Up to five million people should be expected to benefit from the new immigration reform laws. The new policies should protect some individuals for three years from the possibility of deportation, particularly for parents with legal residency status.
What is important to note is that the immigration reform should not be considered a direct path towards obtaining citizenship, and may not be applicable to the nearly 11.2 million illegal aliens currently living on U.S. soil. Below, our Cleveland immigration lawyers at Sintsirmas & Mueller Co. L.P.A. break down what each of the policies entails.
Who Will Benefit from the New Immigration Reform Laws?
Under the new laws, those eligible are those who have been living in the U.S. since January 1, 2010 and have not been convicted of a serious crime. One statistic shows that approximately 3.7 million immigrants are parents of permanent residents or U.S. citizens, and could receive protection under a deferred action program. The decision to approve this policy was made in the interest of keeping families together.
As for individuals who arrived to the U.S. as children, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, established in 2012, should be expected to help approximately 300, 000 individuals who arrived to the U.S. as children. The reform will no longer impose an age limit and will apply to those who have been in the U.S. since 2010, as opposed to 2007, which had been the previous marker.
What Does This Mean for Immigration Authorities?
These reforms will allow immigration authorities the chance to focus more on keeping track of those who cross the U.S. border illegally, and maintaining strict limits on those convicted of serious criminal offenses. Furthermore, although the reforms will expand those eligible for protected U.S. status, it still begs the question for the additional six million who do not qualify under the existing laws and may not see benefit from the immigration reform. These include parents who have children born in other countries and married couples who do not share children.
At Sintsirmas & Mueller Co. L.P.A., we are here to answer all of your questions regarding immigration law and how you can hope to achieve protected status. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time for legal assistance! We offer free case consultations to help you get started.