Pageviews last month

December 30, 2014

Minimum Standards for Driver’s Licenses and Identification Cards Acceptable by Federal Agencies for Official Purposes


Office of the Secretary

6 CFR Part 37

RIN 1601–AA74

[Docket No. DHS–2006–0030]

Minimum Standards for Driver’s Licenses and Identification Cards Acceptable by Federal Agencies for Official Purposes

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, DHS.
ACTION: Final rule.

SUMMARY: Pursuant to REAL ID regulations, beginning December 1, 2014, federal agencies may not accept State-issued driver’s licenses or identification cards for official purposes from individuals born after December 1, 1964, unless the license or card is REAL ID-compliant and was issued by a compliant State as determined by DHS.

Also, beginning December 1, 2017, federal agencies may not accept driver’s licenses or identification cards for official purposes from any individual unless the card is REAL ID-compliant and was issued by a compliant State as determined by DHS. This final rule changes both document enrollment dates to October 1, 2020.

Nothing in this rule affects the prohibition against federal agencies accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards issued by noncompliant States, pursuant to the REAL ID Act and in accordance to the phased enforcement schedule.

DATES: Effective on December 29, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ted Sobel, Director, Office of State-Issued Identification Support, Screening Coordination Office, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528, (202) 282–9570.


Department of State, Department of Homeland Security
[DHS Docket No. USCIS-2014-0014]

Immigration Policy, Department of State; Department of Homeland Security

SUMMARY: On November 21, 2014, the President issued a memorandum of the heads of executive departments and agencies on the subject of modernizing and streamlining the U.S. immigrant and nonimmigrant visa system of the 21st century. The Memorandum directs the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, in consultation with various other Cabinet secretaries and the While House, to make recommendations to streamline and improve the Nation's legal immigration system. Such effort should focus on reducing Government costs, improving services for applicants, reducing burdens on employers, and combating waste, fraud, and abuse in the system, while safeguarding the interests of American workers. This notice solicits public input to inform the development of those recommendation.

DATES: Responses must be received by January 29, 2015 to be considered.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

  • Email:USCISFRComment@uscis.dhs.gov. Indude Visa Modernization in the subject line of the message. 
  • Online: You may access the Federal Register Notice and submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal Website by visiting www.regulations.gov. In the search box either copy and paste, or type in, the e-Docket ID number USCIS-2014-0014. 
  • Mail: Attn: Laura Dawkins, Chief of the Regulatory Coordination Division, Massachusetts Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20529-2140. 

December 23, 2014

IMMIGRATION AND POLICY BY NYC BUSINESS IMMIGRATION LAWYER - Phone (212) 564-1589: Haitian and Cuban Family Reunification Parole Prog...

IMMIGRATION AND POLICY BY NYC BUSINESS IMMIGRATION LAWYER - Phone (212) 564-1589: Haitian and Cuban Family Reunification Parole Prog...: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE On December 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published  two  Federal Register notices. Th...

Haitian and Cuban Family Reunification Parole Programs


On December 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published two Federal Register notices. These notices relate to the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program and the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) Program. Please see specifics regarding both programs identified below.

HFRP Program:  On October 17, 2014, USCIS announced that it would begin preparatory work to implement a HFRP Program in early 2015. The purpose of the HFRP Program is to expedite family reunification for certain Haitian family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs). By expanding existing legal means for Haitians to immigrate, the HFRP Program serves a significant public benefit by promoting safe, legal and orderly migration from Haiti to the United States.  In addition, it supports U.S. goals for Haiti’s long-term reconstruction and development.

On December 18, USCIS published a Federal Register notice establishing the HFRP Program. This program will allow certain eligible Haitian beneficiaries of family-based immigrant visa petitions approved on or before December 18, 2014, who are currently in Haiti, to be paroled into the United States up to approximately two years before their immigrant visa priority dates become current. Once paroled into the U.S., these beneficiaries will be able to apply for work permits while waiting for their immigrant visas to become available. Once their visa is available, they can apply for LPR status. 

