President Barack Obama has announced plans to act on his own and change the current deportation policies of the U.S. It is believed that the President would expand immigration protections to more categories of undocumented immigrants.
The President’s executive actions are likely to affect around five million undocumented immigrants. He might use his executive authority to provide temporary legal status and employment authorization documents to the undocumented immigrants whose immediate relatives are U.S. citizens. Immigration protections may also be extended to those who have lived in the U.S. for a certain time period. He also might approve a U.S. visa program that would grant worker visas to Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Mathematics (STEM) graduates.
President Obama has already used his authority to grant temporary legal status to undocumented youth by implementing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program allows undocumented youth, who entered the U.S. as minors before 2007, to apply for temporary relief from deportation and for employment authorization.
President Obama is now looking to expand immigration protections to more undocumented immigrants. However, he is focused on deporting those with criminal convictions and those who have repeatedly crossed the borders of the country. At the same time, he is also wants to resolve the border crisis and speed up the removal proceedings for Latin American children who entered illegally into the U.S.
The GOP claims that President Obama is helping those who have violated the country’s laws and that he is exceeding his authority. However, according to the White House spokesman Shawn Turner, the President has not yet decided on the next steps, though he announced in June that he would act on his own if the House does not come with a legislative solution to comprehensive immigration reform.
Immigration advocates are lobbying for deportation relief for the parents of DACA recipients and U.S.- born children. However, undocumented immigrants may not be happy if President Obama expands immigration protections as they believe that it will only be temporary. Most of them are more concerned about immigration reform that would grant them permanent legal status.
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