Category Archive Executive Action

ByPhillip Kim

Trump’s Travel Ban Upheld In Part By Supreme Court; Travel Ban Will Go Into Effect

Earlier this year, President Trump issued a travel ban on travelers from Muslim countries. However, Judges from several states blocked the travel ban from going into effect. Now, Trump’s travel ban is back into effect.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday allowed a scaled-back version of President Trump’s travel ban to go into effect. The travel ban would affect people from six Muslim countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) from entering the United States for 90 days and would go into effect in as little as 72 hours. The U.S. Supreme Court states that the travel ban would not be enforced against someone who has a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States as provided in the following excerpt from the U.S. Supreme Court decision below:

“In practical terms, this means that §2(c) may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. All other foreign nationals are subject to the provisions of EO–2.”

The decision of the U.S. Supreme Court has however been met with criticism. Opponents of the travel ban are concerned with what constitutes as a “bona fide relationship”. Would it require a blood relation? A lack of a clearly defined relationship would bar from entry people from the six countries and refugees with no such ties and cause chaos at the airports.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stated that it will discuss the court’s action with the Justice and State departments and said it would implement the ban “professionally, with clear and sufficient public notice, particularly to potentially affected travelers, and in coordination with partners in the travel industry.”

ByPhillip Kim

One of every 15 children in USA has an undocumented parent

Something happened while the immigration system in the United States got broken, something that should change the way we talk about fixing it. Years went by, and nature took its course. More than 11 million unauthorized immigrants settled into our communities; many formed families and had children. Now at least one of every 15 children living in the United States has an unauthorized parent, and nearly all of those children are native-born United States citizens.

Think of that statistic, one in 15, the next time you drive by a school or a playground. Think of those children living with the knowledge that the federal government can take their parents away. Common sense tells you that the threat of a parent’s deportation will exact a terrible price.

Now it’s possible to get some measure of how big the cost is. In a recent report, we assessed more than 50 research studies of the children of unauthorized immigrants conducted by scholars in a variety of fields. This growing body of work shows that fear and uncertainty breed difficulties that manifest themselves in delayed cognitive development, lower educational performance and clinical levels of anxiety.

By one estimate, more than six million children are paying the price of having an unauthorized immigrant parent, and more than five million of them were born here. A study that followed 380 New York City newborns for three years found evidence of lower cognitive skills as early as 24 months among the children of the undocumented and concluded that parents’ psychological distress played a major role. A 2004-8 Los Angeles survey of more than 5,000 immigrants found that having an unauthorized immigrant mother means children will end their education with one and a half years less schooling than those growing up under identical circumstances, with a mother who is in the country legally.

The research not only diagnoses the costs of policy failure but also points the way to a solution. The same Los Angeles study found that 43 percent of children with a father legalized in the 1986 immigration reform act received some college education, compared with 14 percent of similar children whose father remained an unauthorized immigrant. Legalization can place these young people on a life trajectory equal to that of their peers.

Once you take this evidence into consideration, the challenges change. The nation has an interest in regulating immigration, yet it also has a stake in its children. Current policies do not succeed in regulating immigration, but they do force these children into life-stifling insecurity.

Though now blocked by a legal challenge, the executive actions issued by President Obama in November offered an immediate if short-term fix. One of the proposed programs would grant permission to parents of American citizens and legal residents to remain in the United States for three years and to work legally, as long as they meet a number of conditions. An amicus brief signed by an array of educational organizations and children’s advocacy groups cited our report as evidence of the harm current policies inflict on children who are United States citizens, and the federal government made the same argument during an appellate court hearing this month.

These young citizens are at risk of being less than full members of society. Removing the threat of deportation from their families gives them a chance to prosper. That serves the public interest more effectively than maintaining an enforcement system widely decried as ineffective and unjust.

In the universe of manufactured disadvantage, we cannot think of many instances in which sitting judges, with the stroke of a pen, can bring immediate and measurable relief to millions of children. Here, they can. The remedy begins by understanding that the adults can no longer be seen simply as people who slipped the border to find work. We must begin to see them as parents, as the people raising our nation’s children. Some will reject that view and fault the adults for being in this country without proper immigration status.

But the American sense of fairness and system of justice have long embraced the notion that the “sins of the father” should not be visited on the children. Reasonable minds can debate whether there is blame to attach to the parents. There is no reasonable case to be made for punishing their children, who are citizens of the United States. Yet they are punished every day.

