Fear Not and Apply!
President Barack Obama has issued and executive order meant to protect around 5.8 million immigrants from deportation through the programs Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). Naturally, many individuals are scared to apply in fear that if denied they might be deported or their personal information would be shared with U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). However, Atlanta-based immigration attorney Amna Shirazi from the Shirazi Law Group, Inc encourages immigrants who qualify for this program to take advantage of this opportunity because it will allow them to stay here legally for some time. Here are some of her conclusions:
Others have applied and they are safe.
When the first wave of immigrants applied for DACA there was certainly many doubts and unwillingness to apply for this program, but those who did benefited by gaining work authorization cards, driver licenses in some states and social security numbers. ICE has not raided their homes and their information has remained within the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) alone. This is the best pice of evidence that should motivate others to apply for DAPA and the extended version of DACA, all of the clients of The Shirazi Law Group, inc have benefited from DACA and have applied and been approved for renewal.
USCIS and ICE serve different purposes.
Within the Department of Homeland Security the departments of USCIS and ICE are included. But ICE deals mostly with taking under custody, incarcerating and deporting undocumented immigrants. However, USCIS deals mostly with the processes of legalization and naturalization of qualifying immigrants like those applying to become citizens, asylum, U-Visas and Permanent Residence. Under the executive action of the President, USCIS is not supposed to share the personal information of immigrants for removal purposes and it should remain this way unless another president decides to change it.
Many immigrants have never held any type of legal State-issued identification documents but applying for DACA and DAPA could enable them to receive work authorization cards, driving licenses and even social security numbers. The benefits of having these documents are countless and as an immigration lawyer, Amna Shirazi recommends that qualifying individuals take advantage of this opportunity. Furthermore, these documents could serve as evidence for future programs because they are state-issued, have pictures with the immigrant’s name with dates as proof of their physical presence in the U.S.
Finally, these programs would ultimately shelter undocumented immigrants from removal proceedings and it is always better to remain in America and hope for a comprehensive immigration reform if congress ever passes a bill. Moreover, the Director of USCIS, Leon Rodriguez has himself encouraged people to apply with confidence by highlighting that all Presidents have respected the executive decisions their predecessors made regarding immigration.
If you have questions about the new Executive Order on immigration please contact Immigration Attorney Amna Shirazi at the Shirazi Law Group, INC (404-523-3611). We are experts on handling deportations, Naturalization applications (N-400), Work Authorization applications, Permanent Residence applications (Green Cards) and National Visa Center processes; among others. Please connect with us on our social media accounts to get daily updates on immigration legal matters: