U.S. Military Offers Citizenship Fast Track for Some DACA Recipients
Pentagon officials announced that a small pool of DACA recipients will be eligible to apply for a place in the U.S. Military under the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program. Ordinarily immigrants must have permanent legal resident status or U.S. citizenship to enlist in the U.S. military; since DACA grants neither resident status nor citizenship, this is the first time that DACA recipients will be able to enlist.
DACA recipients, sometimes called Dreamers, who are accepted may apply for U.S. citizenship within months after enlisting. Unfortunately, the program’s requirements are quite rigorous and the number of Dreamers actually accepted will likely be limited to a few dozen. Only immigrants with certain medical skills or fluency in one of about three dozen languages qualify to apply. The list of preferred languages does not include Spanish, the most common mother language of DACA recipients.
Shortly after the announcement, the military suddenly halted the entire MAVNI program claiming that it is working out screening procedures for the DACA recipients.
2016 DV Lottery
The U.S. Department of State announced that the Diversity Visa Lottery has been renewed for another year. Created as part of the Immigration Act of 1990, the DV lottery program provides 50,000 visas a year to countries with low immigration rates to the U.S. The State Department is now accepting applications for the 2016 DV Lottery.
Nationals of countries that have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the past five years will be ineligible to apply. Countries ineligible for DV-2016 are as follows: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (not including Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
There are more lottery winners than available green cards, so not every lottery winner is guaranteed a green card. Successful entrants still have to go through the regular green card process, including criminal background check.
DV lottery applications are accepted online only and must be submitted by noon EST on November 3, 2014.
USCIS Expands Definition of “Mother” and “Parent”
USCIS implemented policy PA-2014-009 to expand the definition of “mother” and “parent” under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The new definition includes gestational mothers with no genetic relationship with their child, such as women who became pregnant through the use of egg donors. The new official definition of “mother” and “parent” will now include any mother who:
- Gave birth to the child, and
- Was the child’s legal mother at the time of birth under the law of the relevant jurisdiction.
A mother who meets those requirements but does not have a genetic relationship to her child will:
- Be able to petition for her child based on their relationship
- Be eligible to have her child petition for her based on their relationship
- Be able to transmit U.S. citizenship to her child, if she is a U.S. citizen and all other pertinent citizenship requirements are met.
More information is available in the Adjudicator’s Field Manual on the USCIS website: http://www.uscis.gov.
USCIS Will Not Reuse Fingerprints and Biometrics for Central American TPS Re-Registration
USCIS announced that it will not reuse previously captured fingerprint and biometric information for the next Central American Temporary Protected Status re-registration period. Central Americans covered under TPS who wish to re-register must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. After their application is received, USCIS will schedule an appointment at the Application Support Center (ASC), where the applicant may submit new fingerprints and biometric data.
AIC Releases Executive Grants of Temporary Immigration Relief, 1956-Present
The American Immigration council recently released Executive Grants of Temporary Immigration Relief, 1956-present, a collection of 39 instances in which U.S. presidents have granted some form of temporary immigration relief to groups in need of assistance. The relief efforts range from small scale individual cases to larger actions involving multiple administrations. More information on the publication is available here:
AIC Enforcement Fellow Mark Noferi also published an op-ed piece investigating the “Family Fairness” policy put in place by Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Sr. The policy concerned familial separation by immigration law, an issue that is still relevant today. The op-ed is available to read on The Hill: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/219463-when-reagan-and-ghw-bush-took-bold-executive-action-on.
Disclaimer: This newsletter is provided as a public service and not intended to establish an attorney client relationship. Any reliance on information contained herein is taken at your own risk.