Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP

2014 Immigration Executive Action, What We Know Now.


What we know now about the Immigration Executive Action announced by President Obama on November 20, 2014:

 Q:  What are the basic requirements?

A:

  • An individual would need to have been in the US for 5 years;
  • They would need to have a child who is a US Citizen or Permanent Resident;
  • They can not have a serious criminal record;
  • They would need to agree to pay taxes;
  • They would need to register for the program.

Q:           What benefit would this program offer to applicants?

A:            For a temporary period (probably three years) the individuals would not be deported and could obtain a work permit.

Q:           How many people might benefit from this?

A:            According to US Immigration, up to 5 million people may qualify for this benefit.

Q:           When will this new program be available?

A:            The best information that we have now is that filings will not be accepted until May of 2015.

Q:           What can people do now to prepare?

A:  

  • Prepare proof of physical presence in the US for five years;
  • Do FBI and California Department of Justice background checks to confirm that there is not a disqualifying criminal record;
  • Obtain birth certificates proving that there is a qualifying relative.

Q:           When does the five years mentioned above begin?

A:            An individual would need to have been in the US since January 1, 2010 to qualify.

Q:           Will they be disqualified if they made some short trips outside of the US over the last five years?

A:            We do not know for sure, but there are other immigration benefits with similar wording that also require continuous physical presence in the US and they allow for short absences from the US.

Q:           What type of Criminal conviction would disqualify a person?

A:            We do not have specifics yet, but we know that violent crimes would definitely disqualify a person.  We assume that the rule will be similar to those for DACA  (Deferred Action for Dream Act kids) and the rules for those cases were that even a DUI or anything more serious would disqualify an applicant.

Q:           How long would it take the government to process these applications?

A:           US Immigration estimates that it will take about a year.

Q:           Is it possible that Congress could cancel the program?

A:            It is possible, but unlikely that Congress could refuse to allocate that money to fund the program.  It is also possible that the new Congress in January could pass a comprehensive immigration bill that would be less generous than President Obama’s proposal.

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