Important Information about President Obama’s Big Immigration Announcement

obama_immigration-squareLast week, President Obama announced his long-awaited “Immigration Accountability Executive Action.” This policy is expected to prevent nearly 5 million hardworking immigrants—some of whom have been in the U.S. for decades—from being needlessly torn from their homes, jobs, communities, and families. Three of big changes were laid out in the President’s plan:

  1. A new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program will provide three years of temporary status and work authorization for undocumented immigrants with children who are currently American citizens or legal permanent residents and who have lived in the U.S for the past five years.
  2. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be expanded to include anyone who entered the U.S. prior to their sixteenth birthday and who has lived here for at least five years, and the temporary status has been extended from two years to three.
  3. Certain spouses of lawful permanent residents may apply for the provisional “stateside” waiver (currently only available to spouses of U.S. citizens), which is designed to reduce the time that families must be separated.

Other changes include an end to the controversial Secure Communities program, several expansions to the U-visa and T-visa processes (for victims of crime and survivors of trafficking, respectively), and creation of a new interagency taskforce to focus on worksite enforcement issues.

The President’s bold executive action has been widely celebrated by Jewish community organizations—earlier today, JTA published an article about how the President’s message resonated with the Jewish community. Many groups issued statements welcoming the new policies including HIAS, AJC, ADL, JCPA, National Council of Jewish Women, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Rabbinical Assembly, Jewish Labor Committee, B’nai B’rith InternationalBend the Arc, NJDC, and Jewish Community Action. Be sure to join us on December 4th from 3-4pm EST for a national conference call to discuss these new policies (click here to RSVP), and in the meantime, here are some resources to learn more: