Two pieces of news today that give us continuing hope that immigration reform will become a reality this year.
- President Obama and his staff continued meetings today with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (this is a group of 27 Hispanic Congresspersons). ABC News reports that President Obama will make a significant announcement on immigration next Tuesday during a trip to Las Vegas.
- The Washington Post reports that a bipartisan group of influential senators, who have been meeting quietly since the election, have reached agreement on core principles and may announce a plan for comprehensive immigration reform as early as Friday next week. The Post article states that this agreement, represents “the most substantive bipartisan effort” towards immigration reform in years.
There have been no details released from either the Administration or Congress. However, we believe that the political will for immigration reform in both the Democratic and Republican parties is at its highest level in years.
UnidosNow is holding a series of rallies for immigration reform with Vern Buchanan in attendance today 18 January, and tomorrow, 19 January. The first meeting is in Bradenton and the second is in Sarasota. Come out and let your voice be heard!
Hope it helps and have a happy Thanksgiving!
I was recently asked this question by a reporter from “Biz941″. Employers should definitely be aware of Deferred Action. It creates a path for those who previously could not work legally to join the labor force.
To review, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a new government policy announced by President Obama on June 15th, 2012 and enacted on August 15th, 2012. In essence the President announced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will no longer pursue children of illegal immigrants who arrived in the US while minors as priority targets for deportation if they are granted Deferred Action. The executive order also created a path for people who meet the Deferred Action requirements to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and a Social Security Number.
This is important because it means that immigrants who previously could not work due to their legal status can now do so legally. This has the potential to widen the labor pool. But there still exists the potential for fraud. Some workers who are not legally employable may present a false Social Security number when applying for a job. It is illegal to hire anyone who does not have a valid Social Security number. Employers should be aware of this and understand that a person who has been granted Deferred Action will also have a valid Social Security number and is legally employable.
One way to test whether an individual is legally employable is by using E-Verify, the web-based government program that allows employers to verify the legal status of their prospective workers, in most cases immediately. The idea is that E-Verify will make it easier for employers to obey the law and hire legal workers.
But, there is a small error rate. Sometimes the information entered into E-Verify does not find a match in either the Department of Homeland Security’s or the Social Security Administration’s databases. That is why it is important for employers who use E-Verify to make sure they enter their prospective employees’ information correctly and that they notify their prospective employees immediately if E-Verify returns what’s called a Tentative Non-Confirmation (TNC). Understand that it is possible that an individual recently granted Deferred Action and a valid EAD and SSN will still produce a Tentative Non-Confirmation with the E-Verify system.
At this point E-Verify is voluntary for most Florida businesses. Florida state agencies and contractors are required to use the program.
USCIS continues issuing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals approvals. The turn-around time is about 2 months on average. When we applied for Deferred Action we also applied for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Being granted Deferred Action means that the EAD will be issued soon. Once the EAD is issued, the recipients can take their documents to the local Social Security office and apply for a number. Social Security numbers take about 7 to 10 days to be issued. The closest office is at 2001 Siesta Dr., Suite 301, Sarasota, FL 34239. The phone number is 1-800-772-1213. They are open Monday-Friday 8:30am to 3pm.
Good luck to all those who applied for Deferred Action.
Last Friday, a representative from Jaensch Immigration Law Firm attended UnidosNow’s inaugural “Gala de las Americas” in Bradenton’s Municipal Auditorium. The Gala featured leaders from Southwest Florida and UnidosNow who spoke about the strength and potential of the Latin community. The keynote speaker was Marco Davis, Acting Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. He spoke at length about the many endeavors the White House is undertaking to improve the educational opportunities of Hispanics. Marco Davis’ presence and the event itself were testaments to the leadership of UnidosNow.
Jaensch Immigration Law Firm was pleased to support the event by sponsoring a student for UnidosNow’s Florida Leadership Academy.
