Obama’s immigration options

ObamaPresident Obama is getting closer to taking executive action to deal with the immigration crisis in the United States.  A recent article by NPR suggests that Obama has two viable options to choose from – giving parole to undocumented immigrants or deferred action.

Obama previously used his executive authority two years ago to sign the DREAM Act into law.  This deferred the deportation of young people who came to the United States as undocumented immigrants when they were children and had never gained citizenship.  NPR says that the president’s reason for using executive action at that time was due to Congress being seemingly unable to pass immigration reform or to provide the funds needed to deal with the immigrant minors turning up on the US border.

Obama has told the American media that he is prepared to take personal measures to deal with the immigration crisis.  “I promise you the American people don’t want me just standing around twiddling my thumbs and waiting for Congress to get something done,” he says.  600,000 people have already taken advantage of last year’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program; Obama could possibly expand this to include undocumented immigrants and help to keep families together.

His other option would be to grant parole.  This is something that would be of greater benefit to those married to US citizens, who are currently being forced to leave the country for up to a decade before being granted re-entry.  Many immigrant activists have been vocally calling for Obama to take executive action.