U.S. President Barack Obama has issued an executive order granting permission for five million undocumented immigrants to work, something that is going to trigger a crisis between the White House and Congress.
Obama ordered the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to focus their attention on detaining and deporting delinquents, and not on the parents of young people. It is the most important presidential decision in the field of immigration in the last 30 years.
Among those who will benefit from Obama’s decree are four million illegal residents who are fathers or mothers of U.S. citizens, in addition to those who entered the country before they were 16 years old.
The program will benefit millions of Dominicans who appeared on the list of more than five million undocumented immigrants at immediate risk of deportation, and who were also prevented from having access to formal employment.
The executive order promotes family reunification based on an integrated core of students who will have access to technological and scientific careers and whose undocumented parents will be able to benefit from the new immigration rules.
Although beneficiaries will not receive permanent residence, the decree prevents the deportation of more than five million undocumented people and opens up a battle between the executive branch and Congress that could include a fiscal shutdown of the White House as a means of retaliation. The president made the historic decision after failure of a bill in Congress which would have permanently transformed the immigration system in the United States by providing permanent residence for a majority of more than 11 million undocumented immigrants.
More than one million Dominicans live in the United States legally or as undocumented immigrants, and the executive order issued by President Obama, which avoids mass deportations, will have a positive impact on the island even though we will have to wait for the outcome of the political and institutional crisis which this action will unleash.