It is with special pride as a Miami immigration attorney that I share with you my thoughts on President Obama’s executive action on immigration overhaul.

I have seen first-hand the effects of a family torn apart. Children who have only known the United States as their home have had to contend with the deportations of their undocumented immigrant parents. Dismantling the very cornerstone of society is not constructive, and runs counter to American values. Although President Obama’s executive action offers no path to citizenship, his directive will shield up to five million people from deportation and allow many to work legally.

President Obama’s executive order includes the following:

  • Unauthorized immigrants who are the parents of United States citizens will be eligible for a new legal status that would defer their deportations and allow them to work legally. They must pass background checks and pay taxes.
  • Expand the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA) program. Individuals that were brought into the country as children before Jan. 1, 2010 are now granted temporary protection from deportation. It had initially applied only to those born after 1981 who entered the country before June 15, 2007.

  • Obama will direct the DHS to prioritize its deployment of enforcement resources, focusing on “deporting felons, not families.” The DHS will, in turn, will issue a memo detailing categories of people — who should bear the brunt of DHS’s enforcement activities.

  • Heighten government enforcement on criminals and foreigners who pose security threats.
  • High-tech workers will have an easier time coming to the United States
  • Security on the border will be increased
  • A program called Secure Communities will be ended. Immigration advocates had long criticized this program as a dragnet that swept up many unauthorized immigrants arrested on minor offenses like traffic violations. Local police will no longer be asked routinely to detain immigrants without papers.
  • The Justice Department will also initiate immigration court reforms aimed at easing the backlog of pending cases.

More details of the President’s executive order will be forthcoming.

If you have questions as to whether this recent immigration overhaul can benefit your family, please contact Miami immigration attorney Michael G. Murray, Esq. at (305)895-2500 or visit our website at www. 

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