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Posts Tagged ‘Dreamers’

DACA Update and Advisory for Employees and Employers

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

Immigration Rally in Washington(From ILW.com) On September 5, 2017, President Trump announced via a statement from Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he is winding down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The DACA program, including associated travel and work benefits, will not terminate immediately. The attached advisory will help you determine how your being in the DACA program is affected by this news.

What if Congress Doesn’t Act?

If Congress does not pass a measure protecting DACA recipients in the next 6 months, nearly 300,000 people could begin to lose their status and be at risk for deportation in 2018. And more than 320,000 would lose their status from January to August 2019. President Trump indicated that he would revisit the issue if Congress does not pass DACA legislation. Here is a review of three Bills under consideration that address DACA Legislation.

The ILW Advisory states:  Employers need to be cautious about taking adverse actions against DACA recipients. In general, employers are not permitted to “look behind” a valid work card and while an employee has a valid employment authorization document, an employer cannot terminate them or otherwise discriminate against them based on assumptions regarding the ability to continue working for the employer for the long term. Employers who have been told by their employees already that they are in the DACA program should be able to talk to them about subjects like helping the employee with green card sponsorship, transfers abroad, helping with getting access to an immigration lawyer, etc.

Here is a statement from USCIS  DACA Has Changed!

  • We are no longer accepting initial requests for DACA, but we will adjudicate initial requests for DACA accepted by Sept. 5, 2017.
  • We will no longer approve advance parole requests associated with DACA.
  • We are only adjudicating DACA renewal requests received by Oct. 5, 2017, from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between Sept. 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018.

USCIS 09/05/2017 Announcement

How  to inquire about a pending DACA Case

 

New Administration Indicates Trump is Placing DACA on Backburner for Now

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Jobs_iStock_000016785771XSmall (2)By:  Allison McDonnell, Content Coordinator

Despite repeated campaign promises to take immediate action upon taking office, the new administration has now indicated that Present Donald Trump will not be immediately dismantling the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program instituted by Barack Obama in 2012.

The administration has been tight-lipped about their intentions with DACA since Trump took office a short time ago.  When asked about when Trump will take action on DACA at a recent press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer sidestepped the question and placed little emphasis on DACA as an action item.  Spicer went on to state that the President and administration’s main focus and priority is on immigrants with criminal records and will “prioritize the areas of dealing with the immigration system — both building the wall and making sure that we address people who are in this country illegally.”

Similarly, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus failed to clearly expound on the President’s intentions for DACA recipients, known as DREAMers.  Although during the presidential campaign Trump vehemently claimed that he would immediately overturn Obama’s executive action on DACA, Priebus indicated that DACA might not be addressed with a quick fix.  While Priebus failed to make any exacting commitments on the topic, he strongly indicated that Trump will not be signing any executive actions on DACA in the week following his inauguration.

Instead, Trump seems to have pledged to work with Congress to assist DREAMers.  Chief of Staff Priebus has suggested that the administration will work with the House and Senate leaders to build a long-term solution.  This seems to match a statement Trump made late last year during a Time Magazine interview that, while he does intend to overturn Obama’s executive action, he will also be looking for a compromise that will not disadvantage young immigrants.

On a similar positive note, a resolution for immigration reform was approved last week by The United States Conference of Mayors.  This resolution calls for the continuation of programs protecting DREAMers and the need to adopt an approach that welcome immigrants, stating “…we stand united as mayors through the United States Conference of Mayors in calling on Congress to fix our broken immigration system and immediately begin working toward the enactment of comprehensive immigration reform legislation.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has articulated enforcement priorities that mirror what Spicer and Priebus have stated – that national security threats and criminals will be priority number one for the time being. And, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to process DACA applications without change.  For now, over 741,500 DREAMers who benefit from the DACA program will have to continue to wait to see what their future may hold.

 

 

 

 

 

Billions of Dollars Will Be Lost if Trump Ends DACA

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

DACABy:  Allison McConnell:  Content Coordinator

President-elect Donald Trump is currently preparing to take office on January 20, 2017.  A prominent campaign promise of Trump’s has been to end President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration, which includes the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative.  The DACA program allows young immigrants who were brought to the United States as a child and who do not hold legal immigration status to apply for deferred deportation and remain in the U.S.  It also allows these individuals to receive work authorization permits.  The end of DACA will mean billions of dollars lost for the U.S.