On or after February 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of State National Visa Center will begin sending invitations to eligible petitioners to apply for the HFRP Program on behalf of their family members. The invitation that is sent to eligible U.S. petitioners will provide instructions on how to file the Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, and submit the required fee or fee waiver request to apply. 

CFRP Program: In 2007, USCIS announced the CFRP Program in support of the U.S. Government’s commitment under the U.S.-Cuba Migration Accords to ensure the legal migration to the United States of a minimum of 20,000 Cubans annually. Under the CFRP Program, USCIS offers certain beneficiaries of approved family-based immigrant visa petitions the opportunity to be paroled into the United States to apply for lawful permanent resident status, rather than remain in Cuba waiting for their immigrant visas to become available. The purpose of the program is to expedite family reunification through safe, legal, and orderly channels of migration to the United States and to discourage irregular and inherently dangerous maritime migration.

On December 18, USCIS published a Federal Register Notice announcing changes to this program that will require invited petitioners to file a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, and submit the required fee or fee waiver request to have their beneficiary considered for parole under the CFRP Program in the future. These changes bring parole requests under the CFRP Program in line with most other parole requests filed on behalf of individuals outside the United States, including parole requests under the HFRP Program.

USCIS will “grandfather” cases that were already in process prior to December 18, 2014. In addition, USCIS will “grandfather” cases filed by petitioners who received a program eligibility notice from the NVC at any time prior to December 18, 2014, and who submitted to the NVC before February 17, 2015, complete documentation necessary to apply for the CFRP Program. These “grandfathered” cases will not be subject to the new filing requirements, i.e., the submission of Form I-131 with the required fee or a fee waiver request. A complete application package will be grandfathered only if the required documentation is postmarked before February 17, 2015.

December 22, 2014

Types of Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices Discrimination

The following are types of discriminatory conduct under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1324b.

1) Citizenship or immigration status discrimination with respect to hiring, firing, and recruitment or referral for a fee by employers with four or more employees.

Employers may not treat individuals differently because they are, or are not, U.S. citizens or work authorized individuals. U.S. citizens, recent permanent residents, temporary residents, asylees and refugees are protected from citizenship status discrimination. Exceptions: permanent residents who do not apply for naturalization within six months of eligibility are not protected from citizenship status discrimination. Citizenship status discrimination which is otherwise required to comply with law, regulation, executive order, or government contract is permissible by law.

2) National origin discrimination with respect to hiring, firing, and recruitment or referral for a fee, by employers with more than three and fewer than 15 employees.

Employers may not treat individuals differently because of their place of birth, country of origin, ancestry, native language, accent, or because they are perceived as looking or sounding "foreign." All U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and work authorized individuals are protected from national origin discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has jurisdiction over employers with 15 or more employees.

3) Unfair documentary practices related to verifying the employment eligibility of employees.

Employers may not request more or different documents than are required to verify employment eligibility, reject reasonably genuine-looking documents, or specify certain documents over others with the purpose or intent of discriminating on the basis of citizenship status or national origin. U.S. citizens and all work authorized individuals are protected from document abuse.

4) Retaliation/Intimidation.

Individuals who file charges with the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices ("OSC"), who cooperate with an OSC investigation, who contest action that may constitute unfair documentary practices or discrimination based upon citizenship or immigration status, or national origin, or who assert their rights under the INA's anti-discrimination provision are protected from intimidation, threats, coercion, and retaliation. http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/htm/Webtypes2005.php

December 18, 2014


IMMIGRATION AND POLICY BY NYC BUSINESS IMMIGRATION LAWYER - Phone (212) 564-1589: WHITE HOUSE FACT SHEET ON RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF DIPL...: FACT SHEET: Charting a New Course on Cuba Yesterday, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations w...


