The big news this month is the announcement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about the status of the DACA program. In accordance with the priorities of the Biden administration, DHS aims to “codify and fortify” the DACA program by clarifying its position on two points in particular: deferring the removal of DACA participants and allowing them an opportunity to access a renewable, two-year work permit. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas noted this as a win, but also emphasized the need for Congress to permanently safeguard the program,
“Thanks to DACA, we have been enriched by young people who contribute so much to our communities and our country. Yet, we need Congress to pass legislation that provides an enduring solution for the young Dreamers who have known no country other than the United States as their own.”
In other news, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made a change in its Policy Manual to clarify that a current or former service member who received an uncharacterized discharge may be eligible for naturalization under sections 328 and 329 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA). Previously, USCIS required a discharge “under honorable conditions”. Applicants whose military naturalization applications were previously denied under the prior interpretation may submit another Application for Naturalization (Form N-400).
Finally, USCIS has made yet another extension on the additional flexibilities it afforded applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic. This extension will now go through October 23, 2022. Under these flexibilities, USCIS considers a response received within 60 calendar days after the due date set forth in the following requests or notices before taking any action, including:
- Requests for Evidence;
- Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
- Notices of Intent to Deny;
- Notices of Intent to Revoke;
- Notices of Intent to Rescind;
- Notices of Intent to Terminate regional centers;
- Notices of Intent to Withdraw Temporary Protected Status; and
- Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant.
As always, if you have any questions about how a particular immigration policy may affect your case, reach out to us!