On November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of executive actions to crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation. These initiatives include:
- Deferred Action for the parents of U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident children who fit the eligibility requirements.
- Expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to remove the age cap and move the continuous presence date up to January 1, 2010. DACA will now be granted for 3 years (including those with pending renewal applications).
- Replacement of the controversial Secure Communities program with a “Priority Enforcement Program” program the details of which are still unclear.
- Ensuring that job-creating entrepreneurs have legal means to enter and operate in the U.S.
- Increasing access for university affiliated businesses to key talent.
- Allowing spouses and children of lawful permanent residents to apply for unlawful presence waivers from within the U.S. and ensuring appropriate standards for adjudicating those waivers.
- Enabling families of individuals trying to enlist in the armed forces to utilize parole in place to ensure legal status.
- Changing the procedures for adjustment of status to allow legal immigrants caught in the immigration quota backlogs to register their applications and thus begin the final step of the process.
- Directing agencies to look at modernizing the visa system, with a view to making optimal use of the numbers of visa available under law.
- Announcement of a new border security campaign and plan
USCIS and other agencies and offices are responsible for implementing these initiatives as soon as possible. Some initiatives will be implemented over the next several months and some will take longer. Over the coming months, USCIS will produce detailed explanations, instructions, regulations and forms as necessary.