Last Thursday night President Obama announced that he is issuing an executive action to try in some way help fix the broken immigration system. It has not yet been implemented by the Immigration Agencies and all the details have not been ironed out yet, so only time will tell what the exact rules will be and how these orders will be carried out. Please be aware of anyone offering to file applications based on the policies announced last Thursday as these policies have not been implemented yet and USCIS are not accepting applications as of yet.
However, what we know so far is that immigration reform will involve prioritizing deportations of people with criminal backgrounds while trying to keep families together as well as create more visas for educated skilled workers. The policies listed on USCIS’ website (available here), which have not yet been implemented, include:
– expanding the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (also known as DACA) to those who came to this country before 2010 and before they turned 16;
– allowing parents of children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents and have been continuously present in the U.S. since 2010 of time to be eligible to request deferred action and apply for work authorization as long as they are not an enforcement priority for removal (see the memorandum outlining who is an enforcement priority here);
– expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and children of lawful permanent residents as well as U.S. citizens;
– a modernization of the employment based visa system for both immigrant and non-immigratn visas so as to grow our economy and create jobs; and
– increased border security amongst other things.
It has been said that the latest immigration policies will safeguard an estimated 5 million people from deportation to enable those living in the shadows to live without fear of being deported and having to leave behind loved ones in the U.S. I expect a lot more information to be unveiled in the coming weeks and months so keep in touch with us via joining our mailing list or join our social media or contact me directly through www.hannafordimmigration.com.