US immigration reform 2014

The President’s Immigration Executive Actions (11/20/14 )

Based on a briefing by the White House, the following is a summary of the elements expected to be part of the Administration’s announcement of executive actions on immigration. Our understanding is that details (and memos) are still being worked on at this time. Many items are still unclear, and the merits of many may not be known until the details are known. Some will require regulations, but others can be done by memo.

1. Enforcement Priorities

Many of the existing memos on enforcement priorities and prosecutorial discretion will be replaced by a new memo that will name three new enforcement priorities, which will be operational immediately:

2. Deferred Action for Parents (DAP)

Parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (of any age) who have been continuously present since 1/1/10, and who pass background checks and pay taxes, will be eligible to apply for deferred action, which will be granted for a 3-year period.

3. U/T Visas

Three more types of offenses will be added to the list of offenses for which DOL can certify for U status. No specifics were available regarding which offenses will be added. T visa eligibility may also come into play with respect to DOL.

4. Foreign Entrepreneurs

Certain investors will be able to be paroled into the U.S., or be granted parole in place if already in the United States, for job creation (no further details at this time).

5. Timing of Filing for Adjustment of Status

The ability of individuals with an approved employment-based immigrant petition who are caught in the quota backlogs to file for adjustment of status will be advanced to permit them to obtain the benefits of a pending adjustment.

6. H-4 EADs

The regulation will be finalized, probably in December or January.

7. OPT The length of time in OPT for STEM graduates will be expanded and the relationship between the student and the school will be strengthened for this period.

8. I-601a Waivers

The provisional waiver will be expanded to include spouses and children of Green Card Holders. The definition of extreme hardship will be expanded and clarified.

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