As people digest the possible immigration changes of a new administration in Washington, there is an effort to calm the anxiety.
Today, President Obama issued a statement that is aimed at “DREAMers” who have had the opportunity to come out of the shadows, secure a legal status, including employment authorization and a driver’s license by virtue of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). DACA is based on executive action and may be done away with by a new administration.
Mr. Obama said: “These are kids who were brought here by their parents. They did nothing wrong. They’ve gone to school. They have pledged allegiance to the flag. Some of them have joined the military…By definition, if they’re part of this program, they are solid, wonderful young people of good character. And it is my strong belief that the majority of the American people would not want to see suddenly those kids have to start hiding again.”
Today, USCIS issued a statement that it is continuing to make its decisions based on the current law. In a stakeholders announcement, USCIS stated:
“Many USCIS customers have been contacting us with questions regarding current immigration programs and possible future immigration policies. We continue to process all applications, petitions, and requests consistent with current statutory laws, regulations, and policies. USCIS cannot comment on what sort of policies the incoming Administration may choose to prioritize or pursue. We remain focused on our mission to administer U.S. immigration laws and to provide a high level of service to our customers.”
On November 18th, USCIS published proposed regulations, some of which have been in the works for more than a decade. These regs, entitled “Retention of EB1, EB-2 and EB 3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High-Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers”, contain important clarifications of employment based immigration. This becomes final on January 17, 2017. Mr. Trump takes Office on January 20.
We encourage the public to be extra vigilant about immigration scams. Scammers take advantage of times of uncertainty. For information on protecting yourself and your loved ones, visit https://www.uscis.gov/avoid-scams . Remember, “the wrong help can hurt!”