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President Obama gives hope to immigrants who need a legal status

Many immigrants who come to the United States do so with a hope of a better future. Some of those immigrants, including many in Texas, have a desire to become a permanent resident of the United States. Recently, President Obama announced some changes to the immigration policies in the country. Before the announcement was made, immigrants were hopeful that the changes would enable them to remain protected.

One woman who is hoping for protection has been waiting to become a permanent U.S. resident for eight years under the sponsorship of her mother, who is an American citizen. The immigrant came to the U.S. in 1998 with her husband and two children to escape violence in Columbia. Her husband was threatened by Guerrillas before they came to the U.S.

Once in the country, problems started happening. The family was here on a 6-month visitor visa. The woman wanted to seek asylum, but waited longer than one year after she came into the country. Her husband has a "withholding of removal" status so he was able to get a work authorization.

The couple has a teenager who is a citizen since he was born here. The woman's parents, brother and sister have all become citizens. She has one son who married a U.S. citizen and has a work permit. The other son she brought into the country in 1998 also has a work permit thanks to President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

While all her family members have some form of immigration documentation, the woman is undocumented. She had a driver's license but was unable to renew it because of lack of documentation. Now, she drives without a license.

Changes are a common occurrence in immigration law. Knowing the changes to policies and procedures can help to ensure you are doing the things necessary to keep your rights as an immigrant protected.

Source: The Oklahoman, "Oklahoma City woman hopes immigration changes will help in her years-long wait for green card" Rick Green, Nov. 20, 2014

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