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center, an organization that seeks to improve immigration law and policy, expand the capacity of legal service providers, and advance immigrant rights, released a report on December 13, 2016 showing that the cancellation of the DACA program will cause immediate job losses for hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients who are currently employed by businesses in the U.S., which will cause losses to the U.S. in the billions of dollars.  DACA benefits have been granted to 741,546 immigrants.  Of those, 645,145 DACA benefits recipients are currently employed by U.S. businesses.  These employees have substantially helped increase payroll taxes, along with Social Security and Medicare contributions.

Ending the DACA program will cause a reduction in Medicare and Social Security tax contributions totaling $24.6 billion by DACA employers and employees over the next ten years.  Specifically, Social Security contributions will reduce by $19.9 billion and Medicare contributions will decrease by $4.6 billion.  In addition, the ending of DACA will cause U.S. employers to sustain needless employee turnover costs in the amount of $3.4 billion.

In total, billions of dollars of revenues will be left on the table, creating a threat to the health of the American economy.  This is in addition to the loss of professional and educational backgrounds and experience that these young immigrants contribute to the community and the industries in which they are employed.  Numerous immigrants who receive DACA benefits have taken advantage of the opportunity, obtaining their driver’s license and first job, contributing additional local, state, and federal taxes, continuing their education, and assisting their family members and communities.

Make your voices heard and contact your local representatives and senators and tell them to leave DACA alone and reference the above information.

Immigration Bill: Getting Ready for the BIG Reveal from the Senate

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

The proposal, which is expected to be officially unveiled this week is titled the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.”

Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) — members of the bipartisan group that crafted the bill — will go to the White House today to meet with President Barack Obama about the immigration bill, according to a source familiar with the meeting.

The legislation would have a far-reaching impact on virtually every corner of the American economy.

In other compromises, the bill would reduce the categories of family members eligible for green cards, eliminating siblings of United States citizens and limiting sons and daughters of citizens to those under 31 years of age. It would eliminate a lottery that has distributed 55,000 visas each year. Those visas would be used to reduce backlogs of applicants elsewhere in the system. Republicans have sought to limit what they call family chain migration and to accomplish changes without increasing the overall number of visas.

Undocumented Immigrants

There would be two tracks: one based on the number of points immigrants could accumulate, with a fixed annual numerical cap, and another for immigrants who have been legally employed and living in the United States in good standing for 10 years or more. The second track would not have a cap.  Formerly, undocumented immigrants would be eligible to apply for initial adjustment of status referred to as  “Registered Provision Immigrant” (RPI) legal status following the filing of the Notice of Commencement of Completion by Secretary Napolitano (DHS) for each of the border security and fencing strategies.  Only undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country before Dec. 31, 2011, would be eligible for RPI status.   After 10 years, aliens in RPI status may adjust to Lawful Permanent Resident Status through the same Merit Based System everyone else must use to earn a green-card.  They must also wait until all people currently waiting for family and employment green-cards  have been cleared through the system.

The border security programs would be required to evidence a 90% effectiveness rate before any immigrants who have been here illegally would be able to apply for permanent resident green cards, achieving a series of border-security benchmarks that would require the Department of Homeland Security to spend as much as $5.5 billion over 10 years to increase enforcement and extend fencing along the Southwest border.

Undocumented immigrants would be ineligible if they have been convicted of a felony, aggravated felony, three or more misdemeanors, an offense under foreign law or unlawfully voted.

Undocumented immigrants who were deported for non-criminal reasons would be able to apply to re-enter the country if they are the spouse or parent of a child who is a citizen or lawful permanent resident, or they arrived during childhood and are eligible for the DREAM Act.  People in DREAM Act Status and the Agricultural Program can obtain their green cards in 5 years and DREAM Act kids will be eligible for citizenship immediately after they get their green cards.

