Changing immigration policies could have a significant effect on many undocumented immigrants in South Carolina. On Feb. 25, President Obama addressed the controversy surrounding some executive orders on certain immigration policies that he issued in November 2014. Despite dissent among many state governments, President Obama promised that he would defend the new federal immigration policies with all of the legal power that he has.
The policies in question are two administration programs that would reportedly prevent the deportations of about 5 million undocumented immigrants who are living in the United States. In addition to stopping deportation proceedings from going forward, the programs would allow qualifying immigrants to obtain work permits. Although supporters of Obama say that he has the authority to make these immigration reforms, 26 states have sued the president for abusing his executive power.
In his speech at a Miami town hall immigration forum, President Obama attempted to ease the fears of many undocumented immigrants who are hesitant to apply for the new programs. He said that if immigrants were deported because they applied for his programs, the federal agents who chose to ignore his new policies would have to face consequences.
Policies on immigration in the U.S. are constantly changing, and they can have a serious impact on the lives of many immigrants. An undocumented immigrant who would like to avoid deportation might want to speak to an immigration lawyer about some of the new forms of relief that may be available once the courts have issued a final decision. A lawyer can provide assistance to clients in applying for the programs that they qualify for.
Source: The Hill, "Obama: 'Consequences' for immigration officials who flout my orders," Mike Lillis, Feb. 25, 2015