(Source: The New York Times)

ByPhillip Kim

Updates on Obama’s Executive Action

Here are the updates:
You may start filing in March/June 2015.

The following needs to be proven with documents:
• Identity;
• Relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; and
• Continuous residence in the United States over the last five years or more.

Documents to gather:
Birth certificates, Marriage certificates, School records, Bills, Hospital records, Taxes filed, etc.

Q: What if your case is denied?
A: USCIS could contact ICE for deportation under its current policy. So, make sure you are eligible before filing.

Q: If I currently have 2-year DACA, can I receive the 3-year permit under the new Exec. Action?
A: You might. USCIS is exploring how to extend to the new three-year period.

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ByPhillip Kim

Details on Executive Action by President Obama

Here are the details on the Executive Action announced by President Obama on November 20, 2014.

Every Democratic and Republican president since Dwight Eisenhower has taken executive action on immigration. Consistent with this long history, DHS will expand the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to include more immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. DHS will also create a new deferred action program for people who are parents of U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) and have lived in the United States for five years or longer if they register, pass a background check and pay taxes.

The President is taking the following actions to hold accountable certain undocumented immigrants:

(1) Creating a mechanism that requires certain undocumented immigrants to pass a background check to make sure that they start paying their fair share in taxes. In order to promote public safety, DHS is establishing a new deferred action program for parents of U.S. Citizens or LPRs who are not enforcement priorities and have been in the country for more than 5 years. Individuals will have the opportunity to request temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for three years at a time if they come forward and register, submit biometric data, pass background checks, pay fees, and show that their child was born before the date of this announcement. By providing individuals with an opportunity to come out of the shadows and work legally, we will also help crack down on companies who hired undocumented workers, which undermines the wages of all workers, and ensure that individuals are playing by the rules and paying their fair share of taxes.

(2) Expanding DACA to cover additional DREAMers. Under the initial DACA program, young people who had been in the U.S. for at least five years, came as children, and met specific education and public safety criteria were eligible for temporary relief from deportation so long as they were born after 1981 and entered the country before June 15, 2007. DHS is expanding DACA so that individuals who were brought to this country as children can apply if they entered before January 1, 2010, regardless of how old they are today. Going forward, DACA relief will also be granted for three years.

The President’s actions will also streamline legal immigration to boost our economy and promote naturalization by:

(A) Providing portable work authorization for high-skilled workers awaiting LPR status and their spouses. Under the current system, employees with approved LPR applications often wait many years for their visa to become available. DHS will make regulatory changes to allow these workers to move or change jobs more easily. DHS is finalizing new rules to give certain H-1B spouses employment authorization as long as the H-1B spouse has an approved LPR application.

(B) Enhancing options for foreign entrepreneurs. DHS will expand immigration options for foreign entrepreneurs who meet certain criteria for creating jobs, attracting investment, and generating revenue in the U.S., to ensure that our system encourages them to grow our economy. The criteria will include income thresholds so that these individuals are not eligible for certain public benefits like welfare or tax credits under the Affordable Care Act.

(C) Strengthening and extending on-the-job training for STEM graduates of U.S universities. In order to strengthen educational experiences of foreign students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at U.S. universities, DHS will propose changes to expand and extend the use of the existing Optional Practical Training (OPT) program and require stronger ties between OPT students and their colleges and universities following graduation.

(D) Streamlining the process for foreign workers and their employers, while protecting American workers. DHS will clarify its guidance on temporary L-1 visas for foreign workers who transfer from a company’s foreign office to its U.S. office. DOL will take regulatory action to modernize the labor market test that is required of employers that sponsor foreign workers for immigrant visas while ensuring that American workers are protected.

(E) Reducing family separation for those waiting to obtain LPR status. Due to barriers in our system, U.S. citizens and LPRs are often separated for years from their immediate relatives, while they wait to obtain their LPR status. To reduce the time these individuals are separated, DHS will expand an existing program that allows certain individuals to apply for a provisional waiver for certain violations before departing the United States to attend visa interviews.

(F) Ensuring that individuals with lawful status can travel to their countries of origin. DHS will clarify its guidance to provide greater assurance to individuals with a pending LPR application or certain temporary status permission to travel abroad with advance permission (“parole”).

From the Office of the Press Secretary of the White House