Although the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), which was supposed to shield over 4 million illegal aliens from deportation, is now waiting for a Supreme Court decision, the rest of President’s executive actions on the issue are rapidly moving forward.
This means that even his measure to protect more than 80 percent of illegal migrants from deportation may soon reach its purpose.
DAPA was designed to provide illegal immigrants with work permits and a legal status that would allow them to pay their taxes and benefit from federal health programs, and other services. But an appeals court ruled that the act was unconstitutional. Subsequently, the case was deferred to the nation’s highest court.
Yet, a dozen measures set in place by the Obama administration Nov 20, 2104 are now still in effect, and 7 to 9 million people are safe from deportation, while they wait for the Supreme Court’s judgment. This means that authorities will no longer have to deport all illegal immigrants.
The measures include reform of immigration policies in a broader context. For instances, spouses of immigrants that have work permits can also find jobs in the U.S., foreign college students that study technology or science in the nation’s universities can stay and find a place to work in the U.S., spouses and children of legal immigrants will no longer be deported to their countries while they seek legal status.
In the meantime, Homeland Security took extra measures for border security, so the number of arrests of illegals trying to cross the border saw a significant drop. Officials said that arrests never were that low since the 1970s.
Obama’s executive actions also prompted authorities to focus more on criminals, drug dealers, people that represent a threat to national security, and recent border trespassers when planning to deport someone.
Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson said that law enforcement and customs agents currently focus on convicted criminals, rather than hunt for people who came here to find work.
Johnson added that border security and public safety are now top priorities for both him and the President. One year since their adoption, Obama’s immigration measures seem to have paid off. A report shows that deportations plunged from 410,000 in 2012 to 230,000 in 2015.
And, since Johson is now focused on deporting only those who are a real threat to domestic security, 9.6 million immigrants of a total of 11.5 million are no longer at risk of being sent back home.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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