Obama contemplates immigration changes

President_George_W._Bush_and_Barack_Obama_meet_in_Oval_OfficeKey changes to the immigration system of the United States are being considered by President Obama.  These changes have been requested by powerful industry, interest and technology groups in a move that could negate criticisms by the Republican party of the president’s decision to go it alone.

According to immigration advocates and administration officials, Obama is considering going beyond simply offering relief from deportation for a number of undocumented immigrants in the United States, with specific recommendations taken from meetings with advocates and business groups having been compiled after recent top-level meetings.  This level of support could help to undermine accusations from the Republican party that Obama would be exceeding his authority by trying to help those who have violated immigration law.

“The president has not made a decision regarding next steps, but he believes it’s important to understand and consider the full range of perspectives on potential solutions,” says Shawn Turner, White House spokesman.  Business and family groups have both requested that the way in which green cards are counted is amended to free up a further 800,000 US visas.  The result of this would shorten the wait for green cards, help businesses to get better access to worldwide talent, and possibly even reduce illegal immigration.

Over 20 meetings have been held between Obama’s aides and business groups in the last few months.  The president is expected to make an announcement about his plans next month.