These are exciting times for the millions of undocumented parents of U.S. citizen children or lawful permanent residents who were offered a lifeline by President Obama last week with his executive orders.
Whenever any kind of shift in immigration law is announced, it’s also thrilling for a number of scammers looking to cash in with false offers of accelerated visas, “inside” information and the like.
Christmas has come early for these frauds, but don’t be fooled – no one has an Ez-Pass to obtaining a quick employment or advance parole document that’s part of the Obama order. Repeat – NO ONE. There’s nothing at all to apply for at this time. Which means no early trips home for Christmas 2014.
A few days ago I was speaking to four undocumented workers from Mexico, all of them here for several years, all parents of U.S. children. They were happy about the Obama order but really didn’t have much of a clue at all, and the language barrier was a big problem when I attempted to explain the most basic points.
I kept thinking that the Hispanic community has a huge job in getting proper word out to its people who are especially prey to con artists. Thankfully our community is ready to hit the ground running.
We are blessed with an abundance of credible, totally reliable information on how to proceed with immigration issues and referrals thanks to the Irish outreach organizations located from coast to coast. The centers will play a hugely important role in disseminating what the state of play is in the coming weeks and months – and you’ll be able to bank on what they tell you.
Their mandate is to provide assistance to the community, and they’ve been doing a splendid job for decades now. They’re not looking to make a profit, and have no wish to accomplish anything other than reaching and helping the widest number of people possible.
If they tell you that you’re not eligible for relief under the Obama order, believe them. If they tell you that you need legal assistance outside the scope of what they can provide, they’ll give you a credible referral.
They are here for you, plain and simple. And so is this column. We’ve been on hiatus for awhile but will return with weekly service to keep you abreast of what’s happening with the Obama order from a basic technical standpoint – basic because I’m not an attorney, even though I sometimes feel like one from writing this column for more years than I care to mention – and any other immigration things you might wish to discuss. Contact me at [email protected]
Here’s an address that you need to keep handy -- ciic-usa.org. That’s the site for the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers throughout the U.S. You’ll be able to locate the center nearest to where you live, and many of them have already scheduled public information meetings in the next few days about the Obama order.
So the situation now, for those who think they may be eligible for relief, is to stay patient and gather up all the relevant documentation to prove entitlement, including birth certificates proving the parent-U.S. child link, rent/mortgage/employment records, utility bills, etc. – anything and everything that will demonstrate that you have been in the U.S. since January 1, 2010. Applications will not be accepted until May at the earliest, so don’t be conned into thinking otherwise.