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Latest on the Obama Executive Actions

Here is the latest on the Obama executive actions. They have been put on hold. A Federal Judge in Brownsville, Texas has put the programs on hold until the federal court can hear the trial of the 26 states who are suing the federal government. The federal government has appealed to overturn the hold and to fast track the case. However, yesterday, the case will not be on a fast track. The 26 states will have until March 23rd to respond. We do not know how long it will take the court to rule.

The Federal Judge in Brownsville did give a narrow opinion. He stated the federal government did not follow the administrative procedure governing how federal agencies can establish regulations. If the appeals court finds that the federal government did not follow administrative procedures, they will have to back up follow those procedures before the immigration executive programs can begin.

It does not appear that Congress is going to pass a comprehensive immigration bill. It appears that changes in immigration law will be piece by piece, probably starting with border security and enforcement of laws currently in place. However, immigration does not seem to be a priority for Congress. I will continue to provide updates.

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Expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

On February 18th, Immigration will be accepting applications for the expanded DACA. You qualify for this by meeting the following requirements.

  1. You entered the United States before your 16th birthday and before January 1, 2010,
  2. You have no felonies or significant misdemeanors,
  3. Graduated or are attending high school or completed a GED program, and
  4. You were born before June 15, 1981.

If you think you meet these requirements, come see me immediately so we can begin the process.

Please note that the DAPA program (parents of U.S. citizen or resident children) does not start until the end of May. The funding for the Department of Homeland Security is set to end February 27th. If no bill passes through Congress, the Department of Homeland Security effectively shuts down. It does not mean that they will not exist. Employees that are deemed essential will keep working, but the feeling is that with a surge in applications, the Department will be overwhelmed. Congress could also pass an extension of funding for a period of time until something can be worked out. The deadline for the funding is fast approaching. I will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates.

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Renewal of Deferred Action

Michael J. Spychalski
It is about time for a number of people to apply for their renewal of deferred action. To renew, a person must have been granted Deferred Action and continues to meet the requirements for Deferred Action. Those who have obtained a criminal conviction since they received Deferred Action and it is time to renew should see an attorney to make sure they still qualify. There are other requirements such as:

The person must not have departed the U.S. on or after August 15, 2012, without first having been granted advance parole. The person must have resided continuously in the U.S. from the time he or she submitted the initial request for DACA up until the present time. If the person qualified for DACA based on demonstrating that he or she was “in school” when he or she submitted the initial request, then the person must have satisfied the education guideline for the renewal request.

People can start filing renewals 120 days before the expiration date. There is an immigration fee of $465 to renew. Failure to file a renewal disqualifies you for employment authorization. You will also be subject to deportation. There are a number of issues that can occur during a renewal for Deferred Action, it is best to have an experienced attorney on your side to deal with issues before they could get out of control.