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South Texas immigration attorney discusses impact of President Biden's recent executive orders

During Biden's first day in office he ordered the preservation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Biden administration's latest immigration order is providing some relief for local attorneys working with families caught in limbo.

Debra Rodriguez is an immigration attorney for Rodriguez and Moretzsohn in Corpus Christi. She said many of her cases have been made easier with President Joe Biden's executive orders, like lifting the travel ban. 

She said her clients from oversees can now rejoin their families and run the businesses they have had here.

"Lifting of the Muslim ban was one thing that happened, but probably the one that hit our office the most was the strengthening of the DACA policies," Rodriguez said.

During Biden's first day in office, he ordered the preservation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Still, Rodriguez said the executive orders are only a temporary fix for her clients.

"Having DACA kids protected, well, they are protected for the next four years but what about after that? So any lasting change really needs to be legislatively done," Rodriguez said.

That's what Biden said he plans to do with his U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021. The White House says the Act will provide clearer pathways to becoming an American. 

In the meantime, Rodriguez said some of her clients seeking citizenship are stuck.

"She's married to a U.S. citizen, she has three U.S. children, they pay taxes, there is no criminal record whatsoever," Rodriguez said. "I cannot fix them under the current law."

Rodriguez said if Congress passes updated immigration reform policies, her office will host free virtual sessions to help people navigate the laws.

Rodriguez added that one of the pitfalls that a lot of her clients fall into is signing documents they may not fully understand, so she advises anyone going through the process to seek out an immigration attorney to help.

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