Frustrated with failure of the US Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reforms, President Barack Obama is all set to announce the long-delayed reforms today, Thursday, November 20th in a prime time address to the nation at 8pm EST.
1. Identity Documents
Obtain original birth certificates, passports, consular identification or any other identity documents such as marriage and/or divorce certificates or adoption records.
Make sure your taxes are filed, paid, and accurate.
Obtain certified dispositions for any arrest or conviction.
Presence Collect records to show that you have lived in the United States, such as leases, medical records, bank records, and/or employment records.
If you have ever been arrested by law enforcement, including immigration authorities, you may want to have your fingerprints taken to review your record
Records If you have had any interaction with immigration authorities, you should obtain a copy of your file from your attorney or file a Freedom of Information Act request to secure your file.
7. Start Saving
The application costs likely will be significant.
8. Stay Informed
Rely on reputable sources of information, including the National Immigrant Justice Center and the Illinois is Ready campaign.
9. Don’t Become a Victim of Fraud
Seek legal advice from an attorney/organization that is recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals. Never sign blank forms! Notaries or “notarios” are not lawyers and are not authorized to give immigration advice. Click here to read more about how to avoid immigration fraud. Courtesy National Immigrant Justice Center
“So tomorrow night, President Obama will address the nation to lay out the executive actions he’s taking to fix our broken immigration system. You can watch the President live tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET at WhiteHouse.gov/Live,” added the statement.
The move comes two weeks after Democrats lost control of US Congress to Republicans in the November 5 midterm elections. To many, the Republicans control of Congress dampened the hopes of the passage of comprehensive immigration reforms.
“The Senate passed a bipartisan bill more than 500 days ago, and while the country waits for House Republicans to vote, the President will act — like the Presidents before him — to fix our immigration system in the ways that he can,” said the White House.
White House insists that the administrative action is a “step forward” in the President’s plan to work with Congress on passing “common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform”.
“He laid out his principles for that reform two years ago in Del Sol High School in Las Vegas — and that’s where he’ll return on Friday to discuss why he is using his executive authority now, and why Republicans in Congress must act to pass a long-term solution to immigration reform.”
Obama’s much awaited initiative is expected to benefit around five million undocumented immigrants. Reports in the mainstream media indicate that one major element of Obama initiative will be that the undocumented immigrants will get work permits to work legally in the US. However, they will not be extended state health benefits.
The news of administrative relief plan sent pro-immigration groups in festive mood, with many getting ready to throw parties in several parts of metro New York to celebrate the announcement.
“We are very encouraged to see the President heed our calls to provide administrative relief for millions of immigrants in our communities. We have yet to see the details of the President’s plan, so we continue to call on him to “go big” and ensure that administrative relief includes parents of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and other young DREAMers,” said Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, aNew York-based immigration group.
There are about 11.2 million undocumented immigrants in the US. Mexicans make up about half of the undocumented immigrants. According to Pew Research Center, the population unauthorized immigrants from Mexico has declined from 6.4 million in 2011 to 5.9 million in 2012. California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois are home to 60 percent of the unauthorized immigrants. But the distribution of the population is changing and seven states — Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia — are seeing surge in the population of undocumented immigrant population.
Undocumented immigrants contribute significantly to the US labor force, accounting for 5.1 percent of the total.
The Obama initiative is already drawing strong reaction from the Republican Party which will assume control of the Congress in January. It will be interesting to see how its reaction transpires in congressional actions ahead of presidential elections in 2016, race for which will heat up in the coming months. Obama’s action will certainly endear the Democrats to the Latino voter, the nations most influential emerging voting block.