President Obama Takes Decisive Action in Granting Immigration Relief to Millions

November 20, 2014

Contact: Paloma Zuleta

Washington, D.C. – Today, President Obama exercised his legal authority to issue an executive order that will provide temporary relief to as many as 5 million undocumented people currently residing in the U.S.

“Today, the president has changed the lives of millions of people,” said LULAC National Executive Director Brent Wilkes. “Students can go to school without fear that their parents will be deported and parents can go to work without fear of being separated from their families. More young people will be allowed to work legally and contribute to the only country they know as home. By taking executive action, the president has answered the will of the American people. Today's executive order not only does right by the families of countless Latinos, and will also serve to benefit our economy.”

LULAC expects Congress to follow President Obama's lead. The president has acted through executive order but the country still needs comprehensive immigration reform to address other key immigration challenges. It is a need that the American people clearly recognize. In fact, in the last election, polls showed that over 81 percent of Americans want Congress to address immigration reform. Other polls showed that at least 57 percent of Americans thought there should be a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Such reforms would benefit families and the economy. According to some estimates, every year that Congress fails to pass immigration reform measures such as H.R. 15, the country loses out on $15.8 billion in potential economic gains per year – which translates to $1.3 billion a month, and $43 million a day. If, however, the Republican lead Congress chooses simply to continue its anti-immigrant discourse, it will only succeed in alienating the majority of Americans who favor such reforms.

President Obama is not the first American president to use his executive authority to address immigration challenges. In 1986, President Reagan used his executive authority to grant legal status to an estimated 3 million immigrants. President Bush later used the same authority to include the spouses and children of those who were legalized under the 1986 reform.

“Presidents Reagan and Bush stood for family values which included the immigrant population - a view that is clearly not held by today’s anti-immigrant politicians,” continued Wilkes. “And now, President Obama has cemented his legacy as the family values president by taking action that puts the unification of families at the top of his agenda.”

LULAC has developed a number of resources in order to provide assistance to immigrant community. Specifically, in the coming weeks, LULAC will host a livestream seminar with key agencies providing information about the application process for the referenced programs. Those who need assistance are also urged to call 1- 877-585-2201 where LULAC staff are available to answer questions. Further, through its Hispanic Immigrant Integration Program, LULAC provides assistance with immigration applications. Lastly, members can go here for more information.

The application process for the effected programs has yet to be provided by the Department of Homeland Security. Until then LULAC urges the immigrant community to beware of unscrupulous actors posing as attorneys by calling themselves “notarios” and demanding payment for immigration services. Since the provisions outlined by the president are extensions of an existing program (DACA), we know which forms are most likely be requested. LULAC suggests that the immigrant community have the following documents available:

  • Affidavits from community-based or religious organizations to establish a requestor’s homelessness or lack of parental or other familial financial support;
  • Copies of tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, or other reliable evidence of income level. Evidence can also include an affidavit from the applicant or a responsible third party attesting that the applicant does not file tax returns, has no bank accounts, and/or has no income to prove income level;
  • Copies of medical records, insurance records, bank statements, or other reliable evidence of unreimbursed medical expenses of at least $10,000.

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