This pandemic led to the creation of new immigration laws and policies that the country still uses today. The New York Times described the events leading up to this new wave of immigration by stating, “The next year, California passed a law restricting public school attendance for children who could not prove they were legally in the country.”
These laws ultimately pushed many immigrants into the shadows. They became more fearful and cautious in effect today.
What Did the 2009 Obama Administration Pass into Law?
In 2009, the Obama administration passed a law that allowed people who were not born in America but had family living here to stay in the country for three years without being deported.
The idea behind this was to give them time to find a job, get health insurance and start paying taxes.
The first year was supposed to be the hardest, but things are not going as planned. There have been more than 100,000 applications sent in, with over 90,000 still pending approval. The deadline is approaching for these people who entered illegally, and they desperately need help now because they have nowhere else to turn. These individuals were promised that they would not be deported if they registered themselves and asked permission from the government to remain in America legally.
What is DACA and How Does it Apply Here?
Another law from this period is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which allows children who came into the country illegally with their parents to remain as long as they meet specific requirements.
When you see the phrase “lawfully present,” it means you can stay in this country for a specific reason or under certain conditions; like on a work visa or studying abroad. Here are some examples of what is considered to be lawfully present:
On IR1/CR1 Visa (Status)– This type of visa allows you to travel internationally. Still, if you leave the country, you may not be allowed back into the US unless with special permission from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
How Did These Laws Help Families Stay Together?
These laws helped families stay together while also protecting deportation during difficult times.
I’m here in Newark with Congressman Pallone to talk about what we can do together, and that is stand up for the parents of the thousands of people in our communities who live in fear because they could be deported. Now listen, I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a little ridiculous that after living here legally through no fault of their own, having been going to work every day paying taxes every year, contributing their fair share to this country.
How Can Immigrants Be Protected from Deportation?
Today, there are still many ways immigrants can be protected from deportation, such as DACA or Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which protects those who come from countries experiencing natural disasters or wars like Syria, Sudan, and Somalia.
Some of the current immigration laws are making more migrants scream for change.
“I would say that the changes and reforms should be done to decrease illegal migration,” said Catalina Morales, a sophomore at Downey High School, “and I want them to fix what they have implemented so far on DACA.”
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was used in 2012 by President Obama as an executive order, but this is only temporary and can be revoked soon. The program gave work permits to young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children as long as applicants pass required background checks and pay application fees. For more information, you may ask or consult with immigration lawyers in Houston.