ALERT: Obama Close to Expanded Deferred Action?

ALERT:  Obama Close to Expanded Deferred Action?

BuzzFeed News reported yesterday:

Justice Department and Homeland Security officials are sending to the White House their final recommendations on what immigration executive actions should look like, according to four sources who have been briefed on the timeline.

You can read the entire BuzzFeed article here:

The Final Recommendations For Immigration Actions Are Being Sent To Obama

According to the BuzzFeed Article several key concerns central to the immigrant community are still up in the air for consideration.  For example, how long would a person have to have been in the United States to qualify for the proposed deferred action and how broad or restrictive the qualifying criteria will be to qualify for consideration.

By way of comparison, to be eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program initiated in 2012, a person has to (1) have been in the country since prior to June 15, 2007 and have been brought to the country on or before their sixteenth birthday, and (2) be in high school, have received a high school diploma or be studying for or have obtained a GED or have served in the military (as well as meet a host of other requirements including a clean criminal record).  As a result, the number of individuals able to qualify for DACA in the program’s first two years through June 2014 has fallen short of 600,000. (See this site’s earlier post from August 28, 2014).

Advocacy groups are hoping this time around, executive action will be aimed at benefiting a much larger portion of the 10 to 12 million undocumented immigrants who currently live in the shadows of our communities.  Understanding that all but a very small minority of these individuals are law abiding and are an asset to our communities by working hard, providing for their families, educating their kids and otherwise living productive lives, the hope among advocates is that this time around many millions will benefit from any action taken by the President.  The BuzzFeed article references various sources estimating possible numbers to benefit from the program as being anywhere from one or two million to as many as seven or eight million or more.

While no time frame for actual action on the recommendations is referenced in the article, we know the President has promised action by the end of 2014.  This author’s own sources suggest that we might expect to see some action taken around mid-December, 2014.  It seems that the President may have already made up his mind what he wants to do but will take some time to assess the political fallout from the November 4, 2014 elections first.  Likely he will huddle with Democratic Congressional leadership before making any final announcement to prepare for the inevitable Republican push back.

Considering the fear of any such push back, one source from the BuzzFeed article had a particularly prescient observation:

“We’re going to have a fight on our hands with Republicans and need every part of the movement to be enthusiastic and lean into this fight,” veteran immigration advocate Frank Sharry said. “He’s not going to get criticized any less for somehow trying to go smaller.” “Whether it’s 1 million or 2 million or 7 million, it will be equal criticism,” said Marielena Hincapié, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. “This isn’t about appeasing Republicans; he’s never going to appease them.”

Translation:  Hang on tight, it’ll be one heck of a ride either way! And stay tuned here for the latest news and updates!