How to Prepare for Obama’s Deferred Action Immigration Initiative.

by George Barron


President Obama announced yesterday that he plans to make some changes to our immigration laws that would permit some undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States and get work authorization.  The changes haven’t happened yet, and we do not know exactly what they will look like.  Although Congressional Republicans are mad, I do not think they will be able to do anything to stop it.

What is happening?

It looks like the president’s initiative will:

1. Prioritize deportation of criminal aliens;

2. Permit some non-criminal undocumented aliens (parents of US citizens and Permanent Residents) who have been here 5 or more years to get permission to stay in the US and work authorization IF they pass a background check and pay back taxes. This is similar to the Deferred Action previously extended to undocumented aliens who entered as children.

3. Streamline the process for highly skilled workers to obtain Permanent Residence.

What can you do to prepare?

1. Gather your documents.  It is very likely that the new rules will require you to prove the dates that you were present in the United States.  You may need receipts, school records, bills, letters, etc. from the entire time that you have been in the US.  If you have worked in the US you will probably need to prove that you paid taxes so gather tax returns, check stubs, etc.  If you have worked and you haven’t paid taxes, you will probably have to do so.   You need a tax identification number or Social Security number to file taxes, so I am not sure how this will work.  Also, get your birth certificate and those of your parents and children (with translations if they are not in English).

2. Don’t get ripped off!  NO ONE should be taking money from you now for help with this process.  We do not know when it will begin or exactly what it will look like.  Keep an eye on the news for more details – and I will try to keep updating this site as things unfold.  If you have questions or need help, ask an immigration lawyer. NOT A NOTARIO!

3. Tell the truth.  Nothing will destroy your life in the US faster than lying to USCIS.

4. Stay informed.

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