A New Year’s Perspective On Immigration

With a new year, inevitably comes hopes of change for the better.  Completing a diet, getting a promotion, or just general health and prosperity are some common resolutions for many people.  For immigration practitioners, like myself, we hope that this year brings positive changes in our immigration laws so that we can better help individuals remain, or come to the U.S. lawfully.

With the presidential elections coming up this year, anything seems possible.  Some candidates want to build walls, close our borders to certain people, and make it even more difficult to come to the U.S.  Others seem more amenable to change in a more liberal direction.  Regardless, I am anxious to see what this year will bring.

The immigration industry got an early glimmer of hope for a brighter 2016 due to news from the U.S. Supreme Court on January 19, 2016.  If you remember, 2015 also started with high hopes that changes were coming to our immigration laws.  Specifically, many of us in the immigration industry were excited and anxious to find out how President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration was going to be implemented.  However, just before the new actions were to begin, an injunction was filed and approved in a Federal Court in Texas.  Well, the U.S. Supreme Court just announced that it would take on the issue of President Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration this year.  This news means that the President’s Executive Actions on Immigration are not completely done away with, and its implementation in the future is still a distinct possibility!

The president’s proposed Executive Actions can potentially affect over four million undocumented individuals already living in the U.S.  Because of the far reach of his proposal, the President has been met with harsh opponents.  However, the country waits with bated breath on the Court’s ultimate decision.  Meanwhile, undocumented individuals should not hesitate to contact an attorney to discuss whether or not they already have a viable method of immigrating to the U.S.  There are many different avenues to obtain lawful status in the U.S. and the Obama Administration has initiated some policy changes over the years that still positively affect many people who want to immigrate to the U.S.  For example, the provisional waiver and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) still exist.  Do not wait for change to assess options.