A federal court told the president that he could not change immigration rules. He wanted to let the immigrant parents of children born in America stay in the country. The parents had crossed the border from Mexico to the U.S. They did not have the proper papers.
Another group of migrants came to America on tourist or student visas. They did not return home when the visas expired. They are all often called undocumented.
In the past, the president has been hard on the undocumented He has deported more of them than other presidents. His supporters say he was trying to show he could control the border.
President Obama has always said he wanted immigration reform. He thought Congress should pass new laws. They have not. Now, his own rules will not go into effect.
The president is trying something new. He told Homeland Security their agents should leave law-abiding immigrants alone. Instead:
- Deport criminals and people who are security risks;
- Deport recent border-crossers; and
- Deport people who keep coming back after being deported.
Experts say about 1.4 million people are in these three categories.
Immigration is big news. Republican hopefuls for president oppose immigration reform. Democrats support it.
The president’s new rules will make undocumented immigrants feel safer in America. It will not give them legal status. Or a path to citizenship.
Some states are issuing driver’s licenses. They are helping undocumented with tuition for state colleges.
The president wants ease the burden of the undocumented. He wants the U.S. government to work with states and cities.
Most reformers are pleased the president is doing this. But it is not the reform he promised or wanted.
Source: The New York Times July 23, 2015