IMMIGRATION LAWYERS WELCOME PRESIDENT'S ACTION, CAUTION COMMUNITY AGAINST SCAMMERS
Union City, NJ - The NJ chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomed President Obama's executive action which will offer some protections for vulnerable immigrants.
"This plan is a long time in coming," said AILA Foremer Chapter Chair Lloyd Bennett. He . continued, "As immigration attorneys, we see the results of our broken system every day and in the absence of Congressional action, the President had to act. While a lot of the details are still waiting to be filled in, we know that many of these changes will make a real impact.
Included in the far-ranging plan are some key items:
- Deferred Action for the parents of U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident children who fit the eligibility requirements.
- Expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to remove the age cap and move the continuous presence date up to January 1, 2010. DACA will now be granted for 3 years (including those with pending renewal applications).
- Replacement of the controversial Secure Communities program with a "Priority Enforcement Program" program the details of which are still unclear.
- Ensuring that job-creating entrepreneurs have legal means to enter and operate in the U.S.
- Increasing access for university affiliated businesses to key talent.
- Allowing spouses and children of lawful permanent residents to apply for unlawful presence waivers from within the U.S. and ensuring appropriate standards for adjudicating those waivers.
- Enabling families of individuals trying to enlist in the armed forces to utilize parole in place to ensure legal status.
- Changing the procedures for adjustment of status to allow legal immigrants caught in the immigration quota backlogs to register their applications and thus begin the final step of the process.
- Directing agencies to look at modernizing the visa system, with a view to making optimal use of the numbers of visa available under law.
- Announcement of a new border security campaign and plan.
"Frankly, what we're most concerned about right now is that people will be taken advantage of by notarios and unlicensed consultants who will use this announcement to try and scam people. The reality is that no new application forms are available yet and the guidelines that will determine eligibility aren't yet finalized. Don't let someone ruin your chances for possible benefit; seek qualified counsel for these important decisions." Lloyd Bennett, Esq. concluded.