TPS Renewal Period Begins for Persons from El Salvador and Haiti

Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security announced that they would be accepting applications from El Salvador and Haiti from now until March 19, 2018. As you probably know, this will be the final period of renewal of Temporary Protected Status for the two countries.

For people from El Salvador, TPS will expire on September 9, 2019. People who timely re-register and apply for work authorization will have their current employment cards be automatically valid through September 5, 2018.

For people from Haiti, the TPS will expire on July 22, 2019. People who timely re-register and apply for work authorization will have their current employment cards be automatically valid through July 21, 2018.

DACA IS AVAILABLE AGAIN, FOR NOW

Due to a Federal Court order, USCIS announced on Saturday that they will immediately resume accepting applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). However, USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA. Further, USCIS will not accept or approve advance parole requests from DACA recipients. For more information, see the attached link or schedule an appointment to consult with Mr. Horn.

https://www.uscis.gov/…/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-…

US Greatly Expands I-601A Provisional Waiver Program

This past Friday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a final rule expanding the existing provisional waiver process to allow all persons who statutorily qualify for the waiver to apply. This expansion of the rule will take place beginning on August 29, 2016.

The expansion of the provisional waiver process applies to anyone else who did not qualify for permanent residence in the United States because they are currently out of status and are not immediate relatives. Effective August 29, 2016 people will be eligible to apply so long as they have an application for relief where the priority date is current, such as a family based or employment based petition, and they have a qualifying family member for the purpose of filing for a waiver. A few common examples of people who qualify for waivers are as follows. (1) marriage to a lawful permanent resident (LPR). First, the LPR spouse is the petitioner. When the priority date is current, she can also be the qualifying relative for the waiver. (2) US Citizen sibling files petition. When the priority date of the petition becomes current, the immigrant will need a qualifying relative to be eligible to apply for the provisional waiver; a US Citizen or a lawful permanent resident who is either a parent or spouse. (3) Employer files labor certification and subsequently a petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services. When the priority date becomes current, the immigrant will need a qualifying relative to be eligible to apply for the provisional waiver; a US Citizen or a lawful permanent resident who is either a parent or spouse.

For a waiver to be successful, an applicant will have to show that a qualifying member will suffer “extreme hardship” if the waiver was not approved and the applicant was not eligible to return to live in the United States. Qualifying family members are defined as spouses and parents who are either US Citizens or lawful permanent residents. If a provisional waiver is approved, the applicant will still have to depart to United States for the processing of their immigrant visas. However, provisional waivers allow people to wait for a decision on the waiver application before departing the United States. Finally, a provisional waiver will not be granted if USCIS believes that the applicant will need a waiver for any other reason.

DAPA and Expanded DACA

The “Decision” of the Supreme Court and the Future of the Programs

On Thursday the Supreme Court finally decided, or failed to decide, the case U.S. v. Texas. Specifically, the eight justices were split four-four. Because the lower courts blocked the federal government from implementing the two programs [Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA+)], the four-four deadlock means that, at least for the time being, the programs will remain blocked.

However, it is entirely possible, if not likely, the case will return to the Supreme Court in the fall of 2017 or, more likely, the spring of 2018. It is expected that a ninth justice will be added to the Supreme Court in the first half of 2017. If Hillary Clinton is the next President of the United States, she is expected to have her administration ask for a rehearing on the subject once the ninth justice is confirmed.

Please remember that this ruling does not affect those who are eligible for the DACA program that was announced on June 15, 2012. Anyone who has DACA currently will be able to maintain DACA, until the program is revoked either by the Supreme Court or a future President. (Donald Trump has said that if he is elected President he would cancel the program.)

Finally please be advised that this decision does not affect the enforcement priorities laid out by the Department of Homeland Security. Thus, if you qualify for DACA+ or DAPA, you are not an enforcement priority and you should not be targeted for enforcement.

Supreme Court to Decide Fate of DAPA and Expanded DACA This Spring

SUPREME COURT WILL DECIDE THIS SPRING IF THE EXECUTIVE ACTIONS OF DAPA AND THE EXPANSION OF DACA ARE CONSTITUTIONAL.

By Eric Horn

I am pleased to report that the Supreme Court announced that this past Tuesday (January 19) that they will decide the constitutionality of the Executive Actions President Obama announced on November 20, 2014. The two programs are known as DAPA, which is a new program, and an expansion of the existing program DACA, which the President announced in 2012.

DAPA is Deferred Action for Parents of American Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents. DAPA would apply to persons who were undocumented on November 20, 2014 that entered and have lived here continuously since before January 1, 2010 and have offspring (including adults) who were American Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents on or before November 20, 2014.

DACA is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and the proposed expansion would allow people who entered after June 15, 2007 but before January 1, 2010 and who otherwise qualified for the program to enroll.

Though both DAPA and DAPA have additional requirements, most notably criminal and security related requirements, the programs would be expected to provide over five million undocumented persons who temporary status, including a work permit, and the ability to apply for a social security number as well as a drivers license.

If it is found constitutional the Obama administration announced that there would be enough time to allow people to apply for and receive employment authorization before President Obama leaves office. This is significant because none of the Republican candidates for President have pledged to continue the program should they win the election in November. It is expected that the court would hear oral arguments on the case in April. A decision by the Supreme Court would be made by June 2016.

Stay tuned.

Eric Horn is an attorney and the President of Law Office of Eric Horn, P.C. Mr. Horn is a member and past chairman of the Immigration Committee of the Suffolk County Bar Association. Mr. Horn is also an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Listen to Mr. Horn answer callers’ questions and discuss immigration and nationality law on 540AM Mondays from12:30pm to 1:30pm. To schedule a consultation in either his Brentwood or Westbury office, please contact (631) 435-7900.