"We are and will always be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once too" -- President Obama
Tonight President Barack Obama announced his executive plans on immigration reform.
- We will provide more resources to law enforcement personnel at the border so they are able to efficiently and effectively stem the flow of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. and facilitating their return back to their country
- We will make it easier and faster for highly-skilled foreign workers, students, and entrepreneurs to stay in the U.S. and contribute to the U.S. economy
- We will take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented individuals who are already in the U.S.
President Obama focused primarily on the third plan during his speech and has offered a deal: Those who have been in the U.S. for more than 5 years and those who have children who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are able to stay in the U.S. temporarily so long as they register, pass a criminal background check, and pay taxes. However, these undocumented immigrants cannot apply for a green card or U.S. citizenship. They also cannot receive the benefits that U.S. citizens have. What this deal does mean is that if an undocumented immigrant qualifies, he or she will be protected under this new program and will not be deported. Essentially this is very similar to the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program President Obama initiated back in 2012. However, under this new expansion of the deferred action, the age restriction has been lifted. Previously, only undocumented individuals who came into the U.S. before their 16th birthday and were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012 were able to apply for DACA. Qualified individuals will be able to apply for relief from deportations starting next spring for a period of three years. President Obama also made it clear that felons, not families; criminals, not children; gang members, not a mom who is working hard to provide for her kids should and will be deported. åÊ We will be sure to keep you updated as President Obama begins to put his immigration reform plans to action. If you've missed the speech, check it out here: http://bit.ly/1tmYwLj
For more information about the immigration reform details, please visit: http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction