President Obama’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions
President Obama’s executive actions have rolled out a number of planned new initiatives. Although complete details and qualifications have yet to be released, the following are the expected programs:
Deferred Action Initiatives
It is estimated that 4.4 million undocumented individuals will benefit from the two deferred action initiatives:
(1) DACA Expansion: the age cap on the current Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals (DACA) will be removed and the date when continuous presence will be changed from June 15, 2007 to January 1, 2010. In addition, deferred action status will now be granted for 3 years as opposed to 2 years. It is estimated that the expanded DACA should be implemented by USCIS in 90 days.
(2) Deferred Action for Parents (DAPA): Parents of United States citizen children and lawful permanent resident children will be able to apply for deferred action status. The parents must have been continuously present in the United States since January 1, 2010, pay back taxes, and pass background checks. The children can be of any age and the status granted would be for 3 years. This program is estimated to be implemented in 180 days.
Provisional Waiver Expansion
The I-601A Provisional Waiver is being expanded to include spouses and children of Lawful Permanent Residents as qualifying relatives. In addition, expansion and clarification of the meaning and definition of “extreme hardship” is expected.
ICE will now be focusing its attention in three enforcement priorities: (1) people who are convicted felons, convicted gang members, suspected terrorists, and persons convicted of serious or multiple misdemeanors; (2) persons apprehended at the border, recent border crossers (entered after January 1, 2014) ; and (3) people who failed to leave after an order of removal or returned after they were removed.
Employment Adjustment of Status
It is estimated that 410,000 individuals will benefit by advancing quota backlogs to file for adjustment of status. These individuals must have an already approved immigrant petition.
Parole-in-place will be expanded to include families of individuals who are trying to enlist in the armed forces.
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