We would like the share the latest statistics on Deferred Action:
Deferred Action applications accepted for processing: 179,794
Number of biometric services appointments scheduled: 158,408
Number of Deferred Action requests under review: 6,416
Number of requests approved: 4,591
Lou Robbio was born to an Italian father and a Polish mother in Providence, RI. After graduating from high school he spent some time in the Navy before going to Suffolk Law School in Boston. At first he planned on applying to the FBI but, in his first year of law school, decided to become a defense attorney. He worked for many years in Providence’s Federal court as a criminal defense attorney, and he argued some very high-profile cases.
His transition to Florida began rather dramatically when he had a heart attack several years ago on the courtroom floor in Providence. To him, it was a sign to retire. He moved to Florida where he remained active in criminal defense cases as a consultant.
Immigration Law: Removal Proceedings
Recently, Mr. Robbio has become more involved in immigration cases. He’s passionate about helping the under-served, especially those who arrived in the United States without inspection while they were still children. When people in this situation are served with a Notice to Appear for removal proceedings, Mr. Robbio will take on their case. The case resembles a normal court case; part of the reason Mr. Robbio enjoys the work. It starts with a Masters Calendar where Mr. Robbio enters the accused’s plea and relief claim and continues with a series of hearings, much like in a trial. Mr. Robbio’s criminal defense experience lends itself to removal proceedings cases.
Every defendant in a removal proceedings case is entitled to an interpreter and Mr. Robbio often has an interpreter with him when meeting with clients in order to ensure full comprehension on both sides. He serves clients from Miami to Orlando and can be reached via telephone: (941) 429-2194.
Mr. Robbio believes that every person in this country, regardless of how they arrived here, is entitled to the rights we have enshrined in our Constitution. He is devoted to defending those rights. He would be a good person to have on your side.
The I-765 and Social Security Numbers
More good news. Deferred Action applicants who are filling out question 9 on the I-765, Work Authorization Application, DO NOT need to list and Social Security numbers that were not officially issued to them.
We understand that many of those who entered the US without inspection attempt to use a false Social Security number in order to work. We have received many questions regarding this issue and how to answer question 9 in the I-765. Previously, it was difficult to say since we wanted applicants to be as forthright as possible. But every Deferred Action applicant is declaring themselves as having entered the country without inspection. Using a false Social Security number in addition could have been a disqualifying factor. We were advising clients on a case-by-case basis. For example, we examined whether they had a criminal record or any other potential problems before we advised them on listing or not listing their Social Security numbers.
This ruling takes the issue off the table and makes it simpler to fill out the I-765 and to advise on the rest of the application. We are glad to see this new policy take effect and hope that it attracts more qualifying individuals to apply for Deferred Action.
USCIS announced that they began accepting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals cases.
USCIS announced that they have begun approving Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals cases.
Sarasota Immigration Attorney Victoria Jaensch Karins says this is great news. It means that USCIS is moving more quickly on these cases than anticipated.
Deferred Action could help hundreds of thousands of people who are currently living in constant fear of deportation. Once granted, it can open the door to quite a few possibilities. For one thing, those who are granted Deferred Action and employment authorization receive a valid Social Security number. Secondly, they can apply for Advance Parole which may allow them to travel out of the country. Lastly, being granted Deferred Action allows individuals to apply for a valid Driver License.
All of these are good benefits. The Driver License will help all those who cannot drive legally at the moment due to their status. The Social Security number helps all those who are currently using a false number in order to work. It is possible that Advance Paroles will allow Deferred Action grantees to travel. It may be additionally helpful for those who are married to US-citizen spouses because it could allow them to submit their green card applications in the U.S. rather than going through the lengthy waiver process at a U.S. consulate abroad.
Despite this, we have noticed some hesitancy among potential applicants. We understand that there are two major reasons for this hesitancy. Some fear that applying for Deferred Action will increase the possibility of deportation since they will be declaring themselves to the government. Others have voiced a more general concern; is it worth applying? This is a good question because there is a possibility that this new policy will not be extended which would deny applicants the ability to renew after 2 years.
We can assure applicants that the USCIS has stated that it will not share their information with the enforcement bureau, ICE, except in certain situations relating to criminal matters, fraud or national security. In addition, we believe that the potential benefits of Deferred Action outweigh the costs. The possibility of obtaining a Social Security number and a valid Driver License, not to mention the opportunity to apply for Advance Parole, are benefits that applicants may not be presented with again.
