What does the change in administration, and potential change in immigration policy mean to my immigration status?
Given that a new President is being Inaugurated, many immigration lawyers have been receiving an increased number of inquiries from individuals concerned about whether the new administration’s immigration policies will affect their status, or their plans to apply for a green card, citizenship, employment authorization, or any other immigration benefit.
Right now, our country’s immigration statute, the INA (Immigration and Naturalization Act) remains in full force and effect. Any changes to that law would require an act of Congress.
However, there are areas of immigration law that have been shaped by Executive Actions- for example, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (commonly known as DACA) which was enacted in 2012 by President Obama and expanded immigration benefits. Another example of an Executive Action, which limited immigration benefits, was President Obama’s recent decision to end the policy which allowed Cuban refugees who reached the shores of the United States to have a fast track to permanent residency. The executive branch of our federal government also has the ability to make priorities in terms of enforcement of the immigration laws which are in place.
Right now, there is no way to accurately predict which Executive Actions will be issued, what prosecutorial discretion will be exercised, and how immigration policies will change in the coming months and years.
Now more than ever, it is important to consult an immigration lawyer before filing any immigration applications. Immigration lawyers will be diligently reviewing any new Executive Actions or changes in the law and policy and can advise you of the best course of action in your case.
If you have a question about becoming a legal permanent resident, citizen, or have any other question about your immigration status or that of a loved one, contact the Immigration Lawyer at the Mazza Law Group.