On Thursday President Barack Obama gave his Presidential Address and made the announcement about the executive order he issued that will support a new immigration program for undocumented foreign nationals. He was talking about the pressing issues about illegal immigration that had been plaguing the nation for so long.
President Obama talked about immigration reforms, issuing a reminder to the American people that what America needs is a common yet higher purpose. He said that Americans should not oppress strangers, for Americans themselves were strangers, once. He mentioned that America is a nation of immigrants and will continue to do so, that is why he wants to address the issue of illegal immigrants through his two-fold plan, which is meant to change the way illegal immigration will be tackled from now on.
The first part of the plan will be for the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program or DACA. This was previously granted to eligible undocumented young foreign nationals who came to the U.S. on or before 2007 and were no more than 30 years old in 2012. The new and expanded DACA will cover those undocumented young foreign national who entered or were brought into the United States illegally before 2010. The expanded program does not include the 30-year old age cap.
The more important of the two-fold plan is the deferred action to the undocumented foreign nationals who will fall under these conditions:
• Have continuously lived in the United States for at least five years;
• Are parents of citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States; and
• Will pass a criminal background check successfully.
Undocumented foreign nationals who are qualified and approved will be able to get social security cards, driver’s licenses and work authorizations. They do not have to fear getting caught and deported so the President urges them to come out and get pre-screened. The initial approval round will be effective for a three-year period and those who will be approved must pay taxes.
The President also touched on the need for changes in the current immigration procedures. He said that the new program will grant entrepreneurs, professionals and skilled workers as well as students an easier access to enter and remain in the country. The White House released a statement that hinted on allowing the advance filing of permanent residence applications, particularly the highly skilled employment applicants who have been waiting for visa availability. It could mean that they might be allowed to have permanent residency benefits while waiting for their priority dates to be current.
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