Regardless of the reason for applying, we once again urge all potential applicants to ask a legal professional to help them. We have heard many questions regarding the application for Deferred Action. “Should I include all my Social Security numbers?” “How do I prove residency?” Etc. Unfortunately, there are many “notarios” who are trying to defraud applicants the way they did back in 2001 with the extension of law 245(i). Please seek the help of an experienced and ethical immigration attorney in order to avoid this situation.
- Those granted Deferred Action can Apply for Advance Parole!
- How to deal with the Social Security number issue.
- Como debo responder si he usado un numero de Seguro Social falso?
On Saturday, September 8th, Sarasota immigration attorney Victoria Jaensch Karins spoke at a UnidosNow forum on Deferred Action. The forum was held at the USF campus on Tamiami Trail.
UnidosNow has been organizing many events around immigration issues in general and Deferred Action in particular. They want to make sure that the public is as educated as possible about the new policy. While Deferred Action is bringing the hope of a better life to many people, there are many potential pitfalls and questions that come with the application. We witnessed some of those on Saturday.
One the biggest concerns had to do with the use of multiple or false social security numbers. Many people who came to the United States without inspection and then have tried to work have done so by picking up a false social security number. This presents a problem when applicants for Deferred Action fill out the I-765 Work Authorization Form and they have to enter “all Social Security numbers ever used.” Quite a few attendees at the forum asked questions about how best to approach this issue.
We do not think that the use of a false Social Security number by itself will disqualify an applicant BUT USCIS is reviewing each application in full and weighing each factor against the other. So, while having a false Social Security number may not be a disqualifying factor by itself, it may become so when combined with a criminal record. Therefore, we always recommend at least consulting with an attorney about your case before you apply.
A reminder: Deferred Action applicants are declaring themselves an illegal alien to a government bureau, there are quite a few potential pitfalls.
Another question that stuck out had to do with the possibility of getting a Driver License after applying for Deferred Action. The answer is YES! Those who are granted Deferred Action can apply for a Driver License.
One attendee in particular wanted to know what the benefits of Deferred Action were. With only a 2-yr validity and the possibility that the it may be repealed it can seem difficult to justify the effort and expense of applying for Deferred Action.
But we believe that the potential benefits far outweigh the costs. Once an applicant is granted Deferred Action s/he will have a valid Social Security number, a valid work authorization and the ability to apply for a valid driver’s license. A lot can happen in two years and there are strategies to gaining a more permanent status once Deferred Action has been granted.
Organización pro-inmigración, UnidosNow, ofrece nuevo foro informativo sobre la Acción Diferida y la manera de solicitar. Va a ocurrir el 8 de septiembre, 2012 y habrá dos sesiones, a la 1 y las 4. La dirección del encuentro es 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 34243.
Abogados de defensa criminal e inmigración, empleados de USF y representantes de UnidosNow presentatarán del tema de la Acción Diferida y responderán a preguntas.
El último encuentro así fue un éxito con mas de 300 personas en asistencia! Esperamos que venga tanta gente y más esta vez.
The granting of Deferred Action does not lead to any status or path to permanent residence. However, the USCIS has stated that those who are granted Deferred Action will be able to apply for a travel document called “Advance Parole” if they can show a good reason for the need to travel (e.g. humanitarian, education or work related).
This is a potentially great benefit to those who entered without inspection (EWI) and are married to US citizens. EWI’s married to US citizens are not currently eligible to obtain their green cards in the U.S. They must apply from their home country. Usually the return to the home country triggers the 3 to 10 year bar.
But now, people who are “paroled” in the U.S. based on the advance parole documents ARE eligible to obtain their green cards in the U.S.
Therefore, a person granted deferred action who also receives an advance parole would be able to obtain their green card through their US citizen spouse in the U.S. within 3-4 months of filing and would not require a waiver application.
I do not advise anyone who is granted Deferred Action to leave the U.S. with a travel document before first confirming that they will be able to come back to the U.S. In the coming months, we will see how this issue plays out.