Who Benefits From President Obama's Executive Action On Immigration

Posted on: 15 December 2014

President Obama's executive action on immigration benefits different undocumented immigrants in different ways. Some of his decisions involve extensions and enhancements of previous actions, while others offer relief involving family unity and national interest. Here are some of the people who benefit from this decision:

1. Undocumented residents who came to the US as children or who were born in the US to undocumented parents.

These same individuals were helped in 2012 by another executive action by President Obama called DACA (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals). Under DACA, those who came to the US illegally as children and were under 31 years old were allowed to remain without fear of deportation for two years. They could also acquire authorization to work in the US while applying for residency.

Under the latest executive action, the age limit for DACA was lifted as long as the beneficiary arrived in the US before they turned 16. It also extended the deportation ban from 2 to 3 years.

2. Parents of those who qualify for DACA.

The parents of DACA beneficiaries who became lawful permanent residents or US citizens may remain in the US without fear of deportation and apply for work authorization for 3 years under DAPA (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability). They must first pass background checks.

3. Certain individuals who have overstayed visas to the US.

Those who remain in the US up to 180 days past their departure date are subject to a 3 year re-entry ban. Those remaining more than 180 days are subject to an automatic 10 year re-entry ban. A provisional waiver of unlawful presence previously allowed minor children and spouses of US citizens to avoid the automatic ban in specific cases. President Obama extended the relief to adult sons and daughters of US citizens and the spouses, sons, and daughters of lawful permanent residents.

4. Skilled workers, investors, inventors, those who wish to start businesses in the US.

President Obama proposes streamlining the application process for work visas in order to provide American companies with highly skilled workers. Many are trained in US schools only to be forced to leave the country because of flaws in the immigration system and the lack of available skilled worker visas.

5. Those who are eligible to become US citizens.

President Obama proposes that citizenship awareness programs be made available to lawful permanent residents and that they be allowed to pay for their naturalization application fee with a credit card.

While these measures don't help all of the undocumented residents seeking relief, they can provide a starting point until immigration reform is passed by Congress. If you believe that you qualify for any of these benefits, contact an attorney like Bayer Jerger & Underwood. They can guide you through the already complex process.