Last night, President Obama announced a plan to expand deferred action to parents of U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents who have been residing in the U.S. for at least five years. It is expected that this expansion of deferred action could affect as many as 4 Million undocumented immigrants. While more specific requirements are forthcoming, qualified applicants who are approved for the deferred action will be granted three years of protection from deportation along with work authorization, according to the White House.

The administration also plans to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that was initiated in June 2012 to those brought into the country as children before Jan. 1, 2010. DACA had initially applied only to those born after 1981 who entered the country before June 15, 2007. It is estimated that this expansion of DACA could give up to 270,000 additional people temporary protection from deportation.

According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service Website, the executive actions will also include the following additional initiatives:

  • Extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years
  • Expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
  • Modernizing, improving and clarifying immigrant and nonimmigrant programs to grow our economy and create jobs
  • Promoting citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents and providing an option for naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay the application fee

For more details, please see the USCIS website. Please note that specific requirements and application processes have not been provided. However, we will continue to monitor and provide updates as these initiatives are implemented.