High Skilled Visas

The legislation would give employers in technology and science fields tens of thousands of new temporary and permanent resident visas annually, which they have been urgently seeking for tech workers and foreign graduates with advanced degrees from American universities. It immediately raises current annual caps on temporary high-skilled visas, such as H-1Bs, to 110,000 from 65,000, while adding 5,000 more of those visas for the foreign graduates. The cap would gradually rise to 180,000 annually.

Start-Up Visa

The legislation would create a “start-up” visa for foreign entrepreneurs who want to come here to establish companies that employ Americans.

Two New Guest Worker Programs

The bill also responds to the demands of American farmers and other employers of seasonal workers by creating two new guest-worker programs, one for farmworkers and another for low-wage laborers.

One major overhaul is the new classification for low-skilled workers. Called the W-visa, a new independent statistical agency is created — the Immigration and Labor Market Research Bureau — which is to be headed by a commissioner appointed by the president and with the consent of the Senate. The new bureau would get $20 million to devise a method to calculate the low-skilled worker visa cap, determine worker shortages, survey the unemployment rate of construction workers every three months and give annual recommendations on how to improve the programs. Employer fees and other fees for hiring undocumented workers will also be used to fund the bureau.

The number of low-skilled visas available starts at 20,000 in its first year, followed by 35,000 in the second, 55,000 in the third year and 75,000 the following year. Employers must hire W-visa holders at the same wage of other employees of similar experience, or at the prevailing wage. The bill also requires that companies have not laid off an employee 90 days prior to or after hiring a guest worker.

The program also singles out the construction industry, saying no more than 33 percent of the W-visa positions would be granted to the construction industry, capping it at 15,000 per year.

Mandatory Employer Verification System

A significant change for employers would be a mandatory employer verification system to check the immigration status of their employees. With a five-year phase-in period based on size of the business, employers would be required to certify that non-citizen workers presented a “biometric green card” that matches a photo stored in an e-verify system.

Highlights Regarding Legal Immigration

The bill repeals the availability of immigrant visas for siblings of U.S. citizens once 18 months have elapsed since the date of enactment;  amends the definition of “immediate relative” to include a child or spouse of an alien admitted for lawful permanent residence; amends the existing category for married sons and daughters of citizens of the United States to include only sons and daughters who are under 31 years of age.

For Employment Green-Card Categories:  The bill exempts the following categories from the annual numerical limits on employment-based immigrants: derivative beneficiaries of employment-based immigrants; aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers; multinational executives and managers; doctoral degree holders in any field; and certain physicians.

The bill will allocate 40 percent of the worldwide level of employment-based visas to :

1) members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent whose services are sought in the sciences, arts, professions, or business by an employer in the United States (including certain aliens with foreign medical degrees) and

2) aliens who have earned a master’s degree or higher in a field of science, technology, engineering or mathematics from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education and have an offer of employment in a related field and the qualifying degree was earned in the five years immediately before the petition was filed.

The bill increases the percentage of employment visas for skilled workers, professionals, and other professionals to 40 percent; maintains the percentage of employment visas for certain special immigrants to 10 percent and maintains visas for those who foster employment creation to 10 percent.

For more on the bill, please refer to the 17-page Senate Outline referenced below.

In closing, the NY Times states:

“The senators are gambling that the bill will repair enough longstanding problems in the system to attract support from a broad array of groups who will benefit from those changes, including Latinos, religious groups and labor unions who support the path to citizenship for those here illegally; big technology companies like Microsoft and Facebook, which have been clamoring for more visas for engineers and computer specialists; agricultural growers and other employers in labor-intensive businesses; and immigrant families who stand to be united more quickly with family members coming here legally.”

Article Resources:

Outline of the Bill

Politico

NY Times

 

DACA – Know your Workplace Rights

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

The National Immigration Law Center released this week FAQ’s concerning worksite rights for DACA employees.  The information is very helpful for those who are applying for DACA and for those who have been granted deferred action under the DACA Program.  There is also some excellent guidance for employers concerning the I-9 form for DACA new and existing employees, social security cards, employment verification letters, and more.  We also link to a previous blog post with updated FAQ information on the USCIS website.

