Immigration Reform Programs explained…
On November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of immigration reform programs intended to crack down on illegal immigration at the border, prioritize “deporting felons not families”, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
This is not amnesty, nor a path towards permanent status. Instead, it is a bandaid on a broken system that will require Congress to pass a bill in order to provide lasting benefits.
These programs may impact around 4.4 million immigrants. It is important for anyone who is interested in learning whether they qualify to consult with an experienced and reputable immigration lawyer. Many unqualified fraudsters will take advantage of immigrants who are eager to start filing for their documents. Never use a notario for immigration benefits! They are not licensed attorneys and do not know what they are doing.
The immediate administrative initiatives include:
Expanding the group eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to young people who came to U.S. before turning 16 years old and have been present since January 1, 2010, and extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years;
Allowing parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been in the country since January 1, 2010, to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, in a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program, provided they pass required background checks;
Expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens;
Modernizing, improving and clarifying immigrant and nonimmigrant programs to grow our economy and create jobs;
Promoting citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents and providing an option for naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay the application fee.
Feel free to call me at STERN Law anytime to discuss your options for immigration benefits.