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Orlando Immigration Lawyers

Obama’s Executive Actions

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On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced the future implementation of his Immigration Accountability Executive Actions. The goal of these executive actions is to help our nation take steps toward the healing of our broken immigration system. The actions are not meant to fix the system themselves—ongoing, permanent solutions through immigration legislation are necessary to do that—but the hope is that the actions will help move us in that direction.

These executive actions will have a strong impact on illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States. If you or your loved ones are living in the U.S. without nonimmigrant visas or green cards, make sure to read below and learn what these actions could mean for you and your family.


1. Crackdown on Illegal Immigration & Border Crossing

With the implementation of these new executive actions, illegal immigrants who attempt to cross the border from now on will be much more likely to get caught and deported.

2. Focused on Deporting Felons Instead of Families

Before today, there was far less distinction between illegal immigrants when it came to deportation priorities. Obama’s executive actions will make convicted felons a priority over non-criminal family members and children. Immigrant felons will be placed higher on the deportation priority list, while immigrants who are no threat to national security or public safety will be placed lower on the list.

3. Accountability for Criminal Activity & Taxes

Qualifying illegal immigrants can apply for deferred deportation under the Immigration Accountability Executive Actions. By undergoing national security and criminal background checks and by paying their taxes, applicants can avoid deportation for three (3) years at a time.


Parents of U.S. Citizens & Lawful Permanent Residents

You may qualify for deferred deportation under Obama’s executive actions if:

  • You were the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident on November 20, 2014;
  • You are not a deportation enforcement priority; and
  • You have resided in the United States since January 1, 2010

Under 16 Years Old at Time of Entry

You may qualify for deferred deportation under Obama’s executive actions if:

  • You were under the age of 16 at the time you entered the U.S.; and
  • You entered the U.S. before January 1, 2010, regardless of your age today


Applications are not yet being accepted. You may apply in early 2015; the exact date has not yet been finalized. Until then, it is highly recommended that you start preparing for your application now. With the assistance of an immigration lawyer, you can gather documentation to prove the following:

  • Your identity
  • Your relationship to a U.S. citizen / lawful permanent resident
  • Your residency in the U.S. since January 1, 2010

If you have resided in the U.S. for less than 5 years, or if you are a convicted felon, then you are not eligible for deportation relief under Obama’s executive actions. You will also be placed higher on the deportation priority list if you are a convicted felon. Make sure to consult a deportation defense attorney right away if such is the case.

Catherine Henin-Clark is a seasoned immigration attorney serving clients throughout the United States and abroad. She is Florida Bar board certified in immigration and nationality law by The Florida Board of Legal Specialization, which means that she is a certified specialist in her area of law. Only attorneys who meet extensive criteria for education, peer review and experience can become board certified, so you can trust Ms. Henin-Clark to get the results that you need.


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