FACT SHEET: Charting a New Course on Cuba

Yesterday, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people.  We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba.

It is clear that decades of U.S. isolation of Cuba have failed to accomplish our enduring objective of promoting the emergence of a democratic, prosperous, and stable Cuba.  At times, longstanding U.S. policy towards Cuba has isolated the United States from regional and international partners, constrained our ability to influence outcomes throughout the Western Hemisphere, and impaired the use of the full range of tools available to the United States to promote positive change in Cuba.  Though this policy has been rooted in the best of intentions, it has had little effect – today, as in 1961, Cuba is governed by the Castros and the Communist party.

We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.  It does not serve America’s interests, or the Cuban people, to try to push Cuba toward collapse.  We know from hard-learned experience that it is better to encourage and support reform than to impose policies that will render a country a failed state.  With our actions today, we are calling on Cuba to unleash the potential of 11 million Cubans by ending unnecessary restrictions on their political, social, and economic activities.  In that spirit, we should not allow U.S. sanctions to add to the burden of Cuban citizens we seek to help.

Today, we are renewing our leadership in the Americas.  We are choosing to cut loose the anchor of the past, because it is entirely necessary to reach a better future – for our national interests, for the American people, and for the Cuban people.

Key Components of the Updated Policy Approach:

Since taking office in 2009, President Obama has taken steps aimed at supporting the ability of the Cuban people to gain greater control over their own lives and determine their country’s future.  Today, the President announced additional measures to end our outdated approach, and to promote more effectively change in Cuba that is consistent with U.S. support for the Cuban people and in line with U.S. national security interests.  Major elements of the President’s new approach include:
Establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba-

The President has instructed the Secretary of State to immediately initiate discussions with Cuba on the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba, which were severed in January 1961.
In the coming months, we will re-establish an embassy in Havana and carry out high-level exchanges and visits between our two governments as part of the normalization process.  As an initial step, the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs will lead the U.S. Delegation to the next round of U.S.-Cuba Migration Talks in January 2015, in Havana.

U.S. engagement will be critical when appropriate and will include continued strong support for improved human rights conditions and democratic reforms in Cuba and other measures aimed at fostering improved conditions for the Cuban people.

The United States will work with Cuba on matters of mutual concern and that advance U.S. national interests, such as migration, counter-narcotics, environmental protection, and trafficking in persons, among other issues.

Adjusting regulations to more effectively empower the Cuban people-

The changes announced today will soon be implemented via amendments to regulations of the Departments of the Treasury and Commerce.   Our new policy changes will further enhance our goal of empowering the Cuban population.

Our travel and remittance policies are helping Cubans by providing alternative sources of information and opportunities for self-employment and private property ownership, and by strengthening independent civil society.

These measures will further increase people-to-people contact; further support civil society in Cuba; and further enhance the free flow of information to, from, and among the Cuban people.  Persons must comply with all provisions of the revised regulations; violations of the terms and conditions are enforceable under U.S. law.

Facilitating an expansion of travel under general licenses for the 12 existing categories of travel to Cuba authorized by law-

General licenses will be made available for all authorized travelers in the following existing categories: (1) family visits; (2) official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; (3) journalistic activity; (4) professional research and professional meetings; (5) educational activities; (6) religious activities; (7) public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; (8) support for the Cuban people; (9) humanitarian projects; (10) activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; (11) exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials; and (12) certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines.

Travelers in the 12 categories of travel to Cuba authorized by law will be able to make arrangements through any service provider that complies with the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations governing travel services to Cuba, and general licenses will authorize provision of such services.

The policy changes make it easier for Americans to provide business training for private Cuban businesses and small farmers and provide other support for the growth of Cuba’s nascent private sector.  Additional options for promoting the growth of entrepreneurship and the private sector in Cuba will be explored.

