White House insiders are now saying that the President will most likely use his executive authority to affect immigration law sometime in September. The President has an array of options, each with its own set of benefits for the millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States and each with its own set of legal challenges.
1. The President could simply instruct immigration authorities to focus their attention solely on those with serious criminal backgrounds and to not place others in removal proceedings. Tihs is known as deferred action.
2. The President could expand the coverage of DACA (deferred action for early childhood arrivals) to cover the parents of eligible DACA immigrants.
3. The President could ease the restrictions on waivers of inadmissibility to allow more people to stay in the United States and to return to the United States to be reunited with families.
4. The President could roll back the Secure Communities Program so contact with law enforcement would not necessarily mean immigration custody.
Look for the administration to lay out concrete criteria as they did with DACA so it is clear who is eligible for the new benefits and who is not. Clearly, there will be gray areas though in terms of past criminal history or immigration history that will impact eligibility.
Stay tuned for further updates and breaking news on this important issue.