States issue driver's licenses under the authority of the tenth Amendment. Congress authorized Real ID in 2005, making guidelines for state-authorized driver's licenses, including proof of legal status.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have sanctioned laws to permit undocumented immigrants to acquire driver's licenses. These states—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington—issue a permit if a candidate provides certain documentation, for example, a foreign birth declaration, identification, or consular card and proof of current residency in the state.
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WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued new policy updates in the USCIS Policy Manual to clarify the criteria and circumstances for expedited processing; improve request for evidence (RFE) and notice of intent to deny (NOID) guidance; and increase the validity period for initial and renewal employment authorization documents (EADs) for certain noncitizens with pending adjustment of status applications.
“We are taking action to eliminate policies that fail to promote access to the legal immigration system, and will continue to make improvements that help individuals navigate the path to citizenship, and that modernize our immigration system,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas.
“These policy measures are consistent with the Biden-Harris administration's priorities to eliminate unnecessary barriers to our nation’s legal immigration system and reduce burdens on noncitizens who may be eligible for immigration benefits,” said Acting USCIS Director Tracy Renaud. “USCIS is committed to promoting policies and procedures that ensure we operate in a fair, efficient, and humane manner that reflects America’s heritage as a land of opportunity for those who seek it.”
Under the updated expedite criteria policy, benefit requestors and USCIS officers are provided further guidance on when expedited processing may be warranted. Additionally, nonprofit organizations whose request is in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States may request that a benefit be considered for expedited processing, even if premium processing is available for that benefit.
Expedited processing is a special-situation service that USCIS considers for benefit requestors who urgently need their request for immigration benefits adjudicated. USCIS reviews such requests on a case-by-case basis. Expedited requests for noncitizens with a final order of removal or noncitizens in removal proceedings are coordinated between USCIS and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny
USCIS is returning to the adjudicative principles of a June 2013 memo that instructed agency officers to issue an RFE or NOID when additional evidence could potentially demonstrate eligibility for an immigration benefit. As part of the updated RFE and NOID policy, USCIS is rescinding a July 2018 memo that permitted agency officers to deny certain immigration benefit requests instead of first issuing an RFE or NOID.
This updated policy will ensure that benefit requestors are given an opportunity to correct innocent mistakes and unintentional omissions. In general, a USCIS officer will issue an RFE or NOID when the officer determines additional information or explanation may potentially establish eligibility for an immigration benefit.
Employment Authorization Documents
Updated policy guidance will increase the current one-year validity period on both initial and renewal EADs to two years for certain adjustment of status applicants. Increasing the validity period on EADs for certain adjustment applicants is expected to reduce the number of employment authorization requests USCIS receives and allow the agency to shift limited resources to other priority areas.
This guidance was issued due to ongoing processing delays affecting the completion of adjustment of status applications. Renewing EADs in this category is generally free, and USCIS received nearly 370,000 adjustment-related employment authorization requests in fiscal year 2020.
For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
If you are from Venezuela or have a friend or family form Venezuela, they can apply for TPS (temporary Protected status).
Filing Period is from March 9, 2021 – Sept. 5, 2021. Your will have to prove that you have been residing in the U.S. since March 9, 2021. We encourage you to register as soon as possible within the 180-day registration period.
The Biden administration declared the designation of Venezuela for TPS, effective March 9, 2021 through September 9, 2022. TPS offers protection from removal (deportation), work authorization, and the opportunity to request permission to travel abroad. The 180-day registration period is now open through September 5, 2021.
It is anticipated that approximately 300,000 individuals will benefit from this TPS designation.
TO QUALIFY YOU MUST:
1) Be a national of Venezuela (or a noncitizen without a nationality who last habitually resided in Venezuela);
2) Have continuously resided in the United States since March 8, 2021; and
3) Have been continuously physically present in the United States since March 9, 2021
WHO IS EXCLUDED:
1. Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States;
2. Have a non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds; or
3. Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum. These include, but are not limited to, participating in the persecution of another individual or engaging in or inciting terrorist activity.
