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There are good changes on the horizon for Immigration Reform 2014

Immigration reform in 2014 has been issued. There are several items to Parole that are different, expanded and easier to get than in the past. Brian D. Lerner, immigration attorney explains that under immigration reform in 2014, first you would need to understand what exactly is ‘parole’ in order to have an appreciation of the differences.


At least three separate DHS memos address various aspects of “parole.” In the immigration context, parole refers to allowing an individual to temporarily enter the United States for purposes of significant public benefit or for humanitarian reasons without technically admitting the person into the country. Although parole is issued on a case-by-case basis, there is a long history of designated categories of individuals who may qualify for parole. “Advance parole” and “parole-in-place” are forms of parole. Advance parole refers to giving an individual currently residing in the United States in a temporary status permission to travel abroad for a short period and return to the United States without jeopardizing the existing status. Parole in-place is parole in which an individual who is already in the United States, but who is here without permission, is nonetheless granted parole without having to leave the country. Individuals granted parole—including advance parole and parole-in-place—may ultimately be able to gain lawful permanent status without leaving the United States, if they are otherwise eligible.


Brian D. Lerner states there are issues with this. For example, if somebody who might qualify under the immigration laws to adjust status in the U.S. – except for not being able to show legal entry, they might be able to use the parole. For example, they could qualify for DACA or DAPA under the immigration reform 2014, and because of that, they could apply for Advance Parole, leave the U.S. and then enter again legally. This legal entry would really be an admission to the U.S. states Brian Lerner. Because of that, the person could then adjust status in the U.S. assuming they have no other grounds of inadmissibility.


Here there is a specific change to immigration policy per the immigration reform 2014. Under direction from the Secretary of Homeland Security, DHS officials will be instructed to follow a 2012 immigration decision (Matter of Arrabally), finding that a lawfully present individual who travels abroad after a grant of advance parole does not trigger the three- or 10-year bars that ordinarily apply when a person departs the United States after residing here unlawfully for more than six months. Under this decision, individuals who would be eligible for LPR status but for the fact that their last entry into the United States was unlawful may be able to apply for permanent resident status upon their parole back into the United States. The new DHS instruction will ensure consistent application across the department. Assuming that this is actually followed, there will be consistency and a person leaving the U.S. under the immigration reform 2014, will be able to re-enter the U.S. without fear that they have just invoked the 3/10 year bar waiver. Brian Lerner states that prior to the immigration reform 2014, the adjudications of people re-entering the U.S. with the advance parole was inconsistent and different depending which officer you happened to get. Hopefully, this will end and there will be consistent adjudications.


Parole in Place adjudications has been expanded to include LPR relatives in the military as well as persons who intend to enter the military (not just personas already in the military.) Also, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has stated that he would like USCIS to grant deferred action to persons who overstayed their visas and who have a relative who is a veteran. Thus, the immigration reform 2014 in fact has good news on the horizon for parole and should be used once the regulations are issued.

President Obama’s Immigration Reform Requirements extends to visa processing and employment based visas

Brian D. Lerner states that the Presidential Memorandum on visa modernization deals with the immigration reform requirements for visa processing and employment based visas.  On November 21, 2014, the President issued the Presidential Memorandum on “Modernizing and Streamlining the U.S. Immigrant Visa System for the 21st Century.” In this memo, Brian Lerner states the President called on immigration agencies to develop recommendations to improve the current visa system, while at the same time reinforcing that legislative reforms were needed to bring the U.S. immigration system in line with current economic and national security needs. He has directed the Secretaries of the Departments of Homeland Security and State, working in consultation with the White House, the Attorney General, the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, and Education, and non-governmental stakeholders to submit recommendation to him by March 20, 2015. The immigration reform requirements are quite extensive. As other people will very well know, it takes many years for visa numbers to become current. Hopefully, states Brian D. Lerner, when  the immigration reform requirements will greatly decrease visa waiting times and  allow families to get together years sooner.


The immigration reform requirements states that the recommendations shall be designed to ensure (1) that the processing of all immigrant (permanent) and non-immigrant (temporary) visas is done efficiently, with an emphasis on reducing costs, waste, and fraud while improving services; (2) that all available immigrant visa numbers are used consistent with demand; and (3) that a stronger technology infrastructure exists to improve the applicant’s experience, enable better oversight, and eliminate duplicative systems. The immigration reform requirements states that the recommendations must include metrics for measuring progress in implementation and in achieving service improvements, while still protecting U.S. border integrity and economic opportunities for U.S. and foreign workers. Brian Lerner states this is somewhat ambiguous what will actually happen, but it is certainly promising.


