Archive for the The undocumented Category.

President’s Executive Action on DACA+ and DAPA BLOCKED

On November 20, 2014, through Executive Action, President Barack Obama announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would not deport certain parents of U. S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (DAPA).  In addition, he expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program (DACA+).  However, on June 23, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a split decision, and as a result, DHS continues to be blocked from implementing DAPA and expanded DACA (DACA+).  Individuals otherwise eligible for DAPA or DACA+ cannot apply at this time.

Please note that the “block” does not affect the existing 2012 DACA applicants, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to accept applications (initial and renewal) from those who qualify under the DACA criteria announced in June 2012. As to the future of DAPA and DACA+, the two most likely scenarios involve a request for rehearing by the Supreme Court or allowing the case to go back to the district court for a decision.  In both scenarios, a decision is not anticipated until 2018.
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DHS Announces Relief for “Dreamers” via Policy Change

Deferred Action Announced for “Dreamers”

On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced in a memo that deferred action will be implemented for certain undocumented youth.

According to the Napolitano memo, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin to exercise prosecutorial discretion for certain undocumented youth. This means that DHS will not seek the removal or deportation of those youth it deems eligible. Additionally, work authorization will be made available. This policy extends to eligible individuals whether they are in removal proceedings or if they have never been placed in removal proceedings. Only those who meet the eligibility criteria may benefit from this announcement.

The general criteria for consideration of prosecutorial discretion or deferred action on this ground are as follows:

• Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
• Has continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding the date of this memorandum [June 15, 2012];
• Is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
• Has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat a threat to national security or public safety; and
• Is not above the age of thirty.

If you or someone you know appears to meet these criteria, please contact our office for additional information. We may be able to assist you and are happy to meet with you.

Please note that this is not a law, it is not “The Dream Act,” and it does not create any new rights. Rather, it is an announcement for a policy that is yet to be put in place. It is anticipated that the procedures and further clarification of eligibility should be implemented within approximately sixty days, according to the memo released June 15, 2012.

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In-state tuition for undocumented students brought as minors

Many thanks to the Detroit Free Press Newspaper and to the University of Michigan Regents for examining the policy of charging full tuition to students who are Michigan residents, but lack US citizenship or Permanent Resident (i.e., green card) status. Many such students are not even unlawfully present in the United States; they are lawfully in the United States, but simply stuck in the long wait for green cards. For example, I recently came across a student whose family was granted asylum, yet the University of Michigan was charging him out of state tuition because his green card was still a few years away due to government bureaucracy and long waiting times. 

In my view, even undocumented students who reside in Michigan should be permitted to pay in-state tuition. This would not reward illegal behavior, as most of those students were brought to this country as kids, and hence are not considered to have committed a crime because they were so young and because it was not their choice. Most of their families support Michigan’s infrastructure through the payment of income, sales, property and other types of taxes. If every state charges their undocumented students out of state rates (which typically is much greater than in-state tuition rates), many will not be able to afford college, since they do not qualify for federal aid. We also need to remember that in-state tuitions are usually significant and would still enable colleges to prosper. 

Finally, since history reveals that most undocumented youth will end up living here anyway, denying them reasonably affordable education would be tantamount to denying an otherwise promising segment of our youthful population the opportunity to get an excellent education that could be critically beneficial to our country in the future.

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