Facilitating remittances to Cuba by U.S. persons-

Remittance levels will be raised from $500 to $2,000 per quarter for general donative remittances to Cuban nationals (except to certain officials of the government or the Communist party); and donative remittances for humanitarian projects, support for the Cuban people, and support for the development of private businesses in Cuba will no longer require a specific license.

Remittance forwarders will no longer require a specific license.

Authorizing expanded commercial sales/exports from the United States of certain goods and services-
The expansion will seek to empower the nascent Cuban private sector.  Items that will be authorized for export include certain building materials for private residential construction, goods for use by private sector Cuban entrepreneurs, and agricultural equipment for small farmers.  This change will make it easier for Cuban citizens to have access to certain lower-priced goods to improve their living standards and gain greater economic independence from the state.

Authorizing American citizens to import additional goods from Cuba-

Licensed U.S. travelers to Cuba will be authorized to import $400 worth of goods from Cuba, of which no more than $100 can consist of tobacco products and alcohol combined.

Facilitating authorized transactions between the United States and Cuba-

U.S. institutions will be permitted to open correspondent accounts at Cuban financial institutions to facilitate the processing of authorized transactions.

The regulatory definition of the statutory term “cash in advance” will be revised to specify that it means “cash before transfer of title”; this will provide more efficient financing of authorized trade with Cuba.

U.S. credit and debit cards will be permitted for use by travelers to Cuba.

These measures will improve the speed, efficiency, and oversight of authorized payments between the United States and Cuba.

Initiating new efforts to increase Cubans’ access to communications and their ability to communicate freely-

Cuba has an internet penetration of about five percent—one of the lowest rates in the world.  The cost of telecommunications in Cuba is exorbitantly high, while the services offered are extremely limited.
The commercial export of certain items that will contribute to the ability of the Cuban people to communicate with people in the United States and the rest of the world will be authorized.  This will include the commercial sale of certain consumer communications devices, related software, applications, hardware, and services, and items for the establishment and update of communications-related systems.

 Telecommunications providers will be allowed to establish the necessary mechanisms, including infrastructure, in Cuba to provide commercial telecommunications and internet services, which will improve telecommunications between the United States and Cuba.

Updating the application of Cuba sanctions in third countries-

U.S.-owned or -controlled entities in third countries will be generally licensed to provide services to, and engage in financial transactions with, Cuban individuals in third countries.  In addition, general licenses will unblock the accounts at U.S. banks of Cuban nationals who have relocated outside of Cuba; permit U.S. persons to participate in third-country professional meetings and conferences related to Cuba; and, allow foreign vessels to enter the United States after engaging in certain humanitarian trade with Cuba, among other measures.

Pursuing discussions with the Cuban and Mexican governments to discuss our unresolved maritime boundary in the Gulf of Mexico-

Previous agreements between the United States and Cuba delimit the maritime space between the two countries within 200 nautical miles from shore.  The United States, Cuba, and Mexico have extended continental shelf in an area within the Gulf of Mexico where the three countries have not yet delimited any boundaries.

The United States is prepared to invite the governments of Cuba and Mexico to discuss shared maritime boundaries in the Gulf of Mexico.

Initiating a review of Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism-

The President has instructed the Secretary of State to immediately launch such a review, and provide a report to the President within six months regarding Cuba’s support for international terrorism.  Cuba was placed on the list in 1982.

Addressing Cuba’s participation in the 2015 Summit of the Americas in Panama-

President Obama will participate in the Summit of the Americas in Panama.  Human rights and democracy will be key Summit themes.  Cuban civil society must be allowed to participate along with civil society from other countries participating in the Summit, consistent with the region’s commitments under the Inter-American Democratic Charter.  The United States welcomes a constructive dialogue among Summit governments on the Summit’s principles.

Unwavering Commitment to Democracy, Human Rights, and Civil Society

A critical focus of our increased engagement will include continued strong support by the United States for improved human rights conditions and democratic reforms in Cuba.  The promotion of democracy supports universal human rights by empowering civil society and a person’s right to speak freely, peacefully assemble, and associate, and by supporting the ability of people to freely determine their future.   Our efforts are aimed at promoting the independence of the Cuban people so they do not need to rely on the Cuban state.

