The Major Points of the Executive Order Regarding Immigration Reform
When President Obama announced a series of executive orders affecting immigration recently, most of the media coverage focused on reform offering protected status for undocumented immigrants. However, it actually covers several separate areas.
Reform for Children and Parents The DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which offers deferred action for children of legal permanent residents, will be expanded to young people who came to the country before age 16 or have lived here for the last five years. Most importantly, the President’s new action will also be extended to the parents of children who are U.S. citizens or have been lawful permanent residents for the past five years. Applicants for status will have to register, provide proof of their residency in the country for the five years by presenting utility bills, credit card bills, proof of checking accounts, etc. and have a background check. The immigrant will then receive work authorization and deferred action on deportation for a period of three years. The reform will not make them a lawful permanent resident or a U.S. citizen, but they will receive a social security number and pay taxes on their income.
More 601A Provisional Waivers The new reform extends the I-601A provisional waiver from spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to include sons and daughters, as well as spouses and children of both categories. The I-601A waiver lifts the “unlawful presence in the U.S. bar”, that is triggered when the immigrant is required to travel back to his home country on immigration issues and then reenter the county. The illegal alien can remain working and living in the United States while they await approval.
Promotion of Naturalization Reforms will take place to make filing for citizenship an easier, more accessible process. Although details have yet to be announced, reforms may address an immigrant’s inability to pay the fee (for example, offer more fee waivers) or make it easier to do so (such as allowing payment with a credit card).
In addition, the reform aims to prioritize the deportation of felons, not families, and promote criminal background checks and taxpaying among undocumented residents that seek documentation and work authorization.
Portions of the reform will take place in the first part of 2015. At Gardi, Haught, Fischer & Bhosale LTD, we are able to guide you through the immigration reform and get you the help you need for your particular situation. Please contact us at 847.944.9400.