The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending the initial registration deadline for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) from May 20, 2015, to Aug. 18, 2015, for eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries). Further details about the extension of the initial registration period appear in a Federal Register notice published today.
We strongly encourage eligible TPS applicants from these three countries to apply as soon as possible because applications will only be accepted through August 18, 2015.
We began accepting TPS applications on Nov. 21, 2014, from applicants of these three countries when DHS announced the 18-month TPS designations for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, from Nov. 21, 2014, through May 21, 2016. If you submitted an application for one of these three countries and we previously returned the application based on the May 20, 2015 deadline, you may now resubmit your complete application by Aug. 18, 2015.
To be eligible for TPS, you must demonstrate that you meet all eligibility criteria, including that you have been “continuously residing” in the United States since Nov. 20, 2014, and “continuously physically present” in the United States since Nov. 21, 2014. You must also undergo thorough security checks. Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS.
Additionally, you may apply for TPS even if you are a Liberian national currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) based on President Obama’s Sept. 26, 2014 memorandum. If you are a DED-covered Liberian national and you have an EAD or have applied for an EAD, you do not need to apply for another EAD related to this TPS designation. However, if you are granted TPS, you may request a TPS-related EAD at a later date as long as the TPS designation for Liberia remains in effect.The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending the initial registration deadline for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) from May 20, 2015, to Aug. 18, 2015, for eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries). Further details about the extension of the initial registration period appear in a Federal Register notice published today.
Through this Notice, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) has designated Nepal for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for a period of 18 months, effective June 24, 2015 through December 24, 2016. Under section 244(b)(1)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(B), the Secretary is authorized to designate a foreign state (or any part thereof) for TPS upon finding that the foreign state has experienced an earthquake resulting in a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions.This designation allows eligible Nepalese nationals (and aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Nepal) who have continuously resided in the United States since June 24, 2015, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since June 24, 2015 to be granted TPS.
A new Pew Research Center Poll was recently released which shows that a majority of Americans (and even a majority of Republicans) favor a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants who meet certain conditions.
To see the full article on the poll results see this link:
Here is brief extract and a link to an article from Juan Escalante about how different immigration reform programs look when you are a politician and when you have to live with it. (extra points for the Game of Thrones reference!)
Thanks to President Obama's recent executive action on immigration, today millions of immigrants would have been able to apply for relief. Sadly the Republican Party has blocked comprehensive immigration reform and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is now caught up in the courts, along with a program known as Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) — which could shield parents of U.S. citizens from deportation.
Republicans remain eager to deploy every maneuver they can to deny undocumented immigrants like myself peace of mind. Whether it is denying us driver's licenses, in-state tuition, or other opportunities that would facilitate the contributions of undocumented immigrants to this great country, the Republican Party continues to put speed bumps on our path.
I have US citizen clients who live in fear that their husband or wife will be taken up and shipped out of the country leaving them to care for children and maintain a household alone. To say nothing of being able to help their spouse who might be sent back to a country they haven't seen in decades with little more than the shirt on their back.
While we are waiting for expanded DACA and DAPA to be released from the Injunction ordered by a Federal Judge in Texas -- it is important to note that persons already granted deferred action under the initial DACA program need to start the renewal process well in advance of their employment authorization expiration date. See below
From: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, April 07, 2015 6:39 PM
Subject: USCIS Message: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Renewal
Please help us spread this message in immigrant communities:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood
Arrivals (DACA) that their current period of DACA and employment authorization could expire if they wait
too long to request renewal.
We strongly encourage you to submit your renewal request 150 to 120 days before your current period of
DACA and employment authorization will expire. Timely filing will help ensure USCIS has sufficient time
to consider your request.
On March 27, 2015, USCIS began mailing renewal reminder notices to DACA recipients 180 days prior to
the expiration date of their current period of DACA. Previously, these reminder notices were mailed 100
days in advance.
USCIS continues to accept initial and renewal requests for two-year grants of DACA under the guidelines
established in 2012. A federal district court order issued on February 16, 2015, enjoining USCIS from
implementing the expanded DACA guidelines did not impact USCIS’ ability to continue processing DACA
requests under the 2012 guidelines.
You may request renewal of DACA if you met the initial DACA guidelines and you:
• Did not depart the United States on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole;
• Have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent,
approved DACA request, up to the present time; and
• Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more
misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Visit uscis.gov/daca or uscis.gov/acciondiferida to get updates and all the information you need to make an
initial or renewal request for DACA.
As always, we encourage you to beware of immigration scams. Visit uscis.gov/avoidscams or
uscis.gov/eviteestafas to learn how to protect yourself and how to find authorized legal services.
Public Engagement Division
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
AILA Doc. No. 15040860. (Posted 4/8/15)
Starting Thursday, Mexico's 50 consulates in the U.S. will be able to issue birth certificates to Mexican citizens. The move will make it easier for Mexican immigrants to obtain driver's licenses, passports, work permits and protection from deportation under President Obama's upcoming executive action.
"It helps individuals really begin to formulate their formal identity in this country," said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. Prior to this change some immigrants in the U.S. relied on relatives in Mexico to get their birth certificates, which was a longer and more difficult process.
About half of the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are from Mexico, and experts believe about 3 million could be eligible for executive action under Obama's plan.
Mexican consulates will be able to access data from regional governments. Some rural villages where documents are not digitally recorded may not be covered, but consulates should be able to issue birth certificates for nearly all birthplaces.
Jessica Vaughan, policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies which advocates for tighter limits on immigration, said it is important that the U.S. communicate with Mexico to ensure the system is established effectively and with integrity.
