Obama’s Pro-Family Immigration Plan

It looks like the long-awaited executive order from Obama on immigration may finally be released soon. The White House leaked the plan to the New York Times last week and it looks the changes will focus on keeping immigrant families together.

President Obama will ignore angry protests from Republicans and announce as soon as next week a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration enforcement system that will protect up to five million undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation and provide many of them with work permits, according to administration officials who have direct knowledge of the plan.

Asserting his authority as president to enforce the nation’s laws with discretion, Mr. Obama intends to order changes that will significantly refocus the activities of the government’s 12,000 immigration agents. One key piece of the order, officials said, will allow many parents of children who are American citizens or legal residents to obtain legal work documents and no longer worry about being discovered, separated from their families and sent away.

That part of Mr. Obama’s plan alone could affect as many as 3.3 million people who have been living in the United States illegally for at least five years, according to an analysis by the Migration Policy Institute, an immigration research organization in Washington. But the White House is also considering a stricter policy that would limit the benefits to people who have lived in the country for at least 10 years, or about 2.5 million people.

Paul Waldman’s analysis:

There are other changes mentioned in the story, but the big pieces of this new policy are allowing parents whose children are legal residents or citizens to stay, and extending that to the parents of those who came to the U.S. as young children but aren’t documented. What’s significant about that isn’t just that it covers millions of people, but where the focus is: keeping families together.

Obama could have gone farther and extended protection to people without children who had been here a certain length of time, but it’s no surprise that he would want to lead with changes to the immigration system that stand a strong chance of getting wide support among the public. Nobody likes to see families broken up, and if you’re looking for a sympathetic face of undocumented immigration, you can’t do much better than an American kid who is terrified that his parents will be deported.

And guess what? All those “pro-family” conservatives will suddenly turn anti-family, just as they do with families headed by gay people. Because they aren’t really pro-family at all, they’re only pro-families that look like theirs. It’s the same lie they tell about being “pro-life” while working to deny health care, food stamps and other assistance to mothers and children. Pro-fetus is not the same thing as pro-life.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • eric

    Oh horrors – this is amnesty! Amnesty, I tells ya! Why, I haven’t seen such unscrupulous and unethical amnesty and immigrant-catering from a president since Reagan!

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Nobody likes to see families broken up…

    Now, look, we aren’t monsters. Us Christian Constitutional Conservative Republicans don’t want to see families get split up, either. That’s why we’re going to send them all back.

  • vmanis1

    It’s worth pointing out that both Reagan and Bush 41 issued similar executive orders, to very little consternation of anyone. Of course those were different, as completely different as Romneycare and Obamacare.

  • Kevin Kehres

    I know someone who is here illegally. Her parents (I kid you not) were here illegally and actually went back to Mexico for her birth — and then brought her back to the US as a baby where she has been for quite literally her entire life (she’s around age 30). Yeah … talk about getting that bit of business wrong.

    She uses her sister’s Social Security # (which is a problem but nobody’s caught on yet).

    She doesn’t speak a word of Spanish — if she was deported, where in the world would she go? No family down there, no job prospects, no nothing.

    You’re telling me that justice would be served by booting her out of the country? And letting Justin Bieber back in? Crazy.

  • gshelley

    I have no idea on what Presidential authority is here. Obviously the Administration believes they can do this (well, obvious to rational people, probably not to many on the right who seem to think Obama delights in being lawless), but is it likely to be something within the discretion to enforce the laws the executive has?

  • D. C. Sessions

    You’re telling me that justice would be served by booting her out of the country? And letting Justin Bieber back in? Crazy.

    One of those is just illegal. The other is a crime against humanity.

  • magistramarla

    I taught several young people who would qualify for the Dream Act. They weren’t able to participate with their friends in that rite-of-passage of getting a driver’s license. Their parents were often working two jobs each and the entire family lived in fear of being deported. And yet, somehow, these immigrant kids were some of my best students.

    There was one boy who was brilliant and graduated second in his class. He could have easily been valedictorian, but he actually tried to not do so well so as to not draw attention to himself. He had been brought here when he was 6 or 7 by his aunt and uncle. Another teacher in the school helped him to get a scholarship. Four years later, after graduating from college with a 4.0, he “self-deported”, returning to Korea to a country that he couldn’t even remember. I hope that he someday comes back, but I wouldn’t blame him if he never does.

    I’m hoping that this executive order helps many of those kids who were in my classroom. There is one that I know who married an American citizen and now has a child who is an American citizen. This should help that little family to breathe a little easier.

  • busterggi

    Pro-family is like pro-life, it all depends on which color/creed/sexual identity the subject is.