President Barack Obama is expected to put his foot down on illegal immigration in a major way before November’s mid-term elections, whether Republicans like it or not.
After announcing last month that he believed Congress was failing at repairing the nation’s broken immigration system, Obama has taken matters into his own hands and plans on giving work permits to millions of parents of children brought to the United States illegally, reports the Daily Mail. This move would allow these families to remain in the country without fear of deportation.
Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion to help with immigration reform, but his request has thus far been ignored. The House and Senate plan to meet and vote on a resolution this week before breaking for August recess.
Advocates of Obama say they would like to see the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) expanded so that it includes 9 million more people who would have been eligible for citizenship under the immigration bill passed by the Senate last year. The 3.8 million or so parents and legal guardians of U.S. citizen children are also a focus, as are about 500,000 to 1 million parents and guardians of children who were illegally brought to the United States before they turned 18, reports The Weekly Standard.
“Our parents deserve to live without the fear of deportation,” said Maria Praeli, 21, who came to the U.S. from Peru when she was 5 years old. “It’s time for the president to go big and to go bold.”
But those who oppose Obama’s talk of taking executive action, including members of the GOP, argue that the president would deserve to be impeached for acting on his own with regards to immigration.
“It would be an affront to the people of this country which they will never forgive, it would be a permanent stain on your presidency,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama).
Frank Sharry, executive director of the leading advocate group America's Voice, says "most Democrats will be thrilled" if Obama takes immigration matters into his own hands.
"And Republicans will keep lurching to the right and cementing their reputation as the anti-immigrant party," Sharry added.