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Posts tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Obama Administration to DACA Recipients: You Are Second-Class Kids

Obama double speak

Truth you can only believe in if you dig through my dizzying maze of doublespeak.

On January 18, 2013,  USCIS supposedly came out with “new” information regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.(“DACA”)  Of note is the purported clarification of whether or not whether DACA recipients are considered “lawfully present” by DHS.

USCIS’s full answer is as follows:

For purposes of future inadmissibility based upon unlawful presence, an individual whose case has been deferred is not considered to be unlawfully present during the period in which deferred action is in effect. An individual who has received deferred action is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to be present in the United States, and is therefore considered by DHS to be lawfully present during the period deferred action is in effect.(emphasis added) 

We knew all along that those who received DACA would not be considered unlawfully present for purposes of future inadmissibility. There is no controlling legal definition of what “lawful presence” actually means. However, for purposes of benefits such as eligibility for driver licenses or government-subsidized health care, most states look to the federal government’s definition of lawful presence, which relies heavily upon who is not unlawfully present under INA 212(a)(9)(B)(ii).

Once one looks at the specific definition, this seemingly complicated issue becomes quite simple:

“An alien is deemed to be unlawfully present in the United States if the alien is present in the United States after the expiration of the period of stay authorized by the Attorney General or is present in the United States without being admitted or paroled.”

DHS has authorized the stay of DACA recipients in the United States. As such, DACA recipients are lawfully present. So why did USCIS feel the need to clarify this already-established fact just yesterday?

Because the Obama administration intentionally muddied the waters of what lawfully present means for DACA recipients in order to exclude them from medicaid and other health care benefits.

Shortly after USCIS started accepting DACA applications, the Obama administration made it clear that DACA recipients would be second-class deferred action recipients.

To be eligible for medicaid and other health insurance benefits under Obama’s new health law, one must be considered “lawfully present.” Prior the announcement of DACA, 45 CFR 152.2(1)-(7) defined what immigrants were “lawfully present.” Pay particular attention to the classes highlighted below:

Lawfully present means

(1) A qualified alien as defined in section 431 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWORA) (8 U.S.C. 1641);

(2) An alien in nonimmigrant status who has not violated the terms of the status under which he or she was admitted or to which he or she has changed after admission;

(3) An alien who has been paroled into the United States pursuant to section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)) for less than 1 year, except for an alien paroled for prosecution, for deferred inspection or pending removal proceedings;

(4) An alien who belongs to one of the following classes:

(i) Aliens currently in temporary resident status pursuant to section 210 or 245A of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1160 or 1255a, respectively);

(ii) Aliens currently under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) pursuant to section 244 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1254a), and pending applicants for TPS who have been granted employment authorization;

(iii) Aliens who have been granted employment authorization under 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(9), (10), (16), (18), (20), (22), or (24);

(iv) Family Unity beneficiaries pursuant to section 301 of Public Law 101-649 as amended;

(v) Aliens currently under Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) pursuant to a decision made by the President;

(vi) Aliens currently in deferred action status;

(vii) Aliens whose visa petitions have been approved and who have a pending application for adjustment of status;

(5) A pending applicant for asylum under section 208(a) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1158) or for withholding of removal under section 241(b)(3) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1231) or under the Convention Against Torture who has been granted employment authorization, and such an applicant under the age of 14 who has had an application pending for at least 180 days;

(6) An alien who has been granted withholding of removal under the Convention Against Torture; or

(7) A child who has a pending application for Special Immigrant Juvenile status as described in section 101(a)(27)(J) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27)(J)).

Immigrants in category (C)(10) have cancellation of removal applications pending in immigration court. Immigrants in category (c)(18)  have outstanding orders  of removal and report on an order of supervision. Immigrants granted deferred action outside of the DACA program are also “lawfully present.” Their EAD category is (c)(14).

The Obama administration made a new category for DACA recipients–(C)(33)–so that it could add paragraph 8 to 45 CFR 152.2 to exclude them from medicaid eligibility:

(8) Exception. An individual with deferred action under the Department of Homeland Security’s deferred action for childhood arrivals process, as described in the Secretary of Homeland Security’s June 15, 2012, memorandum, shall not be considered to be lawfully present with respect to any of the above categories in paragraphs (1) through (7) of this definition.

