US President Barack Obama has ignored Republican claims he is overstepping his power, as he ordered five million undocumented immigrants in the country to come out of their shell and regularize their stay as he prioritizes the deportation of ‘’felons, not families.’’
In a live telecast Thursday night, president Obama, who dismissed accusations by the opposition that he is offering a free pass to illegal immigrants said he did not grant amnesty to the five million people who are beneficiaries of his unilateral decision, arguing that ‘’the real amnesty ‘’ would be leaving a broken immigration system as it is.
“Today our immigration system is broken and everybody knows it. It’s been this way for decades and for decades we haven’t done much about it.”
On top of Obama’s immigration changes is to instruct immigration authorities to prioritize expulsion action against gang members, felons and suspected terrorists rather than law-abiding undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and residents and others.
With the new changes, qualified candidates will have the chance to stay temporarily in the USA for three years, as long as they pass background checks and pay back taxes. But they will not be offered a path to eventual citizenship or be eligible for federal benefits or health care programs.
However, in theory, the measures could be reversed by a future president.
To the members of the Congress who question is authority to act alone on the matter, president Obama pointed out that he was acting in a manner consistent with actions taken by every Republican and Democratic president in half a century.
“To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.” Obama said.