The U.S. Congress funds democracy programming in Cuba to provide humanitarian assistance, promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, and support the free flow of information in places where it is restricted and censored.  The Administration will continue to implement U.S. programs aimed at promoting positive change in Cuba, and we will encourage reforms in our high level engagement with Cuban officials.

The United States encourages all nations and organizations engaged in diplomatic dialogue with the Cuban government to take every opportunity both publicly and privately to support increased respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cuba.

Ultimately, it will be the Cuban people who drive economic and political reforms.  That is why President Obama took steps to increase the flow of resources and information to ordinary Cuban citizens in 2009, 2011, and today.  The Cuban people deserve the support of the United States and of an entire region that has committed to promote and defend democracy through the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

White House Shareables

December 12, 2014

IMMIGRATION AND POLICY BY NYC BUSINESS IMMIGRATION LAWYER - Phone (212) 564-1589: December 2014 Bulletin Visa

IMMIGRATION AND POLICY BY NYC BUSINESS IMMIGRATION LAWYER - Phone (212) 564-1589: December 2014 Bulletin Visa: LAW OFFICES OF NORKA M. SCHELL BLOG 11 Broadway, Suite 615 New York, NY 10004 Tel. (212)564-1589/ (973)621-9300 Website: www.lawsch... Check the availability of immigrant numbers during December 2014 Bulletin Visa.

December 2014 Bulletin Visa

11 Broadway, Suite 615
New York, NY 10004
Tel. (212)564-1589/ (973)621-9300
Website: www.lawschell.com

Family-SponsoredAll Chargeability Areas Except Those ListedCHINA-mainland bornINDIAMEXICOPHILIPPINES
F122JUN0722JUN07 22JUN0715AUG9415DEC04
F2B22FEB0822FEB0822FEB0801OCT94 15JAN04

Employment- Based
All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed
Other Workers01NOV1222JUL0501DEC0301NOV1201NOV12
Certain Religious WorkersCCCCC
Regional Centers
and Pilot Programs

November 21, 2014


11 Broadway, ...
:  Summary of the November 20, 2014 Executive Actions on Immigration LAW OFFICES OF NORKA M SCHELL'S BLOG 11 Broadway, Suite 615 New York, New York 10004 Tel. (212)564-1589/ (973)621-9300 Webs...

11 Broadway, Suite 615
New York, New York 10004
Tel. (212)564-1589/ (973)621-9300

Website: www.lawschell.com

Fixing Our Broken Immigration System Through Executive Action - Key Facts

The President asked Secretary Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to undertake a rigorous and inclusive review to inform recommendations on reforming our broken immigration system through executive action. This review sought the advice and input from the men and women charged with implementing the policies, as well as the ideas of a broad range of stakeholders and Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. Our assessment identified the following ten areas where we, within the confines of the law, could take action to increase border security, focus enforcement resources, and ensure accountability in our immigration system.

Executive Actions

Strengthen Border Security

DHS will implement a Southern Border and Approaches Campaign Strategy to fundamentally alter the way in which we marshal resources to the border.  This new plan will employ DHS assets in a strategic and coordinated way to provide effective enforcement of our laws and interdict individuals seeking to illegally across land, sea, and air.  To accomplish this, DHS is commissioning three task forces of various law enforcement agencies.  The first will focus on the southern maritime border.  The second will be responsible for the southern land border and the West Coast.  The third will focus on investigations to support the other two task forces.  In addition, DHS will continue the surge of resources that effectively reduced the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border illegally this summer. This included additional Border Patrol agents, ICE personnel, criminal investigators, additional monitors, and working with DOJ to reorder dockets in immigration courts, along with reforms in these courts.

