President Obama may finally deliver on his promise to address the issue of illegal immigration. Obama could take executive action on immigration as early as next week.
Sources from the New York Times to Fox News have said that President Obama may overhaul the immigration system with an executive order. The order is set to keep millions of undocumented immigrants from being deported.
One key piece of the order is to allow about 3 million undocumented parents of American-born children to gain legal paperwork enabling them to stay in the United States. The action could also provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that came to the United States as children.
The action could be limited to undocumented immigrants that have lived in the States for the past five to ten years.
Another part of the plan could benefit and extend amnesty to highly skilled undocumented immigrants, like those working in high-tech Silicon Valley companies.
A major revamp of the immigration system can affect immigration officers and border patrol agents. More border patrol agents may move to border states like Arizona and California.
Obama’s order could also lower deportations of undocumented immigrants that have no criminal history and that have family in the States. There will be no changes in deportations of illegal immigrants who are criminals or national security risks.
Many immigration rights activists, from Latino rights groups to religious leaders, applaud the possible executive action by President Obama.
“From our perspective, the president has the power, the precedent and the priority for action on his side,” said Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, deputy vice president of the National Council of La Raza.
“This is his last chance to make good on his promise to fix the system,” said Kevin Appleby, the director of migration policy at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
While many applaud the possible action, Republicans vow to fight any possible action President Obama would take on immigration.
Speaker of the House John Boehner said, “all options are on the table. We are having conversations with our members [ of Congress].”
“Our office stands ready to use any procedural means available to make sure the president can’t enact his illegal executive amnesty,” said Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman for Republican senator Ted Cruz.