24/11/2014: Executive Actions on Immigration
On November 20, 2014, President Barack Obama announced a series of executive actions to crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
These initiatives include:
- Expanding the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to young people who came to the United States before turning 16 years old and have been present since January 1, 2010, and extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years.
- Allowing parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been in the country since January 1, 2010, to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, in a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program, provided they pass required background checks.
- Expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
- Modernizing, improving and clarifying immigrant and nonimmigrant programs to grow our economy and create jobs.
- Promoting citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents and providing an option for naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay the application fee.
Important notice: These initiatives have not yet been implemented, and USCIS is not accepting any requests or applications at this time. Beware of anyone who offers to help you submit an application or a request for any of these actions before they are available. You could become a victim of an immigration scam. Subscribe to the webpage of USCIS to get updates when new information is posted.
USCIS and other agencies and offices are responsible for implementing these initiatives as soon as possible. Some initiatives will be implemented over the next several months and some will take longer.
Over the coming months, USCIS will produce detailed explanations, instructions, regulations and forms as necessary. The brief summaries provided in their website, www.uscis.gov, offer basic information about each initiative.
While USCIS is not accepting requests or applications at this time, if you believe you may be eligible for one of the initiatives listed above, you can prepare by gathering documents that establish your:
- Relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; and
- Continuous residence in the United States over the last five years or more.
The USCIS strongly encourages the public to subscribe in their website to receive an email whenever additional information on these initiatives is available. They will also post updates on their Facebook and Twitter.
Remind friends and family members that the only way to be sure to get the facts is to get them directly from USCIS. Unauthorized practitioners of immigration law may try to take advantage of others by charging a fee to submit forms to USCIS on their behalf or by claiming to provide other special access or expedited services which do not exist. To learn how to get the right immigration help, go to the USCIS’ “avoid scams” section in their website, www.uscis.gov/avoid-scams.
Below are summaries of major planned initiatives by USCIS, including:
- Who is eligible
- What the initiative will do
- When you can begin to make a request
- How to make a request