President Obama’s executive action will help around five million undocumented immigrants to legally stay and work in the U.S. His plans include expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and creation of a new program for the undocumented parents of children who were born in the U.S. or children who are legal residents.
Expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:
The DACA program that was implemented in 2012 allowed certain young undocumented youth who came to America as kids to live here and work legally for two years. This program has now been expanded and it will now allow the young undocumented immigrants eligible for this program to stay and work here for three years. As of 2012, 1.2 million undocumented youth were eligible for DACA. As this program has now been expanded it will benefit around 700,000 additional undocumented youth.
Creation of the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program
Apart from expanding the DACA program, the President has also announced a new program meant for the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders. These undocumented adults will be granted a three year reprieve from deportation under DAPA. Apart from that, they also can get work permits to work in the U.S. Those applying for DAPA must undergo background checks and show that they are not criminals and not priorities for deportation. DAPA will benefit around 3.3 million undocumented adults.
The DACA and the DAPA programs will together benefit more than 5 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Beneficiaries of these programs cannot apply for legal resident status or for citizenship in the U.S. However, this new policy means a lot to the undocumented immigrants though it only offers them a temporary relief from deportation.