President Barack Obama recently announced his decision to move forward on his own with respect to the issue of immigration reform, instead of waiting for Congress to move with him. Although he has had to fight an uphill battle against members of Congress and other government agencies that feel his actions fall outside the limits of presidential power, New Jersey immigration lawyers report that Obama’s proposed plan aims to keep families together and remove threats to the country.
The President’s Plan
Obama has been pushing for immigration reform for the better portion of his second term, and after a series of stalling tactics from Congress, is now deciding to use his executive powers to act alone. On November 20, 2014, he announced his plan—a sweeping reform that includes deportation protection for nearly five million undocumented immigrants, as well as parents whose children are lawfully permanent residents or U.S. citizens.
For many families, being separated from children who qualified under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a serious fear. The DACA gave many children access to legal status, but left their parents at risk for deportation. Now, the similar Deferred Action for Parent Arrivals (DAPA) may be protection from that fear. The president’s plan also allows for those who qualify for DAPA to stay in the country for three years, provided they pass background checks and pay back taxes for the time they have lived in America.
To enact his reform, Obama used the power of executive action to focus deportation efforts on illegal immigrants who have been convicted of criminal activity rather than families caught at border checkpoints without proper paperwork. The president's action grants allowances to parents and family members for temporary options to stay where they are.
This decision has been met with a lot of pushback from the Senate, the House of Representatives, Congress, and other government officials who feel that Obama has overstepped the bounds of his office and is now working outside of the powers afforded to the president in the U.S. Constitution.
Where is the Reform Plan Now?
Unfortunately, the plan has not yet been put into action while Congress and Obama hash out whether the president has the right to enforce executive action in this case. This leaves millions of illegal immigrants in New Jersey and across the country without answers, waiting to see whether they will be deported or allowed to stay. Deportation is always a looming threat, and without a concrete decision from the federal government, immigrants who are accused of a crime or caught without the proper visas, green cards, and paperwork could be sent back to the home countries from which they have fled at a moment’s notice.
At New Jersey law firm Helmer, Conley, and Kasselman, PA, our immigration attorneys represent immigrants in the state who have been threatened with deportation, especially during this time while the reform issue is so controversial in the country. To discuss your case with an HCK attorney, contact our law offices today.