What changes are proposed for employment-based visas asks Brian D. Lerner. The immigration reform requirements lists that  DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson issued a memorandum outlining new policies that support U.S. high-skilled businesses and workers by better enabling U.S employers to hire and retain foreign workers. First, the Secretary directed USCIS to take steps to reduce wait times for employment-based immigrant visas and improve visa processing. Far too often, visas have gone unused due to processing issues. In accordance with the immigration reform requirements, USCIS will work with the Department of State (DOS) to ensure that all visas authorized by Congress are issued to eligible individuals when there is sufficient demand. USCIS also will work with DOS to improve the process for determining when immigrant visas are available to applicants during the fiscal year. In addition, the Secretary directed USCIS to consider regulatory or policy changes that ensure that individuals with pending immigrant visa petitions will not lose their place in line if they change jobs. Brian Lerner states this will be a welcome addition to the immigration reform requirements insofar as it will allow a way out for employees waiting year after year for the visa number to become current.


Next, the immigration reform requirements state that the agencies have announced a series of policy changes intended to prevent ambitious and creative people, many of whom received their higher education in the United States, from continuing to leave the country and work abroad—a trend that has created great uncertainty and frustration for employers. The proposed changes will include:

  • Reforms to the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, which authorizes foreign students before and after graduation from U.S. schools to gain experience through work in their fields. The changes would expand the degree programs eligible for OPT. In addition, they would allow foreign students with degrees in designated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields who are already eligible for OPT to work for a longer period in the United States states Brian D. Lerner;
  • Expanded opportunities for foreign inventors, researchers, and founders of start-up enterprises to conduct research and development and create jobs in the United States.
  • Consolidated guidance to ensure greater consistency in the adjudication of L-1B visas for “intracompany transferees.” These visas allow multinational companies to transfer certain managers, executives, or persons with specialized knowledge in their fields to the United States for a temporary period. Brian D. Lerner states that the immigration reform requirements is very good here considering that the L-1B program has suffered considerably in the past.
  • Increased flexibility in the rules permitting applicants for employment-based permanent resident status to change jobs (called “porting”), if their applications are stalled due to processing delays.
  • Review of the Department of Labor’s certification process for foreign labor, known as the PERM process. The certification process is an initial step in obtaining employment-based permanent resident status and requires DOL to determine that there are not sufficient U.S. workers for the position and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect U.S. workers. Perhaps, states Brian D. Lerner, this will greatly increase the efficiency of the PERM process.
  • Finally, the immigration reform requirements  list that completing work on current initiatives such as providing employment authorization to certain spouses of foreign workers with H-1B visas (i.e., high-skilled, temporary workers) who have been approved to receive permanent resident status based on employer sponsorship. Brian D. Lerner states that this immigration reform requirement would be a welcome addition to the H-1B program and get it inline with the E-2 and L-1 which allows spouses to work.

Priority #2 of immigration reform bill latest news give 2nd tier for enforcement of deportations

The immigration reform bill latest news is very good news for people who are here in the U.S. illegally. There is an expanded DACA, a new DAPA and a completely new memo on prosecutorial discretion and when to exercise the authority to put someone into removal proceedings and to try to deport them.


The new memo, explains Brian D. Lerner based upon the immigration reform bill latest news is divided into priorities. Basically priority 1 is who gets put into removal proceedings and who is targeted for deportation. As you would expect, claims Brian D. Lerner, it would be those with various kinds of crimes and those who have committed aggravated felonies.


However, there are other priorities in the immigration reform bill latest news. Priority 2 consists of (misdemeanors and new immigration violators). The immigration reform bill latest news states that aliens described in this priority , who are also not described in Priority 1, and Brian D. Lerner states that this represents the second-highest priority for apprehension and removal. Note it is the 2nd highest which means that it will be easier to get a Prosecutorial Discretion request granted.


The immigration reform bill latest news states on priority 2 that resources should be dedicated

accordingly to the removal of the following:


(a) aliens convicted of three or more misdemeanor offenses, other than minor traffic offenses or state or local offenses for which an essential element is the alien’s immigration status, provided the offenses arise out of three separate incidents. Brian Lerner states that this element seems to be met whether it is significant or insignificant misdemeanor offenses (unless of course we are talking only about traffic offenses).


The immigration reform latest news lists the second subcategory under Priority 2 as follows:  (b) aliens convicted of a “significant misdemeanor,” which for this purpose

is an offense of domestic violence ; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or  trafficking; or driving under the influence; or if not an offense listed above, one for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of 90 days or more (the sentence must involve time to be served in custody, and does not include a suspended sentence). Thus, the Law Offices of Brian D. Lerner states that assuming the particular situation does not fall under subcategory(a), that only a single crime will permit satisfying the requirement of this section under Priority 2.


The immigration reform latest news for the differing priorities lists the third subcategory as follows:  (c) aliens apprehended anywhere in the United States after unlawfully entering or reentering the United States and who cannot establish to the satisfaction of an immigration officer that they have been physically  present in the United States continuously since January 1, 2014. Brian D. Lerner explains that this element is quite interesting in that it does not outright put somebody who entered illegally in this preference of priority 2 removals. Rather, it would seem based upon the language of the immigration reform latest news that if you can properly show you have been in the U.S. since January 1, 2014, that you will not fall under this section.  While it might not be clear, the immigration reform latest news does seem to imply that if you re-entered illegally after a deportation order that it could be argued you do not fall under this subsection.


