Lee & Garasia, LLC
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  • "Lee and Garasia are excellent lawyers, punctual and professional. They are dedicated to going above and beyond the usual level of service to meet your client's needs. Their staff is very knowledgeable, friendly and polite. I would highly... recommend this firm to anyone." Read More

  • "I would definitely recommend Mr.Lee and Garasia as an immigration attorney because they did a great job with my case i.e. of Adjustment of Status (i-485). Mr. Lee helped us in each and every detailed information and prepared to the best of it. It was all well done and would like to appreciate." Read More

  • "I would like to thank my lawyer Mr Lee & Garasia and the staff for all immense help and patience throughout this entire process, I really appreciate your constant attention to my case, as well to my questions and my concerns. You've really made this process much more comprehensive to me, which I greatly appreciate." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee and Ms. Garasia did a great job with my renewal of my permanent residence application. They help prepare the paperwork with such a great attention to details and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee did a great job with the renewal of my permanent residence application. My case was very time sensitive and they worked really fast on my case with great detail and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "I would recommend Attorney Paris Lee for anybody who needs immigration consultation. Mr. Lee is THE lawyer who respects and cares clients. Mr. Lee is professional and honest. Bottom line, preparation for the results and NO BS!" Read More

  • "Stalin - Lee did a wonderful job, Got my wife her visa in one year. He is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend him for all your immigration needs." Read More

  • "Hello. I appoint him as my immigration lawyer and that way he solved my cases was truly amazing. He was so honest and knowledgeable for his work.He solved my all family imigration issues and because of his effort we were able to get done our immigration work done successful. Thank you lee and garasia." Read More

  • "Lee & Garasia stand for accountability and responsibility. They are reliable, honest and are always constructively looking for a solution.. A big thanks :)" Read More

Latest News on Immigration Reform 2014

In light of Congressional intransigence to move forward on passing comprehensive immigration reform, President Obama recently announced that he will take unilateral action to address the plight of millions of undocumented aliens here in the United States. An announcement is expected sometime before the end of summer/early fall of 2014. One point of contention, however, is exactly how much power President Obama actually has to accomplish what he professes he wants to do, and what are the limits of that power.

Executive Action vs Executive Orders

An "Executive Action," loosely speaking, happens fairly regularly, as it is essentially an informal proposal from the President to get something done. Every time the President makes a call to action or asks for Congress to do something, he has taken executive action. Aside from Presidential pressure, however, an executive action does not carry any legal weight or authority unless or until it turns into an Executive Order.

An "Executive Order," on the other hand, is legally binding and published in the Federal Register. The President's authority to issue these orders arises out of his role as head of the Executive Branch of our government. While the President cannot make or pass a law unilaterally, he can influence how the law is enforced and implemented via an executive order.

Executive Action Example

On July 8th, 2014, President Obama requested $3.7 billion from Congress. Half of the money would have gone to the Department of Health and Human Services to care for the increasing number of children coming across the border. The rest of the money would have been split between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to pay for more immigration judges and to increase law enforcement. Because the President only made a request, there was no legal effect to it, and the money was neither received, nor any actual action taken.

Executive Order Example

On June 15th, 2012, President Obama directed then Department of Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano to issue a memorandum concerning Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). While the Executive Order did not (and could not) confer legal status or permanent residence, it did mandate that USCIS exercise its prosecutorial discretion to forgo proceedings against qualifying individuals who had entered the US before the age of 16, graduated from high school, and did not otherwise pose a threat to national security. Because all of this arose under the imprimatur of an executive order, it carried full legal effect and has, thus far, proven resilient against congressional action to overturn it.

Overturning Executive Orders

Executive orders can be overturned by the Supreme Court (which has only happened twice, and every President since George Washington has made use of executive orders) or through Congress. Congress can overturn an executive order via legislation which opposes the executive order, though this, in turn, can be vetoed by the President. As such, Executive Orders are a fairly stable and powerful tool in any President's arsenal to get things accomplished in the face of Congressional inertia.

Possible Immigration Executive Orders from President Obama

Given the impasse in Washington, President Obama has a number of options open to him should he wish to take bold action on the immigration. First, he could expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") to cover not only children, but also their family members, such as parents. Even better but perhaps more ambitious, he could broaden the eligibility criteria to include adult individuals who have been here for a certain period of time who have no criminal records. If this were to be ordered, DHS would be exercising prosecutorial discretion to defer or not pursue removal proceedings against qualifying individuals; in addition, these grants of deferral could possibly lead to work authorization. Another possible option could be limiting or restricting the Secure Communities program (a program which allows local law enforcement to share fingerprints of arrested individuals with Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Immigration activists have been pressing for a repeal of this program which has led to many people being deported on the basis of arrests which often times don't even result in convictions. Along the same lines, there may be order to reevaluate current immigration court cases and administratively close those against individuals who lack criminal records and have been in the US for a requisite period of time. Another theory floating out there is the broadening of parole in place, which is currently available to qualifying family members of the Armed Forces and military to a larger segment of the population.

However, what the President certainly cannot do-without the participation and cooperation of Congress--is enact or implement a program that confers permanent residence or US Citizenship. Moreover, it is uncertain what the future holds and whether what, if anything, he mandates by way of Executive Order will be reversed when his administration ends.

We hope that you have enjoyed this article and learned at least one new thing or tip that you may not have known. To keep informed about the latest developments in immigration law, please subscribe to our blog feed by clicking on the "Subscribe To This Blog's Feed" button on the right. It is important to understand that the above is only general information and not legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship nor should it be relied upon as legal advice. The law is extremely fact and circumstance sensitive. For an individual legal analysis of your specific legal case, please complete the "Case Evaluation" box to the right of the screen to get in touch with one of our attorneys.

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PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION

    • The National Advocates | Top 100 Lawyers
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    • Client Distinction Award martindale.com | 2016 Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award
    • New Jersey State Bar Association | Paris Lee Chair - Immigration Section 2015-2016
    • Nationaly Recognized | Newsweek Nationwide Showcase | Top Attorneys 2013
    • New Jersey Chapter | American Immigration Lawyers Association | Angie Garasia | Chapter Chair 2015-2016
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Lee & Garasia, LLC
190 State Route 27
Edison, NJ 08820

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