WHEN TPS IS APPROVED
If TPS was granted by an IJ, the recipient can apply for an employment authorization (EAD) by filing Form I-765 with USCIS and attaching the judge’s order. Otherwise applicants can file form I-765 to obtain a work permit. Once the a valid work permit is approved, you can apply for a Social Security Number as well as a driver’s license or state identification in accordance with state law
WARNING: TPS for Venezuela is only valid for an 18-month period, at which time it may be renewed, depending on the political situation in Venezuela
The Biden organization on Tuesday officially reassessed ex-President Donald Trump's "stay in Mexico" strategy, which constrained huge number of refuge searchers from Central America to remain south of the U.S. line until their cases were heard, causing a serious bottleneck that will take years to clear up. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he was finishing the approach, officially known as the Migration Protection Protocols, in a reminder to organization heads after a months long survey by his office. The Biden organization briefly stopped the program on Jan. 20, its first day in office."I have discovered that MPP doesn't satisfactorily or economically improve border control so as to legitimize the program's broad operational burgeons and other deficits. Throughout the program, line experiences expanded during specific periods and diminished during others," the update said. Mayorkas said the strategy — which Trump had hailed as a powerful instrument in getting the southern boundary and worldwide associations had censured as harsh — had created "blended outcomes." It is surely obvious that some evacuation procedures led as per MPP were finished more speedily than is normal for non-detained cases, however this accompanied certain huge downsides that are cause for concern, he opined. "The emphasis on speed was not generally coordinated with adequate endeavors to guarantee that conditions in Mexico empowered travelers to go to their migration procedures," he added, taking note of that a high number of cases were heard in absentia. Under Biden, crossing the U.S. line has become like a lottery. Timing is everything. While one of the Trump organization's objectives for the approach was to lessen the build-up of sylum cases, "throughout the program excesses expanded," Mayorkas said Trump's strategy additionally didn't do a lot to mitigate the strain on U.S. staff watching the border — more than 25% of the 68,000 individuals who were sent back to Mexico were later "tied to re-enter the United States between ports of entry Mayorkas stated.Mayorkas memo said that they are thinking about different approaches to reform the U.S. immigration laws and that a critical piece of the changes includes working with Mexico and Central American nations to stem the quantity of asylum seekers while "extending help to battle the growing influx of asylum seekers. I share the conviction that we can just oversee movement in a powerful, dependable, and sturdy way looking past our own borders, Mayorkas commented
In an effort to modernize our immigration system, Biden introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act in the Senate and the House. This new law would put life into President Biden’s plan to restore compassion and American values to our immigration system
Over 11 million undocumented immigrants have been waiting a very long time to arrive. This proposal, if approved by Congress will be the second massive immigration reform bill, This immigration reform bills follows a recent federal court decision on the Obama-era program shielding undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children from deportation. This program called DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) DACA has been a thorn on the side of anti-immigrants and for our recent administration.
A little bit of history, As part of his anti-immigration agenda the Trump administration struggled to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) in 2017, but the US Supreme Court blocked this effort. Although Trump was unable to dismantle DACA, the 2017 Supreme Court’s ruling, stated that new applications for DACA would not be accepted and renewals would be limited to one year instead of two amid an ongoing review. The memo had sought to buy time while the administration decided its next steps.During the next few years, Trump repeatedly railed against DACA as part of his anti-immigration agenda but three years into his administration has been unable to end the program as promised following a series of lost lawsuits.A federal district judge in a 5-4 decision directed the Trump administration to fully reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program,. This allows nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to live and work here The Supreme Court stated that in this case, DHS did not follow the proper procedures. Nothing prevents the department from trying again.Daca has been an ongoing struggle for the large group that defines them but another, but there is an even larger group, 11 million undocumented immigrants living in this country for many years; many over 40 years. These people live, work and pay taxes to the U.S. of A.
One of the ever-present arguments is that immigrants have a higher rate of criminality than American Citizens. This is completely untrue. A recent article published in the PNAS ( National Academy of Sciences) arrived at a different conclusion. In their opinion:
The consequences of criminal sanctions due to their precarious legal status may also be relevant. Far more than legal immigrants, undocumented immigrants have strong incentives to avoid criminal involvement for fear of detection and deportation. In this regard, lower rates of crime for undocumented individuals are consistent with a deterrence-based argument, whereby undocumented immigrants face considerably harsher sanctions (mainly deportation) from criminal wrongdoing compared to their citizen and legal immigrant counterparts."Taken together, these perspectives—assimilation, selection, and deterrence—help us understand why the observed crime rates for undocumented immigrants were considerably lower than those for legal immigrants and native-born citizens. Each, in turn, offers a fruitful avenue for further research on undocumented immigration and crime." 40Biden’s proposal attempts to cure today’s immigration dilemma. In an effort to reverse Trump’s draconian laws, he has proposed The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021. The main thrust of the bill is the nuclear family. It provides industrious people who enrich our communities every day and who have lived here for years, in some cases for decades, an opportunity to earn citizenship. It also eliminates so-called “3 and 10-year bars,” and other provisions that keep families apart. This bill also includes permanent partnerships and eliminates discrimination facing LGBTQ and families.
As far as border control, forget Trump's antiquated wall, think into the future.Biden will implement a plan to deploy technology to expedite screening and enhance the ability to identify narcotics and other contraband at every land, air, and seaport of entry. It also authorizes and provides backing for plans to improve infrastructure at ports of entry to enhance the ability to process asylum seekers and uncover, proscribe, disrupt and prevent narcotics from entering the United States.
Importantly, the bill creates an earned path to citizenship for our immigrant neighbors, colleagues, parishioners, community leaders, friends, and loved ones—including Dreamers and the essential workers who have risked their lives to serve and protect American communities.
Stay tuned. More to come.
40., “Why are immigrants’ incarceration rates so low? Evidence on selective immigration, deterrence, and deportation” (Tech. Rep. w13229, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2007).