The White House has announced that President Obama has done all that he can to change immigration policy through executive action. This announcement came after Hillary Clinton said that she supported Obama’s executive actions and said she would be willing to expand them to provide deportation relief to parents of young immigrants who have DACA status. Right now, Obama’s proposed DAPA program would only allow the parents of US citizens and permanent residents to remain in the US.
Obama’s 2014 executive actions provided benefits to parents of U.S. citizens and expanded eligibility for a deferred deportation program for DACA applicants. But a legal memo from the White House said it did not have the authority to grant relief to the parents of DACA children. The president’s views on this have not changed.
When asked if it would be illegal to expand on Obama’s executive actions, the White House spokesman said, “That will be something for future presidents and future courts to decide.”
The White House is glad that Mrs. Clinton strongly supports Obama’s executive actions.
Hillary Clinton has taken an aggressive position on immigration reform. Recently, in her first presidential campaign speech on immigration, she told activists exactly what they hoped to hear. Mrs. Clinton promised that she would not only support President Obama's executive actions to protect millions of unauthorized immigrants from deportation, but she would expand them to allow more immigrants to apply for protection and work permits.
Clinton said she wanted Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform with a "full and equal" path to citizenship, but she also stressed that she'll take additional executive action if Congress doesn't pass a bill.
The executive actions President Obama proposed in 2014 are currently on hold because of a lawsuit over whether they're constitutional. Many people are confident that the administration will win the court battle and the programs will be allowed to go into effect.
Two of Clinton's potential Republican opponents, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, support allowing unauthorized immigrants to earn legal status, but haven't said that would lead to citizenship. And none of them has promised to allow the 2014 executive actions to go into effect.
Which unauthorized immigrants does Clinton want to protect from deportation? Clinton named one particular group whom she would also allow to apply for protections and work permits: parents of the DACA children who currently have deferred action. The Obama administration did not include this in the executive actions because they didn’t think it would be within their their legal authority.
But she also said she wanted to allow any unauthorized immigrant with "deep ties and contributions to communities" to come forward and apply for relief. Since a majority of unauthorized immigrants have lived in the US for a decade, that could cover a lot of people.
In order to win the 2016 election, Clinton is going to need high turnout from Latino voters with the enthusiastic support of immigration advocates.
After the 2008 election, when Barack Obama promised to introduce an immigration reform bill in his first year in office and then broke that promise, immigration activists were deeply frustrated. If she is elected president, will Mrs. Clinton be any more successful in immigration reform than Mr. Obama was?
On the Republican side, Senator Marco Rubio thinks illegal immigrants who have been in the country for at least a decade should take a series of steps toward becoming legal, but he doesn't believe they should benefit from a special process. He said no one has a right to illegally immigrate here.
He complained that President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration encouraged illegal activities and made the crisis even worse at the nation's border.
Q.1. Can Mr. Obama do anything else to start the expanded DACA and DAPA programs?
A.1. These programs are stalled because of the actions of a federal judge in Texas. It may be necessary to bring the case to the Supreme Court. A final answer is not expected until much later this year.
Q.2. Mr. Obama was not able to fulfill his promises about Immigration Reform. How could Mrs. Clinton be more successful if she was elected president?
A.2. This will depend on Mrs. Clinton’s ability to convince right wing Republicans that immigration reform is good for the country. Mr. Obama was not able to do that.
Q.3. If Mrs. Clinton’s plans for immigration reform are successful, how many people would benefit?
A.3. She seems to be saying that all of the 11 million illegal immigrants now in the US would be able to remain here and get some kind of legal status. In fact, they will remain here, legally or illegally, no matter what Mrs. Clinton can do or can’t do.
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