Thursday, October 11, 2012

Romney's Position on Immigration Spurring Some to Apply for Deferred Action Now

Last week, I reported that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had announced that he would not seek the deportation of those who apply for deferred action for childhood arrivals, and are granted the benefit.  But, that he would not continue with the program.  I noted that this would create an incentive to apply for deferred action now, before there is a possible change of administrations.

In this article, it is reported that Romney's position on immigration issues has spurred some undocumented aliens who qualify for the program to apply now.

For some, applying now may make some sense.  If Romney were to become president, and live up to his promises, then those who have been granted deferred action and a work permit would be safe from deportation for at least two years.  With recent public statements by Republican Senator Marco Rubio, there appears to be some hope that even with a Republican Congress that immigration reform is a possibility.  If you consider that the Government's strained resources have already caused ICE to concentrate its efforts on criminal cases, then it seems that the risk to those who do not have a criminal record is fairly low.

I have also stated that for those who are already in removal/deportation proceedings, you might as well move forward with an application, even if you do not meet all of the criteria.  The main reason is that the worst thing that could happen, that you would face deportation proceedings, has already happened.  And, it should be kept in mind that although the President has defined this particular set of undocumented aliens as a class of people to whom he wants to grant deferred action, he still has the discretion to grant it in other cases of merit.

Whether to apply requires a weighing of all of the risks and possible benefits.  For some, the prospect of having work authorization, and being able to accept employment legally is sufficient to take the risks, and apply.  For the best advice, you should consult with an immigration lawyer before applying to discuss the risks and benefits.

By:  William J. Kovatch, Jr.
(703) 837-8832

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