Posts Tagged With: Deferred Action
September 20th, 2012 at 11:07 am » Comments (0)
For the past few months, the National Immigration Law Center has been proudly working with Dreamers to ensure the successful implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows approved individuals to remain in the U.S. without the threat of deportation.
The Obama administration unfortunately detracted from this tremendous progress. Rather than building off the two significant and bold achievements this past term – federal health care reform under the Affordable Care Act and DACA – the administration has decided to exclude DACA beneficiaries from affordable health coverage now and under the Affordable Care Act.
Prior to yesterday, existing federal eligibility rules would have allowed DACA individuals to be considered eligible for affordable health coverage, like any other individuals granted deferred action. Thus, in order to exclude DACA beneficiaries and treat them differently from others with deferred action, the administration quietly released the following two policy announcements on August 28, 2012, both of which take immediate effect. The announcements include 1) an interim final rule that excludes DACA individuals from key features of the Affordable Care Act, and 2) guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that prevents children or pregnant women approved for DACA deferred action from enrolling in affordable, government health insurance under the Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. (For more specific information about these policy changes, please view our fact sheet.)
As a result of these two policy announcements, DACA beneficiaries will have the same access to health care as undocumented individuals have today: very little, except emergency care, public health services, community health centers where available, and state-funded health programs. In real terms, this means:
- A 15 year old boy, who is in school and wants to play sports, but has asthma will remain uninsured and without a regular doctor to visit.
- A single, pregnant woman who becomes eligible for DACA is likely to remain without affordable and easy access to prenatal care and dental care, making it a challenge to see a regular doctor during her pregnancy to make sure her pregnancy is going well.
Yesterday’s announcements not only erect barriers for DACA-eligible individuals to obtain health care, especially for those who may need it, but also creates a slippery-slope with far-reaching implications for the treatment of newly legalized immigrants at both the federal and state levels. Also, it sets a dangerous precedent for future federal legalization proposals to create two classes of future citizens and sanction discrimination based on immigration status. Moreover, the administration’s announcement is particularly troubling because it may give states hostile to immigrants the political cover to further restrict opportunities for DACA-eligible individuals for other basic rights. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has already declared that Arizona would attempt to deny DACA beneficiaries access to drivers’ licenses and other state benefits. This led the way for similarly short-sighted statements by governors in Mississippi, Nebraska, and Texas.
We’re very disappointed that the administration decided to make these detrimental policy changes . Because the bulk of the Affordable Care Act does not go into effect until 2014, we can’t help but question the timing of this decision, just two months before the election. Yet history demonstrates that it is unlikely that the administration’s announcement will effectively appease and prevent attacks from anti-immigrant or anti-health reform opponents in the few months left before the election.
Over the next few days, we will provide further analysis and share any actions that may be needed to respond to this decision. We appreciate your continued support, advocacy, and interest in ensuring everyone, regardless of their immigration status, is treated with dignity and respect, and has the opportunity to fulfill their dreams.
Executive Director, National Immigration Law Center
August 22nd, 2012 at 12:49 pm » Comments (0)
On June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would not deport certain DREAM Act–eligible undocumented youth. Under a directive from the secretary of DHS, these youth will be given temporary relief called “deferred action.” Deferred action will be valid for two years and may be renewed at the end of the two years. Individuals who receive deferred action may apply for and may obtain employment authorization.
IMPORTANT: While this directive took effect on June 15, 2012, the federal government has 60 days to create a process to accept deferred action requests and is unable to accept requests at this time. If you apply now, your application will be rejected.
What is deferred action?
Deferred action is a kind of administrative relief from deportation that has been around a long time. (“Administrative” relief is relief that may be granted by DHS, without the person necessarily having to go to immigration court.) It allows a non-U.S. citizen to temporarily remain in the U.S. with legal immigration status. The person may also apply for an employment authorization document (a “work permit”) for the period during which he or she has deferred action status.
Deferred action will be granted on a case-by-case basis. Even if you meet the requirements outlined below, DHS will still have to decide whether to grant you deferred action.
A grant of deferred action is temporary and does not provide a path to lawful permanent resident status or U.S. citizenship.
Who is eligible for deferred action under the Obama administration’s policy announced on June 15, 2012?
To be eligible for deferred action, you must:
- Have come to the U.S. under the age of sixteen.
- Have continuously lived in the U.S. for at least five years before June 15, 2012, and be present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012.
- Currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. armed forces.
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety. (DHS is still defining which misdemeanors will be considered “significant.”)
- Be 30 years old or younger (a person who has not yet turned 31 is also eligible). (At this point, it is not clear whether the person will have to have been under age 31 on the date of the announcement, June 15, 2012, or on the date he or she applies for deferred action. This is an issue that DHS officials will be clarifying at some future time.)
- Pass a background check.
What are the fees associated with the deferred action processannounced on June 15?