WASHINGTON - Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has redesignated Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and extended the existing TPS designation for the country from April 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016. This allows eligible nationals of Syria (or persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) to register or re-register for TPS in accordance with thenotice published today in the Federal Register.
During the past year, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State reviewed the conditions in Syria. Based upon this review, Secretary Johnson determined that a redesignation and 18-month extension of TPS for Syria is warranted due to an ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Syria that prevent its nationals from returning in safety.
Individuals re-registering for TPS:
Current Syrian TPS beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during a 60-day period that runs from Jan. 5, 2015, through March 6, 2015. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible once the 60-day period begins. USCIS will not accept applications before Jan. 5, 2015.
The 18-month extension allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Eligible Syria TPS beneficiaries who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of Sept. 30, 2016. USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants may not receive their new EADs until after their current EADs expire. Therefore, USCIS is automatically extending current TPS Syria EADs with a March 31, 2015, expiration date for an additional six months. These existing EADs are now valid through Sept. 30, 2015.
To re-register, individuals must submit:
Individuals applying for TPS for the first time:
For Syrian nationals (and persons having no nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) who do not currently have TPS, the TPS redesignation may allow them to apply for TPS if they have continuously resided in the United States since Jan. 5, 2015, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since April 1, 2015. In addition, applicants must meet all other TPS eligibility and filing requirements.
To apply for the first time, individuals must submit:
Individuals who still have a pending initial TPS application under Syria do not need to submit a new Form I-821. However, if such individuals currently have a TPS-related EAD and want a new EAD, they must submit:
DHS anticipates that approximately 5,000 individuals will be eligible to re-register for TPS under the existing designation of Syria and estimates that approximately 5,000 additional individuals may be eligible for TPS under the redesignation.
Applicants may request that USCIS waive any fees based on inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a written request. Fee-waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. USCIS will reject the TPS application of any applicant who fails to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee-waiver request.
Additional information about TPS for Syria—including guidance on eligibility, the application process and where to file—is available online at www.uscis.gov/tps. The Federal Register notice published today contains further details about this extension and redesignation of Syria for TPS, including application requirements and procedures, and the automatic six-month extension of current TPS Syria EADs.
All USCIS forms are free. Applicants can download these forms from the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/forms or request forms by calling USCIS toll-free at 1-800-870-3676.
Applicants seeking information about the status of their individual cases can check My Case Status Online or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).
Attorney Randall Drew talks about new immigration action by President Obama in this month's NH Bar News
Bar News - December 17, 2014
Opinion: A NH Immigration Lawyer’s Perspective on Executive Action
By: Randall Drew
Perhaps you have heard that President Barack Obama recently declared himself King and tore up the Constitution to thwart the rule of law regarding immigration. Well, that’s not exactly true. The president did give a speech and published two presidential memoranda on immigration. Those two memos, however, were both rather vague and announced some pretty uncontroversial ideas, such as “…streamline and improve the legal immigration system…” and “...modernize the information technology infrastructure underlying the visa processing system…”
The controversial policy changes have been left to the cabinet members of the relevant agencies; particularly Homeland Security and Labor. There are several changes coming to the inner workings of the immigration system – things that should improve the efficiency and customer service aspects of the bureaucracy quite a lot. But nobody cares about that, unless they are trying to hire an immigrant worker, petition for a family member, or work on immigration cases, as I do.
The really big news about the executive action is the shift of enforcement resources away from “wide net” interior sweep toward a targeted approach against dangerous criminals and recent arrivals, and concentrating on the Southwestern border. As part of this kinder/gentler approach, the secretary of Homeland Security (at the president’s direction) has expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and created an additional class of persons eligible for deferred action: parents of US citizen or lawful permanent resident children. This new program is called the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA).
Is this executive amnesty? Not really. Amnesty implies forgiveness of a violation of immigration law (e.g. illegal entry or visa overstay) and a path to permanent status or citizenship. DACA and DAPA provide only a temporary formal deferral of a person’s removal from the United States. It does not end the threat that eventually, even a DACA or DAPA beneficiary will face deportation. What DACA and DAPA have done and will do is allow some people who have been living here without documents to come out of the shadows; get temporary permission to work, obtain a legitimate social security number, file a proper tax return, and get a legal driver’s license. It allows people to stop breaking the law out of necessity.
If you are in the self-deportation camp (the philosophy that we should make living here such an awful and treacherous experience that undocumented people will voluntarily choose to leave) you are not going to like these measures. I really can’t help with that. I would only point out that we are talking about persons who entered the United States when they were children and/or are parents of US citizen children and who have resided in the country since 2009. I personally am not interested in discovering how spiteful, horrid, petty and mean we can be to these folks – but maybe that’s just me.
Sure, I am biased; this will be good for my business. In truth, I also am hoping that these program changes will last long enough to see a comprehensive immigration reform act pass through Congress. But, biased or not, I also have likely met more immigrants (legal or otherwise) than many Bar News readers, in my close to 20 years as an immigration lawyer. That is how I know that many of them will flourish when given this chance.
Having even a temporary status can allow them to seek a better job for higher wages, pursue higher education (although without financial assistance), and have some stability to make financial decisions like renting a better apartment, registering a car, opening a bank account – things many of us take for granted. These are all positives for the previously undocumented and for the state’s economy and public safety in general.
I commented here back in May on a change to NH law for 2015 that will increase the penalty for first offense driving without a license from a violation to a misdemeanor, if the driver had never had a valid license. I suspect this change will mostly impact undocumented immigrants who are not eligible to receive a New Hampshire driver’s license. Yet they still have to get kids to school, bring home groceries from the store, and get to work and back – usually on a non-Uber-ready budget. For some, but by no means all, DACA and DAPA will change that, so they can stop looking over their shoulders and get on with living their lives.