We don’t know the exact nature of Pres. Obama’s likely Executive Order that will give relief to many immigrants in the U.S. However we know it will probably benefit millions of people.
The Executive Order will Probably Be Like DACA
There is a very good chance that the new Executive Order will be similar to the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) which benefited young immigrants. Under DACA, many young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US under age 16 qualified for legal protection from deportation and were given work permits for two years. About 500,00 young people have applied for and received DACA across the U.S.
Categories of People Who Will Probably Benefit
It’s possible, in theory, for the president to give legal status to the roughly 11,000,000 undocumented immigrants currently in the US. However, nearly everyone agrees that would be too sweeping a change. It’s also conceivable that President Obama could provide relief for up to 8 million undocumented immigrants who would have had eligibility for benefits under the Senate bill that was passed in 2013. But this bill never became law because it wasn’t passed by the House of Representatives.
Overall, it’s most likely that between 3,000,000 to 6,000,000 immigrants would be positively impacted by Pres. Obama’s upcoming order. Who might fall into the groups that will benefit?
Here Are Some of the Categories of Immigrants Who Could Be Affected:
Undocumented immigrants with US citizen children. Estimates show that there are about 3.8 million undocumented immigrants who have US citizen children. Under current law, a child needs to be at least 21 to petition for his or her parents. In addition, there are complex rules that prohibit a parent from becoming a permanent resident. The president could change the rules to prevent families with US children from being broken apart.
Undocumented Immigrants Married to US Citizens or Permanent Residents. There are about 1.5 million immigrants who are married to spouses who are either U.S. citizens or have green cards. Obama could include this group of people as well and point out the benefits that come from not breaking up families who are well established already in the U.S.