Revise Removal Priorities

DHS will implement a new department-wide enforcement and removal policy that places top priority on national security threats, convicted felons, gang members, and illegal entrants apprehended at the border; the second-tier priority on those convicted of significant or multiple misdemeanors and those who are not apprehended at the border, but who entered or reentered this country unlawfully after January 1, 2014; and the third priority on those who are non-criminals but who have failed to abide by a final order of removal issued on or after January 1, 2014.  Under this revised policy, those who entered illegally prior to January 1, 2014, who never disobeyed a prior order of removal, and were never convicted of a serious offense, will not be priorities for removal.  This policy also provides clear guidance on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

End Secure Communities and Replace it with New Priority Enforcement Program

DHS will end the Secure Communities program, and replace it with the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) that will closely and clearly reflect DHS’s new top enforcement priorities. The program will continue to rely on fingerprint-based biometric data submitted during bookings by state and local law enforcement agencies and will identify to law enforcement agencies the specific criteria for which we will seek an individual in their custody. The list of largely criminal offenses is taken from Priorities 1 and 2 of our new enforcement priorities. In addition, we will formulate plans to engage state and local governments on enforcement priorities and will enhance Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) ability to arrest, detain, and remove individuals deemed threats to national security, border security, or public safety.

Personnel Reform for ICE Officers

Related to these enforcement and removal reforms, we will support job series realignment and premium ability pay coverage for ICE ERO officers engaged in removal operations.  These measures are essential to bringing ICE agents and officers pay in line with other law enforcement personnel.

Expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

We will expand eligibility for DACA to encompass a broader class of children.  DACA eligibility was limited to those who were under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012, who entered the U.S. before June 15, 2007, and who were under 16 years old when they entered.  DACA eligibility will be expanded to cover all undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before the age of 16, and not just those born after June 15, 1981.  We will also adjust the entry date from June 15, 2007 to January 1, 2010.  The relief (including work authorization) will now last for three years rather than two.

Extend Deferred Action to Parents of U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents

DHS will extend eligibility for deferred action to individuals who (i) are not removal priorities under our new policy, (ii) have been in this country at least 5 years, (iii) have children who on the date of this announcement are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, and (iv) present no other factors that would make a grant of deferred action inappropriate.  These individuals will be assessed for eligibility for deferred action on a case-by-case basis, and then be permitted to apply for work authorization, provided they pay a fee.  Each individual will undergo a thorough background check of all relevant national security and criminal databases, including DHS and FBI databases. With work-authorization, these individuals will pay taxes and contribute to the economy.

Expand Provisional Waivers to Spouses and Children of Lawful Permanent Residents

The provisional waiver program DHS announced in January 2013 for undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens will be expanded to include the spouses and children of lawful permanent residents, as well as the adult children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.  At the same time, we will further clarify the “extreme hardship” standard that must be met to obtain the waiver.

Revise Parole Rules

DHS will begin rulemaking to identify the conditions under which talented entrepreneurs should be paroled into the United States, on the ground that their entry would yield a significant public economic benefit.  DHS will also support the military and its recruitment efforts by working with the Department of Defense to address the availability of parole-in-place and deferred action to spouses, parents, and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who seek to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. DHS will also issue guidance to clarify that when anyone is given “advance parole” to leave the country – including those who obtain deferred action - they will not be considered to have departed.  Undocumented aliens generally trigger a 3- or 10-year bar to returning to the United States when they depart.

Promote the Naturalization Process

To promote access to U.S. citizenship, we will permit the use of credit cards as a payment option for the naturalization fee, and expand citizenship public awareness. It is important to note that the naturalization fee is $680, currently payable only by cash, check or money order. DHS will also explore the feasibility of expanding fee waiver options.

Support High-skilled Business and Workers

DHS will take a number of administrative actions to better enable U.S. businesses to hire and retain highly skilled foreign-born workers and strengthen and expand opportunities for students to gain on-the-job training.  For example, because our immigration system suffers from extremely long waits for green cards, we will amend current regulations and make other administrative changes to provide needed flexibility to workers with approved employment-based green card petitions.