Put differently, if the Obama administration treated DACA recipients as the recipients of Deferred Action of yore, they would have had to include them in the definition of “lawfully present” for purposes of medicaid eligibility.

As one can see from the list above, the federal government already includes many recipients of prosecutorial discretion in the definition of lawfully present.

The reasoning is that if the government is consenting to one’s presence in the country and one is working and contributing to society, one should be afforded the same privileges of society’s most important safety net: medical care.

By intentionally excluding DACA recipients from medicaid, the Obama administration has yet again revealed its cold, disingenuous heart.

On the abstract level, the exclusion of DACA recipients may not seem like a big deal. However, many of these young immigrants are just starting out in the workforce and will not be able to afford health insurance. What happens if a young immigrant gets into a bad car accident, or is diagnosed with cancer? They will have work authorization but will only be able to use it to pay off the mountain of debt left by medical bills.

As per his routine, Barack Obama announced the DACA program with bubblingly  flowery words, noting that children of illegal immigrants “study in our schools, play in our neighborhoods, befriend our kids, pledge allegiance to our flag,” and also that:, “it makes no sense to expel talented young people who are, for all intents and purposes, Americans.”

What Obama did not say is that the poorest of these children are not for all intents and purposes Americans when it comes to medical care.  He left that dirty work to the bureaucrats in the Department of Health and Human Services, which provided an objectively farcical explanation.

Obama should have some integrity and consider DACA recipients lawfully present for purposes of medicaid eligibility. Lawfully present means lawfully present. It does mean lawfully present depending on the politics du jour.

‘Dreamers’ califican para la residencia

The following is an excellent article about alternative forms of permanent relief to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) written by Pilar Marrero of La Opinion or on the web at

Dreamers’ califican para la residencia

La acción diferida permite a  indocumentados menores de 30 años  elegibles obtener un permiso de trabajo por dos años,  pero no les otorga una residencia legal en EEUU.

La acción diferida permite a indocumentados menores de 30 años elegibles obtener un permiso de trabajo por dos años, pero no les otorga una residencia legal en EEUU.

Foto: la opinionarchiv

Un programa poco conocido podría beneficiarlos también con visas más permanentes

los angeles — Mariela P. una indocumentada ecuatoriana de 31 años llegó con el abogado Bryan Johnson a preguntar si sus hijos, de 12 y 15 años respectivamente, calificaban para DACA, o la ley de acción diferida para jóvenes. Pero cuando salió de la oficina de Johnson, Mariela llevaba una esperanza un poquito mayor: sus dos hijos podrían obtener una tarjeta de residencia gracias a un poco conocido beneficio denominado “Estatus especial para jóvenes inmigrante” (SIJS).

“Si Dios quiere y diosito me ayuda, yo quiero ayudar a mis hijos a lograr su sueño”,dijo Mariela (no es su nombre real), quien vive en Long Island, Nueva York y comenta que uno de sus hijos quiere ser abogado y el otro veterinario. Ella tiene su pequeña peluquería para sacarlos adelante, pero los papeles ayudarán mucho. “Sin documentos es difícil estudiar y más trabajar”, agrega la mujer, quien fue madre a los 15 años y sacó adelante a sus hijos sin la ayuda de su padre.

El abandono paterno es la razón de que los hijos de Mariela seguramente califiquen para el “Estatus especial para jóvenes inmigrantes” un estatus legal que les dará una tarjeta verde en espacio de varios meses y que, a diferencia del estatus temporal de DACA, no será temporal sino permanente.

“Hay muchos jóvenes que consultan si califican para DACA y que podrían obtener otros beneficios mejores como SIJS”, indicó el abogado Johnson, del bufete Amoachi and Johnson en el condado Suffolk, quien representa a Mariela y a sus dos hijos en la petición ante la corte juvenil y luego en el caso de inmigración. “Cuando hago mis consultas con posibles clientes siempre encuentro que una cantidad de los que vienen a averiguar por DACA califican para SIJS”.

