Back in 2008, the president promised that immigration reform was overdue
and that it was time to address the problem. Unfortunately, because of
the lack of efficiency shown by Congress, comprehensive immigration reform
has yet to be passed. The President instead has issued a series of executive
orders to bring immigration reform back into the conversation, which will
aid more than four million people in obtaining documentation.
The new action embraces the areas of efficiency in immigration petitions,
border security, an expansion of the post-study program for foreign students,
and tougher removal proceedings.
An expanded Deferred Action for Children and a new Deferred Action for
Parents of Citizens are the leaders of the presidential action.
The program, established in 2012, provided work authorizations to people
who arrived before they were 16 and who are under 31 years old. Candidates
must also have completed high school or earned a GED and had no major
criminal histories. Before the current announcement, these individuals
must have arrived in the United States prior to 2007. Now, the action
has expanded to also include people who arrived before January 1, 2010,
regardless of their age.
Parents of U.S. citizens will be able to obtain work authorization under
the new program providing that they pass a background check and pay taxes.
Eligibility depends on proving that their child was born before November
20, 2014 and whether the parents arrived before January 1, 2010.
According to the While House, the new Deferred Action for Children Act
(DACA) will be available in 90 days of the executive action. The wait
period for Deferred Action for Parents (DAPA) is 180 days. Until that
time, families can begin interviewing attorneys, gathering evidence, and
determining their best options.