Please be aware that this is ‘general’ information only.  We always recommend that you seek guidance from a skilled immigration attorney or professional who is familiar with DACA and employer compliance issues.  As always, we are available to work with you on your casework and to assist employers with employment eligibility verification issues.  Please contact one of our immigration professionals at info@immigrationcompliancegroup.com or call 562 612.3996 and visit our I-9 Employer Resource Center.

Brewer v. Obama: AZ Won’t Issue Driver’s License To DACA Workers

Monday, August 20th, 2012

By: Timothy Sutton, Communications Editor

The State of Arizona behind Governor Jan Brewer has made their position clear, they do not support Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals. Brewer signed her own executive order to “defend” Arizona from President Obama’s Deferred Action Program. Executive Order 2012-06 alleges that because DACA workers are not given lawful status, but merely deferred status, DACA recipients can be legally denied the right to obtain a driver’s license or any public benefit.

Brewer justifies her executive order as a defense against DACA which she refers to as “federal paperwork,” that will result in “significant and lasting impacts on the Arizona budget, it’s healthcare system and additional public benefits that Arizona taxpayers fund.” A Brewer spokesperson sited specific public benefits that DACA holders will not be eligible for: KidsCare, a children’s health-insurance program; unemployment benefits; business and professional licenses and government contracts.

Legal challenges to Brewer opposition of Obama’s DACA program are expected this week. Under the REAL ID Act of 2005 Sec.202(C)(B)(2)(viii), a federal law that modified requirements for state driver’s licenses and ID cards, “deferred action” is a term used for those eligible for state issued identification and driver’s licenses. According to NBC News, Regina Jefferies a local Phoenix attorney, criticized Brewer’s executive order saying, “Immigrants in Arizona have in the past been granted “deferred action” for other reasons long before the new Childhood Arrivals program was announced.” Additionally, Brewer’s spokesperson said that DACA students would not receive in-state tuition pricing.

After Brewer’s announcement, protester’s outside of the Arizona state capital waived signs that read, “Why the hate?” This sentiment raises the question, is Brewer guilty of playing politics with immigrant lives? Certainly, extreme curtailing of the DACA program by states like Arizona (and Florida) appears to be less about state preservation than politics. This preemptive strike against the Presidential Executive Order is a sign of the strong resistance to come for future immigration reform that favors inclusion over deportation.

California officials announced they would honor the DACA program and issue driver’s licenses to eligible persons. As temporary California residents, DACA beneficiaries will be afforded in-state tuition pricing, driver’s licenses, and the temporary ability to seek employment.

The national success of the DACA program shall remain closely monitored. We will continue to keep you updated on this and other breaking immigration news. If your business has questions about the DACA program or hiring from this temporary workforce, contact one of our immigration professionals at info@immigrationcompliancegroup.com or call 562 612.3996.

Please check out our news and stay informed.

More articles:  AZ Denies Dreamers GED Classes 

Driver’s Licenses Vary by State

 

 

 

California Trust Act: AB 1081 | News from Immigration Compliance Group

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

By:  Timothy Sutton, Communications Editor

California’s governor is poised to sign a bill AB 1081 dubbed “The Anti-Arizona Act,” officially titled: Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools or California TRUST Act. The bill is an attempt by California legislators to set a national precedent: local government opting-out of enforcing federal immigration policies. This anti-Arizona legislation arguably mirrors the purpose of Arizona’s SB 1070, selective enforcement of federal immigration laws. Without question, immigration laws are under federal jurisdiction. Enforcement of immigration law is not within the discretionary powers of a state or local government. The TRUST Act is an attempt by California to allow local government to back out of an agreement with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Secure Communities program signed in 2008.

Secure Communities requires that police and law enforcement provide the federal government with fingerprints of criminal suspects detained by local authorities. These fingerprints are run through a federal database for dangerous undocumented criminals; upon discovery of any prior criminal record, undocumented detainees will be placed into expedited deportation proceedings. California’s initiative to overrule nationally implemented immigration programs is teetering on a slippery slope.

