It’s all over the news if you have been paying attention, and has caused a significant amount of debate regarding whether or not President Obama can use Executive Powers to make changes to Deportation enforcement. In case you haven’t heard, take a look here: “Obama is Preparing to Make One of the Boldest Moves of his Presidency – And It Could Stretch the Scope of Executive Power.” This is something that everyone seems to have a say in. However, few are talking about what the people who are likely to benefit from this kind of a shift in policy could do to prepare for it.
What does Obama’s executive order on immigration mean?
Now let me be clear that no law has changed. There has not been any change in the law yet. We are not sure when the law will change. We don’t know if the law will change. This is not immigration reform. This is also not amnesty. Every time a news about immigration breaks out, I always get people calling to ask when the “new law” will be in effect. Here is the kicker: this is not even a new law that is being proposed. It is just a new policy on ENFORCEMENT. Think, for example, of the DACA program. The DACA program was introduced by President Obama after numerous failed attempts at the Dream Act. Now, the parents of these so-called DREAMers are the ones who are likely to be assisted.
If the speculation turns out to be accurate, the President may be introducing a policy similar to the DACA program, which would give some measure of temporary relief to those who are undocumented, provided they meet a specific set of criteria. While we do not yet know what this criteria is, or is likely to be, we can make some educated guesses based on the DACA program as to how to be prepared for this policy when it comes out. Below are my educated guesses. Again, it is worth repeating, that NO NEW LAW OR POLICY has yet been introduced. Do not go and make yourself prey to scammers who claim otherwise.
- Criminal history will need to be examined. If you have any criminal history, including arrests of any kinds, major tickets, or have had to go to the criminal court for any reason, even if you won the case, it will probably be worthwhile to go to the county courthouse and get a CERTIFIED COURT DISPOSITION. While it is tempting to expunge whenever possible, definitely get a certified court disposition FIRST.
- Your Tax history is very likely to be examined as well. USCIS is fixated on tax returns. They like to see that everyone, legal or not, is properly filing tax returns. If you haven’t started yet, start from 2014. But it’ll be even smarter of you if you would go and file a few years of tax returns from the past. Yes, this is possible, but you may be required to pay back taxes. Then again, if you have already paid into the system somehow or if your employer gave you a check after cutting a portion for taxes, you may be entitled to a return.
- Get your entry documents in order, if any. Unless you crossed EWI “Entry Without Inspection,” or in other words, you entered without a visa, and without a passport, and so-to-speak “jumped the border” you will need to find those old passports, that old I-94 card if you have one, and any visa.
- You will need dates of your entries and exits to and from the United States
- You will need all the addresses for every place you have lived and worked in the United States, and the dates (at least month & year).
If you have these 5, you will be well ahead of the rest for whenever a change in the law or policy takes place!