WASHINGTON —(ENEWSPF)–November 20, 2014. Up to five million people will be shielded from deportation and given work authorization under an expanded deferred action policy that President Obama will announce today. This expansion of a policy initiated in June 2012 comes after several years of advocacy and organizing by immigrant communities and represents a historic shift away from a deportation-only immigration strategy. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:
“This is a victory for our country. A victory that has come about through inspiring organizing by immigrants — including their children — who have marched, engaged in civil disobedience and hunger strikes, and advocated for these changes. President Obama is showing that he can be as bold as these courageous immigrants by following in their footsteps and using his executive authority to bring about life-changing relief not only to the millions of immigrants who qualify, but also for their families and communities.
“For far too long, mothers have feared being torn away from their children, and immigrants lived one traffic ticket away from banishment from the lives they built. Once they apply for the opportunity to obtain temporary relief from deportation and work authorization, immigrants will be able to work lawfully and pay more taxes, supporting themselves and their families and contributing to our communities and economy.
“Free from the fear of deportation, parents will be able to actively engage in their children’s schools and their local communities, and many fewer workers will be subjected to abuse by employers who retaliate against them. Instead, they’ll be empowered to improve working conditions for all.
“We will continue to fight for the rights of those who have been excluded from this program and who remain at risk of being detained under an aggressive deportation machinery, including parents of the children President Obama himself called American in every way, except on paper. By failing to include parents of certain immigrant youth brought here as children, workers with long-term ties to the United States, and other undocumented Americans, President Obama’s proposed solution is limited and not as comprehensive as the problem we face. Those who do qualify for relief should have the same rights and responsibilities to lead healthy, productive lives as anyone else.
“We will continue working closely with the administration and diverse stakeholders to ensure full and fair implementation of this new program so that low-income immigrants will be able to realize their dreams.
“With today’s announcement, President Obama has provided the nation with a temporary, but much needed, solution to a complex problem. Our country will only reap the benefits of this significant policy change if the federal government is able to swiftly and efficiently implement the program. We call on all policymakers to do what is best for our nation to ensure that the president’s plan, as outlined tonight, becomes reality.”
For a detailed explanation of today’s announcement, visit www.nilc.org during the coming days.