Let Republican zealots call for Armageddon, but President Obama last night said clearly, “To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.”
Following yesterday’s presidential Executive Orders, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) estimates that 5.2 million people will potentially be eligible for the anticipated deferred action program, and in New Jersey 204,000 will be eligible.
As Pew Research indicates, “It remains to be seen how many people will apply for and receive deportation relief.” MPI points out, “Application costs, fear of self-identifying as unauthorized or potentially exposing other unauthorized relatives to government scrutiny and lack of information about the program and its temporary nature” can be barriers.
The president’s Executive Orders provide deferred action programs but do not grant unauthorized immigrants the opportunity to obtain permanent residency or citizenship. The actions also include:
Timetable: These initiatives have not yet been implemented, and USCIS is not accepting any requests or applications at this time. The deferred action for parents will start in about 180 days and for children in about 90 days.
Many, but not all of the 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants in the U. S., will benefit. Nonetheless, after being accused of being an emperor, President Obama is beginning to act like an emperor – taking ownership of the title and taking action where congress will not tread. Let’s hope in the remaining two years our “emperor” will continue to lead the way with new initiatives when congress abdicates its responsibilities.
People who want to learn more about the program can go to:
Migration Policy Institute which provides the data for NJ
Pew Research FactTank Release – November 20
U. S. Department of Homeland Security / Citizenship and Immigration Services: Executive Actions on Immigration Nov 20, 2014
White House Fact Sheet: IMMIGRATION ACCOUNTABILITY EXECUTIVE ACTION – November 20