Saturday, June 16, 2012

Is the glass half empty of half full?

While the reactions from Dreamers across the country are very different, we could all agree that it is something to be excited about, or as someone wrote on facebook earlier today, all dreamers agree that although not sure how full the glass is, there is definitely water in it.

We all understand the naked policy going on here. We understand what President Obama is doing and I will give him credit for playing the political game, the dirty political game. You know what though? That is ok with me, I will eat the cake as someone put it, if it means that my best friend won't get deported next year and can finally use her college degree and help her mom pay for all of their medical needs for her sister, if it means that they will have steady rent for a while, if it means that our conversations will not be as frustrating about what she could do to survive... I will eat that cake and all others that Obama wants to give us if it means that my friends can finally work and if it means that this will bring some peace and certainty to their lives. I definitely remain optimistic, but i also remain very skeptical on how this will affect many of our Dreamers.

There are many things to consider regarding yesterday's news and we cannot mislead dreamers to start sending applications to USCIS. No. There are loopholes and many factors to consider before we start sending everyone to get a work permit. Please analyze them in the links provided.

Citizen Orange did a fantastic job in summarizing the Pros and Cons on Janet Napolitano's Memo. Please take a careful look at it and share it with others.

Also, USCIS just published on their website the Deferred Action Process. It is a very informative section with a Q & A.

Pros and Cons as Outlined in Citizen Orange:

  • It allows people to apply affirmatively, not just after they have been caught up in the deportation process. This will potentially benefit a much greater number of people than previous guidance.
  • Work permits are available. Many, though not all, of applicants granted deferred action will be eligible for work permits.
  • A two year period of deferred action will be granted to successful applicants.
  • The policy affects all three immigration agencies. Today's policy memo follows a series of similar memos over the past two years which have done little to stem the tide of record deportations under this president. Previous guidance on exercising prosecutorial discretion in line with enforcement priorities was directed only to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which ignored the guidance. Today's memo comes from Secretary Napolitano and is directed to all three agencies: Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and ICE. Hopefully the policy will be applied more comprehensively across the agencies than the prosecutorial discretion policy has been.
  • USCIS will have more control over the process. The majority of applications will be reviewed by USCIS, which adjudicates applications for immigration benefits and is not formally tasked with immigration enforcement.
  • This is not an executive order. The policy does not grant Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which are designated by the President by executive order on humanitarian grounds. Even though the President decides who does or doesn't qualify for TPS and DED, these statuses carry certain due process protections. Applications can be appealed in immigration court if initially denied. TPS or DED status cannot be terminated without cause. In contrast, the policy announced today only grants deferred action. There is no right to appeal a denial. While applicants can ask for supervisory review of an initial denial, that supervisory decision will be final.

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