Tag Archives: permanent resident

Deferred Action Temporarily Blocked

On Monday, a federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked President Obama’s November 20, 2014 executive actions on immigration reform. In a suit filed by 26 states, U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen said there was sufficient merit to warrant a suspension of the new program while the case goes forward.  Judge Hanen based his temporary injunction on his belief that the administration did not comply with the Administrative Procedure Act’s provisions on “notice and comment.” He said the case should go forward rather than be thrown out, as the administration has urged.

The court’s decision will delay the application process under President Obama’s executive actions. Among these executive actions are the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

DACA, which began implementation in 2012 and its expanded coverage under the November 2014 executive action, allows young immigrants who arrived as children but are now here legally to apply for a deportation deferral. About 700,000 people who already have benefited from the 2012 program, and they will not be affected by the ruling. As many as 5 million undocumented immigrants were said to be potentially eligible to benefit from all of President Obama’s executive actions.

In a statement issued by DHS Secretary Jeh C. Johnson yesterday, Sec. Johnson said that he strongly disagrees with Judge Hansen’s decision to temporarily enjoin implementation of DAPA and DACA and that the Department of Justice will appeal that temporary injunction. However, DHS will comply with it. Thus, DHS will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA tomorrow, February 18, as originally planned.

Sec. Johnson’s statement also clarifies that the Court’s order does not affect the existing DACA. Individuals may continue to come forward and request initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA pursuant to the guidelines established in 2012. Also, the order does not affect the DHS’ ability to set and implement enforcement priorities, particularly those set under the November 20, 2014 memorandum entitled “Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants”. Under this Memorandum, pursuant to the DHS’ enforcement priorities, the DHS will continue to prioritize public safety, national security, and border security.

Source:  “Court issues injunction against administration’s immigration policies”, Washington Post, 2/17/2015, by Jonathan Adler; Statement of Sec. Jehn C. Johnson, www.uscis.gov; “





Citizenship and long absences from the US

Permanent residents with more than 6 month continuous absence from the US may still be eligible to apply for US citizenship under certain conditions.

To be eligible to apply for citizenship, a person must be a permanent resident for at least 5 years (can be 3 years if spouse of US citizen), physically present in the United States for at least fifty percent of the time, and be a person of good moral character. Moreover, the person must not have any absence from the United States of more than 6 consecutive months.

If a permanent resident is outside the United States for a more than 6 consecutive months (less than one year), the government can consider this as disruption of his residence and might deny an application for citizenship. To avoid this, some of the factors that the officer will look at are the following: (a) Did the permanent resident terminate his employment in the US? (b) Are there immediate family members who are present in the US? (c) Did he retain access to his home here while he was abroad? (d) Did he obtain employment abroad?

Thus, it is crucial to prove that the person did not disrupt his permanent resident status. He can show documents such as tax returns, bank statements, letters that he continued to receive even in his absence, affidavits from family members, proof of medical condition like a medical certificate from the doctor who treated him while out of the country, evidence about how he supported himself abroad during his stay. The more evidence that he can provide, the better.