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Executive Action on Immigration – What It May Mean for Families

Undocumented immigrants who have children born in the United States or who have resided in the U.S. as permanent residents for at least five years may be protected against deportation under an executive order issued by President Barack Obama in 2014.

The executive order is meant to keep families together in cases in which children or young adults are U.S. citizens but their parents are not. It grants temporary legal status and halts deportation of these individuals.

If you are in doubt about your immigration status or how the president’s executive order applies to your family, contact the experienced immigration law attorneys at Kraft & Associates, P.C., as soon as possible. Based in Dallas and serving all of North Texas, our attorneys are ready to work to protect your legal rights and help you obtain protection provided under the recent executive action and other immigration laws.

You May Benefit from the Executive Order on Immigration

Anyone born in the United States is automatically a U.S. citizen, regardless of their parents’ immigration status. About 4 million undocumented immigrants have children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.

An executive order issued by President Obama on Nov. 20, 2014, protects certain undocumented immigrants from deportation if their children were born in the United States.

Under the order:

  • Undocumented immigrants who have been in the country for at least five years will be able to stay if they have a child who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. This requires passing a background check, paying a fee and proving that your child was born before Nov. 20, 2014.
  • More immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children (younger than 16 years old) will be able to stay here. A 2012 executive order called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) originally allowed immigrants younger than 30 years old to apply for a deportation deferral. These individuals are sometimes called “dreamers.” The dreamers program now applies to anyone who arrived here in 2009 or earlier, no matter how old they are.

If you belong to either of these groups, you must apply for a deportation deferral to remain in the U.S. legally. You will be required to apply again in three years, as the order now stands.

The presidential order also allows individuals in the covered population to apply for work permits, which may be renewed after three years.

You are not protected by the executive order if:

  • You are an undocumented immigrant and do not have children.
  • You are the parent of a “dreamer” but have not resided in the U.S. for at least five years.

More Protection for Immigrants with Special Skills

President Obama’s executive order on immigration also expands a program to allow foreign students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) programs here, and provides more options for foreign entrepreneurs who want to start a business.

Assistance With Deportation Deferral Applications

The U.S. government is not likely to begin accepting deportation deferral applications under the new programs established by the November 2014 executive order until mid or late 2015. Applications will request specific information, which must be correct and complete and which must be verifiable by immigration officials.

To obtain a deferral and remain in the U.S. legally, you will be required to establish your identity and your relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (if applying on that basis) and show that you have continuously lived in the United States for at least five years.

The facts of your background must also indicate that you are not an enforcement priority – you have not recently crossed the border – and you present no other factors that would make a grant of deferred action inappropriate. This would include any unresolved criminal complaints or penalties (fines, active sentences, probation or alternative sentencing requirements) against you.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will carefully review each application. As with other immigration requests, if the USCIS determines that an applicant knowingly misrepresented or failed to disclose facts, the applicant will be subject to potential criminal prosecution or removal from the United States.

Beware of Scams – Contact a Trusted Name for Immigration Assistance

The USCIS warns that many people offer help with immigration services, but not all are authorized to do so. Only attorneys or accredited representatives can:

  • Give you legal advice about which forms to submit.
  • Explain immigration options you may have.
  • Communicate with the USCIS about your case.

Kraft & Associates, P.C., has been established in the Dallas and Fort Worth area of North Texas since 1971. Out immigration lawyers understand the process from start to finish, particularly as it applies to families. We have studied President Obama’s executive orders pertaining to immigration and are constantly reviewing updates and potential changes to the law.

Contact Kraft & Associates today to prepare for the new deferral programs. With more than 4 million potential beneficiaries of the new programs, submitting a complete and accurate application from the start will greatly enhance your chances for success without undue delay.

We do not accept payment for immigration services – or immigration cases – unless we feel there is a realistic possibility of achieving the desired outcome.

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