New rule: Undocumented immigrants can stay in U.S. during app process

U.S. President Barak Obama is planning to announce a new regulation that will give undocumented immigrants the right to remain in the United States while they are applying for legal status.

Current regulation forces illegal immigrants to leave the country, and often their loved ones, while they are filing paperwork for a green card application. While some undocumented immigrants are allowed to ask for a waiver if they cite hardship for their family, many of these immigrants are still forced to go abroad to start the process of filling out and submitting these immigration forms at a consular office. This immigration process can take years to complete.

Obama’s new rule would allow immigrants to apply for these waivers while remaining in the United States, and applicants would be allowed to stay with their families while undergoing the process.

This rule comes after Obama’s call for major immigration reform in the United States, where more than 11 million people live illegally. While the rule would help many of these undocumented immigrants, passage of the bill through the House and Senate is not assured. The House, currently under Republican control, is considered one of the largest hurdles for the the proposed legislation, according to the Huffington Post.

Undocumented immigrants who are detained and are facing separation from their family can better understand their rights by using the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s new hotline. Running around the clock every day of the week and available in multiple languages, ICE developed the resource to “Ensure that individuals being held by state or local law enforcement on immigration detainers are properly notified about their potential removal from the country and are made aware of their rights.”

ICE’s initiative additionally includes a new detainer form, which is meant to ensure that no one is detained for more than 48 hours, as per the law, while they are waiting to hear about their deportation status.