Republicans Challenge Congress on Immigration
What does President Obama mean when he takes executive action on immigration? With a new political fight about to unleash because of Obama’s supposed executive action to protect close to 5 million undocumented immigrants from being deported, the immigration situation is about to become out of control.
What is the Executive Plan on Immigration?
According to reports from the New York Immigration Coalition, the executive action entails a sweeping plan with about 10 points on how President Obama will improve the existing system and make it easier for immigrants wanting to apply for deportation relief. This plan is already under scrutiny by Republicans who are threatening –among other things – to impeach the president. The wide ranging plan is still facing an uphill battle, with the biggest test being how the federal government will handle the bombardment of complicated applications that will be coming from immigrants. The process of receiving these applications is supposed to start in Spring 2015.
The president’s immigration plan is meant to prioritize who should be allowed to stay in the U.S. and who should be actively removed, with an overall attempt to fix the system itself. The plan does not want communities or families needlessly torn apart.
What undocumented immigrants must do now
Undocumented immigrants will be made to establish that they have been in the U.S. at least 5 years. This problem if further exacerbated by the fact that many of these illegal immigrants have been avoiding the government or having their names on any official documents so as not to be deported. One of Obama’s focuses is not to take any action on cases with parents who have children that are currently U.S. citizens or who hold a green card and who have been in the U.S. since January 1, 2010. There are quite a few politicians who will be fighting against this executive action plan and they will be warning immigrants about the information they will be supplying. The information could eventually get them deported, politicians have warned.
What is the concern for Parents and Children who are immigrants?
Parents, who fit the criteria of the executive action plan will be able to stay in the U.S. for three years without fear of being deported and suited with work permits. Interpreted, this means they will be able to work under the law and also obtain social security numbers, bank accounts and drivers licenses.
The immigration action that Obama is taking could split religious coalitions. Currently, many immigrants are referring to a program from 2012 that protects undocumented immigrants from being deported as a gauge to determine if the government is ready.
Immigration attorneys sound off on executive plan
DACA or The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has resulted in more than 700,000 applications, with over 600,000 already approved. Each application submitted was looked at by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officials. Many of those officials expressed their disapproval of how the agency actually performed.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association complained that the DACA agency shifted its priority to young undocumented immigrants while other services such as applications for green cards and VISAs were left up in the air. Immigrants around the U.S. were frustrated that the four USCIS service centers were all operating in a different manner from each other. Different cases were adjudicated on such different time frames that they could not be predicted or understood. Some service centers knew about the different forms of proof they needed to see and therefore, applications are processed quickly. Other applications were not.
Policy attorneys with the National Immigration Law Center are scratching their heads saying the government was fast to respond to problems that arose and considered the experience to help the USCIS and immigrants get through the kinks. Considering there were 700,000 applications and over 600 completed, some think the government has done a good job. No comment from officials at the USCIS.
What is DACA?
The DACA agency was focusing on undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S.as children, with many already having school records proving that they met the requirements. They had lived in the country the last five years. Those who lacked these types of records were made to get creative and establish that they also had been in the U.S. the last five years. Using such social media sites as Facebook, many immigrants put down their location, restaurant and store receipts and even traffic tickets proving that they had been in the country. Proof even came with one immigrant taking a photo in New York City, while the Twin Towers were still standing, proving that the immigrant had been in this country prior to Sept. 11, 2001.
Who is the most affected by the plan?
The largest number of immigrants affected by Obama’s new plan will be parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders. The president is essentially relaxing the DACA requirements and extending deportation relief and work authorization to immigrants who were in the country illegally as children. Formerly, the DACA plan had been limited to those under age 31, but there will no longer be an age cap off. According to USCIS, the new initiative extends DACA from a two year program to a here year program.
How soon will the plan go in effect?
Some of these changes mentioned will be immediate. For instance, a change in the way immigrants are prioritized will be made by the administration, removing those who don’t belong and extending time to those who do.
The Republican Part is attempting to fight this executive action. For his part, President Obama is carrying out the laws passed by Congress. But the immigration system is very complex. It has become a lot bigger since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The administration is continually looking at the system to make it more effective. But also, it wants to make sure that it is maximizing the benefits of the United States.