Month: November 2014

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Highlights from President Obama’s Executive Action Immigration Reform

Last night President Obama implemented sweeping immigration reform.  The President’s reforms will impact many areas of immigration, such as immigration courts and deportations, border security, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals applicants, parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, foreign students studying in the U.S., spouses of H-1B visa holders, and U.S. businesses, foreign investors, entrepreneurs, researchers, and highly skilled workers.

As noted on the USCIS website, highlights of President Obama’s Immigration reform plan include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Broadening eligibility for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to people who came to this country before turning 16 years-old and who have been present since January 1, 2010. Also, extending the period of DACA and work authorization to three years;
  • Enabling parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been in the United States since January 1, 2010, to apply for deferred action and employment authorization for three years, so long as they pass a background check;
  • Expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
  • Modernizing and improving immigrant and nonimmigrant programs to grow the economy and create jobs.  Reform in this area may involve changes to the visa bulletin system, National Interest Waivers, and expansion of OPT for foreign students; and
  • Providing work authorization to spouses of H-1B visa holders.

The details of these reforms are currently being formulated by U.S. government agencies.  At present, most details and specifics of the President’s reforms are unknown and will be unveiled in the coming months.

Anyone who believes they may benefit from these reforms, please contact our office to set up a consultation.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tonight: President Obama Plans to Unveil Executive Action Plans for Immigration Reform

President Obama announced yesterday that he intends to utilize his powers of executive action to implement an overhaul to the immigration system in the United States.  While the President stated that he hopes to continue working with Congress to produce a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform bill, he commented that because immigration reform has stalled for too long in Washington, it is time to take executive action.  The announcement detailing the specifics of the President’s plan will be released tonight at 6:00pm MST from the White House.  You can watch President Obama address the nation tonight live at, WhiteHouse.gov/Live.

Stern & Curray will provide up-to-date information on the President’s immigration reform announcement, including details regarding eligibility and how to connect with a Stern & Curray immigration attorney, as soon as details are known.  Information will be posted on our blog and on our Facebook page.

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China and the United States Agree to Extended Visas

The United States and the People’s Republic of China announced on Monday that the two countries will begin offering each other’s citizens multiple-entry visas in attempt to foster cultural exchange and ease trade.  As proposed, tourists and business visas could be issued for up to ten years whereas student visas could be issued for up to five years.   This new reciprocal extension of visa validity is set to begin November 12, 2014.

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Loretta Lynch Nominated to be the next Attorney General

On Saturday President Obama nominated Loretta Lynch, a federal prosecutor from New York City, to replace Eric Holder as the next Attorney General.  If confirmed, Lynch would become the first African American women to serve the country as Attorney General.  Ms. Lynch’s confirmation is likely to be overseen by the next GOP Senate.

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After Midterm Elections All Eyes on President Obama

Following last week’s midterm elections Republicans won control of both the House and Senate for the remaining two years of President Obama’s administration.  Speaking on Sunday, President Obama stated that he would use his executive authority to address the nation’s immigration laws by the end of 2014 and before the new GOP congress is sworn into office.  President Obama commented that while he would prefer to see immigration reform accomplished through Congress, he would not wait any longer to confront the country’s immigration issues.  Stern & Curray will continue to post up-to-date information regarding any changes to the immigration laws as well as President Obama’s executive actions.

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Obama Administration to Implement a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program in 2015

Beginning in early 2015, the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program will enable eligible Haitian relatives of United States citizens and legal permanent residents (LPRs) to receive a grant of humanitarian parole.  This program will allow Haitian relatives who have already initiated the process of lawfully immigrating to the United States (those who have an approved family-based immigration visa petition) the opportunity to come to the United States to live, and in many cases work, sooner.  The aim of this program is to limit family separation, which is a welcome reprieve for families who have been separated for quite some time already due to quotas and annual caps.  The Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program is set to benefit Haitian relatives who are scheduled to receive their entry visas within two years.

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Democrats from the House of Representatives Condemn DHS’s Family Detention Program

This week, thirty-two Democrat House Representatives led by Representative Zoe Lofgren from California signed a letter sent to President Obama to express their concerns regarding DHS’s potential expansion and continuation of Family Detention.  At present, DHS operates three family detention centers across the country:  Artesia, Karnes, and Berks.  These three facilities house more than 1,000 women and children, many of whom are fleeing from persecution in their home countries.  DHS is considering opening a fourth family detention facility in Dilley, Texas in the near future.  As proposed, this facility would have the capacity to house approximately 680 women and children with a possible expansion to 2,400 beds in 2015.

Representative Lofgren’s letter to President Obama raises three chief concerns with the current operation of family detention that would be exacerbated through the opening of the Dilley Facility. These concerns include: 1) no-bond or unreasonably high bond determinations; 2) discrepancies in credible fear rate; and 3) the absence of child care in the above-mentioned family detention facilities.

Given these concerns, Democratic Representatives urge President Obama to put a stop to the expansion of family detention through the Dilley Facility until these primary concerns are adequately addressed and corrected.

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