Category Archives: Immigration Reform

Thank an immigrant for making the USA great. Immigration Reform will help the best and brightest doctors, engineers, entertainers and entrepreneurs stay in the U.S. Blog articles in this category include information about Immigration Reform, including executive action.

LGBT Immigration Rights Have Come a Long Way

LGBT Immigration RightsOver the last several years, LGBT immigration rights in the United States have changed significantly. A progressive cultural environment and several court cases have helped to equalize treatment of same-sex marriage in the U.S. immigration system.

While the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities continue to be persecuted throughout much of the world, LGBT immigration rights have blossomed in the United States. Continue reading

Still DREAM’n on DACA’s 4th Anniversary

Still Dream'n on DACA AnniversaryTomorrow marks the fourth anniversary of President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order. And while the program has positively transformed the lives of many, there is still so much left unaccomplished in those four years. The DREAM has yet to be fully realized.

The DACA program, announced by President Obama on June 15, 2012, provides benefits to young immigrants living in the United States who came to the U.S. at an early age as undocumented immigrants with their parents. Each renewable two-year grant of DACA provides:

  • Deferred action — Protection from deportation
  • Employment authorization – a work permit that allows the individual to work within the United States

Continue reading

How Scalia’s Death Affects DAPA and DACA

scalia death dapa and dacaU.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent death and how a new Justice will be selected has injected new fuel into the Democratic and Republican debates. But it’s highly unlikely that a new Justice will be selected before this spring when the Supreme Court takes on expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Permanent Residents (DAPA). Both the DAPA and expanded DACA programs have been blocked by lower courts. In the case known as United States v. Texas, the Supreme Court is expected to make a final decision. Continue reading

Immigration Enforcement Policy Protects 10 Million

Obama and Nieto discuss immigration enforcement policyAlthough President Obama’s executive actions that created DAPA and expanded DACA remain stalled, his updated enforcement policy means that up to 87 percent of undocumented immigrants in the United States likely will not be the target of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) according to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI).

The centerpiece of Obama’s November 24, 2014, executive actions on immigration was the announcement of the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). When combined, these two programs were expected to positively affect up to 5 million people with protection from deportation and employment authorization for a renewable 3-year period. But both of these programs are blocked by court orders. Continue reading

Court Says No to Executive Action on Immigration

executive action on immigrationToday, a federal court of appeals refused to lift a temporary hold on President Obama’s executive action on immigration that could have aided as many as five million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

In February, a Texas judge put the brakes on two major components of Obama’s executive actions after 26 states, led by Texas, alleged that Obama’s action was unconstitutional and harmed the states. His decision forced the Obama administration to halt the implementation of expanded DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and the initial introduction of DAPA (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability). Continue reading

Gathering DAPA Documents

gather dapa documents for familyWe previously published a basic guide on Preparing for DAPA and developed a DAPA Eligibility Quiz that helps potential applicants determine their eligibility. But gathering the documents necessary to apply for DAPA takes real work. It is tedious and detail oriented.

Just ask DACA applicants who applied within the last couple of years. It has been worth the effort. Eduardo Ramirez-Farias, who recently renewed his DACA status, says “My experience with DACA is a positive one. It changed my life in many ways, such as financially and educationally. Most importantly, I am able to live my life without fear and enjoy the great things in life. This program gave me, as well as others, the opportunity to achieve and succeed the American Dream.” Continue reading

California Universities Full of DREAMers

california dreamers resource centersAn estimated 65,000 – 80,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools each year. However, only 5-10% of these graduates go on college. Many California universities are making it a little easier.

Undocumented youth, known collectively as “DREAMers,” are perhaps the most resilient and self-sufficient students arriving to college campuses today. Typically raised in households with few resources and opportunities afforded the typical native-born U.S. citizen, DREAMers have persevered to find a path to higher education. Continue reading

DAPA Fear: 5 Reasons to be Unafraid

dapa fear
Photo credit: Elvert Barnes
If you’re undocumented in America, its second nature to fear the unknown. After all, you have lived for years with the fear that the next innocent trip to the market could end with a traffic stop by police, or a visit to your kids’ school could expose you. These chance meetings with law enforcement could end up with you in detention or even deportation. For many, there is a new opportunity to end that fear.

The new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program will provide benefits to nearly five million undocumented immigrants they’ve never had previously. DAPA was introduced through Present Obama’s executive action in November 2014. The program will be implemented by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and available to applicants in the May 2015 time frame.

Recently, USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez spoke to attendees at the National Immigrant Integration Conference is Los Angeles, Calif.

“For all those people who are thinking about participating in a deferred action program: Stop worrying. Participate with confidence,” Rodriguez said in Spanish. “Remember that in every moment that an American president has created a new immigration program, that program has been respected by other presidents.”

Consider these five reasons to be unafraid: Continue reading

Expanded DACA Encourages More to Apply

Changes in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program affect both current DACA recipients and open up eligibility for more people

expanded daca workshop

Jaime Escobar couldn’t apply for President Obama’s DACA program when it was first announced. He arrived in the United States as a child. Today he is 40 years old, making him too old for the DACA criteria as originally outlined. From Jaime’s perspective, he is every bit a DREAMer as the younger applicants who qualify.

Changes in the DACA policy announced as part of President Obama’s immigration action mean that Jaime will soon be able to apply for expanded DACA. In fact Jaime and an additional 300,000 people could qualify for expanded DACA with these eligibility changes. Continue reading