The immigration reform latest news gives the last element of what makes Priority 2 of  enforcement as follows: (d) aliens who, in the judgment of an ICE Field Office Director, USCIS

District Director, or USCIS Service Center Director, have significantly abused the visa or visa waiver programs. Brian Lerner states that this element both gives more room to argue that prosecutorial discretion should be mandated to not deport these people, but on the other side, it does give a significant amount of discretion to the immigration officer to put the person into deportation proceedings.


The immigration reform latest news states that these aliens listed in Priority 2 should be removed unless they qualify for asylum or another form of relief under our laws or, unless, in the judgment of an ICE Field Office Director, CBP Sector Chief, CBP Director of Field Operations, USCIS District Director, or users Service Center Director, there are factors indicating the alien is not a threat to national  security, border security, or public safety, and should not therefore be an enforcement priority. Therefore, the immigration reform latest news shows that there is certain room in Priority 2 to argue there should not be deportation.


Immigration reform USA 2014 news brings the new DAPA

Immigration reform USA 2014 brings a new form of relief called DAPA states Brian D. Lerner.  USCIS will create a new deferred action process, similar to DACA, for certain individuals. The immigration reform USA 2014 through the executive action will allow millions of people to obtain DAPA. Brian D. Lerner states that the requirements are as follows under the immigration reform USA 2014 news:


Brian D. Lerner states that it will apply to those who (1) have a U.S. citizen or LPR (Lawful Permanent Resident)  son or daughter (of any age) as of November 20, 2014; (2) have  been continuously present in the U.S. since before January 1, 2010; and the immigration reform USA news shows that the third item is that they were  physically present in the U.S. on November 20, 2014 and are present at the time  of requesting DAPA. Such individuals must pass background checks and must not  be an enforcement priority under the new memorandum. DAPA will be granted  for a three-year period. USCIS expects that it will begin accepting DAPA applications within 180 days of November 20, 2014 states Brian D. Lerner.


See Brian D. Lerner speak about the new DAPA program discussed in the immigration reform USA news


Immigration reform USA 2014 news states that USCIS will consider each request for Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) on a case-by-case basis. Enforcement priorities include (but are not limited to) national security and public safety threats. Of course, Brian D. Lerner states it might be an issue as to what is or is not a public safety threat. However, if the DACA program is anything to look at, then there are certain areas or situations that should not be a problem for applying for DACA, explains the Law Offices of Brian D. Lerner


The immigration reform USA news basically is giving low priority to persons for sure who do not have a criminal history. This means that if you have a prior deportation order or expedited removal order you should be able to still apply for DAPA states Brian Lerner, The immigration reform USA news is similar to the DACA news given a few years ago by President Obama.  In that respect, those people could apply for the ‘DACA’ at that time, even if they did have illegal entries into the U.S, or they had a deportation or removal order and even if they were already in detention facilities and/or in removal proceedings. Brian Lerner elaborates that the immigration reform USA news does not yet have regulations or instructions, and therefore, we do not know for sure. However, like the DACA program, what would be the use of issuing such an expansive DAPA program if by having a prior deportation order, or expedited removal order, it would be so easy to deny. It would defeat the purpose of the whole program.


The immigration reform USA news was to give an executive action to help millions of people here in the U.S., and therefore, if there is no criminal history, but there is negative immigration history (even other illegal re-entries after a deportation), there should probably still be the ability to apply for DAPA. Brian D. Lerner also puts out other issues such as what happens if the person who wants to apply for DAPA has already been deported and is outside the U.S. right now? In that case, hopefully the regulations to be issued will still permit that person to apply and then to be able to get some type of parole to enter the U.S. The immigration reform USA news is excellent news, but remember it will take 180 days after issuance of the order of the DAPA program to take effect.


The next issue with the immigration reform USA is whether persons with criminal history can apply for DAPA. Again, states Brian Lerner, since there are no regulations at this time, we are somewhat guessing. However, we do have the history of the last few years of the DACA program in order to see how it could very well be applied. For example, with DACA, there could not be more than 3 insignificant misdemeanors among other various provisions. Therefore, it would be incumbent for the particular person to have a good immigration attorney argue in the DAPA case that they do not fall under the enforcement priorities of deportation and that their crimes are not targeted and that they should qualify for DAPA. Even if you have significant misdemeanors and/or a felony, there are ways to eventually apply for DAPA. It would seem that with the immigration reform USA news that it would be possible to make some type of motion to vacate and or reduce the crime so that if granted, afterwards, you should be able to apply.


Brian D. Lerner makes clear that the executive action by President Obama is not a congressional action, but rather an executive order that he is taking on his own initiative because Congress failed to act. Therefore, do not wait to apply. Take advantage of the immigration reform USA news and see a qualified immigration attorney.


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