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It is clear that Congress won’t do anything on immigration reform in 2014. The question now is how far will President Obama go? Many opine that since the Republican Congress will challenge anything President Obama does he might as well do the maximum in his authority. The most likely result is a temporary reprieve from deportation through an expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to groups other those that came to the U.S. children and stayed. There are approximately 11.7 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Within this subset of immigrants, who should Obama help? Is it parents of U.S. children? Is it victims of Domestic Violence? How many years do they need to have been in the U.S. in order to qualify? We expect answers to these questions in the weeks to come. One MythUnderstanding that I see in the media is the belief that most of the 11.7 million are barely literate, single men and women, and recent immigrants to the U.S. The facts are significantly different. The American Immigration Council has pored over data from the Census Bureau and here some of its conclusions:

  • Undocumented immigrants are approximately 5% of the U.S. workforce;
  • 60% of these undocumented immigrants have been in the U.S. for over 10 years;
  • Approximately 50% of the adult undocumented immigrants live in households with minor children;
  • Approximately 1 million undocumented immigrants are children;
  • Approximately 4.5 million U.S. citizen children have at least one undocumented parent;
  • Approximately 50% of longtime undocumented immigrant households own homes; and
  • Approximately 40% of undocumented immigrant adults go to church weekly.

If Immigration Judge’s had the discretion to determine the worthiness of an undocumented immigrant’s ability to stay in the U.S., the Judge frequently doesn’t, the above would be the factors the Judge would consider. What are the immigrant’s ties to the U.S.? Are they gainfully employed? What is the impact to their immediate families if they are removed from the U.S.? Are they homeowners and observant individuals? Are they a danger to the public or their community? These are all positive factors. Contrary to common MythUnderstanding if Obama or an Immigration Judge was to weigh an undocumented individual’s ability to defer deportation, there are a lot of undocumented immigrants that would qualify. If you have a question or comments for our knowledgeable staff call 888-695-6169, we want to hear from you.