Many immigration reform advocates feared that this summer’s influx of thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America - and the resulting news coverage - would jeopardize President Obama’s announced plans for Executive Action and eventual immigration reform.
Fortunately, this does not appear to be the case at all. In fact, all indications from the White House point to the anticipated announcement of a comprehensive reform plan, one which could see up to half of the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country finally be granted some form of legal protection.
Given this expected good news, we are reminding all undocumented people to make sure they begin collecting and preparing their identification documents. They will need to be able to show 2 separate things:
1. Proof of identity: These government-issued documents include passports, driver’s licenses and birth certificates.
2. Proof of how long they have been residing in the United States: These can be as obvious as bank statements and employment records that go back several years, but they can also be less obvious items, such as store receipts, printouts from pharmacies or supermarkets, or even e-receipts from websites such as Amazon.com.
Tip: If you have a membership anywhere, like a CVS or Duane Reade Rewards card, every time you make a purchase at that store, there is a record kept of it. This can be accepted as proof of how long you have been shopping, and therefore residing, in the country.
Since locating all of these papers can take significant amounts of time and effort, it is imperative to start working on this now, so that you will be ready to submit your papers when the President announces his new immigration policy shortly.
Mitchell C. ZwaikLong Island, NY
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