Musings on Immigration

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Obama Deferred Action ("DACA") Details Released!

Today, August 3, 2012, USCIS announced that it would be providing the Form necessary, or the exact details of the "DACA" (yes, a terrible acronym for the Obama Deferred Action process) Plan until the day the application period begins, August 15, 2012. Nothing like allowing folks to prepare in Advance!!

Here is what we know from today:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is finalizing a process by which potentially eligible individuals may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals.

USCIS e
xpects to make all forms, instructions, and additional information relevant to the deferred action for childhood arrivals process available on August 15, 2012. USCIS will then immediately begin accepting requests for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals.

Information shared during today’s call includes the following highlights:

Requestors – those in removal proceedings, those with final orders, and those who have never been in removal proceedings – will be able to affirmatively request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals with USCIS.

Requestors will use a form developed for this specific purpose.

Requestors will mail their deferred action request together with an application for an employment authorization document and all applicable fees to the USCIS lockbox.

All requestors must provide biometrics and undergo background checks.

Fee waivers cannot be requested for the application for employment authorization and biometric collection. However, fee exemptions will be available in limited circumstances.

The four USCIS Service Centers will review requests.

The Filing fee will be $465. Fee Exemptions are SEVERELY limited.

All information provided to USCIS through this process is PROTECTED from Release to ICE for purposes of further removal proceedings, unless the person is removable under current immigration law (presumably for criminal grounds). But, the information WILL be shared with other agencies for any necessary law enforcement purposes. Information about family members is also protected.

If your case does not involve a criminal offense, fraud, or a threat to national security or public safety, your case will not be referred to ICE for purposes of removal proceedings
except if DHS determines there are exceptional circumstances.

Advance Parole Travel Authorization will be available AFTER approval of the Deferred Action and where there are humanitarian grounds requiring the travel.

Additional information regarding the Secretary’s June 15 announcement will be made available on www.uscis.gov on August 15, 2012. It is important to note that this process is not yet in effect and individuals who believe they meet the guidelines of this new process should not request consideration of deferred action before August 15, 2012. Requests submitted before August 15, 2012 will be rejected.

Affidavits proving presence will be severely limited except as to proving GAPS in other evidence, and as applied to describing brief, casual and innocent departures from the US during the five year application period.

What is a Significant Misdemeanor Offense? The maximum term of imprisonment under Federal Law is more than 5 days and less than one year (regardless of sentence), domestic violence, drugs, violent crimes, or DUI. Or, any crime for which the person is sentenced to time in custody of more than 90 days. This is VERY restrictive!! But, the entire criminal history will be reviewed.

"Knowing" lies, or misrepresentations will be treated as an enforcement priority and will result in the person being put into deportation proceedings.

BIG Disclaimer: USCIS can change or rescind these rules at any time!

Call us today to determine whether or not you qualify for this program, and to begin the process to have your package ready to submit an application on August 15, 2012 after USCIS releases the forms necessary to complete this process.

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