President Obama’s Executive Action Deportation Relief for Millions of Undocumented Immigrants
On November 20, 2014, our community accomplished a historic victory through President Obama’s announcement of Executive Action that would bring deportation relief to nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants residing in the country today. Through the program, eligible applicants will have the opportunity to apply for authorization to remain and work in the country without fear and be allowed to finally come out of the shadows. The actions include an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the creation of a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program. CASA will respond to this extraordinary moment in the lives of our members by launching a comprehensive program that will offer assistance in applying for these new benefits while simultaneously offering opportunities for applicants and allies alike to build upon the victories so far gained by our immigrant movement and continue the fight to seek justice for all.
How will CASA Help?
CASA commits itself to helping all those impacted fully understand these changes to immigration policy, learn how you may qualify for relief, and eventually offer a comprehensive set of services designed to help you apply for the relief programs. It’s important to keep in mind that the president only recently made his announcement and has yet to share all details regarding the specifics of the relief programs. We do know that applications for DAPA will not be accepted for processing until at least May 2015. However, beginning in early December 2014, CASA will be hosting a series of informational sessions to help community members understand what we know today about the Administrative Relief programs and how people may qualify. Very soon we will be announcing the exact dates, times and locations where these sessions will be held.
Rely on CASA to bring you the latest information available in how to prepare yourself to apply for this historic opportunity!
What are these relief programs about?
The DAPA and DACA programs are a set of deferred action programs that will offer qualified applicants an opportunity to apply for work authorization valid for a period of three years that may be renewed. During this time, should you remain eligible, you will be protected from deportation and eligible to apply for a social security card and may be allowed to travel outside the country under certain circumstances. Those that qualify for these programs would not be eligible for public benefits such as health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid as well as other similar government programs. This temporary relief from deportation is not a path to citizenship
The announcement also included a number of other important changes to the immigration system including the following:
- The end of the “Secure Communities” program, which forced local law enforcement officials to share information with federal immigration authorities about people arrested and detained for local offenses prior to their convictions. This program was responsible for a large number of deportations endured by immigrant families over the past several years. The elimination of this program will benefit those who are not eligible for either DACA or DAPA and help reduce unjust deportations.
- In addition to a fee waiver of the $680 fee to process citizenship applications for those applicants with income at or below 150% of the federal poverty level, a study will be conducted to explore a partial fee waiver for those with income slightly above that level.
- Certain spouses of lawful permanent residents may be able to get their lawful permanent resident (“green card”) status through a waiver process and not have to leave the country and be subjected to being barred from reentry for 3 or 10 years.
What can I do to prepare?
Stay tuned to CASA through our websites www.wearecasa.org, as well as through our Facebook page and twitter handle (@Somos_CASA) for up to date information regarding these executive actions.
You may begin your preparation through becoming a CASA member and assist one of our informational sessions to begin the first weeks of December. Soon through our various social media platforms we will reveal the exact dates, times and locations. During these sessions we will reveal much more information, but in the meantime we recommend you gather the following documentation to see if you may qualify for relief:
Remember – It is best to collect documents that have your name, the date, and show that you were in the United States.
Congratulations to all for this historic victory. Count on CASA to bring you the latest information as well as assistance in helping you benefit from this opportunity. But don’t forget, the fight continues to ensure this victory is permanent and is expanded to include all of our brothers and sisters. Join us!
YES WE DID!!