November 20, 2014


11 Broadway, Suite 615
New York, New York 1004
Tel. (212)564-1589

Website: www.lawshell.com

Presidents Ronald Reagan, above, and George H.W. Bush acted unilaterally on immigration in the wake of a sweeping, bipartisan overhaul. President Barack Presidents Ronald Reagan, above, and George H.W. Bush acted unilaterally on immigration in the wake of a sweeping, bipartisan overhaul. President Barack Obama, however, is acting as the country — and Washington — are bitterly divided over immigration. 

WASHINGTON — Two presidents have acted unilaterally on immigration — and both were Republican. Ronald Reagan and his successor George H.W. Bush extended amnesty to family members who were not covered by the last major overhaul of immigration law in 1986.

Neither faced the political uproar widely anticipated if and when President Barack Obama uses his executive authority to protect millions of immigrants from deportation.

Reagan's and Bush's actions were conducted in the wake of a sweeping, bipartisan immigration overhaul and at a time when "amnesty" was not a dirty word. Their actions were less controversial because there was a consensus in Washington that the 1986 law needed a few fixes and Congress was poised to act on them. Obama is acting as the country — and Washington — are bitterly divided over a broken immigration system and what to do about 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally.

President George H.W. Bush.
President George H.W. Bush. (Associated Press file photo)
A Tea Party-influenced GOP is poised to erupt, if and when Obama follows through on his promise.

"The audacity of this president to think he can completely destroy the rule of law with the stroke of a pen is unfathomable to me," said GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa, an outspoken opponent of relaxing U.S. immigration law. "It is unconstitutional, it is cynical, and it violates the will of the American people."

Some Republicans have even raised the possibility of impeachment.

Here's a timeline of then and now:

• 1986: Congress and Reagan enacted a sweeping overhaul that gave legal status to up to 3 million immigrants without authorization to be in the country, if they had come to the U.S. before 1982. Spouses and children who could not meet that test did not qualify, which incited protests that the new law was breaking up families.
• 1987: Early efforts in Congress to amend the law to cover family members failed. Reagan's Immigration and Naturalization Service commissioner announced that minor children of parents granted amnesty by the law would get protection from deportation. Spouses and children of couples in which one parent qualified for amnesty but the other did not remained subject to deportation, leading to efforts to amend the 1986 law.

• 1989: By a sweeping 81-17 vote, the Senate in July voted to prohibit deportations of family members of immigrants covered by the 1986 law. The House failed to act.

• 1990: In February, President George H.W. Bush, acting through the Immigration and Naturalization Service, established a "family fairness" in which family members living with a legalizing immigrant and who were in the U.S. before passage of the 1986 law were granted protection from deportation and authorized to seek employment. The administration estimated up to 1.5 million people would be covered by the policy. Congress in October passed a broader immigration law that made the protections permanent.

• 2012: In July, the Obama administration announces a new policy curbing deportations for certain immigrants brought illegally to the country as kids. The policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, applies to people younger than 30 who were brought to the U.S. before they turned 16 and meet other criteria such as graduating from high school. It has now granted two-year deportation reprieves and work permits to nearly 600,000 people.

• 2013-14 (Congress): After months of work, the Senate in June 2013 passes a huge immigration overhaul bill that includes a path to citizenship for immigrants who meet strict criteria. The House fails to act. Obama says expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to cover the parents of children allowed to remain in the country under the program "would be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally. So that's not an option."

• 2014: Frustrated by Congress' inability to act on immigration, Obama announces in June that he'll use executive powers to address other elements of the flawed immigration system. Like Bush, Obama is expected to extend deportation protections to families of U.S. citizens or permanent residents. 

Author: See this article at: http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_26957246/reagan-bush-acted-alone-immigration