Nov. 21 — President Barack Obama Nov. 20 unveiled a large-scale immigration plan that includes several measures designed to keep highly skilled immigrant workers in the U.S. as well as deportation protection for an estimated 5 million undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
“Today our immigration system is broken and everybody knows it,” Obama said in an evening address to the nation. “It’s been this way for decades, and for decades we haven’t done much about it.”
“I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common-sense law” that was passed by the Senate in June of 2013, the president said.
However, Obama blamed House Republicans for refusing to even allow a “simple yes or no vote” on the measure.
The president’s speech focused on what will likely be the most controversial portion of his executive order, a plan to provide deferred action, for three-year periods, to the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been in the U.S. at least five years and who agree to pay taxes and pass a criminal background check.
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which will administer the program, some 4.9 million individuals stand to benefit from this action.