Obama ready to act on immigration reform

Immigration center in New Mexico to closePresident Obama intends to go ahead with immigration reform, possibly as early as next week. He will ignore protests from the Republican Party and overhaul the immigration system in the United States to protect up to five million undocumented immigrants from being deported and grant many work permits, administration officials have revealed.

Obama is planning to provide extra security for the southern border of the country, expand the opportunities for high-skilled immigrants, give clearer guidelines to immigration enforcement agencies, and revamp the contentious Secure Communities program. He intends to make it very clear that recent border crossers, national security risks and immigrants with serious criminal records should still be deported.

The actions of the 12,000 immigration agents employed by the US government would be significantly altered by Obama’s plans, one of which is to enable parents of many of the minors who have legal residency or US citizenship to obtain work documents and be free of the fear of being separated from their families. This aspect of the president’s plans could impact on more than three million undocumented immigrants, claims the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute.

Officials in the White House have declined to make any formal comments until the president comes back from his Asia trip this weekend; however, administration officials have said that the announcement could still be pushed back until December to work out details of the package, but the changes will be made before the end of 2014.