Deferred Action Process for Young People Announced
On June 15, President Barack Obama and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano made important statements on immigration-enforcement policy toward young people who are in the United States without authorization and who meet certain criteria.
Secretary Napolitano announced that, effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several other key criteria will be considered for relief from removal or from being put into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.
DHS will continue to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a national security or public safety risk, such as immigrants convicted of crimes and repeat immigration-law offenders.
Under this directive, individuals who demonstrate that they meet the following criteria will be eligible for an exercise of discretion, specifically deferred action, on a case-by-case basis:
Those individuals who can prove through verifiable documentation that they meet these criteria will be eligible for deferred action. Deferred action requests are decided on a case-by-case basis.
DHS notes that while this guidance takes effect immediately, USCIS and ICE expect to begin implementation of the application process within sixty days.
The Secretary's memorandum is reprinted at Appendix A. A set of FAQs on the new policy is reprinted at Appendix B. The President's statement is at http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/06/15/president-obama-delivers-remarks-immigration. Keep up with the latest related information at http://www. lexisnexis.com/community/immigration-law/blogs/ inside/archive/2012/06/18/deferred-action-dream-update-page.aspx. A new Emerging Issues Analysis on prosecutorial discretion, of which this is an example, written by Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, is online at 2012 Emerging Issues 6417 and excerpted at http://www.lexisnexis.com/community/immigration-law/blogs/outside/archive/2012/06/18/reflections-on-prosecutorial-discretion-one-year-after-the-morton-memo.aspx.
US-VISIT Could Move in FY 2013
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) could soon have additional employees. As part of the fiscal year 2013 budget, Congress is considering moving US-VISIT employees. If Congress approves next year's budget and confirms the transfer, ICE would take over the US-VISIT overstay analysis program in support of the agency's responsibility for interior immigration enforcement. CBP would assume responsibility for most of US-VISIT's core operations, including management of the biometric and biographic information storage and matching and watchlist services. As currently proposed, ICE would receive $17.6 million and 78 positions, while CBP would receive $261.5 million and 351 positions.
Although the budget has not yet been approved, ICE, CBP, and US-VISIT are taking steps to transfer the multiple US-VISIT programs, including its biometric and biographic entities, over to ICE and CBP. In June, Peter T. Edge, deputy associate director for ICE's Homeland Security Investigations; Thomas S. Winkowski, acting deputy commissioner for CBP; and Shonnie Lyon, deputy director for US-VISIT, signed an agreement to move forward with the transition if and when the budget is approved.
Korean Trust Traveler Program Agreement
Secretary Napolitano and Republic of Korea Minister of Justice Jae-Jin Kwon announced a reciprocal agreement for each national's trusted traveler programs-the U.S. Global Entry program and Korea Smart Entry Service. Korea is the third country to have a fully reciprocal, publicly available trusted traveler program with the United States, joining the Netherlands and Canada. Global Entry streamlines the screening process at twenty-five U.S. international airports for more than a million trusted travelers.
Northern Border Strategy Released
In early June, Secretary Napolitano released the DHS Northern Border Strategy. The NBS is the first unified DHS strategy to guide DHS policies and operations along the U.S.-Canada border. The strategy identifies three goals for the Northern border: 1) deterring and preventing terrorism and smuggling, trafficking, and illegal immigration; 2) safeguarding and encouraging the efficient flow of lawful trade, travel, and immigration; and 3) ensuring community resiliency before, during, and after terrorist attacks and other disasters. The full NBS is available at http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/policy/dhs-northern -border-strategy.pdf and a fact sheet at http:// www.dhs.gov/ynews/fact-sheets/2012-dhs-northern-border-strategy-fact-sheet.shtm.
H-1B Cap Reached
USCIS has received sufficient H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 for fiscal year 2013. It announced that June 11, 2012, is the final receipt date for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions requesting an employment start date in FY 2013. As of June 7, USCIS had already received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the "advanced degree" exemption. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt.
[This is an excerpt from the July 1, 2012, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.]
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