The President has given his speech, but the formal memo is not expected until tomorrow. I have some preliminary information from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), which is getting its information directly from the White House. Here are the key provisions.
Deferred Action for Parents (DAP) is the cornerstone of the President’s action. Parents of US citizens and LPRs who have been continuously present for at least five years, and since at least Jan 1, 2010 will be able to get employment authorization (and social security card and driver’s license) if they can pass a background check and prove they’ve been paying their taxes, presumably for at least five years. The status will be valid for five years. The White House is hoping to get the program up and running in a few months. No one will be able to apply before Christmas. No news on what criminal history would make one ineligible.
2. Expanded DACA
The DACA program will expand to eliminate the upper age limit. Applicants must prove continuous presence since at least Jan 1, 2010. It will also be for three year increments. [correction: I previously reported that the education requirement was being eliminated. That was an error. It appears that there is still an education requirement.]
3. Expanded I-601A
I-601A applicants will be able to use LPR spouses and parents as the petitioner and/or qualifying relative. The definition of “Extreme Hardship” will be expanded and clarified (!).
4. Expansion of PIP
Parole-in-place will be available to families of people in the process of enlisting in the military. (aside: I don’t understand how that’s substantially different from the current PIP program.)
5. Pre-registration for AOS
For employment-based cases, if the I-140 is approved, but a visa is not yet available, and the person is currently in valid status (e.g. H1B), the person can “pre-register” for adjustment of status and get the benefits of a pending I-485, which would be an EAD and Advance Parole and continuing lawful status. There is no indication that something similar will be available to those with an approved I-130 in a preference category where the visa is not yet available.
ICE will focus its efforts on really bad people (suspected terrorists, drug traffickers, convicted felons, gang members, etc.), people with multiple misdemeanors, very recent entrants, and people with outstanding orders for removal. If you are in that last group, you need a lawyer RIGHT NOW!
7. Investors and Entrepreneurs
Certain investors and entrepreneurs who create jobs will be paroled into the country or possibly granted parole-in-place. No more details at this time, but it is presumed that they will have to invest substantially and/or create a lot of jobs.