Obama Announces Executive Action on Immigration and Expands Deferred Action

Tonight Obama announced an executive order to provide temporary relief for some undocumented immigrants. The biggest points from the announcement are the following:

1. DACA eligibility will be expanded to cover all undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before the age of 16, and not just those born after June 15, 1981. The required entry date will be adjusted from June 15, 2007 to January 1, 2010. The relief will now last for three years rather than two.

2. DHS will extend eligibility for deferred action to individuals who (i) are not removal priorities (i.e. have not been convicted of certain crimes), (ii) have been in this country at least 5 years, (iii) have children who on the date of the announcement are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, and (iv) present no other factors that would make a grant of deferred action inappropriate.

3. The provisional waiver program DHS announced in January 2013 for undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens will be expanded to include the spouses and children of lawful permanent residents, as well as the adult children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. At the same time, the “extreme hardship” standard that must be met to obtain the waiver will be reassessed (and presumably will be less stringent.)

Immigration lawyers at Wiley & Jobson will continue to provide updates as more details of this program are disclosed. Please note that at this time there is no procedure in place to file any application, and the implementation of the program will likely take several months. We are happy to consult with potential applicants to determine your eligibility, however.