At this point, we don’t know how much it will cost to apply for deferred action under the policy announced on June 15. At the least, the cost will include a $380 fee for the employment authorization application. Additional fees may be applied. Applicants will be able to apply for a fee waiver depending on their economic means or situation.
If I am granted deferred action, how long will the status last?
Deferred action status will be granted for two years. When the two-year period expires, the grant of deferred action can be renewed, pending a review of the individual case.
If I am granted deferred action, will I be eligible for employment authorization?
You will be eligible for employment authorization, but you will have to apply for it separately. If you’re granted deferred action, you may apply for and get employment authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Information about employment authorization requests is available on USCIS’s website at www.uscis.gov/i-765.
If my period of deferred action is extended, will I need to reapply for my work permit?
Yes. If you apply for and receive an extension of the period for which you are granted deferred action, you must also request an extension of your employment authorization.
Will I be able to get a driver’s license?
State driver’s license requirements for immigrants, and the documents accepted as proof of status, vary by state. It may take advocacy to ensure that your state recognizes persons with deferred action status as eligible for a license. Since deferred action status is listed in the federal Real ID Act as a status that, if you have it, makes you eligible for a license that’s recognized for certain federal purposes, there are strong arguments for states to grant driver’s licenses to people with deferred action status.
Will I be able to get in-state tuition?
The rules on in-state tuition for immigrants vary by state and sometimes by college system. Thirteen states already allow certain students to pay in-state tuition, regardless of their immigration status.1 You will need to check your state’s laws and policies to determine whether residents who have deferred action status are eligible to pay in-state tuition. In some states, students must have resided in the state in a lawful status for at least a year in order to qualify for in-state tuition.
Although there are strong arguments for letting resident students with deferred action pay in-state tuition, it may take advocacy to ensure that your state recognizes deferred action as an eligible category and accepts your documents as proof of status for in-state tuition purposes.
If I am currently in deportation proceedings, how do I get deferred action?
Right now Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is reviewing the cases of people in deportation proceedings. If ICE identifies a case as meeting the eligibility requirements outlined above, ICE should offer the person deferred action for a period of two years. In the next few weeks, ICE will announce the process through which people in deportation proceedings can request a review of their case.
If I am not in deportation proceedings, how do I get deferred action?
There is no application process yet. USCIS will be developing a process within the 60-day period immediately following the June 15 announcement. Once a process is in place, people who are not in deportation proceedings or who have a final order of removal will be able to submit a deferred action request to USCIS. If you submit such a request, it should include evidence that you are eligible for deferred action under the criteria outlined above.
If I am denied deferred action, will I be placed in deportation proceedings?
If you are denied deferred action under this process, USCIS will refer your case to ICE only if you have a criminal conviction or if there is a finding of fraud in your request. It is against USCIS policy to refer cases to ICE where there is no evidence of fraud or a criminal conviction. Before you apply, however, it is really important that you first consult with a DREAM advocate or a reputable attorney—especially if you have ever been convicted of any kind of crime.
How is the new deferred action policy different from DREAM legislation that has been proposed in the past?
The announcement came from DHS, which is one of the agencies within the federal government’s executive branch. DHS has the power to make certain decisions about the enforcement of immigration laws. The executive branch does not have the power to create a path to permanent lawful status and citizenship. Only Congress, through its legislative authority, can grant that.
The DREAM Act is legislation that must be passed by Congress to become law. Past DREAM Act proposals have included a path to citizenship. A grant of deferred action is only temporary and does not provide a path to lawful permanent residency or citizenship.
Deferred action is only a temporary fix. We still need to fight for the DREAM Act to be enacted so undocumented youth can have a permanent solution.
Did the president issue an executive order?
No, the president did not issue an executive order. Executive orders have the full force of law. The announcement the president made on June 15 was about a policy change. The policy change is described in a memo from DHS secretary Janet Napolitano2 and a memo from ICE director John Morton.3 These memos are not a change in law—they only give guidance on how DHS should apply this change in policy. The decision to grant certain young people deferred action can be changed or reversed in the future.
Where can I get more information?
If you are in deportation proceedings, you can visit the ICE website at www.ice.gov or call the ICE hotline at 1-888-351-4024 (9 a.m. – 5 p.m., English & Spanish). Everyone else can visit USCIS’s website (www.uscis.gov) or call the USCIS hotline at 1-800-375-5283 (8 a.m. – 8 p.m., English & Spanish). Additional information is available from the website of the ICE Office of the Public Advocate, www.ice.gov/about/offices/enforcement-removal-operations/publicadvocate/.
To get up-to-date information regarding continuing advocacy on this issue, visit United We Dream’s website, www.unitedwedream.org.
This document is a work in progress and will be updated as DHS and USCIS release more details about the deferred action process.
For more information, contact David Hernandez at email@example.com or 202-216-0261.more »
August 16th, 2012 at 2:08 pm » Comments (0)
Fundraising Campaign Launched:
Support a DREAMer!
