On June 18, 2012, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, in conjunction with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,  held a Public Engagement session in which it addressed some questions concerning Obama’s deferred action plan for DREAM Act eligible immigrants.  It was announced on June 15, that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.

Featured speakers included:

·         David Aguilar, Acting Commissioner, CBP

·         Alejandro Mayorkas, Director, USCIS

·         John Morton, Director, ICE

Key points discussed included:

  1. Deferred Action procedures are currently being developed and will be implemented within 60 days;
  2. Deferred Action does not grant legal status – it is a determination under the grant of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal from the United States;
  3. Immigrants will not accrue unlawful presence time while having Deferred Action status, however it does not absolve previous time;
  4. USCIS anticipates that the following documentation will be needed to prove eligibility for Deferred Action – financial records, medical records, employment records or tax returns, and school records;
  5. Dependent family members are not eligible for Deferred Action – they will need to qualify on their own;
  6. Customs and Border Protection will continue to detain and interview all immigrants – if it is determined that they meet the criteria for  Deferred Action, they will be referred to USCIS.

The Law Offices of Dayna Kelly will continue to update its readers concerning this ever changing topic.

President Obama has announced that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, who do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and who meet several key criteria will be considered for conditional status – relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. DREAM beneficiaries must show that they meet the criteria listed below.  They would be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would be able to apply for work authorization.

Criteria include:

  1. Entered to the United States before the age of sixteen;
  2. Continuous residence in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
  3. Currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  4. 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. Are not above the age of thirty.

While this guidance takes effect immediately, The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement expect to begin implementation of the application processes within the next sixty days.  The Department of Homeland Security will continue to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a national security or public safety risk, including immigrants convicted of crimes, violent criminals, felons, and repeat immigration law offenders.

A link to the announcement can be found here.

The White House website has a video of President Obama speaking on this issue.

A hearing was held on March 7, 2012 concerning H.R. 3808, the Scott Gardner Act.  The act aims to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to direct the Attorney General to take into custody an alien who is unlawfully in the United States and is arrested by a state or local law enforcement officer for driving while intoxicated or a similar violation. The act directs the officer, upon reasonable grounds to believe the individual is an alien, to verify the individual’s immigration status, and to take into custody for federal transfer an individual who is unlawfully in the United States. The Act also directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to reimburse states and localities for related transportation costs when such transportation is not done in the course of normal duties.
This bill was sponsored by North Carolina Representative Rep Myrick, Sue Wilkins [NC-9], and cosponsored by Rep Coble, Howard [NC-6] Rep McIntyre, Mike [NC-7] and three others.
A video webcast of the hearing can be watched here.

Until recently, Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) maintained two locations for listing and searching SEVP-certified schools: the SEVP home page on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website and the new Study in the States website.  In order to offer a more user-friendly experience, SEVP is removing the school listing from the SEVP home page on ICE.gov and will now host the SEVP-certified school search solely on the Study in the States website. Users may now search for certified schools by name, city or state.

A bill was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would allow international students (F-1 visa holders) to enroll in public high schools for longer than one year.  The “Strengthening America’s Public Schools Through Promoting Foreign Investment Act” would ensure that officials at all Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified K-12 public schools can enroll students for more than one year, just as regulations already allow for private K-12 schools.  U.S. Representatives Bill Owens, (D-NY), and Chris Gibson, (R-NY) introduced the bill last week hoping to stave off the threat of closures in rural school districts that are experiencing decreased enrollment.

More information can be found here and here.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has updated it’s list of Student and Exchange Visitor Program approved schools effective 1/12/12.

 

An updated list, as of 12/16/11, of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Student and Exchange Visitor Program approved schools.

 

An updated list, as of 12/9/11, of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Student and Exchange Visitor Program approved schools.

Here are just a few local North Carolina SEVP approved schools:

Appalachian State University – Boone, NC

Duke University, Med.Ctr., & Health System – Durham, NC

East Carolina University – Greenville, NC

Meredith College – Raleigh, NC

North Carolina Central University – Durham, NC

North Carolina State University – Raleigh, NC

The University of North Carolina @ Wilmington, Chapel Hill, Pembroke, Charlotte, and Greensboro, NC

For a full list of North Carolina Schools, please click here.

 

 

An updated list, as of 11/16/11, of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Student and Exchange Visitor Program approved schools.

 

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement has released a Student Visitor Exchange Program user manual, dated 6/24/11, providing guidance for users on the I-17 process, including guidelines for updating a certification application, an overview of the recertification application, and more. The manual reflects changes to the Student Visitor Exchange Program effective with version 6.8.  Please click here to view the manual.