One of the many points we emphasize on our Washington, D.C. blog is the highly changeable nature of immigration law. Bills and policies can be enacted quickly, requiring immigrants to watch developments closely so that they can comply with applicable laws and participate in programs intended for their benefit.
One such program was President Obama's deferred action initiative that gave young illegal immigrants the chance to apply for a two-year work permit and a reprieve from the threat of deportation. That program was announced, enacted and functioning all within the space of a matter of months. The status of immigrants approved under the program may have been in doubt with a presidential election in the offing, but candidate Mitt Romney put those doubts to rest when he recently said that he would honor the visas granted to applicants if he were elected.
Romney did say, however, that he would work to create thorough immigration reform legislation during the early portion of his presidency. When speaking with television network Univision in September, Romney repeated that assertion while declaring that he would not be "rounding up" illegal immigrants to prepare them for deportation.
But any immigration plan must come into sharper focus before the specific details that affect the lives of immigrants become clear. It is unknown what exact form our country's immigration laws will take in the coming years, regardless of which candidate wins the election. Immigrants should therefore remain vigilant regarding large-scale changes and small modifications to immigration policies and rules.
Source: The Washington Post, "Mitt Romney won't revoke visas for young illegal immigrants earned under President Obama order," Oct. 2, 2012
• Obtaining visas and U.S. citizenship can be long and complex processes. You can learn more by visiting our Washington, D.C. naturalization and citizenship page.