President Likely to Take Action on Immigration Before Year’s End

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By   Rahul Reddy & Emily Neumann

President Obama discussed immigration in an interview with “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer, which aired on November 9, 2014. He again confirmed his intention to use his executive authority to act on immigration by the end of the year. Frustration with the lack of congressional action and stubbornness of the opposition in dealing with a system which everyone agrees is broken has motivated the President to take temporary action while the legislative branch works towards a permanent fix.

The President indicated that his action will not include everything that needs to be done and will take time to implement. The three areas that may be addressed by Executive Action include border security, making the current legal system more efficient, and providing a chance for undocumented immigrants with American children to legalize.

“I’d prefer, and still prefer, to see it done through Congress. But every day that I wait, we’re misallocating resources, we’re deporting people that shouldn’t be deported, we’re not deporting folks that are dangerous and need to be deported,” the President said. Although House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have both warned the President against taking action on his own, Mr. Obama reminded them that no one is stopping Congress from acting in parallel. After Congress failed to act for over a year, Mr. Obama holds out hope that a bill can still be passed. If so, he indicated that he will sign it and it will supersede any executive action taken.

While details of the President’s plan remain unknown, any application for benefits will likely require an individual to establish identity, when entry to the United States occurred, and continued physical presence in the country. Steps can be taken now to preserve evidence that might be necessary for documenting that the requirements for relief have been met.  The following list of documents may be helpful for this purpose:
Valid AND/OR Expired Passport, Visa, I-94, any Receipt from USCIS.
Any Identification Card (Such as Driver License, Identification Card, School ID, etc.).
School Records (Such as Transcripts, report Card, etc.)
Medical Records from hospital or doctor visits.
Lease Agreement
Utility Bills (such as phone, electricity, gas, cable, internet, etc.).
Official Records from Religious entity in the USA, such as records of baptisms, weddings, etc.
Travel Records such as transportation tickets, hotel receipts, etc.
Money order receipts, vehicle registration, insurance policies, etc.
Any receipts from Western Union.
Traffic Tickets.

Any major purchases like furniture or car repairs., bus and air tickets from travel within the U.S.
Any mail that you received while you have lived in the U.S.
Hotel stay invoices
Records from county or city libraries.

The above list is not intended to confirm the possible documents that may help to establish eligibility. Until the President’s plan is announced and the application process is implemented, take care to avoid scams. Follow these tips from the American Immigration Lawyers Association to escape being taken advantage of:
Do not believe it if someone tells you about a secret new immigration law or claims to have connections or special influence with any government office or agency
Don’t pay money to someone to refer you to an immigration lawyer
Walk away if an immigration lawyer doesn’t have a license
Never sign an application that contains false information, and try not to sign blank forms. If you must sign a blank form, make sure you get a copy of the completed form and check to make sure all the information is correct before it is filed
Always get proof that your papers have been filed–ask for a copy or government filing receipt whenever anything is submitted in your case.

Only a licensed lawyer or accredited representative is authorized and qualified to assist with an immigration case. Before paying any money or filing any case, check whether an immigration lawyer is in good standing and licensed by contacting the state bar.

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Rahul Reddy & Emily Neumann practices business immigration law and  are partners in Reddy & Neumann, P.C. in Houston, TX. Neumann writes a blog on immigration law ( and shares updates on Twitter (@immigrationgirl) and her Facebook page to help her clients stay informed of the latest news.