Assuming the Administration backs up its words with action, a much needed remedy will soon be available for certain individuals brought to the United States as children and who, for all intents and purposes, know no other country as home other than the United States.  In addition, these now young adults will be provided work permits and be able to not only remain in the United States lawfully but present such document to employer’s for employment purposes.   This is a start but it’s not a perfect solution as these individuals are only granted a two-year reprieve and no certainty that they will be able to remain permanently.

For those of you who monitor the “goings on” of Capitol Hill, this is basically the Administration administratively implementing the DREAM Act…sort of.  Democrats love the move, Republicans hate it. Maybe if they stopped politicizing everything on Capitol Hill and just got on with the business of passing legislation they wouldn’t be in the position they are now.  But I digress.  If you want to read the text of the legislation of the latest version of the DREAM Act (H.R. 1842 and S. 952) do note that the Democratic sponsored versions have been the front runners in this regard, with Senator Mario Rubio of Florida recently offering a competing version, although he has yet to officially introduce a bill in the U.S. Congress.

The policy, announed today, in a Memorandum from Secretary Janet Napolitano will do the following:

  • Exclude qualifying undocumented immigrants under the age of 30 from removal proceedings or deportation if they do not pose a national security risk.
  • The “deferred action” policy affects individuals who were brought to the United States under the age of 16 and have no legal status here if they: (1) have resided in the United States for at least five years and are still present; (2) have not committed a felony or serious crime; and, (3) are currently students, high school graduates or honorably discharged veterans of the Armed Forces or Coast Guard.

This policy is a VERY big deal!  It’s also the right thing to do.  One word of caution, if you think you may qualify under this policy, or you know someone who you think may qualify, please seek counsel only from a reputable immigration attorney.  Do not pay crazy amounts of money to “notarios” with only a promise of a work permit. For information on how to avoid being scammed click here for information from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and also the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s website.

Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), joined by 38 congressional members, sent a letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas calling for the creation of a review process that would enable workers to effectively challenge E-Verify errors. The letter claims that U.S. citizens and lawful immigrants currently have no way of challenging a final declaration of ineligibility to hold employment. By that they mean challenging a Final Non-Confirmation issued by the Department of Homeland Security.

Now might be a good time to point out some tips/remainders regarding E-Verify and Tentative Non-Confirmations (TNCs). First, employers must follow the prescribed process when they receive a TNC for an employee, meaning they must, among other things notify the individual and allow them to challenge the TNC. Second, employers cannot take any adverse action against an employee who is challenging a TNC or during the pendency of the challenge. As the Brits would say, Keep Calm and Carry On until you have case resolution.