While you were watching Grey’s Anatomy , President Obama was laying the foundation for the comprehensive immigration plan. After being confronted by activists for years about stalling on immigration, the President decided to move without Congress and act by Executive Order.
Here’s the 5 Things You Need to Know From President Obama’s speech on Immigration:
1) Obama promises to build on the progress at the border with law enforcement personnel.
(Meaning: You still can’t sneak past the border guys. Law enforcement will apprehend or shoot you.)
2) The pathway to citizenship will make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, college graduates and business owners to stay here and contribute to the U.S. economy.
Translation: The 10 steps to citizenship that’s posted on the government’s website will need some re-working to account for new changes. But the process will be easier and faster.)
3) This new action will finally address the more than 11 million immigrants currently living in the United States.
(Translation: This decision truly affects all immigrants living in the United States.)
4) The order is: “If you’ve been in America more than 5 years or have children that are legal or illegal residents; register and pass a criminal background check and are willing to pay taxes, you can apply to stay in the country temporarily without fear of deportation.
(Translation: If you’ve been here over five years, working, have raised children here and haven’t had any run-ins with the law, you can apply without being afraid of deportation. You no longer have to hide in the shadows.)
5) This deal does not apply to anyone who is a recent undocumented immigrant to this country or who will come to this country in the future. It also doesn’t grant permanent citizenship.
(Translation: If you just got here, this law is not for you. You can’t take advantage of the new law. BUT It also isn’t PERMANENT. You will have to take additional steps to becoming a U.S Citizen.)
The President asks American citizens to ponder the following questions about immigration:
“Are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system where workers who pick our fruit and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law? Or are we a nation that gives them a chance to make amends, take responsibility, and give their kids a better future? Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms, or are we a nation that values families and works together to keep them together? Are we a nation that educates the world’s best and brightest in our universities only to send them home to create businesses in countries that compete against us, or are we a nation that encourages them to stay and create jobs here, create businesses here, create industries right here in America?”
The reality is the President just opened Pandora’s Box in his battle against Republicans. Nothing pisses Republicans off more than healthcare like immigration. Republicans opposed the plan long before it was announced and it’ll definitely be one of the first order they attempt to overturn when they take control of Congress in January. It’s far from over so the American people should expect a showdown for the President’s last year in the White House.
Ultimately, The President has made the right decision for the country. The United States is a country of immigrants and we must constantly remind ourselves of that. We simply can’t close the border and think that will solve all of the economy’s problems. Newsflash: it won’t. If anything, it will have an even more negative effect on the economy.
People are literally willing to die to give themselves and their children a better life. If anyone can understand that type of sacrifice, surely we can.