Stoping Immigration… now what?


We have to wait.  The injunction will be lifted. To give you some background, On November 20, 2014, President Barack Obama announced an executive order to provide relief to certain undocumented immigrants in the United States.  On the same day, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson issued a Memorandum entitled “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children and with Respect to Certain Individuals Whose Parents are U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents” (widely known as the “Deferred Action Memo”). The Deferred Action Memo was intended to reflect new policies for the use of deferred action under the DAPA program. It directs U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services to establish a process for exercising prosecutorial discretion through the use of deferred action to individuals who:

1) Have, as of November 20, 2014, a son or daughter who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
2) Have continuously resided in the U.S. since before January 1, 2010;
3) Were physically present in the U.S. on November 20, 2014 and at the time of making a request for consideration of deferred action;
4) Had no lawful status on November 20, 2014;
5) Are not an enforcement priority; and
6) Present no other factors that, in the exercise of discretion, make the grant of deferred action inappropriate.

The Deferred Action Memo further provides that U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services should begin accepting applications from eligible applicants no later than one hundred and eighty days after November 20, 2014.

However, on February 16, 2015, just one day before the extended DACA program became effective, Judge Hansen of the U.S. District Court in Brownsville, Texas issued a temporary injunction which currently prevents the implementation of the DAPA Program. Immediately, on February 17, 2015 Secretary Jeh Johnson issued a statement saying that the Department of Justice would appeal that temporary injunction.  A couple of weeks ago, the Department of Justice lodged its appeal.  The appeal is expected to be decided within the next few weeks.

On November 20, 2014, Secretary Jeh Johnson issued another memo entitled “Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants” (widely known as the “Enforcement Priorities Memo”). The Enforcement Priorities Memo sets forth a new policy to provide guidance in the pursuit of ICE’s enforcement and removal priorities, which are national security, border security and public safety. According to the Enforcement Priorities Memo, aliens in the first priority are those who are threats to national security, border security and public safety. Aliens in the second priority are misdemeanants and new immigration violators, including aliens convicted of three or more misdemeanor offenses. Aliens in this second priority include (1) those convicted of three or more misdemeanor offenses; (2) aliens convicted of a significant misdemeanor; (3) aliens apprehended anywhere in the U.S. after unlawfully entering or re-entering the U.S. and who cannot establish that they have been physically present in the U.S. since January 1, 2014 and (4) aliens who have significantly abused the visa or visa waiver programs. Finally, aliens in the third priority are those who have been issued a final order of removal on or after January 1, 2014. The Enforcement Priorities Memo was implemented on January 5, 2015. The Enforcement Priorities Memo is not affected by Judge Hansen’s temporary injunction.  Therefore, immigrants can request any government official to apply these priorities to obtain relief in their cases.  Furthermore, the injunction is expected to be lifted soon.  Stay tuned!

You should keep in mind that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance about the immigration executive order and the injunction. Furthermore, the article is not intended to explain or identify all potential issues that may arise in an immigration case.  Each case is fact-specific and therefore similar cases may have different outcomes.

I represent individuals in immigration cases.  If you have any questions or concerns about an immigration case, you can call me at (315) 422-5673, send me a fax at (315) 466-5673, or e-mail me at The Law Office of Jose Perez is located at 120 East Washington Street, Suite 925, Syracuse, New York13202. We also have an office in Buffalo, New York.  Please look for my next article in the May edition.

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