Empowering Foreign Workers: DHS’s New Deferred Action Process

In a significant development aimed at bolstering the rights and protections of foreign workers in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the implementation of a streamlined process for these individuals to request deferred action. This announcement marks a pivotal step forward in ensuring that foreign workers who contribute significantly to the U.S. economy are safeguarded from removal actions (deportation) while participating in or being involved in federal, state, or local labor and employment agency investigations or enforcement actions.

Deferred action, a form of prosecutorial discretion, temporarily defers the deportation of a noncitizen. The DHS’s initiative underscores a compassionate approach towards foreign workers who find themselves in vulnerable positions – particularly those who have been victims of or witnesses to labor rights violations. Over the past year, this policy shift has already made a positive impact, with over 1,000 noncitizen workers receiving protection under deferred action.

This new process is driven by the desire to improve the investigative powers of labor and employment agencies. DHS hopes to motivate foreign workers without employment authorization to report possible legal violations by employers by offering deferred action. This method not only safeguards the workers but also promotes a more fair and compliant labor market.

The simplified process will allow the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review requests for deferred action from foreign workers involved in labor investigations on an individual basis. Workers who qualify may receive deferred action for up to two years, with the chance of renewal if a labor agency’s investigative or enforcement interests justify it. Additionally, these workers may also get employment authorization, which will help them join the U.S. workforce without the constant threat of deportation.

It’s important to note that this initiative complements existing visa categories designed for victims of crimes, such as U and T visas for victims of specific crimes and human trafficking, respectively. Moreover, some lawmakers want to give more rights to H-2B non-agricultural temporary workers and other foreign employees who suffer from mental, physical, and emotional harm caused by labor and employment violations.

As this new process unfolds, it represents a critical step towards recognizing and addressing the challenges faced by foreign workers in the U.S. By ensuring their protection and participation in legal investigations, the DHS is not only upholding the rights of these individuals but also contributing to a more equitable and just labor market. We will continue to monitor these developments closely, recognizing their importance in shaping a more inclusive and protective environment for foreign workers nationwide.

If you or your family members have any questions about how immigration and nationality laws in the United States may affect you, or if you want to access additional information about immigration and nationality laws in the United States or Canada, please do not hesitate to contact the immigration and nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group. You can reach us by emailing info@visaserve.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 extension 104. We also invite you to visit our website at www.visaserve.com for more information.