On Thursday, President Obama unveiled his executive action that will spare about 5 million immigrants from deportation.
Obama has bypassed Congress to make the widest-ranging change to U.S. immigration policy since 1986. The GOP quickly fired back. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that Obama has ignored the “will of the American people” and created a legacy of “lawlessness.”
The move will likely help Democrats court Hispanic voters in the next election while leaving Republicans on the defense, New York Daily News reported.
Under the order, undocumented parents who have lived in the United States for at least five years, have no criminal history, pass a background check and have a child with legal status are eligible for a three-year work permit with temporary assurance they will not be deported.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Barack Obama” author_title=”President of the United States”]
Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms? Or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together?
In his speech, Obama cited the Bible, saying, “Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger — we were strangers once, too.”
His order will also expand upon his 2012 order that deferred deportation of individuals who were brought to the United States illegally as children, although the order will not cover their parents.
Obama is ordering immigration officials to refocus their action on illegal immigrants who may be gang members, terrorists or involved in criminal activity. He will sign the paperwork at a Las Vegas high school on Friday, the Chicago Sun Times reported.
The move is Obama’s boldest action on immigration, and many in the immigration reform movement and the Latino community view it as long overdue. Many view it as a partial victory, with some upset that the action does not go as far as they hoped, the Huffington Post reported.