for Deferred Action an applicant must:
- Have entered the United States before the age of 16;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 up to the present time, were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and on the date of application;