Posts tagged "news"

What You Need to Know about ‘Deferred Action’

Some immigrants who were brought to the country as children can now apply for deferred action, a program that allows you to remain in the country and apply for work permits.

The program has strict requirements and includes filing several forms, as well as a background check and evidence of eligibility. Here are the basics of the program, and links to official government information for more details.

What Is Deferred Action (And What Isn’t)

Deferred action allows certain people who were brought to the United States as children to remain here and apply for renewable two-year work permits. It does not give beneficiaries a path to citizenship or lawful permanent residency. The program will remain in effect at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security.

Who Can Benefit from the Program

To qualify for the program, you must be under 31 years as of June 15, 2012 and arrived in the United States before turning 16. You must also undergo a background check to show that you did not commit certain types of crimes. The program is also open to certain people who are currently under deportation proceedings. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency in charge of implementing the program, has a list of the requirements for deferred action (PDF).

How the Application Process Works

To apply, you must file three forms:

  • 821D to request deferred action
  • I-765 to apply for employment authorization
  • I-765WS, a worksheet to establish the applicant’s employment needs

The total cost of applying is $465. Where to apply depends on where you live. See USCIS to find out where to send a deferred action application and follow these filing tips.

Application Errors Can Be Costly

Be careful not to make mistakes when applying for deferred action. Errors might delay the process or worse; it might result in the denial of an application. Although there is a process to reconsider applications denied due to certain mistakes, USCIS’s decisions are final, and cannot be appealed. Applicants who misrepresent themselves on the applications to benefit from deferred action will be considered a high priority for deportation.

Scammers Are Promising Quick Processing Times

Scammers might promise expedited processing of deferred action for a fee. Applicants should know that this program does not offer expedited processing. The best way to avoid scams is by only trusting official government information. Applicants who need legal advice can find an accredited immigration attorney and other legal services at USCIS.

For more information on deferred action visit or call 1 (800) 375-5283.

What is the Debt Limit?

The federal government can borrow money to pay its bills, just like taking out a loan. The debt limit is the maximum amount that Congress allows the government to borrow, similar to the credit limit on a credit card. The government will exceed the current debt limit of $14.3 trillion dollars on August 2 unless Congress votes to raise the limit before that date.

Raising the debt limit would let the government borrow enough money to pay bills that it already owes, such as Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on the national debt, and tax refunds. It does not mean that the government has decided to spend more money.

According to the U.S. Treasury, “Failing to increase the debt limit would have catastrophic economic consequences. It would cause the government to default on its legal obligations – an unprecedented event in American history. That would precipitate another financial crisis and threaten the jobs and savings of everyday Americans.”

This isn’t the first time that the government has reached its debt limit. The limit has been raised, extended, or revised 78 times since 1960.

Learn more about the debt limit from the U.S. Treasury.

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate Nelson Mandela and join the world in celebrating his 93rd birthday this Sunday. I am honored and humbled to call President Mandela my friend. Like millions of his admirers around the world, I am deeply moved by his generosity of spirit and unfailing courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles. After 26 years locked in an apartheid prison, he emerged to lead South Africa’s transition from the division of apartheid to an integrated, multi-racial democracy. He embraced his jailers without bitterness or hatred and provided an example to his own people and people everywhere.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on celebrating the first Nelson Mandela International Day. Open Data and Hack Day

In March, we announced a new URL shortening service called automatically creates .gov URLs whenever you use bitly to shorten a URL that ends in .gov or .mil. We created this service to make it easy for people to know when a short URL will lead to official, and trustworthy, government information.

Data is created every time someone clicks on a link, which happens about 56,000 times each day. Together, these clicks show what government information people are sharing with their friends and networks. No one has ever had such a broad view of how government information is viewed and shared online.

Today, we’re excited to announce that all of the data created by clicks is freely available through the Developers page on We want as many people as possible to benefit from the insights we get from Hack Day

To mark the occasion, we’re also planning a nationwide Hack Day on July 29.

The Hack Day will bring together software developers, entrepreneurs, and curious citizens to look at the data produced by and discover new uses for the information.

Hack day events will take place in San Diego, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.. Participation is free! We hope you will join us.

If you’d like to attend, please visit the pages our collaborators have set up for each event where you can find more information and RSVP:

Of course, you don’t have to attend a physical event to share your ideas with the world. If you create something interesting with data that you’d like to share, leave a comment about it on this blog post, or tweet about it using the hashtag #1USAgov.

And, even if you’re not a developer, you can help us get the word out! Please share this post with anyone interested in showcasing what open government data can do!

New Crib Safety Standards

Starting today, all cribs manufactured and sold in the United States must follow new federal safety regulations. It is now illegal to manufacture or sell traditional drop-side rail cribs. All cribs must have more durable mattress support, slats, and hardware and manufacturers must go through a more rigorous testing process.

There is not a new recall on drop-side rail cribs because of these new regulations. You can check the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website for companies that have recalled their cribs and are providing immobilizers to secure the drop-side on the cribs.

Facilities such as daycare centers, hotels, and church nurseries have until December 28, 2011 to replace old cribs with compliant cribs that meet the new safety standards.

It is important to note that you cannot tell by looking at a crib whether or not it meets the new standards. The CPSC recommends you check with the retailer or manufacturer, who is required to run tests on their products to ensure they meet the standards.

Visit the CPSC for more information on the new crib standards.