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Obama's Proposed Immigrant Changes Could Impact the Future of Millions


With signs crying for the government to "stop separating families" and "don't deport my parents," hundreds of immigrants gathered in front of the White House last week to voice their support of President Obama's changes to immigration legislature. This display of support was in direct opposition to Republicans, both in the Senate and across the nation.

What are these changes that are causing such a strong, albeit differing, reaction from immigrants and Republicans alike?

In short, President Obama's plans will directly impact legal and illegal immigrants throughout the United States. Although the exact details may not be announced until next week, news has been released that these changes to the immigrant enforcement system could protect nearly five million illegal immigrants from deportation. By providing parents of children who are American citizens with work permits, the fear of being separated or worse, will be lifted from these families.

Not only will President Obama's plans benefit legal immigrants with specialty skills, they will also provide additional security to America's southern border and give immigration enforcement agencies more defined guidelines as to who should and should not be deported.

How long will the new changes take?

Unlike many governmental changes that take months, or even years, to officially sanction, President Obama has plans to move quickly. Officials have been quoted saying that an announcement of this plan will take place before the start of the New Year. Unfortunately, swift action is not what the Republicans have in mind for such a plan.

Many House Republicans see this as evidence that President Obama is ploughing ahead on his own agenda and are reluctant to agree to his proposed changes. While the President stated that he refuses to sit back and wait, one Republican Senator said plainly that adversaries would "fight him tooth and nail" if this is indeed the case.

This same Senator is further considering a lawsuit against President Obama regarding immigration and is not opposed to a government shutdown, should the situation demand one.

The Republicans appear to be acting in unison in their resistance to Mr. Obama's proposed immigration changes. As they look for any opposition to the President's "executive amnesty" for illegal immigrants, Republicans within the Senate are hoping to deter the passing of budgets which are in favor of this action.

Despite this upheaval amongst the Republicans, President Obama and other Democrats believe that moving forward so suddenly is in their best interests. In what appears to be a form of peer pressure, those in favor of the President's immigration changes concur that this is the only way to truly get the Republicans on board and in agreement.

Is the President allowed to act so independently? Technically, yes. Any decisions made by the executive branch are backed by prosecutorial direction in how they are enforced. Mr. Obama's current immigration modifications are reminiscent of his 2012 DREAM Act that protects young immigrants from deportation.

While the Republicans seem to be insistent on their opposition to President Obama's new policies, the Democrats in the White House don't appear to mind. The Attorney General has expressed confidence that the President will act in correspondence with the country's current laws.

Let's just hope the President didn't speak too soon, if only for his sake. Immigration advocates expect to see immediate and aggressive action that won't end up falling by the wayside as in years past.

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