President Obama has now issued a new policy and has instructed the law enforcement authorities not to deport the undocumented parents of minor children. A nine-page memorandum was issued in the last week and it requires the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to avoid deporting parents of minor children and to use prosecutorial discretion. Even if the parents are detained, they must be permitted to visit their children.
Immigration activists have been arguing that the broken immigration system of the United States is separating families. This memo would make sure that the rights of the children and the parents are protected.
But lawmakers, like the House Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, are trying to turn this into a political issue related to immigration reform. He says that President Obama has again used his authority to stop the deportation of undocumented immigrants.
A policy that grants certain eligible DREAMers temporary legal status and a temporary relief from deportation, known as deferred action, was implemented a year ago by President Obama. More than 400,000 deferred action applications have been approved so far. DREAMers who have been granted this temporary status need not live in shadows and they can study or work legally in the country, until their status is valid.
President Obama has now added parents of minor children to the list of people who must not be deported from the country. Immigration activists are now urging the Congress to pass immigration reform. If the lawmakers fail to come to an agreement and if the US Congress fails to pass a reform bill by the end of this year, pressure will intensify and President Obama will be urged to issue an executive order.
This new memorandum requires the immigration authorities to stop deporting undocumented immigrants who are parents of infants or minor children. More than 5,100 children of undocumented immigrants, who were born in the United States and are US citizens, were living in foster care in 2011, according to the Applied Research Center. Immigration activists say that more than 200,000 undocumented parents of US citizen children were deported between 2010 and 2012.
This new memo also requires the ICE agents to focus on immigrants who have a criminal background. This policy will ensure that the parental rights of the unauthorized residents are protected. There are several mixed status families in the country and several US born children have undocumented parents. The broken immigration system of the country separates such families. This new announcement will benefit such families and reunite families that have been torn apart.