A Closer Look at Obama's Immigration Plan Which Benefits Five Mi - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

A Closer Look at Obama's Immigration Plan Which Benefits Five Million Immigrants

By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

We're learning more about President Obama's executive action on immigration. NewsWest 9 took a look at the new requirements to avoid deportation and why some are viewing it with skepticism and disbelief.

Five million immigrants who are here illegally could benefit from Obama's new plan. Those include college graduates with science and engineering degrees, even legal U.S. citizens who want to join the military but were prohibited because of an undocumented spouse. But according to local lawmakers, this plan doesn't fix anything.

President Obama's new immigration plan could spare about five million immigrants from deportation for the next three years.

"Executive orders only last from one president to the next so these people in limbo that he's trying to help are subject to the next president unwinding this executive order because the president didn't really fix anything," Mike Conaway, U.S. Representative for the 11th Congressional District of Texas, said.

With the new plan, deportation relief extends to parents of legal citizens who have been in the U.S. for more than five years. They can also get a work permit.

Young immigrants will see changes too. Now, those who arrived in the U.S. before January first of 2010 are eligible for deferred deportation.

"There is a lot of individuals who have become successful entrepreneurs, who have created large businesses that didn't fall under that. So we're removing the 31-year age cap," Immigration Lawyer, Daniel Caudillo, said.

The president also set a priority list for those who will be deported, starting with undocumented immigrants with a criminal record.

"There's one, two and three levels at this point. Anyone who entered in the last year is gonna be a high priority for deportation. They don't want there to be a benefit from this, and of course, anyone who enters in the future," Caudillo said.

Congressman Mike Conaway says Obama should have worked with Congress more to come up with a compromise.

"It's not even a band-aid. A band-aid at least allows for the healing. This doesn't allow for the healing. This keeps the wound wide open," Conaway said.

Although the applications for immigrants who qualify won't be ready for a while, Conaway says this new order is like a slap in the face to those who became a U.S. citizen the legal way.

"For those who have been in the process, spending a lot of their money to try to get this done, it's gotta be a little bit disheartening to them to see the president try to put other folks ahead of them in the process," Conaway said.

For those who do qualify, be wary of scams. Lawyers say anyone who is going to charge you for anything right now as far as legal services is not qualified because the process simply doesn't exist yet. For future references, any form of payment having to do with this process will always be made to the Department of Homeland Security.

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