The U.S. immigration system is broken. The U.S. Department of State has estimated that there are at least 11 million of undocumented aliens in the country.
To contrast a stall in Congress for a comprehensive immigration reform, President Obama has finally decided to take action by announcing a deferred action program for certain illegal immigrants. This move will benefit approximately 5 million illegal immigrants, giving them the right to obtain a 3-year work authorization, social security number and a driver license.
Of course, not everybody will qualify. The President made it clear that this new initiative is not designed to encourage other people to come to the United States illegally or violate their Visa status.
The new executive action will be directed to 3 categories of illegal immigrants:
1. People that were brought to the United States before the age of 16, have a high school diploma (or are currently enrolled in school), and have no criminal records. The new executive action also removes the age limit that was previously imposed in the DACA program of 2012.
2. Undocumented aliens that have lived in the United States since January 1, 2010, and have at least one child that was born in the United States before November 20, 2014.
3. Undocumented spouses of lawful permanent residents, that will now be allowed to file for the provisional waiver of unlawful presence (previously, only spouse of US citizen had this option).
It is important to note that this will only be a deferred deportation program, and will not lead to permanent residency. Also, the next U.S. president will have the authority of not renewing, or even cancelling the program altogether.
To verify eligibility to this new executive action program, you should contact a good immigration attorney so that you do not waste money and, above all, you do not expose yourself to deportation proceedings.
In fact, according to the new program, all applicants will have to be fingerprinted, photographed, and pass a comprehensive background and criminal check. Those that apply and will be found not eligible, will remain in the USCIS databases, and could be subject to removal proceedings.