Our immigration system has been broken for decades and for years millions of undocumented immigrants have been living in the U.S. in fear that they will be arrested, deported, and have their families ripped apart. President Barack Obama is expected to shield approximately 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.
President Obama and Congress have spent years disagreeing over immigration reform and the President has finally decided to take action alone. Tonight at 8:00PM EST, the President will address what executive actions he will be taking to fix our broken immigration system. Here's what we should expect to hear:
- Protection for undocumented immigrants who have children born in the U.S. Thousands of children have suffered from having their parents or siblings taken away and deported or arrested. President Obama plans to have these undocumented immigrants go through a series of background checks and other tests and if they are qualified, they will be able to apply for a Social Security number and legally work in the U.S. This does not mean that they will be able to apply for a green card
- Expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act (DACA). This program, implemented in 2012, protects undocumented immigrants who came into the U.S. as a child and allows them to apply for a work permit. President Obama may remove the age restrictions on this Act to allow undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for a certain number of years to apply
- The President may discuss plans to address the urgent need many companies, particularly in the Silicon Valley area, have expressed in regards to increasing the H-1B cap numbers. Currently only 85,000 H-1B numbers are available each year and many companies suffer when they are unable to hire the qualified and valuable individuals they need
- President Obama may also address allowing spouses of H-1B workers to seek employment in the U.S. Currently H-4 dependents are not allowed to work and it has been proven difficult for an H-1B worker to support his or her family with only one source of income. Allowing H-4 dependents to apply for a work permit to work in the U.S. would help with the financial difficulty
You can watch the President's speech live on CNN, PBS, MSNBC, Telemundo and Univision. You'll also be able to watch it live on the White House website here: WhiteHouse.gov/Live