Jamaica Magazine

The NEW Immigration Reform Explained

Written by Safiya Byars, Esq

On November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of executive actions to reduce illegal immigration at the border, prioritize deporting felons not families, and require certain undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check and pay taxes in order to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation.  The President specifically expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood  Arrivals (DACA) benefits to include those that were previously excluded. In addition the President extended temporary immigration benefits to parents who have United States citizen children and permanent resident “green card holders” children. Please note that these new benefits will not take effect until February of 2015. This article will briefly summarize the new benefits as it applies to DACA applicants and parents who have children who are US citizens or green card holders.

A. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Under President Obama’s executive action the DACA program will be expanded to include young people who came to the U.S. before their 16th birthday and have been physically present in the United States since January 1, 2010 as opposed to the old requirement of June 15, 2007. Under the new program Deferred Action and employment authorization will be approved for three years as opposed to the old requirement of two years. Under the current DACA program applicants were required to also show that they had not passed the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012. Under the new guidelines applicants who came to the United States before their 16th birthday but they were excluded from DACA because they were now 31 years of age on June 15, 2012 will now be able to apply for DACA as long as they meet all the other requirements of DACA. You can review the old requirements of DACA by viewing my previous article at: http://www.jamaicans.com/articles/immigration/Immigrationtwoyeargreencard-2.shtml


B. Benefits for Parents (DAPAL)

Under President Obama’s current DACA program parents were not allowed to apply for benefits. Under the new program  parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been present in the country since January 1, 2010 will now be able request Deferred Action and employment authorization for three years provided they pass required background checks. This now means that parents who had no immigration status will now be able to attain a temporary status and employment authorization if they have American or green card holder children.

Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 10:00am the Byars Firm will host a live FREE Presentation on the new changes in Immigration Law at their office at 3720 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Ste. D2. Chamblee, Georgia 30341. Register for your FREE Ticket at:

Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:00am the Byars Firm will host a FREE Conference Call on the new changes in Immigration Law. To register for the free conference call please send your name, email, and phone number to our office at [email protected] or by calling 678-736-5600.
You can view the complete summary of the President’s Executive Action at: http://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction.

Disclaimer: This article is a broad overview. This article is not legal advice and should not be taken as legal advice. This article is provided as a public service and is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Any reliance on the information contained herein is taken at your own risk. The information provided in this article should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed.  

About the Writer:
Safiya Byars is the founder and senior partner of the Byars Firm, Inc. She is a native of Kingston, Jamaica.  Attorney Byars shows her clients the best ways to get their cases approved the FIRST time while reducing processing times and avoiding immigration red flags that result in delays, denials, and deportation.  The Byars firm is located at 3720 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Suite D2, Chamblee, Georgia 30341. Attorney Byars handles all immigration matters, deportation defense, family law, and estate planning matters. We can be reached at 678-736-5600 or via email at [email protected]

About the author

Safiya Byars, Esq

Safiya Byars is the founder and senior partner of the Byars Firm. Attorney Byars serves as the Chair of the Family Immigration Continuing Learning Education and the Vice-Chair of the Immigration Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia. She is a native of Kingston, Jamaica. The Byars firm is located at 3720 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Suite D2, Chamblee, Georgia 30341. The Byars Firm handles Immigration, Family, and Estate Planning matters. We can be reached at 678-736-5600 and email: [email protected]