Great News for Many NJ Immigrants

Let Republican zealots call for Armageddon, but President Obama last night said clearly, “To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.”

Following yesterday’s presidential Executive Orders, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) estimates that 5.2 million people will potentially be eligible for the anticipated deferred action program, and in New Jersey 204,000 will be eligible.

  •  Approximately 137,000 parents in New Jersey will have the opportunity to request temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for three years at a time if they come forward and register, submit biometric data, pass background checks, pay fees, and show that their child was born in the U. S. before the date of this announcement.
  • Another 67,000 individuals will be eligible for the the expanded DACA program so that individuals who were brought to this country as children can apply if they entered before January 1, 2010, regardless of how old they are today and be granted relief for three years.

    As Pew Research indicates, “It remains to be seen how many people will apply for and receive deportation relief.” MPI  points out, “Application costs, fear of self-identifying as unauthorized or potentially exposing other unauthorized relatives to government scrutiny and lack of information about the program and its temporary nature” can be barriers.  

    The president’s Executive Orders provide deferred action programs but do not grant unauthorized immigrants the opportunity to obtain permanent residency or citizenship. The actions also include:

  •  Crack down on illegal immigration at the border.

  •  Focus on  deportation of people who threaten national security and public safety.

  •  Increased number of visas for skilled workers and spouses of green card holders.

    Timetable: These initiatives have not yet been implemented, and USCIS is not accepting any requests or applications at this time. The deferred action for parents will start in about 180 days and for children in about 90 days.  

    Many, but not all of the 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants in the U. S., will benefit. Nonetheless, after being accused of being an emperor, President Obama is beginning to act like an emperor – taking ownership of the title and taking action where congress will not tread. Let’s hope in the remaining two years our “emperor” will continue to lead the way with new initiatives when congress abdicates its responsibilities.


    People who want to learn more about the program can go to:

    Migration Policy Institute which provides the data for NJ

    Pew Research FactTank Release – November 20

    U. S. Department of Homeland Security / Citizenship and Immigration Services:  Executive Actions on Immigration Nov 20, 2014



  • Comments (4)

    1. kwilkinson

      If Obama really wanted to not separate families, he would have included the parents of DREAMers.

      Great article in the Bergen Record, with the following quote

      “This is not about policies, it’s about families being able to stay together, and I think all steps should be taken to take that into consideration,” said Tony Myung Keun Choi, who arrived from South Korea when he was 9 years old.

      Also, though he mentioned fruit pickers, no relief for agricultural workers. More still to do…

    2. kwilkinson

      Here’s the response from a South Jersey based farmworkers “support committee”: CATA


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