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November 17

Obama’s Immigration Reform Executive Order

Numerous reports have indicated that President Obama is posed to announce his intention to sign an executive order to expanded temporary protected status to millions of unlawful individuals in the United States.

2014 may turn out to be the one many immigrants have been anticipating for years. Several sources have stated that the President looks to provide a type of Deferred Action for parents of U.S. Citizen children. In essence, this immigration reform program would be a Temporary Protected Status program, or a type of program akin to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), that is in now effect.

Just as with the DACA program, parents applying under this new immigration reform program will have to meet certain eligibility criteria. Although the exact requirements for applicants have not been publicized it is a given that applicants will need to provide certain information in order to apply. These essential pieces of information include proving identification documents, relationship documents to establish parentage to a U.S. child, criminal history documents, and records of living in the U.S. for a yet undisclosed time period. Additional documents will likely be necessary and a complete list will be provided as soon as the details and application procedures for this new program are announced by the Department of Homeland Security.

The immigration reform executive order is expected to benefit up to 5 million illegal immigrants with long-term ties to the country. Applicants that are granted the benefits of this program will be able to secure lawful employment, a social security number, a driver license and most importantly avoid family separation as a result of a deportation. Reports indicate President Obama will sign this executive order within the next few weeks but most likely before the end of the year. The President is permitted to use executive action as part of the executive agency in the exercise of duty as set forth in the Constitution, however, President Obama has made it clear that it will not be a comprehensive reform or amnesty. The positive effect of the President’s action could be broad yet many have stated that legally they will be limited indicating this executive action provides only temporary reprieves from deportation.

Congress is not required to approve any executive order, nor can it overturn an order. If Congress does not like an executive order, the only opportunity it has to oppose the order is to pass a law to cut funding for the order’s implementation. However the most important thing to remember is that only two executive orders have ever been overturned by the judiciary branch thus meaning if President Obama makes good on his intentions then immigration reform is on its way.

For a consultation to better prepare for the immigration reform contact the experienced immigration attorneys in Houston at Benavides & Serrano PLLC by calling 713-222-2828.

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