Pageviews last month

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

November 19, 2014

IMMIGRATION AND POLICY BY NYC BUSINESS IMMIGRATION LAWYER - Phone (212) 564-1589: Naturalization Through Military Service

IMMIGRATION AND POLICY BY NYC BUSINESS IMMIGRATION LAWYER - Phone (212) 564-1589: Naturalization Through Military Service: Naturalization Through Military Service Special provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) authorize U.S. Citizenship and...

Naturalization Through Military Service

Naturalization Through Military Service

Special provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) authorize U.S. Citizenship and 
Immigration Services (USCIS) to expedite the application and naturalization process for current 
members of the U.S. armed forces and recently discharged members. Generally, qualifying military 
service includes service with one of the following branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, 
Coast Guard, certain components of the National Guard and the Selected Reserve of the Ready 

In addition, spouses of members of the U.S. armed forces who are or will be deployed may be 
eligible for expedited naturalization. Other provisions of the law also allow certain spouses to 
complete the naturalization process abroad.


A member of the U.S. armed forces must meet the requirements and qualifications                                  
to become a citizen of the United States. He or she must demonstrate:
  • Good moral character
  • Knowledge of the English language
  • Knowledge of U.S. government and history (civics), and
  • Attachment to the United States by taking an Oath of                                                                           Allegiance to the U.S. Constitution                                                                                                                                                             
For more information on how to become a U.S. Citizen through Military Service,                                           please contact our office to speak with an naturalization attorney.