The news has been rife with headlines about President Obama taking executive action on immigration reform.  If he does take action, whom would it affect and when would it occur?

Like many years before, the Congress talked extensively about immigration reform this year, but failed to take any action.  What is different now is that President Obama has stated he will takesome sort of action on his own.

So, what can the President do without the Congress’s approval, and who will it affect?

The President cannot unilaterally change who can become a legal permanent resident or a citizen.  He can, however, grant temporary reprieve from deportation.  Therefore, it is widely believed that Obama will create a DACA-like program for some close relatives of U.S. citizens and deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) recipients. 

When will Obama’s immigration action take effect?

This is a mystery.  When Obama first announced he was examining his legal options for executive action on immigration, he implied that he would make a decision by the end of summer.  A number of factors may be encouraging Obama to delay any decision making, however.  First, the recent influx of minors and families arriving at the southern border put a microscope on Obama and the DACA program.  Although DACA is generally a popular policy, some critics have argued that it contributed to the increase in minors arriving at the southern border.  Second, democrats are facing a tough mid-term election in November, and many sources have suggested the President will wait until after the election to announce any action on immigration.

Regardless of when President Obama announces the new immigration policy, it could take months to implement it.  Those who are eligible for relief under the new policy will have to wait until the Department of Homeland Security has created an application process to vet candidates.

We here at WLG are excited by the possibility of a new form of immigration relief.  As soon as the President announces what, if any, immigration changes he will make, Wilson Law Group attorneys will be ready to meet with anyone who thinks they may be eligible for relief.