Obama just finished announcing his executive action plans regarding immigration reform and here is what we know so far:
- He will increase border security resources
- He will make it easier for highly-skilled workers and graduate students to obtain visas
- He will extend deferred action eligibility to parents of U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents who have been in the United States for at least 5 years, successfully pass a criminal background check, and accept tax liability. Approved applicants will not obtain any affirmative legal status, they will merely be safe from deportation and authorized to work in the United States. Similar to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), this will be known as Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA).
- He will remove the age cap on DACA, so that persons of any age who otherwise meet DACA requirements are eligible to apply.
- He will extend I-601A Waiver eligibility to LPR parents and spouses, and seek clarification on the definition of "extreme hardship."
He reiterated that deportation priorities should be "felons not families," and that hard-working, law-abiding immigrants should be offered the opportunity to "get right with the law."
In the months ahead, the relevant government agencies will begin to implement Obama's Executive Action, and our office will immediately release any and all information regarding application procedures as it becomes available. We congratulate Obama on taking this important step toward a more just, functional immigration system, and we hope this spurs Congress to revisit comprehensive immigration reform with an eye toward fairness and compromise.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions about Obama's announcement and what it means for you.
Read More: AILA's 8 Points on the President's Immigration Accountability Executive Actions via AILA
Executive Actions on Immigration via USCIS