Deferred action update by USCIS, residency can be proven by unauthorized employment
The USCIS updated its guidelines on September 15, 2012 to answer pressing questions on their records requirements for those submitting application for Deferred Action. Two of the important updates dealt with proof of residency (from June 15, 2007 to 2012). The service will apparently accept proof of residency from employment records, but states it may investigate the employers if there is any suggestion of "egregious violations or widespread abuses". This term however is difficult to determine from a lawyer's standpoint, since any employer with unauthorized workers can be considered to fit within this category. The service indicates however it will not 'share' the information with the enforcement arm, absent the more serious showing of abuse by the employer. The USCIS also indicated proof of strict residency during the time period June 15, 2007 to 2012 need not necessarily be day for day; the categories of documents they will accept includes records of bank transactions, which can be daily, but also may be grade reports or bills, which are merely monthly. Previously the service also said they will look for any other evidence of an absence during the five year period, and will search applicable databases for information about an individual's history.
The partial text of the updates is below:
New - Q3. To prove my continuous residence in the United States since June 15, 2007, must I provide evidence documenting my presence for every day, or every month, of that period? A3. To meet the continuous residence guideline, you must submit documentation that shows you have been living in the United States from June 15, 2007 up until the time of your request. You should provide documentation to account for as much of the period as reasonably possible, but there is no requirement that every day or month of that period be specifically accounted for through direct evidence. It is helpful to USCIS if you can submit evidence of your residence during at least each year of the period. USCIS will review the documentation in its totality to determine whether it is more likely than not that you were continuously residing in the United States for the period since June 15, 2007. Gaps in the documentation as to certain periods may raise doubts as to your continued residence if, for example, the gaps are lengthy or the record otherwise indicates that you may have been outside the United States for a period of time that was not brief, casual or innocent. If gaps in your documentation raise questions , USCIS may issue a request for evidence to allow you to submit additional documentation that supports your claimed continuous residence.
Affidavits may be submitted to explain a gap in the documentation demonstrating that you meet the five year continuous residence requirement. If you submit affidavits related to the continuous residence requirement, you must submit two or more affidavits, sworn to or affirmed by people other than yourself, who have direct personal knowledge of the events and circumstances during the period as to which there is a gap in the documentation. Affidavits may only be used to explain gaps in your continuous residence; they cannot be used as evidence that you meet the entire five year continuous residence requirement.
New - Q4. If I provide my employee with information regarding his or her employment to support a request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals, will that information be used for immigration enforcement purposes against me and/or my company? A4. You may, as you determine appropriate, provide individuals requesting deferred action for childhood arrivals with documentation which verifies their employment. This information will not be shared with ICE for civil immigration enforcement purposes pursuant to INA section 274A unless there is evidence of egregious violations of criminal statutes or widespread abuses.