President Acts on Immigration; Attorneys Advocate Caution

On November 21, 2014, President Obama addressed the nation and explained the contents of his executive order on immigration. Johnstone Adams welcomed President Obama’s action, which was much-needed and will offer some protections for vulnerable immigrants. Johnstone Adams’ immigration attorneys see the results of our broken immigration system every day, and regardless of one’s political views, the President’s action will positively impact the system. Included in the far-ranging plan are some key items:         • Deferred Action for the parents of U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident children who fit the eligibility requirements.         • Expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to remove the age cap and move the continuous presence date up to January 1, 2010. DACA will now be granted for 3 years (including those with pending renewal applications).         • Replacement of the controversial Secure Communities program with a “Priority Enforcement Program” program the details of which are still unclear.         • Allowing spouses and children of lawful permanent residents to apply for unlawful presence waivers from within the U.S. and ensuring appropriate standards for adjudicating those waivers.         • Changing the procedures for adjustment of status to allow legal immigrants caught in the immigration quota backlogs to register their applications and thus begin the final step of the process. While a lot of the details are still waiting to be filled in, we know that many of these changes will make a significant impact on the lives of our clients. What we’re most concerned about right now is that people will be taken advantage of by notarios and unlicensed consultants who will use this announcement to try and scam people. The reality is that no new application forms are available yet and the guidelines that will determine eligibility are not yet finalized. For now, those who may be eligible for the above programs should make contact with a licensed immigration attorney who can keep them apprised of the proper timing for eligibility determinations and the filing of immigration petitions. To find out how President Obama’s executive action may affect you or your business, call Johnstone Adams at (251) 432-7682 or toll-free at (866) 732-3267, or visit our Website.

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