The Golden Door: January 2018
Legal and Policy Issues
We are closely monitoring state and federal immigration law and policy. Please check our social media accounts for more frequent updates.
Salvadoran Temporary Protected Status Terminated
The Trump administration announced on January 8 that it will terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for El Salvador, affecting nearly 200,000 Salvadorans who have lived in the United States for an average of 21 years and have made innumerable contributions to our communities. This decision impacts individuals in Maine, including at least 40 ILAP clients. Salvadoran TPS designation will expire on September 9, 2019.
Individuals from El Salvador who currently have TPS will be required to re-register in order to maintain their status and work authorization until September 9, 2019. The time frame to re-register has not yet been announced by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). ILAP will provide free legal assistance in helping people re-register once this announcement is made.
ILAP is currently available to provide free legal consultations for affected Salvadorans in Maine. ILAP will also conduct outreach to affected communities and advocate for a legislative solution to this crisis.
Action for Dreamers
The Dream Act is designed to help young people who entered this country through no fault, or choice, of their own. Deferred Action for Child Arrival (DACA) recipients, or Dreamers, consider the United States their only home. Dreamers are hardworking and determined young people who came to this country as children and who now go to school, work and own businesses, serve in our armed forces, own homes, and have deep roots in our communities.
The Dream Act was introduced last summer with bipartisan support. There is a push to get Congress to pass the Dream Act before January 19, 2018, by which Congress has to pass a new budget bill. ILAP is advocating for a “clean” Dream Act, meaning that there is nothing attached to it (like funding for a border wall or additional enforcement provisions).
On January 10, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction temporarily reinstating DACA. USCIS issued its renewal guidelines on January 13, stating that it will accept DACA renewal applications for anyone whose DACA expired after 9/5/2016 or will be expiring, and will accept new initial applications from people who previously had DACA but their DACA lapsed before 9/5/2016. USCIS is not accepting applications from individuals who have never had DACA.
ILAP sent a sign-on letter, signed by 34 Maine organizations and faith-based groups, to each member of the Maine congressional delegation, urging them to act swiftly on behalf of Dreamers. 34 organizations and groups signed on.
ILAP also urges Mainers to call the Maine congressional delegation to tell them they want a clean Dream Act now. Dreamers need a pathway to permanent status, and Congress can make that happen.
Senator Susan Collins (202) 224-2523
Senator Angus King (202) 224-5344
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (202) 225-6116
Congressman Bruce Poliquin (202) 225-6306