Please Note: Fund Is In Formation – Local Organizations Are Not Yet Accepting Applications.
August 15, 2012 — Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will begin accepting requests from young immigrants for “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”. The policy of Deferred Action was announced by President Obama on June 15th and allows qualifying immigrants under the age of 31 who came to the U.S. before age 16 – popularly known as DREAMers — to obtain protection from deportation and work permits for at least two years. This represents the first step for more than an estimated million DREAMers to pursue higher education, meaningful employment, and a chance to contribute to this country’s future.
Working through on-the-ground advocacy and legal service providers, the Fund for DREAMers will assist eligible young people, particularly low-income individuals, to defray the $465 application fees. The goal is to maximize the number of successful applicants by ensuring that qualified, low-income young immigrants are not deterred by their inability to pay the application fee. Funds will be dispersed to vetted local groups via a rigorous allocation process.
As DREAMers all over the country today submit their requests for Deferred Action, Public Interest Projects is launching the Fund for DREAMers, a national fundraising effort to support them. Recognizing that the application fee of $465 may be prohibitive for some applicants, a committed group of immigrant rights advocates and donors urged Public Interest Projects to create a fund to help offset these fees. It is estimated that more than one million young people, brought to the U.S. as children by their parents, may be eligible for Deferred Action.
The specific details of how this Fund will operate are still being worked out, and will be contingent upon the total amount raised and available. However, the Fund will:
- Be housed at Public Interest Projects, a 501c3 tax-exempt public charity that has extensive experience managing donor collaboratives and fiscal sponsorships. Public Interest Projects will oversee fundraising, establish an online donation site, manage and distribute the funds and provide staffing. Public Interest Projects will receive a modest fee from donations to cover expenses of administering the Fund.
- Have an advisory committee, comprised of DREAMers, legal services providers, advocates and donors, that will work with Public Interest Projects staff to develop guidelines and provide oversight for the allocation of funds to local groups;
- Ensure that grants will be made to vetted community-based organizations;
- Where applicable, allow donors to specify geographic priority for their donations (e.g. specific states, metropolitan areas, or multistate regions), although donors cannot specify individual recipients;
- Work closely with other philanthropic efforts taking place throughout the country to ensure non- duplication of similar efforts to assist DREAMers.
The Fund for DREAMers encourages individual donors, families, groups and charitable institutions to support young immigrants to pursue their dreams and contribute to our country’s future by donating to the Fund. Donations will be tax-deductible and accepted through the trusted website Network for Good, or by check (see FAQ for address).
To make a donation to help young immigrants to pursue their dreams, go to http://bit.ly/Fund4Dreamers
July 25th, 2012 at 11:51 am » Comments (0)
While the administration’s directive regarding deferred action for immigrant youth took effect on June 15, 2012, the federal government has 60 days to create a process to accept deferred action requests and is unable to accept requests at this time. If you apply now, your application will be rejected. Here are some rules to follow for now.
Also, we urge individuals who may have had contact with the criminal justice system, or with the juvenile justice system, to have their criminal history reviewed by an experienced practitioner who is skilled in deportation defense before applying for deferred action. Use this advisory — English | Spanish — by UWD, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and the National Immigrant Youth Alliance as a guide.
For more information, please contact Shiu-Ming Cheer, a NILC immigration attorney, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) Resource
We encourage you to use the National Immigration Law Center’s Spanish and English-language FAQ, created in collaboration with the United We Dream (UWD) Network, to learn the latest details about the deferred action process. This document is a work in progress and is being updated as DHS and U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) release more details about this new policy. The FAQ was most recently updated on Friday, July 20.
Some of the most recent updates to the FAQ include:
• August 1: DHS is scheduled to announce the procedures for applying for deferred action.
• August 15: DHS is scheduled to begin accepting applications.
• Fees: There will be a deferred action application fee, but the amount hasn’t been announced by USCIS yet. A fee waiver may be available, but on a very limited basis. In addition, the costs will include fees of $380 for the employment authorization application and $85 for fingerprints.
• GED: It appears that enrollment in a GED program at the time you submit your deferred action application would meet the “be in school” requirement, but USCIS has not confirmed this.
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Our Mission ✺ Nuestra MisiónTo promote dynamic communication between organizations and Hispanic immigrant communities on the topic of HIV/AIDS and interrelated issues. ——————– Promover comunicación dinámica entre organizaciones y las comunidades inmigrantes hispanas sobre el tema de VIH/SIDA y otras temas relacionados.
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One in three Hispanic Immigrants surveyed by VIA in 2010 state that substance use is the leading concern they have for Hispanic Youth.
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As a result of their emotional and economic situation, many look for refuge in alcohol [and other substances]. 34 year old Venezuelan woman, TN.
Debido a su situación emocional y económica, mucha buscan refugio en alcohol [u otros sustancias]. Mujer Venezuelana de 34 años, Tennessee.
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