Obama plans more immigration executive action

U.S. Department of Homeland Security LogoPresident Obama and his administration are continuing to move forward with their expansion plans for a waiver program to enable more undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States rather than having to return to their own countries before they can put in an application for legal status.

A proposed rule issued on Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security would see alterations made to the waiver program created by the president’s 2013 executive action on immigration. This action resulted in the creation of a program that mainly enabled undocumented immigrants who had a parent or a spouse with US citizenship to stay in the United States rather than having to leave and then being barred from re-entry for between three and ten years.

The newly-created rule expands eligibility for the waiver program to a wide array of different categories involving undocumented immigrants rather than just those with parents and spouses who are US citizens. “DHS proposes to expand the class of aliens who may be eligible for a provisional waiver beyond immediate relatives of US citizens to aliens in all statutorily eligible immigrant visa categories,” the potential rule states. “Such aliens include family-sponsored immigrants, employment based immigrants, certain special immigrants, and Diversity Visa program selectees, together with their derivative spouses and children.”

Under the current system an undocumented immigrant who lives in the United States for less than one year and then leaves is not permitted to return for another three years, with those who have lived in the US illegally for over one year banned from returning for a decade.