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Executive Action on Immigration

New Jersey immigration Attorney

President Obama announced on November 20, 2014, that the Administration needed to make 10 new modifications to the immigration policy. There are three categories of reforms: 1) Changes to immigration enforcement policy; 2) Deferred action expansion; and 3) Changes to the legal immigration system.

The page that follows will concentrate on deferred action and its expansion, which was written in a memorandum by Jeh Johnson: Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children and with Respect to Certain Individuals Whose Parents are U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents ("Deferred Action Memo").

Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA)

Deferred action can offer protection, especially for those who might be in danger of deportation. The individual may be allowed to remain in the United States for three (3) years and be authorized to work. However, deferred action does not grant the individual U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.

In the Deferred Action Memo, there is a proposal for USCIS to form a process of allowing deferred action for certain qualified individuals, in the same way that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is set up.

  • Some of these qualifications include:
  • Have a son or daughter, any age, that has permanent residency status or is a U.S. citizen, as of November 20, 2014
  • Continuous residence in the U.S. subsequent to January 1, 2010
  • Must be in the United States on November 20, 2014, and present for the DAPA application
  • No lawful status prior to or on November 20, 2014
  • No criminal history (e.g. gang affiliation, visa abuser, have crossed the border illegally, convicted of a felonies, more than three misdemeanors on record)
  • Give the USCIS no other reasonable cause to reject the application

Those who meet these eligibility requirements may be able to go through DAPA to stay in the United States. There is a $465 filing fee and for the application and a biometrics. Fee waivers are not available, similar to DACA. For those who are granted deferred action through DAPA, they will be able to work for up to three years. Applications may be sent to USCIS for the DAPA program hopefully by the projected date of May 19, 2015.

Expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

There are three major revisions to DACA that Deferred Action Memo has proposed:

  1. No more age limit. It removes the previous ruling that only individuals under the age of 31 by June 15, 2012 can be included.
  2. The continuous residence period begin date will be moved to January 1, 2010.
  3. The start date for the continuous residence period will advance from June 15, 2007 to January 1, 2010. The current DACA requirements state that the person should have lived in the U.S. continuously from January 1, 2010 up to the present.
  4. DACA will extend the time of protection from two years to three years, beginning on November 24, 2014. These will include those who have applied for DACA for the first time, as well as those who have renewed.

These changes all have different commencement dates. However, at present, the dates to begin filing applications have still yet to be announced. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has not released any details or instructions about these plans as of yet we anticipate that the specifics will become more readily available shortly. In the meantime, feel free to visit the official website at USCIS for the most up-to-date information.

Please contact The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett, Esq., P.C. if you would like to find out more about the deferred action program or need assistance with any immigration law questions.


[1] Immigration enforcement priorities encompass many categories in Jeh John's Memorandom, "Policies for the Apprehension, Detention, and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants" (Nov. 20, 2014).