According to a Times article published yesterday, July 24, 2014, President Obama may be preparing to provide temporary legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants. Obama has already voiced his intention to use his executive authority to reform parts of a broken immigration system that has cleaved families and hobbled the economy. The article further discusses various options that the President may execute under his authority to provide relief to millions of undocumented immigrants. It's a great read!
As a former Boy Scout, I encourage all undocumented immigrants to follow the scout motto - BE PREPARED. The motto reads that one should be prepared in body and mind. To accomplish this, I recommend getting organized by gathering and making copies of relevant documents including the following:
1. Physical presence documents (ie. tax returns, pay stubs, contracts, bill statements, etc)
2. Criminal history documents (ie. certified copies of criminal court dispositions) for any and all violations
3. Copy of birth certificate
4. Copy of prior immigration filing
Additionally, in this tough economic climate, I cannot emphasize how important it will be that you save money for such process. There is no saying how much government fees will cost. Additionally, if you have any prior criminal or immigration history, you may incur legal fees in having an attorney assist you with such process.
IMPORTANT: if you have made contact with the police or an agency under the Department of Homeland Security (ie. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, or Customs and Border Protection), I recommend you consult with an immigration attorney before proceeding with any future immigration filing. Such "contact" includes previous immigration filings, detentions, removals, voluntary returns, and/or questioning at the port of entry. An experienced immigration attorney will assist in verifying whether such "contact" will disqualify you of certain immigration benefits through various actions including a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to distinct agencies and their systems, US-VISIT fingerprint submission, and FBI fingerprint submissions.
Contact the Law Office of Mario Zapata if you would like to discuss your situation, or would like to verify what, if any, consequences there may be as a result of your prior "contact" with enforcement agencies.
Mario Zapata is an immigration attorney practicing out of Orange County, CA and represents clients nationwide.