SIJS es para menores de edad (de 21 en Texas y Nueva York y de 18 en California) que han sido abandonados o descuidados por al menos uno de sus padres. Antes de 2008 era un beneficio muy restrictivo y sólo se obtenía si un menor era abandonado por ambos padres, pero esto cambió al ampliarse la ley en 2008 en el Congreso.

Pero hay otros tipos de visa para los que jóvenes dreamers están calificando, dijo Judy London abogada de la oficina no lucrativa de abogados Public Counsel, que ofrece representación legal gratis a quienes califiquen para un tipo especial de visas para víctimas de la delincuencia (Visa U).

“Desde que abrimos ese programa y comenzamos también a consultar gente para DACA hemos identificado más de 30 jóvenes que pueden obtener una tarjeta verde por medio de una Visa U porque para ella califican no sólo las víctimas directas de un delito sino sus familiares y además si la víctima del delito es la madre o el padre, por ejemplo, todos los hermanos menores de 18 años recibirían una Visa U”, dijo London.

“Mucha gente no entiende o conoce de la existencia de la Visa U. Si el joven que viene fue víctima de un delito o lo fue su madre, por ejemplo, por violencia doméstica que fue reportada a las autoridades, toda la familia podría obtener la visa y eventualmente la residencia permanente”, agregó London.

Según la abogada, veterana de años de lucha por dar representación legal a quienes no pueden costearla en Los Angeles, ” el 99% de los jóvenes que han pasado por estas puertas a consultas de DACA nunca en su vida han hablado con un abogado y por eso es beneficioso que se les haga una entrevista que permita determinar cual es el mejor beneficio para ellos”.

Muchos abogados sienten que puede ser visto como un conflicto de interés insistir que los jóvenes consulten sus servicios . “Es una línea muy fina, yo definitivamente no quiero que se piense que todos los abogados sólo quieren aprovecharse al decir que es mejor consultar un abogado antes de tomar una decisión”, opinó David Leopold, quien fue presidente de la Asociación America de Abogados de Inmigración y es practicante en Cleveland, Ohio.

“La evaluación de estos jóvenes debe ser completa para que tengan el mejor consejo. A vece califican para dos cosas, DACA y otro beneficio, por ejemplo una VISA U. Cuál es mejor depende de su situación, su edad, si quieren o necesitan trabajar de inmediato o pueden esperar un poco, etc. Es un error sólo solicitar DACA porque es más fácil, aunque se entiende si alguien toma esa decisión”, dijo Leopold.

“Es obvio que DACA da una opción importante a estos jóvenes, pero es temporal y no sabremos que va a pasar después de los dos años”, dijo Leopold. “Esperamos que venga algo más permanente pero entretanto, si hay otras opciones y pueden obtener ayuda legal, puede que haya mejores alternativas porque estos otros beneficios es muy difícil obtenerlos sin abogado”.

Vote Undocumented Immigrants as Time’s Person of the Year Because They Are America.

Time magazine is having its annual contest on who the Person of the Year for 2012 should be.

You can vote, “definitely”, HERE.


Because Undocumented Immigrants represent what America is all about. They are our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

The immigration laws have changed but the people have not.

Undocumented Immigrants

By Howard Chua-EoanMonday, Nov. 26, 2012

What do you think?

Should Undocumented Immigrants be TIME’s Person of the Year 2012?
DefinitelyNo Way

An invisible population stepped forward on June 15, 2012, to stake its claim to the American Dream. On that day, President Obama declared that certain undocumented immigrants — a group simply labeled “illegal” by many — would not be subjected to deportation, under broad-ranging conditions. Suddenly the logjam of immigration reform shifted, as more than 1 million undocumented young people who had been in the country for the past five years found themselves with new opportunities. What is more, the sympathies of other groups of people who have undocumented relatives — and thus are mindful of their plight — may have clearly shifted to a President on a campaign for re-election, as evidenced by the preponderance of Hispanic and Asian-American voters casting their ballots for Obama. Chastened by the results of the vote, the GOP has warmed to a legislative fix, increasing chances of comprehensive reform.