The Nation's Immigration Policy

Last Friday, The Department of Homeland Security announced changes in immigration policy as President Obama signed an executive order that would give immigrant youth a chance to breathe easy. The policy, effective immediately, will temporarily suspend deportations (in two-year, renewable increments) and allow young immigrants to apply for work permits. The President's order, although a temporary solution, will prove to be tremendously helpful to those immigrants who would be threatened with deportation despite having grown up in the United States. Many of these young people are not even able to speak their native language, and barely have any recollection of life in their home country.

The policy mimics the DREAM Act (short for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act) in its eligibility requirements of age, residency, moral standing, and academic or military experience. This act was first proposed in 2001. More than 10 years later, there is still no definitive decision made on the bill. This bill was an attempt to extend permanent residency to immigrants who are already very much a part of American society. Obama's new policy, like the act, will be given to young people who entered the United States before the age of 16 and have lived in the country for at least 5 consecutive years.

This announcement came as a big surprise to many illegal immigrants who live in constant fear of deportation. A young man currently living in Alabama is one such individual who may be positively affected by this new policy. This state has some of the strictest and most severe immigration laws in the nation. This young man has been in hiding with his family for 13 years. They immigrated to America when he was only 11 years old. Like many immigrants, this youth thrived in his community, quickly learning English and even joining his high school's football team. Unfortunately, his lack of citizenship has led to his inability to get a job in anything other than construction.

Recently he was pulled over and arrested for a mild traffic violation. Naturally, he feared the worst. Though he was fortunately released, his fears of deportation are only temporarily relieved. This new policy may help to secure his position in the U.S. and may even lead to his ability to get a better job. However, Obama's announcement is only a temporary fix. It is still to be seen what will come from the Dream Act. The lives of so many people will be affected by this policy change. We look forward to seeing more positive immigration reform like this take place in the very near future.

The nation's immigration policy is a very sensitive issue. Illegal immigrants often automatically have a prejudiced against them. When such an individual gets in trouble with the law, even if the infraction is minor, the results can be devastating. Musa-Obregon & Associates is a firm dedicated to helping immigrants of all nationalities. We know that transitioning to life in the States can be difficult and sometimes mistakes happen.

If you have found yourself in trouble with the law or in danger of deportation, it is vital that you contact our Queens immigration firm right away.

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