While DAPA and expanded DACA are still delayed pending the lawsuit in the Fifth Circuit, there have been other developments in immigration law this month that are worth noting.
Board of Immigration Appeals Resolves Circuit Split on 212(h) Waivers
Last year, the Ninth Circuit joined the ranks of several other circuits in extending the availability of 212(h) waivers to those who became lawful permanent residents after adjusting their status in the United States. Some circuits, however, have continued to interpret the law to mean that even those residents who had adjusted their status while in the United States were precluded from applying for the waiver.
This week, the Board of Immigration Appeals unified the law throughout the country, holding that only noncitizens who came to the United States as lawful permanent residents are precluded from applying for a 212(h) waiver. This is very good news for individuals who adjusted their status while in the United States, and need this waiver after having committed an aggravated felony. For more information on the benefits of the 212(h) waiver, visit our previous blog post on this subject.
Almanza Arena v. Lynch Withdrawn by Ninth Circuit
Last year, the Ninth Circuit held in Almanza-Arena v. Lynch (formerly Almanza-Arena v. Holder) that noncitizens with ambiguous information in their records of conviction could still be eligible for certain immigration benefits, and implemented a new framework for analyzing overbroad criminal statutes that could have been very helpful for noncitizens with criminal histories. For a detailed explanation on this case, visit our previous blog post on this subject.
Unfortunately, the Ninth Circuit has withdrawn this case, and it is no longer good law for the time being.
Latest News on DAPA and Expanded DACA
The lawsuit against President Obama's November 2014 Executive Order on immigration is still pending in the District Court, and unfortunately the injunction is still in effect. As previously discussed in this blog, the U.S. Government has appealed District Court Judge Andrew Hanen's decision to impose the injunction, and that appeal is pending in the Fifth Circuit. We will have an update on any decision regarding the injunction as soon as it is available.
In the meantime, the Department of Homeland Security is still not accepting applications for DAPA or expanded DACA until the issue is resolved.
Please check this site frequently for more updates on changes in the law.
Bean + Lloyd is an immigration law office in Oakland, California emphasizing family-based immigration, citizenship, removal defense and deferred action.
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