Now is the Time…

Critical policy considerations

The New York Legal Assistance Group’s Immigrant Protection Unit has released a detailed framework to guide policymakers through negotiations on this polarizing issue. Click here to read more.

Learn the Facts

Immigration Reform is on the horizon, but it is not here!

  • There is NO NEW LAW yet. Though there have been proposals for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR), no new laws have been passed nor existing laws amended. Do not confuse CIR with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Provisional Waiver Program – they are not the same thing as CIR. Although immigration reform is a top priority for the president’s second term, it has not yet passed.
  • Do not pay anyone to start processing applications because there is nothing to file. Some immigration service providers have been taking advantage of the publicity surrounding immigration reform to defraud uninformed immigrants.

Speak with a trusted immigration attorney if you have questions

  • If you need legal guidance, DO NOT GO TO A NOTARIO. They are not permitted to practice law and cannot answer your questions in the same way as an attorney. Instead, find an immigration attorney that you trust and make an appointment to have your questions addressed.

Start preparing for the future now

While we do not know exactly what CIR will look like or involve, there are some steps that you can take to be ready for what may happen. Some things you can do right now include:

  • Save money. If a path to citizenship becomes available, there will likely be fees and fines associated with the application process. If possible, try to start saving money now.
  • Stay out of trouble. Criminal convictions may harm your chances of legalizing. If you have a criminal matter pending, speak with your criminal attorney about your immigration status and how you can avoid adverse immigration consequences.
  • Learn English. Since you may have to demonstrate proficiency in English and U.S. civics, try to start learning now. Many organizations offer free classes.
  • Start collecting evidence showing that you have been living and/or working in the U.S., going as far back as possible. This evidence is likely to be crucial in applying for relief under any new laws that are passed. Examples might include: pay stubs, income tax returns/ transcripts, bank or credit card statements, utility bills, school and medical records, or any receipts and letters addressed to you.
To download a printable version of the CIR Fact Sheet, Click Here.

Be Prepared

Immigration Reform is on the horizon, but it is not here!

Which that means you still have time to get ready and ensure you have a better chance of applying quickly when the time comes. The New York Legal Assistance Group’s Immigrant Protection Unit (IPU) would like to help you in that process!

Why do something now if there is no new law?

Although there is no immigration reform yet, by getting your documents in order, you will be better prepared for future changes in the law if they happen. We have based our recommendations for preparation on the current proposals for immigration reform and our long experience working in the field of immigration law.

What can NYLAG’s IPU help me with?

The IPU can assist you by providing:

  • Referrals to English as a second language classes. Learning English will almost certainly be a requirement under any new laws that are passed. Start learning now.
  • Assistance requesting your entire immigration history from the government. By understanding your immigration history, we can help you get to where you want to be in the future.
  • Help accumulating documents that show your physical presence in the United States. Showing that you have been a resident for a particular period of time is likely to be a requirement under any new laws that are passed.
  • General legal consultations. You may have immigration options available to you now!
  • FBI background checks. We will take your fingerprints in our offices (avoiding the need to go to a police precinct) and submit them to the FBI to obtain your entire criminal history.

If you have any questions, you may call the New York Legal Assistance Group at (212)613-5000.

To download a printable version of the CIR Preparedness Flyer, Click here.