Excerpts From the Sept. 1, 2012, Bender's Immigration Bulletin

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Begins 

In mid-June, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that certain young people who came to the United States as children and who meet certain key guidelines might be eligible, on a case-by-case basis, to receive deferred action (17 Bender's Immigr. Bull. 1359 and Appendix A). USCIS announced new forms and instructions for the deferred action process on August 14 and began accepting applications on August 15. Emergency notices requesting comment were published on August 16, with the comment period ending on September 17.

Individuals who demonstrate that they meet the guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and may be eligible for work authorization. The deferred action does not provide lawful status or a pathway to permanent residence or citizenship. An individual may request consideration of deferred action if he or she:

  • 1. was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • 2. came to the United States before reaching his or her 16th birthday;
  • 3. has continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007;
  • 4. was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  • 5. entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or lawful immigration status had expired as of June 15, 2012;
  • 6. is currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, has obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  • 7. has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

"USCIS has developed a rigorous review process for deferred action requests under guidelines issued by Secretary Napolitano," said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. "Childhood arrivals who meet the guidelines and whose cases are deferred will now be able to live without fear of removal, and be able to more fully contribute their talents to our great nation."

Individuals requesting consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals must submit the new Form I-812D (Appendix A), Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; revised Form I-765 (Appendix B), Application for Employment Authorization (with accompanying fees); and the new I-765WS, I-765 Worksheet (Appendix C). USCIS has developed a series of resources to assist applicants, such as frequently asked questions (Appendix D) and guidelines for seeking the limited exemption from the I-765 fee (Appendix E).

New Mexico Border Zone Extended for BCC Holders

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced on August 8 the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking that would extend the border zone up to fifty-five miles, from the current twenty-five-mile restriction, for Border Crossing Card holders in New Mexico. The proposed change would allow BCC holders to travel to the towns of Deming and Las Cruces.

Mexican nationals presenting a BCC will not be required to complete a Customs and Border Protection Form I-94 if they stay within the proposed fifty-five-mile zone. The current regulation required the BCC holder to stay within twenty-five miles of the border. The elimination of the need for the Form I-94 will decrease the administrative workload for CBP officers at New Mexico ports of entry, as the current process to obtain an I-94 requires a secondary screening with a CBP officer, which includes an interview, fingerprinting, and database queries.

Diversity Visa Lottery Underway Soon

The State Department announced that online registration for the DV-2014 Program will begin on Tuesday, October 2, 2012, at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time, and conclude on Saturday, November 3, 2012, at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time. Instructions for the DV 2014 Program have not yet been released.

Chicago National Processing Center Moves

The Chicago National Processing Center has moved. The move does not affect the electronic filing of labor certification applications, but any employer with permission to file by hard copy should direct its LCA filings to the new address. Hard-copy filings for the D-1, H-2A, and H-2B programs should also be directed to the new address. Payments of H-2A labor certification fees should be sent to the new P.O. Box address. The new addresses are:

For application filings:

U.S. Department of Labor

Employment and Training Administration

Office of Foreign Labor Certification

Chicago National Processing Center

11 West Quincy Court

Chicago, IL 60604-2105

P.O. Box Address for the Receipt of H-2A Related Filing Fees:

U.S. Department of Labor

Employment and Training Administration

Office of Foreign Labor Certification

Chicago National Processing Center

P.O. Box A3804

Chicago, IL 60690-3804. 

USCIS National Customer Service Center Expands Hours

The USCIS National Customer Service Center expanded its hours to include Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Live agents are now available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in each time zone.

Keep Using Form I-9

Until further notice from USCIS, employers are to continue using the Form I-9 currently available on the forms section of www.uscis.gov. This form is to be used even after the OMB control number expiration date of August 31, 2012, has passed.

Bender's Immigration Bulletin

[This is an excerpt from the Sept. 1, 2012, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.] 

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