AB 1081 requires:

  • Local governments pass “opt-in” ordinances in order to continue participation in the Secure Communities Program
  • Submit “anti-racial profiling” plans to the DOJ and monitoring associated with Secure Communities participation
  • The modified participation agreement must include safeguards against racial profiling not limited to:
    • Prohibiting driver’s license checkpoints to obtain fingerprints
    • Establishing an expedited complaint system to review claims prior to removal

Businesses may resent the current administration’s attack on their hiring or employment practices. An unprecedented number of ICE audits, sanctions, civil lawsuits and multi-agency (most recently the SEC) investigations threaten employer’s economic welfare. Nonetheless, allowing states to opt-out of immigration agreements may lead to further complications in the future for American businesses.

While many Americans remain divided on a national Dream Act (deportation stay for undocumented college students), few agree that state enforcement over immigration laws further confuses an already troublesome issue. The solution is to find a nationally supported immigration policy that allows American businesses to thrive, but keeps our borders secure. Critics of AB 1081 believe California will become a “refuge” for undocumented aliens. Currently, our broken immigration system has conflicting policies on employee screening, visa application/renewal, and undocumented criminal deportation. Until the politics of immigration subside, businesses should seek legal assistance to ensure their compliance with ever-changing immigration policies.

Immigration Compliance Group has real-world experience in  business and employment-related immigration and compliance matters, ensuring your company’s future is secure. For more breaking immigration news signup to stay informed and contact our office at 562 612.3996 or email info@immigrationcompliancegroup.com.

 

Immigration Reform: A New Dream, Obama Strikes First

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

By:  Timothy Sutton, Communications Editor

Hundreds of teary-eyed students at the Dream Resource Center of Los Angeles clapped, cheered, and embraced as President Obama delivered his de facto Dream Act this morning (June 15, 2012). After years of marginally successful advocacy and a waning hope for change, these undocumented student “Dreamers,” have a renewed hope for comprehensive immigration reform. With the power of prosecutorial discretion on their side, 800,000+ Dream Act students will now be free to move about the country without the looming shadow of deportation. Yet, the real triumph of today’s Presidential address was Obama forcing Congress into the conversation of immigration reform and undocumented youth. Today, The President’s speech fostered hope for a bi-partisan solution that will reshape America’s immigration policies for years to come.

The President enacted the administrative enforcement to promote an America of the future that is “More fair, more efficient, and more just.” Obama described the dreamers as “Americans in everyway, but one, on paper.” He echoed the tragic fate of many dreamers raised in America, yet facing deportation, “Suddenly (you) face deportation to a country you know nothing about with a language you don’t speak.” Obama described our country’s origins as one built off the hard work and ingenuity of immigrants. He suggested that we are still that same country, “The only thing that has changed is the politics.”

“It makes no sense to expel talented young people who want to staff our labs, start new businesses or defend this country,” said Obama in one breath. Yet, in the next breath he reinforced his harsh policies toward business immigration which,  Focus(es) immigration enforcement in right places, boots on southern boarder, fewer illegal crossing than in the past 40 years, prosecutorial discretion, criminal deportation up 80%, with care and thoughtful improvement on that discretion.

The President is protecting undocumented children because in his words, “It is the right thing to do.” Obama recognized the fleeting nature of his executive discretion in his demands, “Congress needs to act because these kids need to have time to plan their lives past 2 years.”

Beginning Monday, hundreds of thousand of dreamers will wake up wondering how to file paperwork and begin down the path toward being recognized as an American. Under current immigration policies, there are few visa options that allow any foreign students the ability to work and become citizens. Just the other day, the 65,000 H1-B visa cap was reached. Obama pledged his dedication to comprehensive immigration reform for farmers and scientists, “giving certainty to our farmers and ranchers… Balancing a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.” It is the hope of all business owners across all industries that these newly added immigrant student workers will help reshape our nations attitude toward immigration policies. Because in the words of our President “This is the right thing to do for the American people.”

Immigration Compliance Group is available to assist you with the process of filing your immigration case.  Sign up to receive our blog posts and news so that you can stay informed and contact our office for assistance.  562 612.3996.  Or email info@immigrationcompliancegroup.com.