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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:
"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:
Employment and Training Administration
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.
[This is an excerpt from the Sept. 1, 2012, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.]
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