Posted By USI Law || 15-Dec-2014

The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions announced last month
contained a raft of measures principally aimed towards providing relief for individuals in the
United States who are out of status. The Executive Action also included some measures that
the President felt would help legal immigrants and students in Science and Technology
The President’s actions created a firestorm of political reaction – from those who deemed the
Presidential Action as unconstitutional to those who felt that the President had not done
enough. In fact 24 Attorneys General have filed a complaint, in a case which could wind its
way to the Supreme Court and have wide ranging impact on the exercise of Executive
For legal immigrants or those in legal status in the United States the Presidential Action
provided some notable relief in the form of a directive to the Department of Homeland
Security to change current procedures so that some high-skilled immigrants and their
spouses are able to change jobs; increasing immigration opportunities for foreign
entrepreneurs and creating further opportunities for students in STEM programs in U.S.
In the coming months there will be further guidance released by the relevant government
agencies on how the Presidential directives will be implemented. There will also be further
clarity on whether the Presidential Action will be able to stand the political and judicial
scrutiny. It may be noted that recent Senate Action on the budget precluded a de-funding of
government agencies as a retaliation for the Presidential decision. This may be an indication
that the Presidential Action may be too politically toxic to be undone.
December 15, 2014 Client Alert
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The highlights of the Presidential Executive Action are:
 Measures for Aliens Without Documentation who have a Legal Permanent
Resident or U.S. Citizen child and expansion of the DREAMer program: The
major thrust of the President’s action involved providing relief for undocumented or
illegal aliens residing in the United States for at least 5 years and who have a U.S.
Citizen child or a child with a Legal Permanent Residence. These immigrants will be
provided relief on a case by case basis. The DREAMer program will also be
expanded to allow those who were under 16 at the time of their entry into the United
States and will have to have been here on or before January 1, 2010.
 Portable Work Authorizations for High Skilled Workers Awaiting Permanent
Residence (Green-cards): For those awaiting employment based permanent
residence, Employment Authorizations will be issued that would allow portability.
Opportunities for their spouses to avail themselves of Work Authorizations will also be
 Enhanced Measures and Opportunities for Foreign Entrepreneurs: New
measures and options will be introduced for Entrepreneurs who “will provide a
significant public benefit by creating jobs, attracting investment, and generating
revenue in the United States.”
 Measures for students in STEM programs in U.S. Universities: Additional
administrative measures to be introduced for foreign students graduating or enrolled in
STEM degree studies through the existing Optional Practical Training (OPT) program.
 Relief from Re-Entry Ban for Persons Awaiting Green Cards: Individuals who face
a ban on Re-Entry will be “to apply for a provisional waiver of certain restrictions
before they depart the United States to attend visa interviews at U.S. consulates
Our advice to clients impacted by the Presidential Action is to await further guidance and
clarification. The Presidential Action is unprecedented. However these measures may prove
to become extremely difficult for future administrations and the Congress to roll back.
Please contact USILaw should you have any questions or need clarification. You can reach us
via email at and via telephone at (202) 618 4540.