Pres. Obama has announced a 10-point executive action that will most notably grant an estimated 5 million illegal aliens amnesty and work permits. The action expands on his 2012 DACA directive that allowed nearly 600,000 illegal aliens to do the same. The action will also affect some enforcement areas, but the points are meant to serve more as a window-dressing for the amnesty.
Here is a brief overview of the President's actions. They accompanying memos and documents for each directive can be found on the Department of Homeland Security's website at http://www.dhs.gov/immigration-action.
Strengthen Border Security - This action simply reorganizes the administration's current border security policies by creating three separate areas of authority that oversee different aspects of land, sea, and air borders. The action also sends additional resources to the Southern border, including Border Patrol agents, ICE personnel, criminal investigators, additional monitors, and working with DOJ to reorder dockets in immigration courts, along with reforms in these courts.
Revise Removal Priorities - This action prioritizes the different categories of illegal aliens for removal. Since the administration has been focusing on the deportation of serious criminal illegal aliens, the new priorities really aren't that much different from current priorities. The "new" priorities are: 1) national security threats, convicted felons, gang members, and illegal entrants apprehended at the border; 2) illegal aliens convicted of significant or multiple misdemeanors and those who are not apprehended at the border, but who entered or reentered this country unlawfully after January 1, 2014; 3) illegal aliens who are non-criminals but who have failed to abide by a final order of removal issued on or after January 1, 2014. While the expanded executive amnesty only covers illegal aliens who entered the country more than 5 years ago, illegal aliens who entered between 1-5 years will also be safeguarded from deportations.
End Secure Communities and Replace it with New Priority Enforcement Program - Under pressure from pro-amnesty activist groups, the administration is dismantling its Secure Communities program. The program essentially replaced the former 287(g) program that allowed local law enforcement agents to enforce federal immigration laws. With an end to both programs, the administration has, in effect, ended all interior enforcement efforts.
Personnel Reform for ICE Officers - This action increases pay for ICE officers and enables more job mobility within the department. It's an attempt to boose ICE morale, which is among the lowest of all federal agencies.
Expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program - The 2012 DACA directive will be expanded to include anyone who entered the country prior to January 1, 2010. The original directive set the entry date at June 15, 2007. Further, the expansion lifts the upper age limit allowing anyone to qualify, regardless of age.
Extend Deferred Action to Parents of U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents - The most significant of all the new actions is the Deferred Action program for parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders. The directive will allow any illegal alien who has been in the for at least 5 years and is the parent of a U.S. citizen or green card holder to receive deferred action and a work permit subject to a background check and a fee. The directive is expected to grant amnesty to 4.5 million illegal aliens.
Expand Provisional Waivers to Spouses and Children of Lawful Permanent Residents - This action allows illegal aliens who are spouses or minor children of U.S. citizens, and therefore eligible for a green card, to receive a provisional waiver allowing them to receive their green cards without having to leave the country. Leaving the country would make them susceptible to detection and subject to the 3-year and 10-year re-entry bars.
Revise Parole Rules - This action will allow illegal-alien tech workers to stay in the country if their work "would yield a significant public economic benefit." Further, it would make available parole-in-place for illegal-alien spouses, parents and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who wish to enlist in the military.
Promote the Naturalization Process - The action would expedite the naturalization process, reduce fees, and possibly create fee waiver options.
Support High-skilled Business and Workers - This action would help speed up the process for the processing of visas for highly skilled foreign workers.
For more information on this actions, see http://www.dhs.gov/immigration-action
Updated: Fri, Dec 5th 2014 @ 11:50am EST