The Obama administration is now urging the undocumented immigrants to apply for legal status under the Obama immigration reform, without fear. Several community groups in the U.S. are holding seminars and sessions to provide the undocumented immigrants with information on the new immigration rules. Yet, many still fear that signing up for temporary status will put them into trouble and they do not want to self-identify themselves as undocumented.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) director Leon Rodriguez stated that the undocumented immigrants eligible for temporary status need not worry and told them to apply for the status with confidence. He also assured them that it was safe to apply for temporary legal status under the President’s immigration plan.
He told that the information the applicants provide while signing up for the program will not be shared with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and will be kept confidential. Information an applicant provides will be shared with ICE only if the applicant has a criminal history or if he or she poses a threat to national security.
USCIS director also told the applicants that they need to put an end to their fears that a future administration might abolish this program implemented by President Obama. He also stated that the past presidents have respected measures taken by their predecessors and have not abolished immigration measures implemented by them. Rodriguez made his remarks in Spanish as his agency is gearing up to implement the President’s initiative, during an interview with The Associated Press. According to Rodriguez, more than 1000 immigration officers will be hired by USCIS to process applications that the immigrants file for the new program.
At the same time, 24 U.S. states have filed a lawsuit against the President’s immigration action claiming that his actions are harming the country’s constitution. Meanwhile, immigrants across the country are meeting lawyers and attending forums to learn about the program and to check if they qualify.
The President’s plan applies to those who have been living in the country for five years or more. To qualify, they must be parents of children who are U.S. citizens or green card holders. Likewise, the President’s initiative will also cover undocumented youth who were ineligible for legal status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, implemented in 2012.