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Approximately 5 million unlawful immigrants to obtain relief from deportation.
In a primetime address tonight, President Obama announced a number of actions that the administration will take to overhaul the immigration system. The most controversial and far-reaching initiatives will provide relief from removal (deportation) for approximately 5 million unlawful immigrants. Specifically, the President will:
The White House has provided few specifics about the initiatives. The Department of Homeland Security is expected to provide additional details in the weeks and months ahead, but the government did release fact sheets and background information that shed light on upcoming changes:
Relief for Undocumented Immigrants
DHS will take action to grant relief from removal (deportation) and work authorization to over 4 million unlawful immigrants. The following is a summary of the two programs that were announced tonight:
Shortly after the Presidential address, Secretary Johnson issued a memorandum to the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, instructing them to take actions to improve policies related to high-skilled businesses and workers. Specifically, the Secretary wrote that:
L-1 Policy Guidance
Portability for Adjustment Applicants
The White House has also stated informally that other changes to the employment-based immigration system are under consideration, including:
The Department of Labor also issued a Fact Sheet indicating that it will be initiating a review of the PERM program and relevant regulations. The Department will seek input on the following:
At this time, the White House and the Department of Homeland Security have offered few details regarding the initiatives that may affect foreign graduates of U.S. universities and high-skilled workers. In particular, the government has provided no timeline for implementation or any prioritization of the numerous initiatives. While some of the concepts could be implemented via policy guidance within a few months, others may require rulemaking that could push implementation into 2016.
BAL has been in extensive discussions with the White House and the agencies over the past few months, and the firm will continue that dialogue as the agency moves from concept development to implementation.
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