In late November, 2014, President Obama signed an executive order that offers temporary “legal” status to millions of immigrants and helps lift the veil of fear of deportation, at least temporarily.
If you missed all of the details, you’re not alone. It was a comprehensive executive order (in fact, it was one of the most thorough of the 198 executive orders Obama has signed since the beginning of his presidency), and most news stations only covered snippets of it.
What Does Obama’s Executive Order Do for Immigrants?
The multi-faceted executive order has left some immigrants very relieved—some of whom did not follow the legal avenues for immigration to the U.S.—because it includes verbiage that’s designed to keep families together.
- Allows undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who currently live here to stay for at least five years. It also opens the door for many of them to receive work permits.
- Expands the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to include immigrants who are over age 30 to qualify.
We already know that comprehensive immigration reform would benefit our economy, and people on both sides of the political aisle know that.
In September, Speaker John Boehner said, “Immigration reform will help our economy… we’ve got a mess, and everyone knows we’ve got a mess.”
The majority of Americans, according to a September 2014 Washington Post-ABC News poll, believe that Obama is well within his rights to use his executive powers on immigration reform if Congress won’t.
While Obama’s executive order only scratches the surface of the very real problems immigrants face, which include mountains of red tape and long waiting periods, it’s a start.
If you or a loved one is trying to come to the U.S., our talented team of Milwaukee immigration lawyers may be able to help.