Last year, President Obama announced that the Department of Homeland Security would stop deporting individuals who were brought to this country as children but never received the permission to remain in the country. As long as these young people had been in college or had served in the military, the Obama administration was willing to give them a temporary legal status and would prevent deportation for two years. While it stopped short of allowing them to become naturalized citizens, it did provide considerable assistance to a group of people who might otherwise be deported.
Although this program has been very popular in the immigrant communities in Pennsylvania and across the country, especially among Latinos, the program recently suffered a set back when Republicans in the House of Representatives voted for an amendment that would strip the Department of Homeland Security from using discretion when deporting individuals. Many see this as an interesting move, as Republicans are trying to reconnect with Latino voters.
Although the Dream Act, a failed piece of legislation on which Obama’s program was based, appears in the Senate’s immigration overhaul bill, there are many in the House who disagree with allowing individuals who came here without the legal permission from becoming naturalized citizens. Yet many others want to see the roughly 11 million people who live in the United States without a legal status be able to become full members of society.
Regardless of what side you fall in, immigration reform may mean considerable changes for those who have already started the process. In order to ensure you are still on the right track with your immigration, it is best to work with an immigration attorney.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “GOP rejects Dream Act-like deportation deferrals,” Lisa Mascaro, June 6, 2013