SALT LAKE CITY, UT, February 14, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- President Obama made no promises about immigration reform during his State of the Union Address stating only that our immigration system should be fixed to stimulate the nation's economy and shrink the deficits. To take the President at his word, immigrants are an economic issue. In a speech that lasted 1 hour, 5 minutes and 5 seconds, as little as 30 seconds discussed immigration reform, and only vague thoughts were conveyed by the President with no plan. ---
Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives rejected the U.S. Senate's Comprehensive Immigration Bill. Speaker of the House John Boehner has stated that the idea of a pathway to citizenship - Amnesty--is virtually dead. Amnesty cannot be accomplished without the cooperation of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Congress is at odds on almost every issue currently before them, and no significant legislation of any sort was passed in 2013. In November 2010, President Obama had the ability to pass a very comprehensive immigration plan with both the House and the Senate virtually in agreement. With a slight push from the President this could have been accomplished. Since then the President's power has diminished greatly from an approval rating of over 60% to now 43% and dropping. The Congress in place now is very different from the one in November of 2010, and President Obama missed the only opportunity of his Presidency to pass comprehensive immigration reform. President Bush in the previous administration came very close to passing Immigration reform but was unable to in spite of his very strong efforts.
President Obama and his administration has since deported more immigrants from the U.S. than the last two U.S. Presidents combined. In Utah, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deports hundreds of immigrants weekly. The Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) enforces the U.S. immigration laws. The ERO prioritizes the apprehension, arrest, and removal of immigrants. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) aggressively pursues the removal of immigrants every day at the Immigration Court located in West Valley, Utah. I am there nearly every week and watch it take place.
The question that each immigrant should be asking is, not how long should I wait for reform, but is there an opportunity for me to obtain lawful permanent residency right now under current immigration laws? For many immigrants, the answer is YES.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) allows the beneficiary to be deferred from deportation, and receive a work permit for two years. Through a process called Parole in Place, immigrants who are either, parents, spouses, and children of active or retired U.S. military can work towards obtaining their permanent residency in the United States. Through another process immigrant spouses of U.S. Citizens who have entered the U.S. without permission once, can file a Pardon (I-601A) while he/she is in the United States. If approved, he or she only has to be in their country of origin for a short period of time to obtain the permanent residency stamp in their passport. Reform is a dream. These processes are a reality.
There may be some new regulations passed by Executive Order by the President but this will most likely only be specific to a minority of immigrants with very specific qualifications. Many people I talk to feel that Amnesty is coming, be it in 6 months or a year or two. This is not the case. Amnesty has not been passed by a President since 1986; by Ronald Reagan and only under a very special set of political circumstances. Legislation in general is at a standstill and will remain as such for the foreseeable future. The truth is that Amnesty in its true form as passed in the 1980's may never happen again, or certainly, not for quite some time. The opportunities for lawful status now are as stated herein, but also include many other pathways. It is a false sense of security to wait for amnesty in light of the record high levels of deportations of immigrants in Utah, and in the Country as a whole. There are processes that can bring relief to so many, in place now. These processes are real. Amnesty is not a reality.
The attorneys at Familia America, LLC in Salt Lake City, Utah, handle immigration matters including family visas, green cards, employment visas, waivers, citizenship and naturalization, deportation and removal. The firm is dedicated to helping you bring your family together and keep your family together. If you need representation, call today at 801-990-1512 or 877-415-9604 toll free to speak with a lawyer.
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