What You Need to Know about President Obama’s Immigration Plan

POLITICS

President Barack Obama has announced he will act to shield from deportation millions of immigrants who are in the United States without authorization. (Southern California Public Radio)

Use our resources to learn more about immigration.

Teachers, scroll all the way down for a short list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit.

Audience members react as President Barack Obama delivers remarks on immigration at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to the Migration Policy Institute, about 19% of Nevada's population is foreign-born. The foreign-born population includes naturalized U.S. citizens, lawful permanent immigrants (or green-card holders), refugees and asylees, certain legal nonimmigrants (including those on student, work, or some other temporary visas), and persons residing in the country without authorization. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Audience members react as President Barack Obama delivers remarks on immigration at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to the Migration Policy Institute, about 19% of Nevada’s population is foreign-born. The foreign-born population includes naturalized U.S. citizens, lawful permanent immigrants (or green-card holders), refugees and asylees, certain legal nonimmigrants (including those on student, work, or some other temporary visas), and persons residing in the country without authorization. Find your state’s immigration statistics here.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

  • Wait, I thought the U.S. government was a system of checks and balances between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. What if Congress (legislative branch) or the courts (judicial branch) don’t think an executive order should be implemented?
    • judicial branch: Like all legislative regulations, executive orders are subject to judicial review—meaning a court could ultimately strike down the order. For example, following labor disputes, President Harry Truman used an executive order to nationalize steel mills. The Supreme Court struck this down as unconstitutional.
    • legislative branch: Congress can pass laws to clarify specific issues that have to do with the executive order. For example, following the 9/11 attacks, Congress granted emergency powers to President George W. Bush.
  • What people and organizations does Obama’s immigration order impact? Read about the initiatives here.
    • The plan would expand the population eligible for deferred action to those who came to this country (the U.S.) before they were 16 years old and have resided here since 2010. Read more about the. Read more about the policy being expanded here.
    • The plan would allow immigrants who are the parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to apply for temporary relief from deportation—and work permits—if they have been in the U.S. for more than five years.
    • The plan would expand visa waivers to the spouses and children of visa-holders and U.S. citizens.
    • The plan would “modernize, improve, and clarify” immigration programs.
    • The plan would allow applicants to pay for their naturalization fees (about $680) with credit cards.
    • According to the Pew Center, the primary beneficiaries will be undocumented Mexican migrants. “[M]ore than half of unauthorized immigrants from Mexico (55%) and Central America (51%) will be eligible for deportation relief under the new or existing programs.”
      The law will also impact highly skilled workers with H-1B work visas. “Those on H-1B visas will find it easier to move or change jobs, and more of their spouses can get work visas.”
    • Businesses that rely on both high-skilled and low-skilled labor, from Caterpillar to Wendy’s, support immigration reform.
    • Foreign-born students in STEM programs may also be allowed to stay an additional 17-months, for a total of 29-months on their “optional practical training” visa.

 

TEACHERS’ TOOLKIT

Southern California Public Radio: FAQ: What you need to know about President Obama’s immigration plan

Nat Geo: Immigration resources

Migration Policy Institute: State Immigration Data Profiles

The Free Dictionary: executive order

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: Executive Actions on Immigration

Democratic National Committee: Democratic National Platform

Republican National Committee: Republican National Platform

Forbes: Largest Corporate Players in Immigration Reform

One response to “What You Need to Know about President Obama’s Immigration Plan

  1. One of the most difficult tasks of an educator is providing both sides of a political issue and respectful open debate.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s