On Wednesday, November 19, 2014, President Obama released a video confirming that he will announce his plan to implement immigration solutions within his executive authority. Many expect him to announce steps that will include an extension of “deferred action,” an exercise of prosecutorial discretion not to pursue removal (deportation), and employment authorization to millions of undocumented workers and families who meet certain criteria. Such criteria might include a specific number of years of residence in the United States, one or more qualifying U.S. citizen parents, siblings, or children, and evidence that the individual has not committed any disqualifying criminal offenses.
The President’s announcement is currently scheduled for Thursday, November 20th, at 8:00 p.m. EST. He will also give a speech on Friday that provides additional information regarding his plan as he rallies support for these measures.
Many supporters of immigration reform and of the exercise of the President’s executive authority have advocated a variety of sweeping changes, which include the following steps, although it is uncertain whether any of these measures will be part of the President’s plan:
- “Recapturing” more than 200,000 immigrant visa numbers that went unused during quota years in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
- Changing the way immigrants are counted under the quota system to remove dependent family members of employment-based immigrants from the annual quota count.
- Deferred action for farm workers.
- Extension of deferred action to include the parents of DACA recipients (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
- Extending eligibility for adjustment to permanent resident status to certain individuals who have been granted Temporary Protected Status.