Pres Obama Executive Order Protects Immigrant Families

Obama PrezOrder.jpegWith President Obama’s announcement of executive action on immigration issues, the phone has been ringing constantly at both the Pasadena and Palm Springs offices. Fong & Aquino has fielded over 50 telephone inquiries this morning alone.

Although the President announced the executive action yesterday, immigration lawyers are still studying the EXACT requirements and details of the presidential order. It is a very complex, wide-ranging set of orders. I will be posting more information in the coming days.

This is a hopeful development, but it is new. DO NOT try to travel outside the USA at this time. CHECK WITH AN ATTORNEY before filing any papers with the immigration authorities. Remember that many unlicensed paralegals will try to encourage you to sign up with them: PLEASE BE CAREFUL. If you have any questions about your eligibility, or if you’re interested in applying for a benefit under the executive order, please contact a competent immigration attorney.

Some highlights of the President’s order:

(a) Work permits for certain highly-skilled workers and their spouses, as well as students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

(b) Clarify and improve the ability to travel for those who are waiting for Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status, including those who are here on Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

(c) Legal status for the spouses and children of US armed forces service members.

(d) Implement new priorities to deport or remove criminal immigrants, while minimizing deportation of non-criminal family members.

(e) Strengthen border security and safety, and increase and reallocate resources for border interdiction.

(f) Expand the eligibility for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), to permit more young undocumented high school graduates to get work permits. New DACA work permits will be valid for 3 years, instead of the current 2 years.

(g) Create a Deferred Action program for Parents of US citizens and LPRs who have been in the USA for more than five years. To qualify, applicants will need to register with the government, pay back taxes, undergo fingerprinting and a background check, and pay application fees.

Please check back here in the coming days, for more information, as we learn the details of the new program. If you would like to set up an appointment, feel free to contact the office. –j