Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Waiting for DAPA (and waiting, and waiting, and waiting . . . )

Deferred Action for Parental Accountability or DAPA seemed like it would be a great stop-gap for parents of USCs who had no means to immigrate.  A US district Court, and more recently, the Fifth Circuit, has put this on indefinite hold.  People's hopes were raised and now, nothing.  Combine this with Donald Trump, acting as the angry id of the Republican Party and realistically, there is no relief on the horizon.

So, what to do?  I have spoken with many potential DAPA candidates who are eligible for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) or for the provisional waiver which allows for pre-processing of the unlawful presence waiver for spouses of USCs. People should consult with an experienced immigration attorney to explore their options.   

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Executive Action - DACA and DAPA

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced that he was instituting reforms to immigration by executive order since Congress failed to act.  The list of reforms is a long one, and I will try to post links to resources in a future post.  

Two major actions are the expansion of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and the creation of DAPA (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability).  DACA allows individuals who came as children, were educated here and have been here for five years to apply for employment authorization.  DAPA allows parents of U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident children who came before January 1, 2010 and are not on a priority list for removal to be able to apply for employment authorization.

It is very important to know that no guidance on the new programs has been released.  No one can file an application right now (with the exception of people who fit within the old DACA criteria).  I urge people to beware of attorneys and notarios who area taking fees for applications that do not exist for a process that has not been fully described. 

We will be posting more on this over the next few days, weeks and months.   

Friday, October 24, 2014

Panoto v Holder - -1st Circuit asylum decision

In Panoto v. Holder, the First Circuit found that the BIA and IJ had erred in finding that the mistreatment endured by the Petitioner rose to the level of persecution.  Congratulations to Ilana Greenstein and Harvey Kaplan for an all too rare asylum victory in the First Circuit.

Panoto v Holder, No. 13-2269 (1st Cir. October 22, 2014)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Graves & Doyle to Receive Pro Bono Award from PAIR Project

Kerry Doyle and I are honored to be receiving the PAIR Project's  Pro Bono Award at their annual gala on June 11, 2014.  PAIR is a remarkable organization that provides pro bono attorneys for asylum seekers, assists detainees with legal representation, coordinates a bond panel and provides "Know Your Rights" sessions for detainees among other great work.  I recommend their website and I particularly recommend making a donation. 

New Supreme Court Immigration Decison: Scialabba v. Cuellar DeOsorio. Bad news for backlogged children who have aged out

The Associated Press offers a concise and accurate summary of Monday's decision:

"A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that most immigrant children who have become adults during their parents’ years-long wait to become legal permanent residents of the United States should go to the back of the line in their own wait for visas.
In a 5-4 decision, the justices sided with the Obama administration in finding that immigration laws offer relief only to a tiny percentage of children who “age out” of the system when they turn 21. The majority — tens of thousands of children— no longer qualify for the immigration status granted to minors.
The case is unusual in that it pitted the administration against immigration reform advocates who said government officials were misreading a law intended to keep families together by preventing added delays for children seeking visas."
- Associated Press, June 9, 2014.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

DACA Renewals

USCIS has just released updated information on renewing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  Information can be found here:

Sadly, this indicates that immigration reform has gone nowhere -- either as a comprehensive package or with a piecemeal approach.   

Friday, April 11, 2014

H1B Cap reached for FY 2015 - random selection completed

As predicted, the H-1B cap was reached within the first five days of April.  According to USCIS, the random selection process has been completed.  The total number of applications received was 172,500 -- nearly triple the allotted amount.  Read about it here.  The increased demand by US companies for qualified, talented workers in specialty occupations is strongest argument for Congress to restore the cap numbers to something reasonable.