Speculation on Washington's new immigration laws has the country on the edge of its seat. President Barack Obama has stated that the United States will deport illegal immigrants with criminal histories, as well as those that pose a potential threat to national security. The new immigration laws also provides that those individuals who currently face deportation but lack a criminal record will be allowed to remain in the United States and possibly get a work permit.
Advocates of these changes are celebrating, as they are planning to push Obama to further his actions in pro-immigration law making. Opponents are calling this new law amnesty on a massive scale. Currently there are roughly 300,000 pending immigration cases in the United States, with Homeland Security's focus being on the deportation of criminals and those in violation of the immigration laws. Illegal aliens that have been previously classified as low-priority will likely have their deportation delayed with the opportunity for applying for a work visa.
Immigrant's rights groups praised this immigration law change, by saying that people who are contributing to the United States will continue to be able to without repercussion. Some republican lawmakers and opposition to illegal immigration are livid, claiming that Obama has exceeded his limits. It is expected that the House of Representatives will challenge the President openly. It is being said that they are accusing Obama of granting amnesty to these illegal aliens.
Given that the 2012 election season is getting under way, it is likely that these new immigration laws will fuel the political fire in Washington. The Federation for American Immigration Reform claims that Congress is merely taking over authority of the constitution. They also claim that immigration is subsidized labor and the American taxpayer is footing the bill. People working for substandard wages, using the healthcare and school systems that America provides all come out of the taxpayer's pocket.
Advocates claim that Obama needs to do more, as they claim that more than 1 million people have been deported since he took office. The claim is also that if the president continues deporting illegal immigrants that the Latino community will not vote for him. Despite the fact that deportation numbers have increased recently, illegal immigration has actually decreased. Immigrants may find it useful to consult with a legal professional, who may be able to advise them on how the changes could affect them.
Source: VOA News, "Activists Cheer New Immigration Rules, Opponents Cry 'Amnesty'," Laurel Bowman, Aug. 19, 2011