Executive order may keep some families together, others apart - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Executive order may keep some families together, others apart

Dulce Lopez and her mother talk to the Hispanic community Dulce Lopez and her mother talk to the Hispanic community
Undocumented immigrants wonder if they qualify for the executive action Undocumented immigrants wonder if they qualify for the executive action
Immigration Lawyer Ariel Snyder assesses if family is eligible for DAPA Immigration Lawyer Ariel Snyder assesses if family is eligible for DAPA
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -

While Americans are concerned what President Obama's Executive Order could mean for our economy and job market, the Region 8 Hispanic community is concerned if it's bringing more harm than good.

According to the National Immigration Law Center, not every undocumented immigrant qualifies under the new president order.

Anyone applying must be a parent of a U.S. citizen or legal resident and must have lived in the U.S. continuously since 2010.

The president said this law is meant to help families, which will cause those living in this country illegally and committing crimes won't be allowed to stay.

Immigration lawyer Ariel Snyder is part of the Womack Phelps and McNiel Law Firm.

She told undocumented immigrants at a community forum Friday night that before they sign up they need to educate themselves on this measure.

“My main concern here tonight is to kind of make sure they don't get taken advantage of,” Snyder said.

She told families to hold off from applying for it.

“There is still a lot that we do not know about the application,” Snyder said. “Just know what you're paying for. There are people who are doing background checks, who are taking up a consultation fee, but don't pay for an application fee.”

She said the action will not make undocumented immigrants legal residents, rather it will just give them a work permit to have a reason to stay with their families.

Dulce Lopez has lived in Jonesboro for more than 11 years without documentation and said she doesn't care about not having a status.

Lopez said she just wants to live without fearing deportation.

“I've always been scared of they sending me back and my kids staying here,” Lopez said.

She is among many Region 8 immigrants who have lived here for years and can be granted permission to stay with their children.

She said keeping her family together is all she cares about.

“I am glad they are doing this and this is the best thing they have ever done for us in a long time,” Lopez said.

H&R Block was also at the forum offering an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. ITIN allows undocumented immigrants to file paper work with the IRS and prove they've lived in the U.S. and paid taxes, as law requires.

An immigration activist with Arkansas United Community Coalition said this is one of many events they will hold in Jonesboro on this executive order.

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