Monday, June 25, 2012

Update on Latest National Immigration News

From Wendy at CLUE-OC:

Over the last couple of weeks, there has been quite a bit of movement around Immigration in our nation. Here is a brief timeline of the major events:

Tuesday, June 5th: DREAM Students began occupying President Obama's campaign offices in key states asking the President to offer Administrative Relief to the thousands of youth known as "DREAMers" Read More

-Tuesday, June 12th: Over 150 prominent Evangelical leaders release a Statement of Principals for Immigration Reform. Some key leaders of this statement held a high powered press conference in Washington DC with all major news media outlets covering the story. Read More 

-Thursday, June 14th: Time Magazine releases the cover of it's latest issue featuring 36 Undocumented Immigrants stating, "We are Americans, Just not legally." (On stands June 25th) Read More

-Friday, June 15th: President Obama announces a new memorandum, effective Immediately, offering deferred action against deportations and the opportunity for work authorization for DREAM eligible young people meeting a list of specific qualifications. Read More 

-Monday, June 25th: 
This morning, the Supreme Court handed down a 5-3 decision striking down three key provisions of Arizona's SB 1070 law. They upheld, but limited, the scope the law's "show me your papers" provision requiring law enforcement officers to determine the immigration status of anyone they have "reasonable suspicion" to believe is in the country illegally. Read More 

Federal Officials also said Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be selective in responding to the expected increase in calls from Arizona and other police agencies about immigration status of people they pull over. Officials said ICE will not respond to the scene unless the person in question meets certain criteria -- such as being wanted for a felony. Read More

President Obama Regarding Arizona's SB 1070
President Obama Regarding Arizona's SB 1070

Important Information for DREAMers
We are eager and excited to see how Obama's policy will tangibly impact the lives of young DREAMers from across the nation. We also know that with big news like this, a lot of misleading information and confusion is easily spread. So in an effort to share the latest and most accurate information, we have provided a breakdown for your convenience.

Important terms and definitions:
Deferred Action - basically a postponement and protection against deportation
Work Authorization - essentially, a piece of paper that allows you to work legally in this country
Removal Proceedings - The process of being deported
NTA - Notice to Appear, basically a demand to appear in front of an Immigration judge to determine your status in the country
USCIS - United States Citizenship and Immigration services, they process all requests for visas and Immigrant benefits
ICE - Immigration and Customs Enforcement, they enforce Immigration law

President Obama Speaks on Department of Homeland Security Immigration Announcement
President Obama Speaks on Department of Homeland Security Immigration Announcement

All of the following Criteria must be met to qualify for Obama's new protection:

1. Individual must have come to the United States under the age of sixteen
2. Individual must have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012 and are present in the United States on June 15, 2012
3. Individual must currently be in shcool, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharge veterans of the Coast Guard of Armed Forces of the United States
4. Individual must have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
5. Individual must not be above the age of thirty

What it isn't:
-Amnesty, a path to Legal Permanent Residency or Citizenship
-The Dream Act
-A change in the Law
-Comprehensive Immigration Reform
-An Executive Order

What it is:
-Protection for a vulnerable and important group within our country from deportation
-A way for many eligible and deserving youth to come out of the shadows, continue their education, and contribute to the economy more fully by allowing them to work legally without the threat of deportation
-Prosecutorial Discretion, basically changing the way the Law is enforced, which is within the authority of the President

What we know:
-This memo will be implemented within 60 days of when it was announced, so sometime around August 16th
-Those in removal proceedings or with a final order to be removed who qualify, should request deferred action with ICE immediately
-Those NOT in removal proceedings who believe they qualify SHOULD NOT turn themselves into ICE, but rather wait for USCIS to release the implementation plan and apply directly with them once the application process is available
-Those who believe they qualify should begin gathering documentation proving they meet the criteria listed above
-Applying for Deferred Action and Work Authorization will not trigger an Immigration investigation into the applicants relatives
-Those who apply and are denied will be given an NTA, but not necessarily be placed directly in removal proceedings

What we still don't know:
-How those who qualify will apply
-The intricacies of the exact meaning of each of the qualifications
-If those who receive this form of temporary relief will be able to travel outside of the country
-What would happen to this policy if a new president were to be elected to office.

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