President Obama will announce his executive order on immigration tonight
(8:00 p.m. ET). It appears that Obama will finally follow through on his
promise to exercise his executive powers to address the nation's broken
immigration system. In a brief video announcement, Obama said of the executive
order on immigration:
"What I'm going to be laying out is the things that I can do with
my lawful authority as president to make the system work better, even
as I continue to work with Congress."
The details, however, of Obama's long-awaited executive action on immigration
are not yet known. Not much specific information was provided in Obama's
video message; however, news outlets have been quick to predict the terms
of Obama's executive order on immigration. Most have cited sources
that indicate Obama's executive action is expected to provide protection
from removal (deportation); however, sources vary on two main eligibility
requirements: (1) the presence and extent of applicants' ties to U.S.
citizen or permanent resident family, such as children and spouses, and
(2) the amount of time applicants have lived in the United States (five
and ten years have been reported). Also reported is that Obama's executive
order will expand the category of Dreamers to eliminate the age limitation
previously enforced for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Again, no details are yet confirmed.
After Obama's announcement tonight, he is expected to provide further
details on his executive action tomorrow, Friday, while attending a rally
in Las Vegas. The finer details, in particular procedural issues of how
to apply for and receive relief under the executive action on immigration,
will likely only be revealed with even more time. Millions of people could
benefit from Obama's executive order on immigration, but putting the
plan into action will be a work in progress that could take several months
to roll out and commence. Tonight's announcement will also likely
trigger a backlash from anti-immigration politicians and groups, some
of which have already begun threatening to sue Obama over this executive
action on immigration.
As we prepare for Obama's announcement on his executive order on immigration
tonight, please keep in mind the following points:
• Tonight is just the beginning. Nothing has happened yet. Details
will likely roll out with time, especially procedural issues on how to
apply for and receive any immigration relief under the executive action.
• Be on alert for any scams and
notario fraud offering to help you through the immigration process under Obama's
executive order on immigration.
• Contact a reliable and trusted immigration attorney, or community
or religious organization to learn more on the details of the executive
order. The government will also certainly provide detailed information
online on Obama's executive action on immigration, much like it did
with Deferred Action (DACA).
• If you do qualify, be prepared to document your identity (i.e.,
passport or other government-issued identification); family ties to the
United States (i.e., birth certificates for children born here, marriage
certificate to your United States citizen spouse, divorce judgments for
prior marriages, etc.); and your history of residence in the United States
(i.e., school records, leases, utility bills, bank or other financial
News of tonight's announcement is very exciting, but again, be on alert
for any scams preying on the immigrant population. Wait for the details
to be revealed and then contact a trusted resource.
Lastly, before Obama's long-awaiting announcement, I wish to applaud
those who have fought the long, hard, and good fight for immigration change
– remaining a loud voice in Obama's ear, reminding him of the
importance of finally addressing our broken immigration system, the value
of our undocumented immigrant population to our local communities and
nation at large, and the devastating consequences of forcibly tearing
families apart through deportation.