‘Deferred action’ may help some workers
Delegate Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (Ind-MP) said today that the Department of Homeland Security has decided to offer an opportunity for relief to some foreign workers affected by the cut-off of fiscal year 2016 CW-1 permit renewals, announced in May.
“Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called to inform me of the decision, and I received a detailed letter from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez today, explaining how USCIS intends to address the humanitarian issues arising from its May announcement to close applications for CW-1 permits for the rest of fiscal 2016,” said Sablan.
For long-term workers in the Marianas whose CW-1 permits have lapsed or will lapse before Oct. 1, the department will now consider “deferred action,” Mayorkas told the congressman.
A grant of deferred action will allow the workers to continue to reside legally in the Marianas.Applicants for deferred action will need to demonstrate exceptional circumstances or justifications, however, and applications will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Individuals with specific questions about the new policy should visit the USCIS website at https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/cw-1-cnmi-only-transitional-worker/temporary-relief-workers-expiring-cw-1-nonimmigrant-status or the USCIS Saipan Application Support Center.
The decision will not affect workers who have already left the Marianas. But those who have remained after their permits expired, or whose permits have not yet expired, will be able to apply for deferred action.
If granted deferred action, the workers would maintain lawful presence during the deferred action period. They may also then apply for employment authorization. If their application for a fiscal 2017 permit is approved, the worker will be required to leave the Commonwealth for consular processing of a new visa, and then reenter.
“I thanked Deputy Secretary Mayorkas for this decision, and for his personal concern for the Marianas now and going back to his days as Director at USCIS,” Sablan said.
“Today’s news will be welcomed by those CW-1 workers who may now eligible for deferred action. It is also good news for their families, their employers, and everyone in our community whose economic interests are tied to having a stable and adequate workforce.” (PR)