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UPDATE ON U.S. v. TEXAS – DAPA and EXTENDED DACA

On Monday, April 18, 2016 the Supreme Court heard the oral arguments in the case of U.S. v. Texas, in which President Obama’s executive order is being challenged as over stepping his Executive authority. Although speculations arose after the release of the oral arguments and the possible decision the Supreme Court will make, a final decision on the case will not be released until approximately June.

For those who could potentially be eligible for the DAPA and extended DACA, the waiting continues. You should consult with an attorney regarding eligibility for the programs so you can better prepare in the event there is a favorable outcome.

PRIORITY ENFORCEMENT CONTINUES:

When President Obama released the introduction of DAPA and the extended DACA on November 20, 2014, he also issued an enforcement and removal priority list for ICE to follow. Due to limited resources available to the Department of Homeland Security, this priority list is crucial in an effort to maximize efforts for the safety of the public. Priority lists includes those that are threats to national security, border security, and public safety and also those with certain criminal history.

These enforcement priorities continue to be in effect despite the current hold on the Supreme Court’s decision. You should consult with an attorney if you have any questions regarding priority or any immigration benefits available.

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DAPA Update – Immigration Reform News

DAPA is deferred action for parents of US citizen children. Next week will mark one year since President Obama came out with the executive action DAPA. It is still stuck in the courts. DAPA took a major setback this week in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The 5th Circuit refused to lift an order from back in February that put a halt to DAPA. There is only one step left to save DAPA and that is the U.S. Supreme Court. The clock is ticking to the 2016 elections which are a year away.

The Department of Justice has indicated they will appeal the ruling handed down by the 5th Circuit. The current term for the Supreme Court ends in June. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear 70 of the thousands of cases that are before it. They have very broad discretion in what cases they hear or do not want to hear. They do not necessarily hear a case just because it is newsworthy or the Obama Administration wants them to hear it. If the U.S. Supreme Court hears the case, the answer will not come until June 2016 at the earliest. Even if the U.S. Supreme Court rules for the Obama Administration, there may not be enough time to have everything ready by the time a new president were to take over. As new news breaks, I will update everyone.

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Update on President Obama’s Executive Action

President Obama’s Executive Action back in November has been on hold. However, 4 parts of it have continued to go forward.

1) They are providing work authorization for certain H-4 spouses. Certain spouses of H-1B workers who are on the pathway to LPR status are able to have work authorization. This regulation took effect May 26, 2015.

2) Clarifying options for intra-company transfers to the United States. USCIS will issue a final memorandum that will go into effect on August 31, 2015.

3) Protecting victims of crime and human trafficking as well as workers. The Department of Labor has expanded and strengthened its support for victims of qualifying crimes (U status) and human trafficking (T status) who are willing to cooperate with law enforcement investigations or prosecutions. There has been an increase of qualifying crimes for both of these immigration statuses. They include crimes of extortion, forced labor, and fraud in foreign labor contracting.

4) Reducing family separation for those waiting to obtain LPR status. On July 15, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security issued a proposed rule to expand access to the provisional waiver program to all statutorily eligible classes of relatives for whom an immigrant visa is immediately available, including immediate relatives, family sponsored, employment-based, and special immigrants, allowing these individuals an opportunity to avoid family separation.

The Department of Homeland Security continues to work on a couple of other areas as well. These are 1) Expand opportunities for foreign investors, researchers, and entrepreneurs and 2) Strengthen and improve the Optional Practical Training (OPT) Program for foreign students and graduates from U.S. universities.

Immigration continues to change frequently. I will try to continue to keep you informed of changes.

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Obama Executive Order

I am continuing to monitor the new Obama Executive order. Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted 236-191 to approve legislation that approved funding for the Department of Homeland Security until the end of the budget year. However, they also voted 237-190 to an amendment to undo Obama’s Executive order in November, which granted employment authorization and deportation relief. Moreover, the House of Representatives also voted 218-209 to cancel Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action. Republicans do not believe the President’s actions are constitutionally legal. Since an amendment was also passed to cancel the 2012 Deferred Action, most people do not believe it will pass in the Senate. The White House has threatened a veto if it passes. It will probably have a hard time passing the Senate especially with the amendment to the 2012 Deferred Action. There is a deadline of February 27th to pass a budget for the Department of Homeland Security. The fear is the security of the country given the Paris attacks if they shut down the Department of Homeland Security. The Republicans are 6 votes shy of passing most legislation in the Senate. The Senate should look at this bill in the next few weeks. It is expected they will take out the amendments which will most certainly cause a fight with the Republicans in the House of Representatives. I will be monitoring this closely and will be adding updates.

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The latest on what Obama might do in regards to the immigration system

Here is the latest on what Obama might do in regards to the immigration system. The plan for the executive action could be announced as early as November 21st. However, it could be delayed a few days after that depending on white house approval. No final decision has been made. The plan apparently has 10 initiatives and includes improving border security and higher pay for immigration officers. It also appears that he will expand on deferred action. It will expand on children brought to the United States illegally and may include parents of U.S. citizen and Legal Permanent Resident children to stay. It is estimated that this will affect 4.5 million illegal immigrants. They will receive work permits, social security numbers, and id.

Deferred action right now, allows illegal immigrant children who entered before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to be free of deportation and a work permit. The plan might change June 2007 to January 1, 2010. This would allow another 300,000 illegal immigrant children ability to stay and receive a work permit.

Other plans include a new Naturalization Process in which the first 10,000 applicants can receive 50% off with the exception of those who make more than 200% above the poverty line. There would be more opportunities for tech job visas. There would be a revision on removal priorities.

We will not know details of his total plan until he addresses the nation but his plan could still have many issues. One issue is that Congress has the sole power of controlling the finances. Congress could simply bar money used for that purpose. Keep Bailey and Galyen in mind for any immigration need you have.

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Still no news on immigration reform

By Michael J. Spychalski

Sometimes in Immigration Law, it is not always best to become a U.S. citizen. This occurs after you petitioned a relative when you are a legal permanent resident and that relative might move into a category that is slower. Specifically, this occurs with children who are over 21 year old child and unmarried. Recently, I had a legal permanent resident come to see me where the over 21 year old child that he had applied for, had an interview with immigration but was denied because he became a US citizen a few days before the interview. The forced the over 21 year old child into a slower category in which his petition was not ready for residency. He was denied. While he thought he was helping becoming a U.S. citizen actually hurt. Immigration law is complex and even the simplest of cases can become complex very easy. It is always best to check with an immigration attorney about your case.

There is still no news on immigration reform. It does not seem as high on Congress’ agenda currently. It is very doubtful there will be a full immigration reform in 2014. My hope is that Congress will start passing bits and pieces of it. I monitor this all of the time and will send updates on the blog if there are any to report.

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Getting Closer to Immigration Reform

It looks like immigration reform is getting closer. The Senate has crafted a final immigration reform bill but it still needs to go through the House of Representatives. The bill deals with a visa for low-skilled workers being able to stay. It looks like congress’ next step will be on securing the border and then a path for citizenship for illegals. I will make more posts as new information becomes available.

Legal Help

Dealing with immigration requires the ability to make informed decisions. The application process is often complicated, especially when English is your second language. It is wise to seek legal advice and assistance from an immigration lawyer, and we urge you to email or call our office at 1-866-378-4705 before applying for any immigration benefit.