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Notes from 6/18/12 DHS conference call on Secretary's illegal alien prosecutorial discretion memo (Obama’s DREAM Act amnesty announced on June 15, 2012)
Below are notes taken from a Department of Homeland Security conference call this week between administration officials and what the Obama administration regards as “stakeholders” (the people who demand amnesty, or else...) in his implementation of his amnesty for illegal aliens – “prosecutorial discretion” for an entire group of illegals. Note that there doesn’t seem to have been much thought or planning put into his decree.
Much of this is rather technical for people who don’t study the issue every day, but worth reading, using and saving in the interest of education. And, no, I won’t say how I obtained these notes, except that they are taken directly from the conference call. Please make particular note of the points I have in bold below. Update: Also, HERE is a link to a letter to Obama from a group of U.S. Senators, including Senator Johnny Isakson and Senator Saxby Chambliss HERE is a link to a letter sent by members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee dak
The call featured USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas, ICE Director John Morton and Acting CBP Commissioner David Aguilar.
AM: USCIS hasn't determined: how to collect eligibility information, who will adjudicate the requests and how quickly they will be handled.
Not accepting requests now for deferred action (DA). Will start 60 days from June 15th, the day of the Secretary's announcement.
Discussed eligibility criteria for DA. Will accept whatever documents an applicant provides but anticipate documents related to school, employment records, financial records and items proving physical presence.
Have to separately apply for a work authorization.
If given DA, a person will not accrue unlawful presence time during the two-year period.
Will take action if people misrepresent information. If someone is denied DA, won't automatically place in removal proceedings but can do so consistent with the Notice To Appear process. No appeal process for denials.
Dependents and immediate relatives do not automatically get DA - have to apply independently.
Haven't decided if DA recipient can travel outside of US
JM: ICE with work with CBP to ensure qualifying people are not removed, or placed in removal proceedings, if they meet case-by-case criteria. If someone is already in the removal process, they will be taken out of that process on a case-by-case basis and referred to USCIS. Have already started a review of persons in Executive Office of Immigration Review proceedings. They have been granted administrative closure and will now be granted DA.
DA: Mostly have contact with applicable individuals at ports of entry or on the border. Will interview people who may qualify and detain to determine eligibility with regard to biometrics. They'll run a biographic and biometric background check against federal/state/local databases. Upon establishing prima facie eligibility, the person will released and the DA processing will follow.
Encountered 11 individuals over the weekend. Reviewed their eligibility, released them and directed them to report to USCIS. Issue raised whether people eligible for removal proceeding should place themselves in the hands of ICE or CBP. They do not recommend this. Wait and apply through the USCIS.
Q: If someone is denied DA and just overstayed a visa, will the person not be placed in the removal proceedings?
A (AM): Answer governed by the Notice To Appear process. Under these circumstances, the removal referral would not be made.
Q: When program over, will the names be used for removal proceedings?
A (AM): There is no intention at this point of dismantling the prosecutorial discretion architecture that was built over the last year. ( Note from D.A. for info on this. Obama did something similar last year, but the GOP had very little to say about it)
Q: If someone applies for DA, would family members be at greater risk for a Notice To Appear?
A (AM): No, the others would have to qualify for a Notice To Appear under our prosecutorial discretion policy based on their own conduct.
Q: What kinds of convictions would cause a denial?
A (JM): Assaults, drug trafficking, DUI.
Q: How many hours in college must a person have?
A (AM): The criteria just speak about being in school. We'll provide more clarification later.
Q: As an immigration attorney. I appreciate the way you're doing this. It's kind of like Temporary Protected Status or a cross between a class review and a case-by-case review. There's nothing to stop one of the agencies from granting DA and work authorization to someone who is 31 1/4. You're saying don't apply if you don't fit, even though you could all along.
A (AM): This is not like TPS, it's an exercise of prosecutorial discretion that's based on the information that individuals present.
Q: Will there be a form and a fee?
A (AM): We don't know yet.
Q: Different states have different definitions of misdemeanor. In California, it's only a misdemeanor to be caught driving without a license. What definitions will you use?
A (JM): We'll use federal and state definitions of misdemeanors.