Despite threats from GOP leaders, President Obama took a major step today to provide relief from deportation for approximately 4 million undocumented immigrants. After nearly two years of inaction by Congress, the President had been pressured by immigrant activists to take the action he had promised during his re-election campaign. He had originally planned to take action before the midterm election but was convinced by congressional democrats to wait. Some had urged him to wait until the new Congress was in place, to see if they would take action - the consequences of this executive action, including implementation, the response from conservatives and other issues remain to be seen:
For those with a short attention span:
A quick recap from the WSJ:
The broad outlines of Obama’s actions tonight:
- Would shift more resources to border enforcement
- Would fix the immigration court system
- Would grant more visas to victims of crimes or human trafficking
- Would emphasize deporting criminals and persons suspected of involvement in terrorism or gang activity.
- Would allow about 4 million immigrants to take a background check and apply for limited permission to stay in the country.
- Would expand a deferred action program to cover more of the Dreamers — children of illegal immigrants brought to this country as children.
It's important to note that Obama's action does not extend to the parents of Dreamers (undocumented immigrants currently getting relief from deportation via Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA)
Analysis from the New York Times:
Analysis from the Los Angeles Times:
Silicon Valley lukewarm to Obama's immigration reform moves