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Presidential plan to review deportations could be risky

It is no secret to most Charleston residents that there have been a record number of deportations under the Obama administration. President Obama is making to curtail the number of deportations under his administration. His efforts, however, could cause increased friction for the already fragile congressional efforts of complete immigration reform.

The President recognizes that the immigration system as it stands today is broken. It is responsible for failing our economy and ripping families apart. However, permanent fixes must be carried out by Congress, not the President. Congress passed a bill in 2013 that would provide an avenue for citizenship to over 11 million illegal immigrants, including those who have overstayed their visas. But the House has delayed reform.

Real immigration reform must go through the democratic process. Until that time, the president must enforce the law as it stands. Any attempt to go through the law could permanently damage immigration reform efforts in the future.

While reform is currently at a standstill, it is even more important for individuals to understand the current law and find a way to navigate it. In the realm of family immigration, there are options for individuals to remain legally in the United States or for those to enter the country with the intent of becoming a permanent resident. If the immigrant has a relative who is a legal resident of the United States, they can be sponsored by that individual and receive a green card. There are also marriage-based visas that are available for immigrants who have married an American.

Applying for various types of visas can be a confusing and overwhelming process. There are experienced legal professionals who specialize in immigration law who can assist those in need. They will ensure the individual rights, as well as their family's rights, are protected.

Source: ABC News, "Obama's Promise to Review Deportations Has Risks," March 15, 2014

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