DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today that undocumented youth who were brought here as children and who meet certain criteria are now eligible for "deferred action," a form of long-term relief from deportation that allows employment authorization and college attendance, but does not lead to a green card. Known as DREAMers (after the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, which Congress has failed to pass each time it has been introduced since 2001), these young people have become increasingly vocal and visible in public protests and in the media.Continue Reading...
DHS announced that it is extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of El Salvador who already hold TPS. TPS allows qualifying individuals to remain and work lawfully in the United States until conditions in their home countries improve. The new extension allows qualifying individuals from El Salvador to reapply for TPS and work authorization that will be valid until September 9, 2013. The re-registration period runs until March 9, 2012. The USCIS will issue new employment authorization documents for those who timely re-register. The USCIS is automatically extending employment authorization documents bearing March 9, 2012, expiration dates for an additional six months, until September 9, 2012. This will allow TPS beneficiaries to continue working until their new employment cards are issued. The DHS press release can be found here.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has removed the remaining countries from the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS). Under NSEERS, nationals of certain predominantly-Muslim countries were required to register with DHS, and have their fingerprints and photographs taken by immigration officials. Newer systems, including the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology Program (US-VISIT), are able to record the arrival and departure of foreign nationals visiting the United States, making the use of NSEERS redundant. DHS has not addressed how it will treat those in proceedings for NSEERS-related charges.
In an effort to strengthen security at the nation's airports, and create local jobs, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the deployment of its advanced imaging technology (AIT) at 28 additional airports, bringing the total to 142. Up to 450 will be in operation in 2010. AIT technology is designed to bolster airport security by screening passengers for metallic and non-metallic threats, such as weapons, explosives and other objects concealed under layers of clothing. The machinery is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. AIT screening is optional, allowing passengers to opt for physical pat-downs if they have privacy or other concerns. The DHS press release, which contains the list of the 28 additional airports, can be found here.