Barack Obama has been reelected to a second term in which he is expected to pursue comprehensive immigration reform. In his first term, Obama supported the DREAM Act which would have provided a path to citizenship for undocumented people who enetered America illegally at a young age. The bill was stalled by filibuster in the Senate the last time it was called to a vote.
During the Republican primaries, Mitt Romney said that life for illegal immigrants should be made so difficult that they would “self deport” and move back to their home countries. After winning the primary race, Romney spoke in more moderate terms regarding immigration, suggesting he supported some form of immigration policiy reform. Despite his attempts to woo them with Spanish language campaign ads and appeals from latino Republicans, Romeny had the support of only 27% of latino voters.
Now that the election is over, some Republicans seem to be more amenable towards the idea of a comprehensive overhaul of our country’s immigration policy. And while Obama has been somewhat reserved in declaring his priorities for his second term, it’s a good bet that passing immigration reform will be near the top of his list.
America’s piecemeal immigration laws are long overdue for reform, especially when it comes to our handling of young people illegally in the U.S. due to no fault of their own. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) AKA deferred action for DREAMers program is a step in the right direction for America’s immigration policy.
Right now I’m assisting several clients in applying for protection under DACA, which allows certain young people to remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation and gives them permission to work legally. DACA does not, however, provide a path to citizenship for these young people which is what the defeated DREAM act would have done.
For now, the best option for DREAMers is the deferred action for childhood arrivals program. If you believe you qualify and would like more information on the program, contact me and we can discuss your options.