Are You, or Someone You Know, Eligible for Obama’s Deportation Relief?

By |Published on November 24th, 2014|Posted in Immigration

I am amazed by the rumors circulating around the internet about the relief that President Obama gave by executive order last week. Some call it “amnesty for illegals” and others say that it will encourage more undocumented immigrants to come to the United States. But, the truth is that President Obama’s executive order does neither.

Those benefiting from his immigration executive order will not be entitled to a green card or visa. They will not have a pathway to citizenship until such time as congress acts to pass immigration reform. For this reason, it cannot be called amnesty. Amnesty is defined as an official pardon. However, President Obama’s action does not pardon anyone for committing a crime. In fact, one cannot benefit from his order if they have committed a significant crime. Instead, his action merely acts to protect parents of US citizen or lawful permanent resident children from being separated from their families and children who were here before they were 16 from being sent back to their native country.

The order is intended not to encourage new undocumented arrivals because it only applies to those children who were here before January 1, 2010 and those parents who had children born in the US before November 21, 2014. If you are undocumented and have a child born on November 22 or later, you are out of luck and are not eligible for relief.

Not all children here before January 1, 2010 can get relief. In order to qualify, they must have been brought here by their parents, before their 16th birthday, be in school or a a High School graduate (or GED), or be honorably discharged from the armed forces.

Not all parents of US citizen children or lawful permanent resident children can qualify. In order to qualify, the child must have been born before November 21, 2014, the parents must have lived continuously in the United States since before January 1, 2010, they must have been physically present on November 20, 2014 and be willing to pay back taxes.

No one who has committed a serious crime or posed a threat to national security is entitled to relief.

If an applicant gets relief, they may be entitled to a work permit and, in many states, a driver’s license.

Because of all of what one must prove in order to qualify for relief, it is advisable to have an attorney assist with the application. Not only must an applicant qualify, but they must be able to prove they qualify with actual evidence. Proving this may not be as easy as it sounds.

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