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Significant changes to American immigration policy could be made before the end of the year. According to a new report from Fox News based on an unnamed White House source, President Obama will unveil his “10-part plan for overhauling U.S. immigration policy via executive action,” possibly by next week. Along with measures like increasing pay for immigration officers and ramping up border security, the plan would also prevent the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants in the country illegally, through "deferred action."

The President’s plan would broaden the eligibility requirements of a current policy that grants deferred action to immigrants who came into the country illegally as children (expanding it to reach about 300,000 new individuals), and, most significantly, would also give the same protection to immigrant parents who have children born in the U.S. That number is more than 4.5 million people.

Other aspects of the plan would promote the legal naturalization process and work visa programs. Despite the White House source’s claim that the President would proceed with the plan through his executive authority if necessary, he could face some opposition in Congress, where lawmakers control the money needed to move forward with it ... Discuss

House Republican leaders have unveiled a new plan for immigration reform that could potentially give legal status to undocumented immigrants currently living in the country. According to The Washington Post, many advocates responded “positively” to the plan that said immigrants “should be allowed to ‘live legally and without fear’ in the United States if they meet a list of tough requirements and rules.”

The plan represents a significant shift in the traditional party policy on immigration. Along with granting a path to citizenship for “DREAMers” (mostly young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country by their parents), the plan puts a heavy emphasis on border security. A report in The Daily Beast says that Though the GOP reforms wouldn’t provide undocumented immigrants with citizen status, they would be allowed to remain in the country legally if they “admit their culpability, pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics and be able to support themselves and their families (without public benefits)” ... Discuss

The United States is currently home to about 5 percent of the world’s population. It’s also home to 25 percent of all of the prisoners on the entire planet. One in every 10 Americans behind bars is currently serving time in federal prison. Now, Attorney General Eric Holder has announced plans to change these trends. According to his new plan, which will be outlined this week, Holder says that prosecutors will be instructed to file fewer charges against non-violent drug offenders who have no association with criminal organizations. The plan does away with some umbrella mandatory sentences—which some critics say unfairly effect poor addicts. He also asked that elderly inmates, who are no longer dangerous and have served long amounts of time, be considered for immediate release. In an effort to more effectively rehabilitate individuals arrested on drug crimes, Holder has suggested that drug-treatment programs become an alternative to prison time … Discuss

The New Move on Immigration Reform

Will the system overhaul be able to balance improved legislation with love for the stranger? Read More

Columnist Danielle Mayfield considers the treatment of those who aren’t native English speakers and our acceptance of immigrants and refugees in light of the passing of immigration laws in Arizona. Read More