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DownloadLearn more about how the immigration process works and help you with your immigration concerns and questions. The Charleston USA Immigration Law Center is here to support you in your goal to become a United States citizen.

Obama's Executive Action,
November 20, 2014

Well it finally happened! President Obama has taken his first step toward immigration reform. What is important to first understand is that it is done through his Executive Order and not by an Act of Congress. Consequently, it may be only temporary in nature. Congress will most likely enact an "immigration reform bill" during 2015 and it will become law if the President sign's it. Any later new law will probably modify the November 20, 2014 Obama Executive Order. Also, a new President in 2016 could void this Obama Executive Order.

Based upon what our lawyers know now, let's first outline what is not covered. This will dispel the myths, rumors and misunderstandings about this new "law";

  1. The Application Process will probably take approximately 180 days to be implemented. Portions of it may be in place sooner. Check with us to see when you can take advantage of this Executive Order.
  2. Aliens who entered without inspection (EWI), who entered the U.S. without proper immigration documentation, cannot take advantage of this new law if they are without U.S. born children who are then citizens or green card holders. So parents of children who qualify under DACA, the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals, because these children were brought to the U.S. as young children, do not qualify for relief under this new law. Again, toddlers illegally brought into the U.S. do not qualify to help their illegal parents but may themselves qualify for DACA relief to remain here.
  3. The law provides no path to a Green Card or U.S. Citizenship. only an Act of Congress can do that.
  4. This new law will not apply to alien parents who got deported or returned to their home country despite having a child in the U.S. who was born in the U.S. But if you are in Deportation Proceedings and qualify you can use this law to stay in the U.S.

People with these situations will continue to be in the U.S. illegally and must wait for more immigration reform should it come in the future, to legally be able to stay in America.

So now we can outline who is covered by this new law, and what benefits they can enjoy. However, it is instructive to first highlight what the original DACA Law of President Obama did;

About the Original DACA
(Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Law

The DACA Program originally allowed children, brought here by their parents, to apply for a two year reprieve from any deportation, provided;

A. The child entered the U.S. illegally before June 1, 2010. B. The child was under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012. C. The child completed its educational requirements. D. The child filed the appropriate application with the USCIS and paid the filing fees. E. The child passed a required background check. F. The child paid any back taxes owing and continued to pay all taxes. G. The child then was eligible for a Work Permit, Social Security Card and then a Drivers License. H. Should the child earn an income and pay social security taxes it will be eligible for Medicaid and Social Security Disability Benefits.. Thereafter the DACA Program was extended for a two year renewal.

New Deferred Action Program

DACA is extended with the following modifications:

  1. No longer must a child be under age 31 on June 15, 2012 to apply
  2. The reprieve from deportation will be for three years
  3. Then balance of the original DACA requirements appear to remain in effect, for now
  4. The benefits originally provided under DACA appear to remain in effect including Medicaid.

All illegal Parents in the U.S. before January 1, 2010, who have not since left the U.S. can get a three year reprieve from deportation if they have a child here in the U.S. that is a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder before November 20, 2014 (even if born here to illegal parents):

  1. These parents must complete the Application Process, pay the filing fee of $465.00, complete a satisfactory background check and pay all taxes then owing
  2. They cannot have a criminal record of domestic violence, felonies, three misdemeanors, drug trafficking or be gang members
  3. Once approved they can get Work Permits and Social Security Cards which will then allow a valid a Driver License as well as Medicaid
  4. As with all immigration applications a valid Passport is a requirement
  5. Upon the payment of Social Security taxes the illegal parent is eligible for Medicare and Social Security Disability Benefits
  6. The caveat with this process is that once registered the USCIS ( Federal Government) has a record of your illegal status should the law ever become abolished.

Provisional Family Unity Waivers
nd Extreme Hardship Definition

Currently, Family Unity Waivers through the I-601/I-601A Program is eligible only for illegal alien spouses of U.S. citizens that can prove Extreme Hardship to the "Qualifying relative" spouse. This program will be extended to include alien spouses who are Permanent Residents (Green Card holders). It is not yet clear if this Program will be extended to Conditional Permanent Residents. In addition, the definition of Extreme Hardship will purportedly be modified to make the separation from a spouse and/or child much more significant.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
and Green Card Applicant Travel

Currently, TPS and Green Card Applicants cannot travel outside the U.S. while their applications are pending. The new Executive Order will allow oversees travel while the TPS or Adjustment of Status process is pending.

Abolishment of the Immigration
Secured Communities Program

Local police will no longer hold unauthorized illegal aliens on Detainers for Immigration Agents (ICE) unless the alien is a felon, gang member or committed three misdemeanors, domestic violence or is active in drug trafficking.

Expanded Work Visas for Business,
Foreign Entrepreneurs, Investment and Job Creation

Though not yet specifically delineated, expanded opportunities will exist for business in the fields of science, engineering and technology to generate economic growth and tax revenue to the U.S. economy.

Enhanced Payments to Border Guards
and Enhanced Border Security

Though also not yet specifically delineated it appears more monies will be paid to those who police our borders to boost morale and measures will be taken to further secure these borders.

Lastly, this Executive Order is currently in development and we at Charleston USA Immigration law Center will monitor its developments as they are published. Remember, with immigration, "nothing is as simple as it first appears" sm.

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