The debate on immigration reform is moving quickly. CLINIC strives to keep its network and others informed so that they can continue to serve the immigrants in our communities with the most up-to-date information.
This morning the New York Times published a bi-partisan statement of principles outlining four goals of immigration reform. CLINIC welcomes this bi-partisan leadership in keeping the conversation moving. The principles include a path to citizenship and relief for agricultural workers and highly skilled graduates. The Senators also outline plans for continued enforcement along the border as well as a strong employment verification system. Read the whole statement here.
Also, exciting news from Illinois last night, as it became the fourth and largest state to allow undocumented individuals to obtain drivers licenses. See the Chicago Tribune’s local perspective here.
President Obama will be speaking tomorrow night from Nevada. He is expected to outline the Administration’s plan for immigration reform in 2013. While we do not know yet what the plan entails, we are encouraged that the President is
On January 3, 2013, the USCIS finalized its regulation regarding the adjudication of waivers for those who are consular processing and would be triggering the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility. The rule provides a process by which the agency will adjudicate these waivers before the applicants leave for their immigrant visa interview. The procedure would be available only to immediate relatives who are inadmissible based on unlawful presence – and no other grounds – and who can establish extreme hardship to a qualifying U.S. citizen spouse or parent. To be eligible, the applicant would need to have an approved I-130 or I-360 petition and have paid the immigrant visa fee bill.
The USCIS will begin receiving and adjudicating the provisional waivers on March 4, 2013. No applications will be accepted before that date. Applicants will be using a new Form I-601A, which the agency will publish sometime before that date. The filing fee for the waiver application is $585. There is no filing fee waiver available for the provisional waiver or the biometrics that are required as part of the process.
CIS has just released interim guidance on age-out protection for U derivatives. Per the guidance:
- U-3 derivatives will be approved for the full four-year eligibility period, allowing the U-3 to remain in status past his or her 21st birthday
- CIS will promulgate regulations to "provide protection" for U derivatives who age-out while the 918-A is pending. In the meantime, aging-out derivatives will be considered for deferred action, which allows for work authorization
- U derivatives whose status expired upon turning age 21 may now file for an extension of status to receive enough time in U status to allow them to apply for adjustment
The interim guidance does not address derivatives who age-out abroad while the application for derivative status is pending. The guidance is effective immediately.
The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), one of the nation’s leading legal agencies for immigrants and a subsidiary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), seeks an Executive Director (ED) to oversee its extensive support programs to charitable immigration programs throughout the nation.
The ED should ideally have expertise and experience in: (1) immigration law and policy, with a strong preference for an attorney; (2) managing persons and finances; (3) conceptualizing, developing, funding, and evaluating programs for low-income or at-risk immigrants; (4) resource development; and (5) identifying advocacy needs and pursuing appropriate policy solutions. S/he should also have a: (1) bedrock commitment to social justice and Catholic teaching; (2) knowledge of the structure of the Catholic Church; and (3) knowledge of the federal immigration bureaucracies. S/he should have at least five-years of experience in successfully managing a non-profit agency (preferably), a for-profit agency, or significant, large-scale programs.
The ED should have the following, minimum competencies: (1) the ability to conceptualize and
Click here for the original letter.
To the extent that Tropical Storm/Hurricane Sandy (Sandy) impacts law enforcement operations and/or the storm triggers the need for an officially ordered evacuation or an emergency government response, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) highest priorities are to promote life-saving and life-sustaining activities, the safe evacuation of people who are leaving the impacted area, the maintenance of public order, the prevention of the loss of property to the extent possible, and the speedy recovery of the impacted region.
As such, to the extent that Sandy impacts law enforcement operations and/or the storm triggers the need for an officially ordered evacuation or an emergency government response, there will be no immigration enforcement initiatives associated with evacuations or sheltering related to Sandy, including the use of checkpoints for immigration purposes in impacted areas during an evacuation. If a state or local law enforcement agency determines that individuals in their custody should be transferred or released due to Sandy, the state or local law enforcement agency should not decline to do so solely on the basis of an immigration detainer issued by ICE or CBP.
Click here for the HuffPost blog.
On Jan. 22, 2013, President Romney or President Obama should take a dramatic step to stabilize, strengthen and promote the integration of hundreds of thousands of American families. The president should issue an Executive Order that would allow persons who have passed the first hurdle in qualifying for a family-based visa to seek a waiver before they leave the United States that would permit their return after they secure a visa. To understand the significance of this step requires a primer on our nation's family-based immigration system.
The United States awards most of its "green cards" -- roughly two-thirds -- to persons who enjoy close family ties to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs). This process begins with the filing of a petition by a U.S. citizen or LPR for a non-citizen family member. By approving the petition, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) formally recognizes the existence of a qualifying family relationship. The agency then assigns a "priority date" or number based on the petition's filing date. When the date becomes "current" or advances to the front of the visa queue, the qualifying family member can apply for an immigrant visa. However, backlogs for persons