The issue of immigration reform has stirred emotions and concerns throughout the nation, and less than two years ago South Carolina joined a multi-state lawsuit challenging executive orders designed to create a legal avenue for undocumented immigrants to remain in the country. President Obama's Deferred Deportation for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Residents have nearly split the nation in half as numerous states participate in the legal action. While the case awaits its date before the Supreme Court, studies indicate that those who would be eligible if the programs are allowed are primarily individuals with deep roots in the United States.
Statistics show that a little more than one-third of the population of undocumented immigrants would meet DAPA criteria. Of these individuals, 89 percent have children who are legal citizens. Approximately 74 percent of DAPA-eligible individuals are part of the work force as well. This indicates that the majority of DAPA candidates demonstrate strong work ethics and family ties that would be disrupted in the event of deportation.
DACA would provide an avenue for children who came to the United States prior to reaching 16 years of age to continue with their lives here. It would be necessary to renew under the program every other year. This would significantly minimize disruption in their lives as at least 90 percent of the potential candidates have excellent English speech skills and participate in the nation's workforce. Many eligible young people speak only English.
Citizenship is another avenue for avoiding deportation, but some individuals worry that they might face deportation if they initiate the process. An individual who is unsure of the options the options that are available could meet with an immigration attorney to learn more about the steps that need to be taken.
Source: The Hill, "25 states sue Obama over amnesty, but some states are silent", Jon Feere, Jan. 16, 2015