Tuesday, August 3, 2010


This is really major news and welcome news for a change. New draft memorandum by USCIS director Alejandro Mayorkas shows the director's support for major immigration policy changes by USCIS in the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR).
The memo contains outline to help thousands or maybe more -- of people out of status or people without other benefit potential under current policies and suggests that by policy interpretations, memorandums and tools like deferred action the agency can finally start helping people.
Among the provisions talked about are "deferred enforced departure" to potentially help those who otherwise might qualify for the DREAM Act as well as long time residents (those here since before 1996). Another one is allowing TPS applicants who entered without inspection to adjust their status, granting Public Interest Parole in certain circumstances for applicants who are eligible to adjust their status.
There are also legal immigration reforms - work authorization for certain H-4s, expanding the grace periods for non-immigrant visas, dual intent for most major non-immigrant categories (including O, P, E, and F), more premium processing categories, automatic extension of employment authorization documents of 240 days when applications to extend are timely filed and issuing two year EADs in more circumstances.
In addition, the automatic NTA (putting people in deportation proceedings) upon denial of immigration applications would also be significantly reduced under this schematic.
These changes would represent the most significant changes at USCIS in decades, at a time of tightened immigration policy. Hopefully, Mayorkas will get real back up from the White House in order to get these reforms through since it now looks like CIR is not happening any time soon.
USCIS has already commented that they will not comment on notional, pre-decisional memos, which are not binding or do not constitute official action or policy. We hope the director is successful in his efforts, these will be a very welcome change indeed from USCIS.


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