Hours before he takes the oath of office, President-Elect Joe Biden released details of the immigration bill his administration will send to Congress. The fact sheet distributed by his office reveals a bold bill that provides a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people in the US, with priority for Dreamers, TPS holders and immigrant farmworkers. The bill seeks to make more visas available and expand migration opportunities for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics graduates.
Nearly every discussion I have with someone who is opposed to immigration eventually includes my opponent saying something like this: “I am not against immigration. I am against illegal immigration. I have no problem if immigrants come here legally.” I have always had a strong skepticism of this particular position. Most anti-immigrant people are unaware how limited the options for legal immigration are. Most anti-immigrant people are unaware of backlogs, priority dates, age-outs, one year filing deadlines, stop-time rules, and the fact that, for many people, THERE IS NO LINE.
It has been a whirlwind month for immigration as this country continues on its indecisive course on immigration law and policy. We try to make sense of the goings-on: What is the status of Judge Hanen’s ruling? As you recall, on February 16, 2015, Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. District Court of Brownsville, Texas issued a nationwide injunction stopping the Obama administration from implementing executive action reforms, DAPA and expanded DACA.
Over the next couple of weeks, Benach Collopy attorneys and staff will be traveling the greater DC area to offer FREE public meetings to discuss the Presidents Executive Reforms to Immigration. These forums are open to the public and provide an opportunity for people to learn the specifics of the reform programs and get the latest updates. Our summary of the executive reforms can be found here.
The President’s executive reforms to the U.S. immigration system make a number of very positive changes that have the potential to help millions of people. Although we have written about various components of the reforms individually, we have summarized six major portions here in one place. Benach Collopy will be offering several free community meetings throughout December and will be offering reduced fee consultations for people who may benefit from these reforms.
Another positive change to the immigration laws announced last night is the Secretary of Homeland Security’s instruction that DHS counsel should prepare a legal memorandum forthcoming that departures pursuant to advance parole will not trigger the three and ten year bars. This memo is to ensure that all departures on advance parole are treated consistently across the country for unlawful presence purposes. Individuals who have been unlawfully present in the U.S.
Another significant development coming out of the Presidential reforms announced yesterday is the expansion of DACA beyond its original parameters established in 2012. For descriptions of the original DACA requirements, please see here. The executive reforms announced yesterday make the following reforms to the DACA program: The date of entry for DACA eligibility has been changed from June 15, 2007 to January 1, 2010. Individuals who entered the U.S.
As part of the executive actions reforms announced by the administration yesterday, the administration has redefined the enforcement priorities for Immigration & Customs Enforcement. Briefly, any law enforcement agency with limited resources can not realistically enforce the law against everyone who may have broken it. Law enforcement agencies must pick and choose how to allocate their limited resources and where to expend their efforts. The new enforcement priorities memo provides very clear guidance to ICE as to who their efforts ought to be focused upon.
The President spoke to the nation tonight to reveal his long-awaited plan to reform immigration laws to the extent that his authority allows him. Those who have watched and waited had a number of questions answered even before the President took the lectern. The biggest announcement is that the President will extend deferred action eligibility to the parents of United States citizens or permanent residents who have been in the US.
Tomorrow night (Thursday, November 20, 2014) at 8PM, the President of the United States will address the nation to announce what steps his administration intends to take to reform U.S. immigration law and policy. This announcement represents the culmination of the President’s evolution on his authority as the nation’s chief executive. In June 2014, when it became clear that the House of Representatives would not take up the immigration reform bill passed by the Senate, the President made a statement that he would take administrative action to ameliorate the harsh effects of our immigration law.