On Thursday, November 20th, President Obama announced his plans for taking Executive Action on Immigration to address several chronic problems facing employers, legal immigrants and undocumented workers in the United States. Although implementing regulations will take several months to be completed, we have been able to learn through White House briefings and position papers that this Executive Action will include:
-A revision of enforcement priorities to assure that government resources are focused primarily on the removal and deportation of suspected terrorists, felons, gang members, other criminals and repeat immigration offenders. Part of this plan is the replacement of the Secure Communities program with a new partnership with State and Local law enforcement called the Priority Enforcement Program.
-Relief from quota and administrative delays for Legal Immigrants and Foreign Investors to assure that these individuals are not kept waiting for long periods before achieving Legal Permanent Residence. The primary beneficiaries of this relief will be professionals in the health and IT fields as well as foreign entrepreneurs and investors. It will be achieved by re-allocating unused immigrant visas, changing the permitted filing time of Immigrant Applications and expanding the use of the concept of immigration parole.
-Regulatory relief to put an end to unnecessarily narrow interpretations of the Immigration and Nationality Act thereby permitting US corporations and multinational organizations to have access to first rate foreign talent in fields where there are shortages of appropriately skilled US workers.
-Deferred Action, a traditional form of temporary relief for persons faced with various forms of hardship, is to be expanded to include two sets of individuals: 1) Undocumented parents of US Citizens or Legal Permanent Residents who have lived continuously in the US since January 1, 2010 and can prove that they are law abiding tax payers; and 2) Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”), will be expanded to remove an age cap and an eligibility deadline which created unanticipated hardship.
We will follow the development of all of these proposals as details regarding timing; documentation and procedure are made clear and keep you advised of any news. If you have any questions regarding this Executive Action, please contact our Immigration Law team, Aida Diaz-Silveira and Jim Stillwaggon.
|Aida Diaz-Silveira||James M. Stillwaggon|
|(305) 740-1946||(305) 740-1951|