Immigration benefits made available by President Obama's executive actions are most vulnerable to change, but nothing can happen until after Jan. 20.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Please know that we understand that many of you may be deeply concerned about the impact of Trump’s election on your immigration status and options, particularly those of you who currently have DACA. We share your concern, but Trump cannot take any action until January 20, 2017 when he is inaugurated. Therefore, the DACA program will continue without interruption until at least that date, and those of you that have employment authorization through the DACA program will continue to be able to legally work until at least that date.
The DACA program was created through Executive Action by President Obama. Unfortunately, there is the possibility that the DACA program may be terminated through Executive Action taken by President Trump, however, until that time, you should proceed under the assumption and hope that the program will continue.
With that said, we highly encourage any of you who have DACA that expires in the next 150 days or less to immediately file for renewal of your DACA. In addition, any individuals who are eligible for the program or who will soon be eligible upon your 15th birthday are encouraged to immediately file for the benefit. Although it is certainly possible that the program may be terminated following Trump’s inauguration, you will be in a far better position with a pending application for initial or a renewal DACA application.
With regard to Advance Parole and the possibility of applying for permission to re-enter the US with a travel document based on your DACA, we encourage you to consult with our office as soon as possible about whether we advise doing so in your specific case.
Provisional Waiver Program
Many of you may be pursuing the Provisional Waiver Program or intending to do so soon. This program was also created by an Executive Action by President Obama. While a waiver of the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility has existed for many years, President Obama made it possible for the waiver to be filed from within the United States and for the applicant to wait for adjudication prior to departing the US to appear at US Embassy or Consulate in the home country to apply for an Immigrant Visa. The effect of the Provisional Waiver Program was to drastically reduce the amount of time families were separated by eliminating the necessity for the applicant to remain out of the US while the waiver application was processed. Again, Trump cannot take any action to eliminate the PWP program until he is inaugurated to the presidency.
Accordingly, those of you with pending PWP applications need do nothing at this time. Those of you who have PWP applications that are approaching readiness to be filed are highly encouraged to finalize preparation and get the application filed at the earliest possible date. Our office will work with you to facilitate filing as soon as possible. Those of you who have not yet started your PWP case are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.
Criminal arrests and convictions can have significant impact on your immigration status. Those of you who have criminal arrests or convictions are highly encouraged to contact an immigration attorney to determine whether your history is likely to have an impact on your immigration status or future options, and whether any action can be taken to minimize the adverse impact of your history.
We remain available to answer questions and concerns, but understand that while we wish we could predict the future, we do not and cannot know what actions may be taken by the Trump administration or Congress in the future. We will certainly post any news that we receive and keep you informed of any developments. In the meantime, please know that changes, even adverse ones, take time and we will be here to help you determine how they may impact you.
Attorneys Megan J. Kight, John A. Broyles, and the team at BKR
#immigration #executiveaction #trump