According to a recent article in the Washington Post, as well as much speculation among immigration attorneys and advocates, President Obama is expected to issue an executive order in the next few weeks that could benefit millions of foreign nationals living without authorization in the US. Although an executive order on immigration is not technically a “law”, it will have the same effect in providing a legal basis for new immigration benefits.
While specifics of any proposed program are unknown, administration officials have told immigration advocates that ideas under consideration include deferred action for immediate family members of US citizens or for those who have lived in the US a certain number of years. Some estimate that the eligible population for such measures could reach as high as 5 million people. This is almost 10 times the number of people who have taken advantage of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
How should I prepare to take advantage of any potential new immigration program?
To participate in any new immigration program, if and when one is announced, applicants will need to apply for the benefit and prove their eligibility. Eligibility will most likely require proof of one or more of the following:
- A US citizen immediate family member – you would need to submit translated birth certificates to prove a family relationship.
- Lack of criminal record – USCIS will probably take fingerprints as part of the application process. If you believe you may have a criminal record, including a DUI, you should get a copy of your criminal history record from the FBI to be sure. Instructions for doing so can be found at https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks.
- Physical presence in the US – any new program may contain a physical presence requirement. You can prove physical presence through documents such as an apartment lease, rent receipts, mortgage statement and payment receipts, bank statements, school records, pay stubs from work, medical records, etc.
- Yearly filing of federal tax return.
What should I do right now?
Again, only rumors of a new program exist at this time. For the time being, you should pay attention to credible news sources for any announcement(s) from the White House. If and when an announcement is made, contact the skilled and experienced immigration attorneys at Antonini and Cohen Immigration Law Group at 404.850.9394 or click here.
Our team has vast experience in filing for all types of immigration benefits, including deferred action, prosecutorial discretion, and stays of removal. We will be happy to meet with you to analyze your particular circumstances and discuss the best possible avenue(s) for remaining lawfully in the US. We are all hoping for some form of immigration reform – if and when it happens, we look forward to helping you and your family.