Baltimore, MD– Yesterday, President Barack Obama used his executive power to begin the process towards comprehensive immigration reform. President Obama’s plan allows undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to legally live and work in the country for a period of three years. He also expanded the pool of undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children who are eligible for protected status. The plan also makes it easier for foreign workers trained in high-tech fields to enter, and stay in, the country. Lastly, it refocuses the nation’s entire immigration enforcement apparatus on a much smaller pool of immigrants — those with criminal records, ties to terrorist organizations or gangs and people who crossed the border in the past year.
From Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President & CEO:
“We applaud President Obama for using his executive power to begin the process of making our immigration system more fair and just. The depth of the need for this type of decisive action by the President is matched by the diversity of the problem. The NAACP has stood firmly for immigrants’ rights for decades, and we are pleased that millions of immigrants will have an opportunity to live in our country and contribute to our economy and society. From Haiti to Honduras from Senegal to St. Croix, family members hoping to reunite with loved ones and refugees working to build a new life in the United States deserve our attention. In addition to being one of the fastest growing immigrant groups, immigrants from African countries are among the most educated, with higher degree attainment than native born Americans. We remain committed in our fight for advocating on behalf of Americans and those seeking legal citizenship. And we call on Congress to finish what President Obama started by passing bipartisan comprehensive legislation that establishes an immigration system that protects all U.S. workers and guarantees the safety and security of our nation without compromising fundamental civil rights, human rights and civil liberties.”