The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Obama Weighs Ambitious List Of Immigration Rule Changes

By Brian Bennett, Tribune Washington Bureau (MCT)

WASHINGTON — Shortly before President Barack Obama left for Asia last weekend, aides gave him an ambitious list of potential actions he could order to change the enforcement of federal immigration laws without congressional approval.

Aides said Obama will get final recommendations from his aides as early as next Tuesday, and will make his decision — and an announcement — before the end of December.

He could decide to protect as many as 5 million immigrants who are in the country illegally from possible deportation.

Whatever he decides is likely to enrage Republicans, who warned after last week’s midterm elections that any executive action on immigration would “poison the well” on cooperation with the new GOP-led Congress.

Obama told a news conference after the elections that he would announce some changes before the end of the year.

The package under consideration is likely to touch many parts of the immigration system.

It includes tweaks to how work visas are awarded, new instructions on who should be detained for violating immigration law, and pay raises for immigration officers, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

The biggest impact is expected to come from a proposed program that could allow some of the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally to come forward, pay a fee and submit to a background check in exchange for a work permit and a temporary reprieve from deportation, the official said.

That initiative would be similar to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was created by Obama in 2012 and has so far granted work permits to more than 680,000 people who were brought to the country illegally as children. Those who are approved for deferred action are protected from being expelled from the United States for two years, and the deferrals can be renewed.

Obama is still deciding how far to expand the deferred action program.

Some aides are pushing him to include parents of children who are U.S. citizens, as well as parents of DACA recipients who have been in the country for several years.

If Obama agrees, as many as 5 million people could be eligible to apply under those two categories.

But that number could be pared down if additional requirements, such as proof of a 10-year presence in the U.S., are added.

AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Rev. Al Sharpton, near left, with members of Tyre Nichols' family

Youtube Screenshot

Black Lives Matter.

Now, can everyone understand the desperate, defiant power of those three words? Can all those who tried to act as though they didn’t get why the phrase needed to be said — over and over — finally stop pretending?

Keep reading...Show less

Vladimir Putin

Youtube Screenshot

Militarily and politically as well as economically, the war in Ukraine has been a major drain on Russia. President Vladimir Putin and his allies in the Kremlin were hoping for a quick, easy invasion, but Ukrainian forces have been much more skillful fighters than Putin anticipated.

Moreover, the invasion of Ukraine has had an unintended consequence: the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Sweden and Finland, for many years, stayed out of NATO; in 2022, they applied for membership. And U.S. President Joe Biden, in contrast to former President Donald Trump’s anti-NATO views, has welcomed NATO’s expansion.

Keep reading...Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}